Tag Archives: pointe shoes for beginners

Degas Pointe Shoes

Petit Rats En Pointe

After several days of intensive research, I finally found a small bit of information on the French pointe shoe brand, Degas.

The about page on the Degas website doesn’t give detailed information about the company history other than the fact that the Degas Company was the creation of two former dancers from the Paris Opera Ballet.

I had to do a double take when I read one of the names for their beginner pointe shoe models.  The model is called Petit Rat.  How interesting and amusing a  name for a pointe shoe!

In French, petit rat means small rat. This is a term of endearment that The Paris Opera Ballet calls young students who are typically from 7  to 14 years old.

The Degas Models :

Degas Petit Rat

Petit Rat

The Petit Rat was created for beginners new to pointe work. The shoes have a very flexible sole, a medium vamp, and a medium profile box.

Dega Souris


The Souris model is another beginner shoe with a flexible shank, medium profile box, and medium vamp. The toe boxes are tapered.

Degas Ch5

Degas CH5

The Degas CH5 is suitable for beginning pointe students and comes with a harder shank and a lower vamp. The platforms are smaller on this model.

Degas Ch6

Degas Ch6

The Degas CH6 is a more flexible shoe with a medium vamp and a medium profile. This shoe is also suitable for beginners.

Degas Etude


The Etude model was created for intermediate or advanced dancers. The boxes are tapered with a medium strength shank and medium profile.

Degas Petit Rat

Love these Degas Petit Rats


Degas ballet slippers are available to U.S. customers at the Degas U.S.A. website. For more information about Degas pointe shoes you can visit the official Degas website here or visit Reflets Danse, a French dance supply company that has photos of the Degas models. Click on Nos Produits to see the models.

Sansha Etudes

Happiness For Short Toes On Pointe

I was so thrilled when I stumbled upon a photo and description of the Sansha pointe shoe model, Etudes! Since this model isn’t offered on the Sansha website, it slipped under the radar during my research forays.

Sansha created this model for students, but it also has many qualities that an advanced dancer can appreciate. This pointe shoe model has square shaped boxes which are excellent for dancers who prefer padding.

My very favorite design feature of the Etudes is the low, u-shaped vamp. Demi-pointe heaven!  Another great feature is being able to get it in an extra wide size.

Sansha categorizes the Etudes into 3 different variations:

Etudes 505  – medium shank

Etudes 505t-medium shank, leather toe

Etudes 506- hard shank

So many dancers with short toes have difficulty finding “demi-pointe” friendly pointe shoes that offer supportive shanks as well. The Etudes just might be the right pointe shoe model for short toes that want to be happy toes as well.

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Gamba 93 Pointe Shoes

Gamba 93 pointe shoeGamba created this pointe shoe model for beginning and intermediate pointe students. The shoes are considered a “ready to wear” pointe shoe with little or no break in required.

The shanks are made with a flexible carbon fiber material so the foot can roll through easily from demi-pointe. The 93 model has a lower profile and longer vamp which makes it suitable for those with long toes. The box is a slightly tapered square shape which is actually suitable for many different foot types, but much preferred by those with narrow feet.

The reviews that I have found on the Gamba 93 are 95% positive.  The shoe is described as soft, comfortable, and very easy to break in. The Gamba 93 molds well to the dancers foot. The negative aspect of a soft pointe shoe like the Gamba 93  is the shorter  lifespan of the shoe, and the fact that a dancer with strong feet would wear them out quickly.


Merlet Prelude

Merlet Prelude

These pointe shoes are made for students just beginning pointe work. The toe box has a built in toe pad for  comfort. I’m not sure if having a toe pad built into the shoe is always a good idea. I have read several reviews where built in pads become loose and bunch up under the toes causing discomfort. I have never owned pointe shoes with built in padding, but I imagine they could be trimmed away when frayed. These pointe shoes are lovely, though. A beautiful shade of pink……..

Chacott Coppelia II

Chacott Coppelia IIThe Chacott Coppellia II pointe shoe is an ideal shoe for the student just beginning pointe work or for those who prefer a lightweight shoe. The lightweight construction makes the Coppelia II an easy pointe shoe to break in.

The shanks are softer and more flexible to allow a beginning student greater foot articulation. The modified v-vamp shape also allows for easier demi-pointe.

The box shape on the Coppelia II has a broad toe and a lower profile. The shoe comes pre-arched for maximum arch enhancement. The lightweight structure of the Coppelia II molds itself wonderfully to the foot creating a very comfortable pointe shoe for students.

Cecilia Kerche Clara

The Cecilia Kerche Clara model is a student pointe shoe created for those beginning pointe work at barre. The shoes have a medium strength, full soft shank that allows maximum flexibility for easy roll through. The box shape is slightly tapered with a long vamp and higher profile. Advanced dancers find the flexibility of the Clara model ideal as well.

For information about the re-designed Kitri model please visit Ballet-Forever.

Announcing Capulet's Newest Pointe Shoe

The Capulet Pre-Pointe Shoe

The Capulet Company just introduced a new pre-pointe shoe at the DRN Expo this month.
The new shoe is lined with the same D3o material but with a softer, more pliable shank enabling the pre-pointe student to roll easily through demi-pointe while still offering the protection of the D3o. The other new feature is a built-in elastic drawstring, allowing easy entry.

Pre-Pointe And Beginner Pointe Shoes

Capezio Demi Soft
The Capezio Demi-Soft is a shankless pre-pointe shoe that is designed for the beginner who needs to build strength. The shoe has DRYZ cushioning for moisture control and longer life. The Demi-Soft has a u- shaped vamp with elastic drawstrings.

Bloch RAD Demi pointe
This pointe shoe is endorsed by the Royal Academy of Dance as an exam shoe for pre-pointe students.
Bloch Amelie Soft
The Amelie Soft is a pointe shoe designed for beginners just starting pointe work. It has a flexible shank and sole to help the student become accustomed to wearing pointe shoes.
Bloch Aspiration
This pointe shoe is designed for beginners and has a harder box and a wide balancing platform.

Cameo Demi-Pointe
The Cameo Demi-Pointe is a transitional shoe easing students from soft slippers to regular pointe shoes. The shoe has a hard box and comes without a shank.

Freed Classic Demi Standard
This is a transitional shoe designed for demi-pointe work and to assist students going from soft to pointe.
The shoe comes in standard widths with a light weight block, deep vamp, and no insole.
Freed Classic Demi
Identical to the Classic Demi Standard in design, but comes in larger widths.

Fuzi Pre-Pointe
This shoe comes with a full sole and is designed to prepare students for the feel of a real pointe shoe.

Grishko Elite Pre-Pointe
This shoe has a wide box and no shank. It is designed as a transitional shoe.

Miguelito Criselle Student
This is a shoe for beginners and comes with a hard shank for better support.

Principal Princess
The Princess is a lightweight beginner shoe with a wider box and softer wing blocks.

Sansha Soft Toe UK
This is a very soft pointe shoe in the box and sole area. The shoes are shankless and have slightly tapered boxes.
Sansha Soft Toe USA
Identical characteristics to the Soft Toe UK, but with a squarer toe box.

Salvio Demi pointe
This is a transitional student shoe.

So Danca Prima SD 30
This shoe is designed to assist students in foot development before starting pointe work. The shoe has a hard box and is shankless.

Suffolk Solo Light
This is a beginner shoe designed with the same features as the regular Suffolk Solo but lighter and more flexible.

Demi-Pointe and Pre-Pointe shoes are not designed for pointe work.
Beginner or student pointe shoes are for pointe work.