It is, no doubt, the wish of every ballerina to go en pointe, to dance using the tip of their toes and mesmerize the audience with sterling performances. However, to do that successfully, every ballerina requires a special kind of dance shoes.
To avoid leaving the stage with sore toes or even more serious foot injuries, shoes become an essential factor. Ballerinas must put on the right ensemble to present a wow performance for those watching.
After extensive and in-depth research, we’ve come to the conclusion that dancing with shoes made with wrong materials or those that do not fit properly are the major threats a ballerina faces during a show.
This is why this list showcasing the 7 best pointe shoes of 2021 is a must-read for beginners and professionals alike to enable them to take pride in the quality and aesthetic value of what they shod their feet with during a routine or full dance session.
To help you decide, we’ve spent over 22 hours researching hard and have unanimously chosen the Bloch Dance Women’s Performa Stretch Shoe as the best pointe shoe in terms of quality and aesthetic value.
Fashionable high heel shoes may be good for other kinds of dance styles, but in this article, you will be discovering why the Russian Pointe Rubin Pointe Shoe – and the others – are setting the pace for ballerinas in 2021 and beyond.
Best Pointe Shoes
1. Bloch Dance Women’s Performa Stretch Shoe
This beautiful piece from master craftsmen is suitable for you if your needs revolve around functionality and comfort.
Although made with a lightweight stretch canvas that fits the arch, it allows for flexibility considering that its toe box is shaped to achieve balance when on stage.
The shock absorbing heel cushion it possesses helps to prevent falls during spectacular performances that involve complicated routines.
These awesome pointe shoes are a favorite with dancers who have narrow feet. It fits such feet well.
It is also a collector’s item that you can keep and cherish for a long time after the audience had admired your moves on stage.
With its super soft and light soles, there is no reason why you won’t love it.
- Fabric material
- Leather split sole
- Tension absorbing heels
- Snugly fitted
- Suede foot pads that protect against shock while sliding
- Use of Stretchable weightless canvas sole to achieve flexibility
- Straps are well placed and re-sewn
- Comes in different colors to accommodate diverse skin tones
- Size is not accurate; you need to choose two sizes down from your regular
- Looks wrinkly
- The elastic straps are too tight; it should be stretchable to accommodate all
Lovers of Bloch Dance Women’s Performa Stretch Canvas Split Sole Ballet Shoe/Slipper are die-hard fans by the reviews on Amazon, making them stick to it irrespective of the number of times it takes for them to get the right fitting.
It is affordable, pretty, and of good quality, if you do not compromise on comfort.
2. Capezio Ava Pointe Shoe
This particular shoe is in a class of its own given the special features it commands.
With its soft shank and medium vamp, the arch is sure to be flexible. It also possesses a removable medical grade gel cushion that gives extra comfort.
For a slip-free feeling, Capezio Ava Pointe Shoe is the right choice at any time because of its anti-slip interior lining.
Dancers with broad shaped feet prefer the Capezio Ava Pointe Shoe because it gives them the desired fit due to its broad toe box.
- Satin binding
- Broad toe board
- Stretchable drawstrings
- Perfect fit
- Nylon sole
- The 2.5″ leather board and red board shank allow for flexibility to the arch
- It has a high and wide platform for much-needed balance
- Ribbon motif on the outstretched external sole which aids with traction
- This pointe shoe does not come with it’s own elastic and ribbon on them, so you will need to buy your own and sew them on
It is a favorite for those who desire quality shoes because it is pricey, but surely money well spent.
Anyone that loves the feel of satin will love to have this shoe. It is indeed the material of choice and one of the reasons why it is among the top selections for 2021.
3. Freed Adult “Studio II” Pointe Shoes
This is an elegant shoe from the studio collections of “Freed of London.” They are well-known for producing quality products with natural and environmentally friendly materials.
Available in both medium and hard shanks, it lasts longer, unlike others. This makes it natural during performances conducted by professional dancers.
Newbie dancers enjoy wearing it since it has a strong supporting block that allows for good balancing, which is a necessity for en pointe style.
The Adult “Studio II” Pointe Shoes also allows for proper alignment of the foot, saving dancers from possible mishaps.
It is a great fit for dancers with tapered feet (people with a longer 2nd toe) since it is not squared in shape.
- Satin materials
- Leather sole
- The vamp is long
- High wings
- Specially designed insole
- It has a medium and hard shank that provides more strength
- It has a wide base to enhance balancing
- It is painful for people with wide square feet and a low arch
- It is not recommended for beginners who are yet to get a professional fitting
- It does not have ribbons included in the box
Adult “Studio II” Pointe Shoes STU-II Hard Shank is great in its way and has a wide array of features, whether you are starting out dancing or about to thrill the audience with fantastic routines.
4. Capezio Women’s 121 Aria Pointe Shoe
Capezio Women’s 121 Aria Pointe Shoe is a great choice for professional dancers who have had their fittings (or know their perfect size) and finally found the exact one that suits their feet.
It has a lot of support fitted into it to enable dancers to perform their routines with ease.
As a well-known manufacturer of quality shoes, the 121 Aria Pointe boasts an array of features that makes it a classic. One of such features is the stitched pleated construction that absorbs sound while gliding on the dance-floor.
It is also made with soft, moisture-absorbent linings that keep you light on your toes while delivering your best performances.
Like other dance styles including Waltz, Salsa, and Rumba, getting the right ballerina shoes is a top consideration for beginners and professionals alike. Also, you can try these superb shoes for hip hop dance.
For tap dancers, you might be like our tap shoes review in-depth.
- Broad toe box
- A lower heel and lower side
- Absorbent pleating stitches
- Leather outer sole
- Satin binding
- Medium vamp
- Possesses an anti-slip interior lining to prevent slippage
- Comes with ribbon motif on the ball of the foot which aids with traction to the floor
- It has a suede lining that absorbs moisture
- The break-in period is quite short
- The size is not consistent with a street shoe size
Capezio Women’s 121 Aria Pointe Shoe will be a ballerina’s delight any day, any time. The design exudes grace and is made of great quality that does not come cheap.
Any dancer with medium, wide forefoot or toes of the same length will have a great experience selecting this particular pointe shoe.
For the love of Salsa: The 7 Best Salsa Dance Shoes in 2021
5. KUKOME New Pink Ballet Dance Toe Shoes
This is a shoe made by putting all the dancers’ needs in mind, especially for beginners who want shoes of good quality to practice with.
The materials used provide comfort and glamour to the user when dancing. It also has a hard bottom that provides the needed support to maintain balance.
This is no ordinary shoe for girls, or to be used as school shoes, the awesome Kukome ballet dance shoe is a specialized piece for dancing only.
Kukome New Pink Ballet Dance Toe Shoes is a great choice and one of the best pointe shoes for beginners looking for quality shoes at a low price.
It is highly recommended for anyone that needs a pointe shoe for costume purposes or as a decoration piece considering its attractiveness.
- Silk satin material
- Quality hard bottom
- Comfortable fabric
- Great for normal practice
- Very glamorous and glittery
- Its attractiveness makes it suitable as part of a costume for photography sessions
- It is a hard shoe that provides the needed support to beginners
- Gel toepad included in the package
- It does not last long
- The cheap price may be a signal that it’s not of great quality, after all
Wearing the right pointe shoe is a must for every ballerina as it sets the tone for a spectacular routine devoid of a mishap. So, if you are wary of cheap things, quality considered, this may not be the right shoe for you.
6. Russian Pointe Rubin Pointe Shoe
With its lightweight nature and soundless platform, it is no surprise that it is a winner’s choice during performances.
Ballerinas with a less-full foot, a square or tapered set of toes would find comfort in the Russian Pointe Rubin Pointe Shoe because it would fit their feet.
Though in a pre-arched form to depict a foot wearing pointe, it, nevertheless, helps to reduce break-in time considerably.
The pleat-less platform in the Russian pointe, Rubin Pointe Shoe enables it to appear with a smooth finish.
Also, the use of quality shanks provides the wearer of this top-rated pointe shoe a graceful feeling which serves as a motivator to keep dancing all day long.
- Hard shanks
- Short vamp
- Medium box strength
- Low crown and super comfort
- Durable and good quality
- Suitable for different foot shapes because of the wide platform size
- It has a non-slip leather sole
- The flexible shank makes it the preferred choice for many
- It lasts long due to the quality of materials used for production
- Too expensive for everyone to afford
If you are looking for an all-around fabulous pointe shoe suitable for most foot shapes, this should be an all-time first choice. It is devoid of any error, and surely the perfect shoe for ballerinas.
7. Wendy Wu Girls Women’s Dance Shoe
Wendy Wu is a well-recognized brand known for producing quality and affordable dance shoes for ladies.
The Wendy Wu Girls Women’s Dance Shoe is not an exemption that explains why it is used by dancers interested in quality pointe shoes that will not dig holes in their pockets.
It is ideal for normal practice considering the superb support its durable full sole offers starters.
The satin material used alongside a high-quality ribbon ensures that it looks glamorous on its wearer on the dance floor. With an array of colors available to choose from, you can dress to match with your ensembles.
Grandmothers truly love to keep their granddaughters happy by gifting them a pair of Wendy Wu Girls Women’s Dance Shoe on their special day so they can use it to fulfill their fantasies by twirling all around the house.
- Low price brand
- Durable full sole
- Silk blend materials
- Quality ribbons
- Medium hard shanks
- Amazing price for its level of quality
- Flexible sole made with German thick paper which makes it wear resistant
- It is comfortable and durable
- Great for routine practice
- Shrinks when it comes in contact with water
Wendy Wu Girls Women’s Dance Shoe is a must-have if you want to practice a dance routine within the confines of your home or you desire to engage in a brief practice session.
Hey grandmas, looking for awesome shoes for your teenage granddaughters? Check out this list containing top shoes for teens in 2021 and beyond.
What to Look Out For Before Buying Pointe Shoes
Strapping on the right size is essential if you want optimal performance when dancing with a pointe shoe. This is why it is recommended to go for a shoe fitting session conducted by trained pointe shoe fitters.
The pointe shoes should fit well to prevent slippage and to keep you well supported while dancing.
You have to ensure there is no slight movement of the feet within the toe region to avoid injuries such as strained ligaments and tendons, bruised toenails, and in extreme cases, broken bones.
Pointe shoes are not supposed to be roomy like the shoes we wear daily. You are to feel supported and lifted when en pointe. With such strapped to your feet, you’ll be able to apply the right techniques en pointe ballet dancing requires.
Pointe shoes allow you to spin, slide, and balance on the tips of your toes, which is made possible by having the right support through the use of vamps cut in the right shape and pattern.
The vamp extends from the toe box to the top of the foot and holds the shank in place.
Some pointe shoes have more support called wings which serve as extra cushioning at the sides of the feet.
Making use of the right ribbons and an elastic band is also essential to get that required support from a pointe ballet shoe. A bad placement can cause poor fitting.
A good pointe shoe sole must aid traction to prevent you from falling while swirling round like a great swan. It also helps to achieve balance.
Whether you are thinking of suede, leather, or canvas sole, the bottom line is that it must not be hard to achieve an easy break-in. This is crucial to help prevent hurting your toes.
Any material chosen for the sole must be as thin as possible. This feature makes the shoe bendable and flexible.
To enjoy a flawless en pointe ballerina dancing session, choosing a pointe shoe with great soles is nonnegotiable.
What is a pointe shoe without its shank?
The shank is what determines its durability and strength. Whether the shank runs the entire length or just halfway, it determines how flexible the shoe would be.
Sometimes, in any case, the type of dance routine you want to perform will also determine whether you will choose a softer shoe or a hard and stiff shoe – especially if you have wide feet.
It is essential, therefore, to pay attention to the type and quality of the shank used before buying any pointe shoes currently in the market.
Ensuring your feet are safe when stuck in pointe shoes is more crucial than just trying to avoid pain.
A whole lot of inconveniences will be avoided if you ensure you buy a pointe shoe with quality toe protection features. Some of these inconveniences include, but not limited to, ingrown toe-nails, fractures, and broken bones.
A lot of the paddings are available to give sufficient protection to the feet while dancing en pointe. Such protection also helps to prevent friction.
Of course, this is no different from how far you go to find the perfect protection for aerobics or high intensity and cross-training workouts shoes. Just as for both, a ballerina shoe that lacks the proper toe protection is a disaster in waiting.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Why do my pointe shoes not last much longer?
A. How long your pointe shoes last will depend on the following:
The number of hours you dance in them. This could be between ten to twenty hours weekly. It also depends on whether you are a full-time dancer or a beginner just starting out.
You also need to consider the quality of the shank in the brand of pointe that you wish to purchase. This is important because since you would keep flexing the shoe, making the shank get weaker and, with time, it will no longer be able to provide the needed support.
Also, do not forget that the satin covering the base is prone to wear and tear from contact with the floor while performing your routine. There is nothing anyone can do about that.
Furthermore, do not forget that pointe shoes are made of fabric, glue, and leather. With that in mind, you need to take care of them properly to make them last longer.
You can also use jet glue, applied thinly to the platform, shank, and also inside of the box to extend its life a bit longer. Thus, if you are looking for compatible glue for shoes for better experience, then you should check it out.
Ensure you have more than one pair so as to allow for complete dry-out to prevent the absorption of moisture.
Having great support for shoes ensures the pair would last longer. Remember that durable shoes would save you money and a lot of stress too.
Q. How do I achieve a faster break-in for my pointe shoes?
A. Well, there is no other way to accelerate the break-in period of your pointe shoe other than wearing them.
Consistently wearing – and dancing in them – allows them to be molded to the shape of your feet.
However, if you can’t wait to do this, you can use your heel to crush the box gently to reduce the stiffness.
Another fast method is to soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and dab lightly on the wings, and this helps the canvas to be soft to prevent pain to the toe joints.
You can also bend the shank back and forth to make it more flexible, while doing this, be mindful not to snap your shank through over-bending.
Q. There are so many brands of pointe shoes on sale, how do I make the right choice?
A. Pointe shoes are not like regular everyday shoes or one-size-fits-all shoes that can be picked off the shelf in a jiffy.
A lot of factors come into play before selecting the best brand that would suit your feet and ensure they give their best.
It is okay to go in for a session with a trained fitter for your first pair of pointe shoes. This first pair is usually chosen for its functionality based on the shape of your feet.
Fortunately, a lot of brands do have a lot of models to fit the different shape, quality, aesthetic value, and also pricing that might confuse you at the moment. So, explore!
Q. How do I ensure my feet are protected in my pointe shoes?
A. Before putting on your pointe shoes, using the right protection and padding is essential.
You need to ensure you are okay with the padding since it adds to the bulkiness and size of your shoe.
Using too much padding can lead to having space in the shoe when it becomes compressed. This is not healthy for your feet.
There are different types of toe pads to choose from too. Some of these are foam, lamb’s wool, thick silicone, etc.
You can likewise soak your feet in methylated spirits to make them tough and resistant to pain.
Read also: The 7 Best Shoes for Ankle Support of 2021
Q. How do you know the left shoe or right shoe?
A. Unlike regular ballet shoes, there is no right or left pair for pointe shoes.
They can be used interchangeably on either foot. Note, however, that as you continue to wear the shoes, each particular pair will begin to take on the unique shape of that particular foot.
If you attempt to change it to the other foot later, it may not fit perfectly.
Thus, it is advisable to label each shoe to know which one is for the left leg or the right leg, so you don’t bruise your toes during your routines.
You should also consider the fact that your individual foot may not be the same size.
To achieve a proper balance when standing on your toes, it is ideal for you to concentrate on your routine without worrying about causing harm to your feet from wearing the wrong pointe shoes.
You need to ensure you get the best size, quality, and right texture of materials to prevent discomfort while trying to flex or point your toes towards the bare floor.
Whether you are buying as costume wear or for a photo-shoot session, the aim is to get value for money spent.
This carefully selected list of 7 best pointe shoes for 2021 will serve you well when you want to make your choice irrespective of length, box, heel, shank, width, vamp, size, color or model.