The Guide to Tying Pointe Shoes

Oof. Whether it’s inside first or outside first, over or under, or wrap the ribbon twice- there really isn’t one way to tie a pointe shoe. I think for a lot of women it is about comfort, and what holds the foot in. As a male teacher, I always think it is odd that when a student goes on pointe, I am the one who helps the young student. We all have our own opinions when it comes to tying, breaking in, sewing, and even the fit of the pointe shoe. So it can get kind of tricky.

Nowadays, a lot of girls are using stretch ribbon, or sewing Infiniti ribbons so that they don’t have to tie knots anymore. So there are a lot of factors when it comes to how you approach tying your shoes.

According eHow, she starts with the outside ribbon and does the “over and under”. This video has over 100k views on Youtube.

Discount Dance made a “how-to” video, but in this video there is a lot of crazy. In fact, it’s probably just bad, but not wrong.

Dance Channel TV also made a video, where the dancer, Ruth Fentroy, starts with the inside ribbon.

We also have the Infiniti loop.

I think the most important thing when tying your ribbons, is understanding two things:

  1. Where the knot goes. It should go in the space between the achilles and the ankle bone, where it slightly indents, so that the knot does not rub.
  2. When tying a knot, tie a flat knot/square knot so it is less likely to come undone.

If you are using satin ribbons, you are going to encounter the occasional untie or knot slip, so when going on stage, definitely sew the knot in with a couple of stitches. I think this is why a lot of dancers have switched to the elastic ribbons because of comfort, and the knots are a tad steardier.

How do we tie shoes at A Ballet Education? We use elastic ribbon, then Inside first, double the outside, square knot, roll the ends, and tuck under. We do tie our ribbons higher up than most schools, as it is an aesthetic preference.

Have a pointe shoe question? Email us!!!