Pointe shoes are a special kind of ballet shoe that is used by advanced dancers who perform pointework. Pointe shoes help make a ballerina look weightless when they are dancing. They make it look like the dancer is dancing on the tips of their toes effortlessly.
When most people see dancers dance en pointe, they think it must be very painful to be dancing on the tips of their feet. However, pointe shoes help support a dancer’s foot from underneath the arch by a stiff insole or shank. The front part of the shoe is known as the toe box. This encases the toes tightly allowing the weight of the body to rest on an oval shaped platform. The outside of the shoes are normally pink satin. This can be dyed to match costumes for different performances.
Pointe shoes enables the dancer to stand directly on their toes. But the dancer must use their own strength and technique to achieve a full-pointe position from a natural standing position. Once a dancer is fully on their toes, they must continually contract the muscles of the feet, ankles, legs and torso in order to pull up and stay upright. In order to obtain the necessary strength and technique, dancers must train in soft ballet slippers for several years before even attempting to wear pointe shoes. If you try dancing in pointe shoes to early, you can cause significant injuries to yourself.