Pointe shoes are essential parts of any female dancer’s life and career. Professional dancers can go through one or more pairs per day. You also may have heard that pointe shoes are also very expensive. So how much does a pair of pointe shoes cost?
Pointe shoes cost between $50 and $120 on average.
The cost of a pair of pointe shoes greatly differs based on the brand and model, as well as any customizations you may be making to them. There are also some ways to prolong the life of your pointe shoes so you can reduce some of the costs.
How Much to Pointe Shoes Cost?
The cost of pointe shoes greatly differs depending on the brand and model. Some models, such as Gaynor Mindens, last longer than others which can explain some of the cost differences. Other cost differences are simply brands and processes.
The Cost of Popular Pointe Shoe Models
|Brand & Model
|Price per pair (USD)
|Freed Studio Professional Standard
|$60 – $102
|Nikolay DreamPointe 2007
|Russian Pointe Encore
|Russian Pointe Saute
|Wear Moi La Pointe
As you can see, pointe shoes tend to average to about $100 USD a pair. It can be tempting to choose the cheapest model, but be careful with this. Getting the cheapest option is not only less ideal, but could actually be dangerous.
While you may have some cheaper options that work for you, not everyone can dance in every shoe. You have to have a good fit to be able to dance safely and comfortably. If money is a concern, then tell that to a professional fitter and work with them to get a shoe that works for you and is within your price range.
Some shoes, like Gaynor Mindens, are made of synthetic materials and utilize newer pointe shoe technologies. This makes them much more expensive per pair. However, these polymers and other materials don’t break down. This means that they last 3-5 times longer than the average pointe shoe. This can actually make them more cost effective than a traditional shoe.
Keep in mind that pointe shoe customizations can increase the price for the shoe. Many professional dancers dance in fully custom shoes, which makes them pricier than the average cost per pair.
How Do Professional Dancers Afford Pointe Shoes?
Professional dancers go through about one pair of pointe shoes a day. This can vary based on rehearsal and performance schedule. Many soloists and principal dancers will go through multiple pairs for just one show. While some can wear the same pair for two days if the rehearsal schedule is lighter.
So how do professional dancers afford upwards of seven pairs of pointe shoes a week? The short answer is they don’t. Most companies offer their dancers free or deeply discounted pointe shoes that are always in supply.
Ballet companies often have deals with certain brands and keep the custom shoes in supply for each of their individual dancers at all times. This can sometimes limit dancers to a certain brand of shoe, but usually they can still get something that works well for them or get a discount.
Every company works slightly differently, but most have some sort of pointe shoe room or other solution that allows their dancers to have access to as many pairs of pointe shoes as they need. If it weren’t for that, most dancers wouldn’t be able to afford their pointe shoe supply especially on a dancer’s salary.
Affording Pointe Shoes Pre-Professionally
While ballet companies offer pointe shoes affordably, most schools do not. This means that dancers in training have to buy a lot of pointe shoes. Thankfully, these dancers don’t go through pointe shoes nearly as fast, most pairs lasting between a week and three months, depending on how much they are used and the level of the dancer.
However, pointe shoes are still expensive and buying multiple pairs a semester can still get pricey. Some dance academies and conservatories offer discounts on pointe shoes of certain brands at partner dance wear stores. Always ask about this at your studio or school.
Ordering online can sometimes get you a better deal than in person. Check both stores in your area as well as online to make sure you are getting the best price without too much mark-up.
Increasing the Longevity of a Pair of Pointe Shoes
Pointe shoes wear out quickly. On average a pointe shoe only lasts for 20 hours of pointe work. Some last a bit longer, such as Gaynor Mindens. Furthermore, some dancers don’t mind dancing on older shoes, while others can’t safely do that.
A lot of dancers try many different techniques to try to prolong the life of their pointe shoes. There are a couple of factors to consider when doing this to ensure you get the longest possible wear time out of your pair of expensive pointe shoes.
The first thing to note is how you typically wear out your shoes. Which part ‘dies’ first? This will help you determine how to increase the lifespan. For example, if you always wear the shank out, then adding to the box’s life isn’t going to help you out much.
Next, consider the fit of your pointe shoes. If you are always wearing out the shank, then maybe you need a different model or a harder shank of the same shoe. This could help them last longer. Just keep in mind that they may be more difficult to dance in, so always test it out first and see if it’s a good option for you.
Another popular solution to try is jet glue. Most dancers, especially younger ones, wait until their shoe feels like it is dying or is fully worn out before adding jet glue. This actually doesn’t help much. Instead, add jet glue to the spots that wear out first on your specific shoes right from the beginning. This will help prolong their life.
It is also good practice to always air out your pointe shoes after use. Pointe shoes get pretty sweaty during class and if you throw them straight into your bag you will not just stink up your bag, but also wear your pointe shoes out faster. Letting them air dry allows them to stay harder for longer.
Another factor to consider is the break in period. Some dancers break in their pointe shoes for quite a while. Others start dancing on them more or less out of the box. While this is entirely up to personal preference, take note that if you break in your shoes, you are essentially wearing them out on purpose and they will die sooner.
Things to Remember
Pointe work is beautiful, but also very expensive. And while you can go for the cheaper option in many other things like leotards and tights, you can’t skimp on pointe shoes. You have to get the shoe that works for your specific foot, even if that means getting a more expensive pair.
Don’t forget to check many stores before buying your shoes. There may be a cheaper option online or at a store that your studio or school has a discount at.
Lastly, don’t worry about the cost of pointe shoes when considering going professional. That will most likely be covered in your contract. However, it never hurts to ask.
Remember that dancing on pointe isn’t a requirement to partake in ballet as a hobby. If pointe shoes are too expensive and you just want to have fun, don’t worry about pointe work. You can still enjoy ballet to the fullest without shelling out on pricey shoes every month.