If you find the heel of your pointe shoe slides around and rarely stays in place, you might need to sew some elastics into the shoe. As always, check with your instructor before sewing any elastics into your shoes as some teachers are very specific on how they want their students’ shoes to look.
Which Elastics Should I Use?
There are two main types of elastics for pointe shoes: standard (basically a wider version of a ballet elastic,) or mesh (almost like netting). The standard elastic is popular because it secures the heel to the foot much stronger than mesh elastic. Mesh elastic is popular because it blends in with tights and ribbons better than the standard.
Things You’ll Need
- Pointe shoes, fitted by a pointe specialist
- Elastics (either standard or mesh,) at least 18mm wide
- Needle and thread
The Bunheads Stitch Kit is a great addition to a dance bag, especially for first time pointe users.
Sewing Elastics onto Pointe Shoes
STEP 1: Measure how much elastic you need by placing one end along the vertical seam on the back of the shoe (AKA the backseam,) stretching the elastic across your ankle, and placing the other end on the backseam. Leave roughly 1 inch (or a thumbs’ width) of space between the two ends of the elastic. Make sure the elastic is fairly snug, but not tight enough to cut off circulation. Once these things are done, cut the length of elastic.
STEP 2: Using a whipstitch, sew elastic into the back of the shoe. Make sure to sew into the lining and not the satin, and to avoid the drawstring when sewing. Also be sure that the end of the elastic is at least ¼” down into the shoe.
STEP 3: Repeat process on second shoe
Hopefully that helped clarify the process of sewing elastics onto your pointe shoes. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out and let us know. Happy sewing!