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The Hardest Pointe Shoe

My arch is very high and I break in most Hard pointe shoes within four classes. My latest shoe, Prima Soft Gala, lasted eight classes, but I cannot afford to replace my pointe shoes this frequently. Any suggestions on which shoes I should try out?

  • Zoe

    Russian Pointes come in a variety of foot types, about 10 different shank strengths, and their hardest shank is very hard. The Galas are comparatively soft. The other Prima Softs (the Prima Russe is a much better shoe than the Gala) I think come in Hard shanks as well.

  • Zoe

    Also, forgot about Schachtners, they come in many shank strengths and have a very hard shank available.

  • Caitlin

    I heard that Grishkos make VERY hard shoes. I’m not sure which model though, as I use their soft shanked shoe

  • Avie’

    Russian pointes hardest shank is so super hard. with me I have very strong feet and just get soft shanks and break them,because I find it just easier that way.

  • Audrey

    Try Gaynor Mindens but be sure to get them fitted at a special store; go to for more info. I have them and i love LOVE LoVe them!! lol

  • Elizabeth

    Definitely give the Gaynor Mindens a try. They are made with composites and special plastics that typically last around 10 times longer than traditional shoes. They do not have to be “broken in” and they can be shaped to desired arch height by the dancer. The shoe lasts so long they sell leather replacement tips that stick right over the old pointes. But Audrey is very right, go to a store that has a seasoned fitter and get the first pair fitted. The variations available in the shoes allow for over 2900 different combinations. You can even order extra hard shanks. Once you know what fits – all the different dimensions for your feet, then you can order them yourself. Happy shopping.

  • Nancy

    What if you have a really high arch. What brand of pointe shoe sould i get?

  • Naomi

    I use Grishko 2007’s (and I’ve tried alot of pointe shoes). You can get a hard shank from them too.

  • Emilie

    My first pair of pointe shoes were Gamba’s they never broke in for me and if you have a high arch maybe that will work for you. They are comfortable (in my opinion) and they look nice. Even my friends that have had them never broke in either so maybe that will work. I have gaynor mindens right now and they are pre-arched, so im not sure if those would last long if you already have a high arch. But hey, there are so many different types out there, so try out each one and see what fits best!

  • Nancy

    You sould try Russian Pointes i have very high archs too and they work fine on my feet.

  • do you have any idea how lucky you are? not about the shoe problem but you feet? dang girl! i soooo wish i had you feet. because breaking in your shoes quickly is a sign that you have an AWESOME ARCH and STRONG ANKLES! ugh! i so want that! but for ur shoe problem……errr OH! GAMBAS! almost IMPOSSIBLE to brake in 🙂

  • LWink

    Try strengthening your feet.
    I used to break point shoes much more frequently and it wasn’t a sign that the shoe was too weak, but my feet. Not your ankles really, but your feet muscles.
    A good exercise is the marble pick up or the towel scrunch.
    Marbles— put a bunch of marbles on the floor and pick ONE up at a time (while sitting) and put it on the other side of you. Repeat many times
    Towel scrunch— sitting again, use a long towel and put your feet on top of it. Scrunch it slowly by scrunching your toes.
    Both of these strengthen the muscles in your feet.

    Another good exercise is releves en pointe with “dead” shoes. Rolling through very slowly from demi to full point and back to demi- not returning to flat. Your feet may cramp quickly at first but they get ALOT stronger and you won’t go through shoes as fast.

    Other short term fixes would be to order harder shanks for any shoe you get.

    Gaynor Mindens are good shoes- IF they fit your foot. Grishko’s are HARD shoes IF you don’t like to roll through as much (though this is getting better these days with the russians improving the shoe).

    Generally really flexible feet cannot resist rolling over the top of the foot and therefore “break” the shank quickly.

    Just some helpful suggestions from a retired ballerina.

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  • Amy

    I have the same problem and I am looking for a solution as well. Many people are suggesting Russian Pointe. I use those and I have gone through 9 pairs in 32 months (a little over 2 and a half years) that I have been on pointe. On average that is about 3 and a half months per shoe (with one class a week). I started with the MHF shank and worked my way up to HF and then to HL, which is the hardest shank they make. Yes, Russian Pointe is great when they’re new, but after about 2-4 months they get too soft for me. I love my Russian Pointe shoes very much, but the one thing I don’t like about them is how quickly they break in/die (Even though most of my shoes aren’t actually dead, they are just too soft for me. They would work for someone else who needed a softer shank).

  • Jordan

    Well see I had Bloch’s at first and hated them…. then moved on to these candian shoes called Princeple’s.. I likes those….. then had 3 more Russian Pointe….. eh they are ight…. Then I got these Grisko 2007 and absolutly LOVE them!!

    My friend is a really good dancer and so she got pointe shoes called Gaynor Miden’s really nice shoes and so she has had them for like 3 months and they are still hard but they have like holes in them so yay….

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