Unlike regular ballet shoes, pointe shoes are specifically designed to allow ballerinas to dance on the tip of their toes. They have a hardened, flat front rather than a round toe that creates a stable base for balancing with hard shanks and smooth, silky uppers. The styles are secured with ribbons that wrap around the ankle, but most shoes don’t come with them pre-sewn. For shopping made easy, we rounded up some of the best pointe shoes on the market for masters of the art. These picks from top brands offer great support and specialized features for every preference.
For more than 75 years, Footwear News has been the shoe authority. Our coverage spans top industry news, retail trends, head-to-toe fashion, athletic and outdoor analysis and more. Footwear News’ global network of editors has carefully curated all product selections featured using our expansive brand knowledge and thorough research to find quality, long-lasting items. If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, we may receive an affiliate commission.
1. Capezio Aria Pointe Shoe
Respected dancewear brand Capezio created a top-of-the-line pointe shoe with a broad, feathered toe box.
Pros: For comfort and support, this shoe features a plush inner lining with moisture-absorbing capabilities to reduce irritation and blisters along with a wide anti-slip platform for stability. The reduced sole length eliminates excess at the heel and a side seam elongates the length of the foot.
Cons: The brand suggests this style is best for a broad (Roman) foot.
2. Russian Pointe Rubin Pointe Shoes
Russian Pointe sets you up for success in these U-cut pointe shoes with a sleek pleatless toe platform and a non-slip leather sole.
Pros: The wide toe box allows these shoes to create a stable base with a pre-arched construction that mimics the natural curve of your foot on pointe, offering ultimate support. The shanks add flexibility and durability while a drawstring finish allows for a customizable fit.
Cons: Ribbons are not included. The brand also advises that this style is best suited to the less-full foot with more square to slightly tapered toes.
3. Grishko 2007 Pointe Shoes
For ballet dancers, Grishko sets you up with a pointe shoe equipped with a medium, flat toe platform and a classical vamp that is a mix between a U-cut and a V-cut.
Pros: Advised for wear for everyone from beginners to professionals, this shoe is an extra light model with a suede stitched sole. It boasts a lack of noise with every movement and makes for a smooth transition from the demi-pointe to the pointe and back. The 3/4 shank allows for a more extenuated arch.
Cons: For some beginners, certain instructors may not allow a 3/4 shank shoe.