Why do ballerinas glue their shoes? (Surprising fact discovered!)

Ballerina’s shoe is always fascinating to a lot of people especially those who want to try ballet dancing practice. This is due to the fact that the shoes are rare and require specialized manufacturers before they can be produced and are quite expensive. 

However, people are always surprised when they see are ballet dancing with glue in her tool kit and wonder what it is used for in ballet. 

In this episode, we will walk you through the reasons why ballerinas glue their shoes and how the process is done.

 Why do ballerinas glue their shoes? 

There are several reasons why a ballerina will glue her brand new ballet shoes, especially pointe before she can use it during practice or performance on stage.

These reasons are as follows :

To get extra support.

Ballerinas put glue on their shoes to get extra support when dancing on stage.

The glue helps in making the box, edges and other areas of a ballet shoe a little harder to help get ballerinas comfort and ability to perform without any restrictions. 

To prevent slipping when performing.

The ability to prevent ballet shoes from slipping off a ballerina’s shoe is improved as a result of the application of glue to the shoes.

The application of the glue will help in keeping the shoes in a more reliable condition.

To increase the shoe lifespan.

Most ballerinas apply glue to their ballet shoes in other to increase the shoes’ lifespan a little bit higher.

Since we know that ballet shoes have a short lifespan due to the materials used in producing them, the ballerinas want a means of extending the timeline even if it’s for a few more hours.

To harden some areas.

Ballets apply glue to their shoes in other to make it a little bit harder than it is.

Ballet shoes especially pointe shoes are usually hard in some parts but to suit a ballerina’s personal preference.

To help protect their feet.

The glue helps give ballet dancers the ability to protect their feet from any possibility of injuries.

Application of glues will help in improving the suitable areas of the shoes which is of great help to the ballet dancers and their team.

To customize the shoes.

Glue is used by a ballerina to help customize their ballet shoes which will help in giving the shoe a personal experience that is only peculiar to one ballet dancer.

Each ballet dancer needs to personalise her ballet shoes according to how she or he wants them to be so that they can fit perfectly into their feet and give them the flexibility to perform better during both training and choreographic performance.

To help them perform better.

The majority of the ballet dancers we discussed hold the opinion that applying glue to their ballet shoes helps them perform better than if they did not apply the shoes.

It will also give them the credibility to showcase their talents both at the studio or on an actual stage.

To stand out from the rest.

The application of glues to ballet shoes also helps the ballerinas to appear different and stand out from the rest of the ballerinas.

Getting a good glue from a credible manufacturer will help you stand out and appear more professional.

How to sew and glue your ballet shoes?

Get your ballet shoes first. You can either order your size or get them from your ballet company and keep them with you.

Try the shoes on your feet and see how they fit in your leg.

If the shoe can fit you perfectly, then you can go ahead to the next stage. 

Use your pen to identify which one should be your right or left shoe because ballet shoes don’t come with a standard or identified right and left shoe from the manufacturer, you have to select which one will be your right shoe and which should be your left one.

Mark the right and left shoe with a pen for identification purposes, so that you will understand each when you come to wear it later.

Get your ribbons, thread and needle ready before you start anything on your ballet shoes.

Criss-cross the elastics from the point you want to sew it on the shoe to the other side of your leg. Measure it from one side to the other ankle and make sure it is not loose and not too tight so that it will not be uncomfortable for you.

Fold the heel of your ballet shoes so that you can get access to the inside of the sole and sew it from the inside to the outside of the shoe with the thread and needle multiple times. Avoid seeing the seam where the elastic comes out.

Sew in such a way that it will be appropriate enough to prevent it from splitting from your shoe if you are training or performing on stage.

Tie a knot after you are satisfied with the sewing and cut the thread with scissors.

Add the other side of the ribbon closer to the back of your ballet shoe and apply the same sewing technique. Not too far out and not too far in.

After you finish with the first part of the shoe, pick another ribbon and apply what you did to the first ribbon exactly into the second one.

However, try and avoid sewing on the ribbon that goes through the shoe so that you will not be unable to tie the shoe when you need to.

To put the loop around the ankle, get a ribbon and round on your ankle first. Make sure that it is right but not too tight so that your ankle will fall into a problem.

Rub the ribbon from the outside so that it will not be rubbing your heel. Do the same type of sewing as you did in other parts.

After finishing with the looping of the ribbon, pick your ribbon and measure it into 4 parts the length of your arm, then cut them into equal pieces.

Get a lighter and burn the edges of the ribbon you cut into four pieces on each side.

Refold the shoe and put your ribbons right between where you see your elastic in a slight diagonal setting and sew it like that in a nice square. 

After finishing the for one side, you should do it for another side and the other shoe as well.

Put on the shoe and tie the ribbons to four legs and chop the excess so that it will be comfortable then get a lighter and burn the edges of the ribbon.

After finishing all the above, you will be able to wear and use your pointe shoes comfortably without the fear of having any problems at all.

Get your glue and apply it in areas which you want to be a little stiffer so that the lifespan of the shoe will be increased


The reasons why ballerinas glue their shoes are logical and accurate and they include getting extra support to their feet, helping prevent slippery when performing to increase the shoe lifespan, hardening some areas, helping protect their feet, to customize the shoes, to help them perform better and to stand out from the rest


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