How to Attach Ribbons and Elastics to Pointe Shoes

Photo: Gwenniejjj at
Photo: Gwenniejjj at

This year for Christmas, the Pumpkin wanted a pair of toe shoes more than anything else. Two weeks ago, at her last ballet class before the winter break, she borrowed a pair and had no problem keeping up with the older girls. Technically, the local schools won’t start dancers on pointe until they are 10. But she’s been taking ballet for three years, next year will be her fourth, and her feet are the same size as mine, albeit less wide, which is probably a good thing, so she’s awfully close to being ready. And she is losing hope that she will ever dance on her toes and is getting rather depressed.

Buying pointe shoes is very complicated. I was lucky enough to locate this really great guide to fitting toe shoes. Depending on the anatomy of the dancer’s foot, the shape of the shoe needed is really specific. Fortunately, the Pumpkin’s feet are pretty well formed, have good strength, and even after wearing them for an hour (we tried to get them off earlier but it was a losing battle), she has no pain.

Toe shoes do not come assembled. Normally you have to have the teacher review the fit before you keep them. You can trade them in indefinitely until you fit a good fit. In our case, according to the guidelines, the Pumpkin’s fit well and since she’s not wearing them all the time (we limit to 20 minutes a week) I went ahead and sewed on the ribbons and elastics, which means they’re ours for good now. I followed the video below.

So, she is the happiest child in the world now.


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