5 Things Dancers On Pointe Should NEVER Do

As pointe shoe fitters, we’ve seen some crazy stuff! Please don’t make any of these pointe shoe mistakes and if you have any questions about your pointe shoes, your fitter should be the first person you ask!

Pointe shoe fitters are manufacturer trained and constantly learning different fitting techniques, foot anatomy, shoe specs, and more. We have so much knowledge on pointe shoes and we’re here to help! 

So without further ado, let’s get to the list of 5 things dancers on pointe should NEVER do!

Wear Hand Me Down Shoes:

Wearing someone’s old shoes can be painful and dangerous. Wearing a shoe that wasn’t properly fitted to your foot can cause pain and injury. Also, if you’re wearing a pair someone else has worn, it’s broken in to their foot, not yours. You’ll need your feet when you’re 60…don’t ruin them now! If anyone offers you an old pair, please respectfully decline.

Manually Break In Your Shoes:

As pointe shoe fitters, we see A LOT of girls break in their shoes manually because they saw some professional dancers on TikTok or YouTube do it. Their feet are not your feet. Also, a professional company isn’t giving you shoes…your mom is buying them. Please just let your feet break in your shoes! (We’ve also seen a lot of girls let their teacher break in their shoes and they’ve broken the shank.)

Guess Your Size:

If you’ve outgrown your shoe and need a new size, you should never just assume you’ll be ½ size up. If you go up in length, the width may need to be adjusted. Also, as your feet grow, the shape of your foot may change slightly and you may need to switch to a different model. Your best bet is to come get fit by a professional!

Buy Shoes Based On Shape Or Color:

If your shoes don’t fit properly, you’re asking for pain and damage to your feet (like bunions, losing toenails, etc.) A tapered shoe may look pretty, but if you’ve got a square foot, a square doesn’t fit into a triangle. One pointe shoe brand may match your tights better, but if they don’t make a shoe that fits your foot properly, it becomes dangerous for you to wear. Buy what FITS PROPERLY!

Wait Too Long To Replace:

We recently had a dancer get fit who had been in her pointe shoes for 2 YEARS!The box was mush, the shank was broken, and they were 2 sizes too small. A dead shoe will not properly support your foot which can lead to injury. If it’s been 6 months and you haven’t replaced your shoes, bring them in and we can take a look at them to make sure they’re still safe to dance in.

Did we forget anything? Have you committed any of these pointe shoe faux pas? Let us know! And if you’re in the Washington DC area, book a pointe shoe fitting with us!


  • Megan

    Hiii my name is Megan so I just started pointe and I don’t know when my pointe shoes are dead and also my doctor says that I could get arthritis by my 20s and I don’t know if I should belive her

    • sarena hutzell

      If your shoes aren’t feeling supportive anymore, that’s a good sign they’re dead. Some physical signs they’re dead are if the wings are super squishy, if the box starts to get squishy, and if your shank is floppy. We always recommend finding a physical therapist that specializes in dancers to help with your strength and flexibility for pointe which will help avoid potential injuries or issues!

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