How Maggie Carey of Smuin Ballet Preps Her Pointe Shoes

maggie carey smuin ballet


What kind of pointe shoes do you wear? Tell us about how you found them.

I wore Capezio Glissé pointe shoes for over ten years. Then, in the same month I broke my foot, Capezio stopped making that specific shoe. So, when I came back from my injury I had to not only relearn how to dance en pointe, but I also had to find a new shoe.

My physical therapists recommended Gaynor Minden.

Due to the way they're made, they have wonderful shock absorption, incredible stability, and they help me to have better alignment: all things that I really needed when I started working my way back into pointe shoes.

Over three years later, and I’m still in these shoes. I love them! This is mostly because they are so consistent, and I feel like I get the same shoe every time. I don’t have to worry about a pair being uneven, being poorly made, or dying quickly.

Also, because my ankles are so mobile, I like that I can wear these shoes for more than a couple days without them being totally dead.

What are your custom specifications for your shoes?

  • Size 7, medium width, with a broad and square shaped box 
    This helps me feel very perched when I’m en pointe!
  • Sculpted Fit - I love the Sculpted fit Gaynor Minden shoe because I have a narrow heel, and this helps my shoes not twist on my feet. The shoe really “hugs” to the middle of my foot, making me feel very safe and stable.
  • Supple ShankWith Gaynor Minden shoes, you can order the shank in 5 different shank strengths ranging from “very flexible” to “very stiff”. I like to order my shoes right in the middle with a "Supple" shank, which I love because when I receive my shoes, they are already practically broken in, but they still support my ankles.
  • 3/4 shank This cuts in right where the bottom of my foot bends.
  • Deep vamp and a low heel - I feel like this allows my foot to be more exposed and less covered by the actual shoe, and it gives me longer and cleaner lines. (I’ll take whatever length I can get- I’m only 5’2”!)

So, what’s your pointe shoe preparation process?

When it comes to sewing, I criss-cross my elastics, and I usually use Prima Soft stretch elastic ribbons. Since I started wearing elastic ribbons a couple years ago, I have noticed that my achilles tendons are less tight, and my ankles feel like they have more room to bend and stretch.

At Smuin Ballet, we never wear pink tights for performances, so all of our shoes must be pancaked for every show. This is the final touch that I add to my pointe shoes, and I'm ready for the day!

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