I tested ten products and found Capezio’s Ava Pointe Shoes to be the best ballet pointe shoes.
Dancing “en pointe” requires an incredible combination of strength and grace, and pointe shoes must become an extension of the dancer’s foot. In my search for the best, I looked for shoes that could deliver maximum comfort while meeting different dancer’s needs.
Capezio is one of the most trusted brands in the dance world, and the Ava Pointe is one of their best shoes. I found that the Ava met nearly every requirement for a professional ballet shoe.
Of course, because every foot is unique, the Capezio may not be the best choice for everyone.
Read on to learn more about the best ballet pointe shoes on the market, and find the one that might be best for you.
Top Four Ballet Pointe Shoes – Reviews
Let’s dig into the details on our best overall pointe shoes and a few more of the best choices for different foot shapes and budgets.
The Ava Pointe is a premium dancing shoe for professional ballerinas and beginners alike. The medical-grade gel cushions protect your toes, while the broad toe-box provides a strong base of support for balance no matter how you move.
Capezio designed these shoes with either rose or tan rayon-backed cotton fabric and a satin lining. An elastic drawstring helps you adjust the shoes to your foot. Classic wide satin ribbons secure the shoes to your ankles.
The sole is leather, scored to increase traction, so you don’t slip as you execute your next pirouette.
- High-quality materials
- Elastic drawstring and satin ribbons for a secure fit
- Choose between rose and tan
- Wide toe-block for maximum support
- Medical-grade gel cushions
- A trusted brand in ballet
- Shipping and returns are slow
Russian Pointe is another classic pointe brand. Their Rubin Pointe Shoes are ideal for any dancers with narrow feet or high arches.
The shoe features a straight shape along the sides, with a supportive toe-block and heel of almost equal width to the toe.
One of the best features of this shoe is the pre-arched sole, which provides excellent flexibility along the shank. For dancers who need arch support but want a more flexible shoe, the Russian Pointe is a great option.
A drawstring and scored leather sole help reduce any slipping in the shoe and on the stage.
- High-quality materials
- Perfect for narrow feet
- Excellent arch support
- Very hard toe-block provides stability
- Drawstring and leather sole minimize slipping
- Returns are expensive
- Not suitable for wider feet or low arch
If you have a broader foot that tapers toward the heel, you may want to start your search with Grishko. Their design features a gentle taper towards the toe and heel.
Handmade in Russia, Grishko shoes are known for their premier quality and excellent fit. This model is their most popular. The upper is made of high-quality satin, with a suede sole, making them extremely lightweight, so you barely notice them on your feet.
However, be aware that these shoes require a good deal of breaking in. New Grishko shoes are very stiff so that as each dancer practices in them, the shoe molds to their unique foot.
- Premier Russian brand
- Non-toxic, natural materials
- Good for tapered or wider feet
- Lightweight and comfortable once broken in
- Not ideal for beginners
- Difficult to break-in
WENDYWU is a popular dance brand that offers a quality dance shoe with several great features at less than half the other brands’ cost.
Their satin pointe shoes have a wider shank, tapered box, and elastic drawstring for an adjustable fit. One feature I love about the WENDYWU shoes is that the ribbons come pre-sewn, so you don’t have to worry about attaching them later.
While the sole is of slightly lower quality than other brands, they do offer adequate support. Overall, the shoes are beautiful and an excellent option for beginners or less serious dancers.
- Ribbons come pre-sewn
- Elastic drawstring
- Not as high-quality as other top brands
- Not supportive enough for professional dancers
As you shop for pointe shoes, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Because pointe is such a demanding dance form, your fit has to be perfect. I recommend going to a professional to help you assess the right fit, even if you’ve narrowed down your favorite brand.
Pointe shoes should fit tightly to your foot, with a tiny bit of room in the toe. I also recommend looking for shoes with adjustable drawstrings to ensure the best fit.
As with fit, sizing can differ widely depending on your foot’s overall shape. Don’t go by your standard shoe size. Be ready to try a few different sizes, and consider adding some padding to the toe if you’re having trouble.
Parts of the Shoe
Familiarize yourself with the terminology around pointe shoes. The essential parts of the shoes are:
- Toe-box and platform: the “base” of the shoe when you are up en pointe. These need to be wide enough to support your balance and hard enough to support your weight.
- Vamp: the vamp is the section of the shoe that comes up over your toes. Vamps can be u-shaped or v-shaped and can vary in length.
- Shank or midsole: The shank supports all the muscles of your foot in various shapes and poses. It should be very stiff and tight against the sole when first worn.
Pointe shoes have a host of other parts we could name, but these are the most important. As you dance, your new shoes will eventually mold to your unique foot shape. We call this breaking in your shoe.
Overall, if you are looking for a high-quality pointe shoe that meets most of your needs, I recommend the Capezio. However, all the brands above are excellent choices, and some may cater to your specific needs perfectly.
All of these shoes are available on Amazon. Start shopping here.