Calamine lotion works great as an overall pointe shoe cleaner, as its color closely resembles that of pink satin pointe shoes.

Dab a cotton ball into a small amount of calamine lotion. Gently pat the cotton ball all over the pointe shoes, paying special attention to dirty areas. The calamine lotion will absorb some of the larger stains and give your pointe shoes a clean, even tone.

cotton ball inside of pointe shoes

You can soften the box of your pointe shoe with rubbing alcohol.

Rubbing alcohol is preferable to water because is dries more quickly.  lightly soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and dab across the box of the shoe at the place where it should bend on demi-pointe.  Never pour the alcohol or water directly onto the shoe as that could weaken too much of the shoe and make it unwearable.   After softening the boxes in this manner, it is especially important to allow them to dry out completely before wearing.

rubbing alcohol on pointe shoes


Trimming the shank in your pointe shoe is important because it helps you control where your pointe shoe breaks.

To do this, all you need to do is pull back the fabric around the shank so that is it exposed and trim it to where your arch is the deepest. You'll also want to make sure to shave the end of the shank down so it is smooth. When you're done, you'll have a shank that conforms to your foot better and looks better on your foot!

pretty pointe shoes


Another way to save your shoes is to rotate them from one foot to the other after each wearing.

Ways to help save your pointe shoes

That won't work for every dancerโ€”if one of your feet is significantly larger than the other, for example, it's a no-go. But if you can swing it, rotating shoes between feet will keep you from wearing the same pressure points over and over, extending the life of the pair. Jacob recommends marking each shoe with a number or symbol, so you can easily keep track of your rotations.

Source: Judy Jacob - Richmond Ballet via DanceSpirit