Thanks for reviving it Danni!!<P>Buying the shoe - I used to feel guilty about making the sales person pull out dozens of pointe shoes. But one time I did and got such a lovely pair of shoes that I do it all the time. Because, Hey, they're My Feet.. I only get 2 so I want them to be comfy.<P>Sew on the ribbons - sew them all the way down to the shank because someone once told me that that would help keep them from slipping off my heel (well, now I think about it that sounds like a bit of an old wives tale). Melt the ends with a lighter. Sew elastic on the OUTSIDE at the back of the heel. I have an odd shaped heel (apparently) so no matter what shoes I try, they slip off my heel which makes the elastic necessary.<P>Breaking them in- I massage the pointe shoe a little with my hands, put it on (while still at home) and with my feet in second, I push my feet up into demi pointe and really push it over to get some flexibility so I can roll through my feet properly. It makes that lovely satisfying creaking sound. So I go from demi pointe to pointe a couple of times.<P>Other than that, I try to get as much wear out of them as possible as they seem to break in (and die) ultra quick anyway, no matter how much I pull up and out of them!<P>One year we experimented with floor wax to try and get a little bit more last out of the shank, applying it where my arch is. It really just made a bit of a lump and I only got an extra class worth out of them (better than nothing I suppose!)<P>Deshanked pointe shoes- Are a necessary evil if you do RAD. I actually do think they are of benefit, because working in flat shoes and working in pointe shoes are two very different games. Theres an extra restriction with pointe shoes and plus the little leather shank makes a bit more of a platform to balance on. i think its of some benefit for strengthening feet and learning to articulate the feet with a pointe shoe shaped shoe (what a terrible sentence!
) because of the extra resistance. But I dont think it should be a compulsory thing.<P>I've never used rubbing alcohol to soften shoes, I prefer to manipulate the shoe with my hands. it makes me feel more in control (and I have done that to an uneven vamp that used to cut into my foot on demi pointe I just squashed that little begger down until it was nice and soft). You'll be able to notice where the alcohol was applied if you put it on the outside of the shoe... but not the inside.<P>Any advice? The more you pull up the longer the shoes last
<P>I to, would like to know how the shoe is supposed to wear out. My shanks used to die much more quickly than the box, but for a whle now, I've noticed the box gets kinda squishy and i can Really Feel The Floor before the shank gets too unsupportive. It used to wear out a lot more over my big toe and my teacher nagged me to correct my slightly incorrect ankle angle and they wear out a little bit more evenly, obviously the big toe wears out first though.<P>Katheryn (with the name so similar to mine
) I don't know how you managed that massacre of a pair of pointe shoes and then Wore them!!! The Things We Have To Do huh???