Different ways to tie pointe shoe ribbons

We’ve all seen the lovely romantic photographs of the ballerinas tying their pointe shoes side stage. Pointe shoes are beautiful, especially when they’re brand new and shiny. Don’t let them look sloppy by letting loose ribbon ends hang out.  Follow our “how to tie pointe shoe ribbons” step-by-steps and in a few easy moves you can ensure you tie your shoes as neatly and as securely as possible.  We’re going to show you two ways to tie pointe shoe ribbon

1. The Classic: Tying traditional pointe shoe ribbons

How to tie traditional pointe shoe ribbons

Put on your toe pads and any other foot protection you are going to use.
Slip your foot, without twisting, into the shoe, through the loop of any elastics you have on your shoes.
Starting with your inside ribbon, pull the ribbon taught in front of your ankle. Bring the ribbon in front and around your ankle, ensuring it lies smoothly against your Achilles tendon. Repeat with the outside ribbon.
Tie the two pointe shoe ribbons together in a double knot just above the ankle bone on the inside of the foot.
Tuck the knot and any stray ends down and under the flat section of ribbon along the ankle to hide the knot and keep you looking neat.

This method will also work with tendonitis ribbon sewn in 2 pieces to your shoe. Need some instructions for sewing pointe shoe ribbons? Check out our post all about it.

2. Loop tie Elastic pointe shoe ribbons*

Tying elastic pointe shoe ribbons
  • Put on your toe pads and any other foot protection you are going to use. 
  • Slip your foot, without twisting, into the shoe, through the loop of any elastics you wear on your shoes.
  • Pull both ribbons taught to the front. You should have one big ribbon loop in front of you. Twist the loop to make an X and a smaller circle. Put your foot through the circle. Now the ribbon loop should be behind your ankle.
  • Repeat step 3 in reverse. Twist the loop, put your foot through the loop, bringing the slack ribbon to the front of your ankle.
  • Repeat until you run out of ribbon. You will be left with a neat finish with no knot to hide. Notice that the elastic ribbon puts less pressure on your Achilles tendon.

The loop tie method will only work with elasticated or stretch satin ribbons. Need some instructions for sewing elastic pointe shoe ribbons? Check out our post all about it.

Handy Hints for tying pointe shoes perfectly

  • Use a spritz of hairspray on the knot to secure it.
  • Don’t forget to tuck in your drawstrings too! 
  • This should be obvious, but try not to tie your pointe shoes either too tight or too loose.  Too tight and you‘ll cut off the circulation to your feet and could damage the soft tissue around your ankle. Too loose and your shoe will just come off.
  • Do not tie your pointe shoe ribbons up your legs like Angelina Ballerina…it does not look cool.
  • There is no problem with tying your pointe shoe ribbons in a bow as long as you tuck them in properly. There is a higher chance that you may have to retie them during class, as a bow is not as secure as a double knot. However, I once had to cut a pair of shoes off in an exam because I had double knotted and hair sprayed them too well, so just see which works best for you!

Featured image credit – Bloch UK

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