These wonderful break in tips come directly from Zoe Cleland, a professional pointe shoe fitter with the Capezio Dance Theater Shop.
“For the Capezio pointe shoes I do recommend a little breaking in. However I also recommend different types of breaking in depending on the shoe and the dancer’s feet.
If you have a specific model in mind or specific issue then I can be a little more specific because each shoe has its own special attributes (as does each foot).
My general advice for breaking in is:
1. Flatten the box a little by placing the palm of your hand on the crown of the box and gently press down to soften the glue and flatten the crown from being high and round to a little more flat and a little bit more reflective of your foots crown height. This also makes the shoe a little bit wider.
2. Take your thumb and index finger and gently work the glue in the wings to soften it a little. This will decrease the pressure on your metatarsal bunion area.
3. Put your thumbs on the top the shank near the heel and put the heel of the shank on the floor and roll the shank at the ¾ into a small arc so the shank follows the natural arch of the foot better and the shoe becomes more supportive.
4. Lastly, if rolling through demi-pointe is difficult because of the glue in the box or the stiffness of the shank behind the ball of the foot I recommend, once the ribbons and elastic are sewn on, to run across the floor with the shoes on, in demi, just a little.
* if you do any of these techniques too much you will kill the shoe and it’s support. I recommend making subtle gentle changes to the shoe and then trying it on after each step before doing more.
If you are interested in a specific model of pointe shoe please let me know and I will address that shoes special properties and break in tricks”.