To Darn or Not to Darn…

There are so many tips out there to make pointe shoes last longer, to make your feet look better, and to reduce noise. Sometimes, we forget to pass these secrets down to the younger generation, simply because it doesn’t cross one’s mind. It just becomes second nature, or you have just been doing it so long it doesn’t even seem like you are doing anything different.

how to darn pointe shoes

One of these secrets is to darn your pointe shoes. There are numerous reasons to darn:

  • Create a slightly wider platform to balance
  • Creating friction while turning
  • To quite the box
  • To find your box
  • To lengthen the line of your foot.

The list goes on.

So darning can be extremely time consuming for one pair of pointe shoes. It seems crazy that you would darn a pair of shoes, break it in and bang em out for one show; especially if you are on a budget.

So, why darn the box? Really it is a matter of preference. Some people use darning as a way to save the shoe, make the box reinforced and create a sturdier platform to balance. Anyways, there are multiple ways to darn a pointe shoe.

The first way is to take embroidery floss or crochet thread and loop it around the box multiple times. Like 8 or 10 times, sometimes even more depending on what you are dancing. Then easily whip stitch them together around the box holding the wrapped threads together. Easier said than done. When darning, you actually have to push into the first layer of the box, not just the stain so make sure you have a pretty heavy duty thimble. In this method you can leave slightly wider gaps to allow for give.

The second way  is to take a chord of elastic so there is give in the darning and take the embroidery floss and blanket stitch tightly around tightening the stitches after each stitch. The blanket stitch edge should be in towards the box. If you don’t know what a blanket stitch is, it is basically a whip stitch but right before going back through the stitch you guide the needle through the stitch and creating a version of a cow hitch for those of you knot enthusiasts out there.

darning a pointe shoe


-The biggest and strongest needle

-A Very strong thimble

-Elastic Chord, if going the second way

-Embroidery floss or crochet thread


-if you are struggling pushing the needle through the box… use pliers.

-If you make a mistake, don’t take it out, just go over the stitch again, as long as it is comfortable for you to stand in.

-To check if the stitches are even, the shoe should balance on it’s own.

-If you want a video of how to darn… like the post!!

perfect darning

Poitnte Shoes/Products Featured: Grishko Nova Flex

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