Globe Theatrical Supply Resource Center  712/255-0972

Return to PRODUCT CATEGORIES directory.


        DANCE SHOES - Pointe Slippers <S>

Following is a sampling of the dozens of toe slipper styles available. The STYLE GUIDE provides a brief comparative overview based on box shape and hardness; as well as, shank placement and durability. Following is additional style information listed by manufacturer. All styles have satin uppers unless noted. Telephone for in-use problems or fitting assistance or information regarding non-stock styles and custom sizes, structures, and colors. Soft box pre-pointe slippers also available.

The box is the structurally reinforced slipper front which contains the toes. The platform is the flattened end of the box on which the wearer stands when en pointe. The vamp is the length of the top of the box. The throat is the curvature (usually round) at the top of the vamp. The shank is the arch reinforcement, generally sandwiched between layers of inner and outer soles. The crown is the side-viewed height of the box, between vamp and sole. The wings are the sides of the box which extend farther back than the vamp. The traditional box, as exemplified by Pavlova, has a relatively narrow platform, higher crown, long vamp, and moderately tapered medium weight box.
For an introductory explanation of the purposes of these structures, see Why is a Pointe Slipper? at the end of this file.

NOTE:  Shank weights are herein generalized from #1 light to #6 extra heavy. Skived shanks are "dual-weight"; i.e., the specified forward portion being the listed weight with the remaining back portion tapered to approximately 1 weight lighter. ¾-length shanks are generally a shorter version of a full-length shank permitting more rapid shaping by developed feet. "Higher" shanks are placed closer to the heel, "lower" toward the toes.

CP103 PAVLOVA Traditional platform higher crown box, centered #3 leather shank; for students.
C176 CONTEMPORA Wider platform version of Pavlova, medium box, #2 leather shank. ES w/ #5 shank.
Bh132 SUPRIMA Traditional platform to wider (flared), shorter, lower, heavier box, #3 or 4 long shank.
Bh100 SYNERGY Wider platform traditional length box, #3 shank.
Sn404 LYRICA Broader, heavier traditional length box, #4 shank; for added support.
C102 GLISSÉ Wide platform, longer vamp, square box, higher #3 shank, slightly shortened sole.
Sn202 RECITAL Broad, medium vamp, low crown heavy box, long #4 shank.
Sn303 PARTINAIRE Sn202 with centered #5 shank.
Bh130 SONATA Broad, medium length, low crown box, very long #2 shank.
Bh105 ASPIRATION Wide, strong, medium length box, #4 shank.
C121 ARIA Very wide, medium length, low crown box, lower sides & back, short & low #3 skived shank, ES #5.
C197 PLIÉ II Very wide, heavier, slightly shorter vamp, U-throat, longer sides heavier box, #3 shank.
Bh104 ALPHA Broad, shorter box, #3 shank; ¾ sole for self-supporting feet.
C126 TIFFANY Wide. low, short box, low sides and tapered heel, #3 fully skived ¾ shank.
C128 TIFFANY PRO Wide. low, short box, low sides and tapered heel, #5 fully skived ¾ shank.
Bh131 SERENADE Widest, squarest, short, shallow, heavy box, longer #3 or 4 shank.
Bh190 AXIS Traditional box, more durable heat moldable "shanks".
Bh170 B-MORPH Very wide platform, moldable "shanks".

CP103  C176 Bh100
Sn404  Bh105  C197
Bh104 Bh131 Bh170


C styles are satin, European pink, with drawlastics unless otherwise noted. Ribbon and/or elastic sold separately.
CP103    PAVLOVA  with drawstrings    80.00
A adult 3-8, BCD 12-8, E 12-6½, EE 1-6½
C121    ARIA  (petal pink)    80.00
MW 4-12, X 4½-12
C121ES    with heavier shank
MW 5½-12, X 6-11
C126    TIFFANY    80.00
N & W 4-11, M 4-11½
C128    TIFFANY PRO    80.00
N 6-11, MW 5-11
C176    CONTEMPORA  with drawstrings    69.50
BCD 3-8, E 3-7½, EE 3-6
The following styles are "street shoe" sized, numbered 3½ sizes larger than slipper size; i.e., numbered size 8½ is about slipper size 5.
C102    GLISSE,   C197    PLIE II,   C199    TENDU II
Existing Inventory    76.00    or CUSTOM MAKEUP
C1126 - 1129    CAMBRÉ  (petal pink)    80.00
NMWX 4-12
C1126  broad box, #3 ½-length shank.
C1127  C1126 with tapered box.
C1128 & C1129  similar box variations, #4 ¾-length shanks.
C1130 - 1135    AIRESS  (petal pink)    78.00
Six varieties of box shape and shank length - request details.
N 4-11, MWX 4-12

Custom Makeup (CM) charge (usually $20.00/pair) allows any combination of features, including non-stock styles, sizes, shanks, mismated (2 sizes) pair, and colors. CM Colors: black, caramel, ivory, pink ("American" pink), red, white. Also, non-stock styles To Order. Request delivery schedule.


Light European pink satin. Attachments sold separately.
Bh100    SYNERGY    76.00
2-8  1Y 2Y 3Y (~BCD)
Bh102    AMELIE  ~#2 shank.    64.25
2-8  widths 1X 2X 3X (~BCD)
Bh103    ~#3 standard shank.
2-8  widths 0X 1X 2X 3X (~ABCD)
Bh104    ALPHA  ¾ sole.    76.00
2-8  1X 2X 3X
Bh105    ASPIRATION    58.50
child 13-13½ BC, 1-9½  ABCDE
Bh130    SONATA    66.50
child 1-adult 9  ABCDE
Bh131    SERENADE with #3 shank    66.50
Bh131S    with #4 shank
1-9  BCDE
Bh132    SUPRIMA with #3 shank    64.25
1-9  BCDE
The following style incorporates longer lived moldable (hair dryer heat shapeable) insoles which replace traditional shanks. An instruction booklet is included. In the USA, insoles are stocked in PL4, medium durability "shank". Request further information.
Bh170    B-MORPH    76.00
2-8  1X,2X,3X  (~BCD widths)


An economic line of slippers. Sn styles are light European (peach) pink satin with wide "transparent" near-heel elastic one-side attached. Ribbon to be purchased separately. Generally wider, heavier boxes with heavier, more forward shanks than most Capezio styles. **styles allow addition of replaceable shank stems. Full sizes only, numbered 1-16 are actually about 3½ sizes smaller; e.g., if you have been wearing C176 size 4½C try Sn202 size 8N. N=C, M=D, W=E, X=EE widths
Sn505    ETUDES    49.50
Medium shank, shorter vamp, wide square box with leather platform.
3-14 NMWX
Sn202S**    RECITAL  (also light tan, white)    49.50
3-14 NMWX
Sn202C    CANVAS RECITAL  (black, pink only)    49.50
10-18 NMWX
Sn303    PARTENAIRE    49.50
3-14 NMWX
Sn404    LYRICA    49.50
3-11 NMWX
Specify shoe size and width.

Also, other brands and many other styles of pointe slippers.


                    TOE PADDING <SA>

The primary function of "toe padding" is as a friction protection layer between knuckles and slipper box. Generally, less padding yields less pressure, allowing easier continuous reshaping of feet in slippers and reduced possibility of irritation. The advantage of pre-assembled "pads/pouches/pockets" is the increased likelihood of maintaining original placement. Newer styles (not C1) foam pads are elastic fabric covered inside and out, with compact seams, and are washable (nude color).
CBH005 CBH1095 CBH1205 CBH400
: C2  FOAM : WOOL PADS  S only     7.00    (discontinued in larger sizes)
Pw2306    WOOL PADS  compact seams. SML    7.00
CBH005    FULL PADS  covered thin gel full vamp and bottom, ideal for beginners. size L    23.00
Eu993    OFFSET THROAT  more open vamp than bottom. SML    9.00
 higher-cut CBH005 with open throat top and bottom . S (1-5), L (6-10)    23.00
CBH1205    PRO PADS  minimum vamp and platform gel, fabric only bottom, shallow throat. S (1-5), L (6-10)    23.00
CBH400    ANTIMICROBIAL WOOL  for limited precise location. 1 oz.    8.75
Several other types of specialty pads available - ASK.

                    RIBBON & ELASTIC

Ask about various types, widths, and colors of elastic.
:7    RIBBON 2½ yards, NARROW 5/8" : WIDE 7/8"  (black, Euro-pink, pink, white)    4.00
SACBH310    ELASTO-RIBBON  7/8" wide, four 30" pieces with integrated 3" elastic. (light pro pink, pro pink)    5.75
SABh525    ELASTO-RIBBON  2½ yards ribbon with integrated elastic. (European pink)    5.50
TIG7700022:3    SATIN RIBBON satin one side, 1/2" : 7/8"  100 yd spool. (50 colors)    22.00 : 30.00
SAC320    ELASTIC  3/4", 72 yard spool. (pink)    56.00    (Ask about other colors and widths.)
TIWr3031 GROSGRAIN RIBBON  5/8" x 20 yards. (25 colors)    14.00
CBH350    SEWING KIT  75 yards thread, 2 needles, ribbon sewing instructions. (European pink)    7.75
NOTE: For those who prefer to match ribbon to tights, 100 yard spools are available in most colors, including several shades of pink - ASK.
GTSAID: No need for frayed ribbon ends. Nylon fabric fuses when heated. When cut to desired length, move the trimmed edges near a lighter flame to permanently fuse.

                    MISCELLANEOUS <SA>

Ast8073    POWDERED ROSIN  14 oz. box.    15.00
Sq596   CHUNK ROSIN  1 pound bag.  14.25;    5#  47.00
G788    MEASURING STICK  for foot sizing 0-15 AA-EE.    20.00
Ask about bulk rosin, slipper covers, and other accessories.


                                Why is a Pointe Slipper?

    Following is a brief, simple introduction to the structures which define a pointe slipper. Although many structural variations and combinations exist, all toe shoe designs accommodate some degree of toes and arch "support".
    There are two unique structures which provide the unique assistance of a pointe slipper (frequently called "support"). To understand their functions, it must be noted that toes, whether or not in dance shoes, should be extended and parallel. When à terre the entire bottom of all toes, including under the joints, should be in contact with the support surface so that the knuckles do not buckle upward. Also, the toes should lie in side contact, neither separated nor overlapped.
    The box is the moderately to very reinforced front of the slipper, extending from near the top of the vamp through the platform, fully surrounding much of the length of the toes with longer boxing extending back and toward the sole. The shank is a reinforcing insert roughly centered and between the sole layers. Primarily the box provides 2 types of assistance, the shank 1, and the alignment of the shank into the box 1 type.
    The most obvious box assist is the platform, the flat end which provides much greater stability than the tip of one toe. The most important function of the box is to squeeze the toes firmly together so that gravitational force when en pointe is immediately distributed through all of the toes, and centered through the metatarsal, the leg, and upward. Also, if the toes buckle when en pointe, the boxed vamp should prevent their collapse to the knuckles ("knuckle dancing"), a potentially very harmful position.
    The shank increases the strength of the slipper sole and, with practice, provides the student assistance to "spring" quickly and smoothly to releve en pointe or smoothly, quietly recover to à terre.
    The shank, mounted into the bottom of the box, holds the small, weak toes in alignment with the much stronger metatarsal, which is primarily responsible for foot placement ("pointing the toes").
    While many more and varied physical and technical aspects must be considered when fitting toe shoes, the above structural applications must always be evaluated. The TOE SHOE STYLE GUIDE, at the beginning of this file, offers a simple structural comparison of several slipper styles.


    En pointe stability begins with slippers which hold firmly to each foot - not rotating, sliding forward and back, nor slipping off the heel. Following are a few of the more common considerations.
        1.  If foot growth is expected, fit the slippers with pads. Overlengthing the slippers should not be more than the width of the heel seam ribbon (pinch the back of the slipper, rolling the ribbon sidewise with its top edge against the Achilles tendon) when en pointe. One of the advantages of fabric covered "gel" (not uncovered "gel") pads is their extra bulk, allowing them to be traded for inexpensive wool pads when foot growth indicates a need for more space, thus increasing the use period of slippers.
        2.  Keep in mind that no two feet are the same dimensions. Both feet must be separately fitted resulting in a compromise sizing decision.
        3.  Varied toe length on each foot results in a taper which determines platform width and box taper. If all toes are of similar length, the minimal (straighter across ends of toes) taper yields a more square shape, commonly requiring a wider platform versus a more acute (more triangular) taper needing a narrower platform. Second and/or third toes longer than the primary toe require various adjustments - ask.
        4.  Taper and the overall length of all toes determines the vamp length. Longer toes generally require a longer box in order to keep the toes firmly held together. Shorter toes or "fast rising" (steep from toes) metatarsal require a short vamp or deeper ("V" or "U") throat to avoid restriction of reverse flexion in demi-pointe.
        5.  Shank placement should be under the metatarsal; for example, long toes and lateral arch commonly require a longer and higher (more to the rear of the slipper) shank. A dancer's rapid deterioration of shanks frequently has less to do with shank weight than placement ("riding" or "sitting on" the shank).
        6.  Heavier boxes and shanks should be avoided. Especially with young, weak, inexperienced feet, easier slipper shaping avoids common shape-out (commonly called "break-in") foot irritation and results in sooner improved en pointe placement.

    The potential variety of  fitting "problems" is as broad as the range of feet to be fitted, including many podiatric difficulties. Most feet may be safely  trained en pointe, but may require fitting considerations well beyond the above. A few examples follow - for further assistance, telephone.
        1.  The industry, unfortunately, uses an unnecessarily confusing mix of sizing references: foot length, streetshoe length, plus Paris, English, centimeters, and various proprietary import systems. Widths are equally varied and confusing. Most U.S. manufacturers follow the long established original Ballet Makers standard of ladies foot length and alphabetical (A B C D E EE) width. When dealing with any other dimensional system, it is very useful to understand how it varies from the U.S. original standard. For example, being fitted in a C197 10W ("streetshoe size" - actually about 7D foot size) which is too short, need not require a custom size until trying a similar wide platform style like C176 7½D or larger (available through foot size 9 EE). Request further relational sizing assistance.
        2.  In the early teens, it is common for foot size to grow only slowly or even shorten during pointe training. Even early pointe training should yield some arch development. As the arch lifts, the relative foot length decreases. Also, as the metatarsals strengthen, the increased muscle "fattens" the arch. Therefore, it is not unusual that wider, sometimes shorter, sucessive slipper sizes may be needed.
        3.  Most girl's feet are done growing about age 13. When growth ceases, fitting should be done with wool or no pads, seeking an accurate (no excess space) fit à terre. After successful use of, at least, two sucessive pairs of  identical slippers, if it is noted that the two feet are so different that a compromise one size fit does not provide satisfactory control, separate foot fitting may be considered. Because pointe slippers are not right and left lasted, and especially if slippers are requiring frequent replacement, accurate individual foot fitting for two pairs of slippers should prove helpful.
        4.  For most students, the first three to five years en pointe produce distinct changes in their feet, frequently requiring changes, not only of size, but of slipper style. Beginning with the first slippers, it is wise for the student to track their slipper use for the last three pairs used. Note style, size, beginning use date, problems (what, when, elliminated or not), and specific reasons for the fitting selection. This information, as well as examination of the shoes currently in use, provide a substantial knowledge foundation for each successive fitting.


        All pointe dancers should carry a sewing kit (2 sizes of needles, moderate lengths of 3 thread colors (usually, black, pink(s), white), 2 sizes of safety pins, 6-12 straight pins) for shoe and costume maintenance. Note: "in use" shoes never contain pins.

                General Method

The following approach is suitable for most first pointe slippers attachment. The two variations of this method are 1 or 2 ribbon pieces per shoe. Above pictured is the traditional 2-ribbon layout first described below.
        A2.  Fold the 2½ yard ribbon to equal quarters then cut to four equal ribbon pieces (1).
        B2.  Fold the heel strap (2: the heel seam reinforcement) from the back of the insole (3), centered over the insole, flattening the sides.
        C2.  With the satin (shiny) side outward, place the edge of a ribbon next to the back binding (4: drawstring/drawlastic sleeve) down the side lining, extending about ¾" below the side binding. If desired, straight-pin.
        D2.  Using a slipper colored thread, sew the ribbon edges to the slipper, not interfering with the binding. If neatness is desired, sew to lining only; for greater reinforcement, through the slipper satin.
        A1.  The 1-piece method begins with two equal ribbon pieces.
        B1.  Fold the slipper heel upper per B2 above.
        C1.  With ribbon edge alligned to the back binding (like C2), center the ribbon piece over the insole.
        D1.  Press the ribbon down on each side of the insole so that it lays against the two side linings, then sew the ribbon to each side of the slipper/lining.
Sew about ¾" ribbon edges similar to D2, then one or two lines of stitches between the side stitches, across the ribbon to secure the the stitched segment bottoms and, if desired, tops against the lining.

                Personal Adjustments

Although the above attachment method serves well for most students; those with long metatarsals, very narrow heels, or for other reasons may find greater security by placing and/or angling the ribbon(s) more specifically to each foot shape. After nylon ribbons are initially wrapped, tied, and excess length removed, the cut ends should be fused to prevent fraying. Move the trimmed edge near a lighter flame to "melt" while preventing burning.
For assistance, contact GTS.

For further information or assistance, contact GTS: 712/255-0972.

        Return to PRODUCT CATEGORIES directory.
This file was partially updated 3/10/16.