People often ask dancers, “So how many pairs of pointe shoes do you wear out during the year?” The only thing that surprises them more than that answer (which has huge variance, depending on the dancer’s repertory and shoe model) is how much each pair costs, with prices generally starting around $50. Those are the inexpensive ones. If you want them customized, or shipped expediently, or just wear a difficult-to-find size, you’re looking at a price tag of well over a hundred dollars per pair of shoes, which potentially has a defect you’ll only find upon arrival, which would mean a day of frustrated dancing, which would mean…scrapping that pair and starting all over again.
Thankfully, many companies allocate part of their budget toward a shoe fund for the dancers so that each ballerina can get her specific shoe without worrying about quantity or cost. There’s something strikingly lovely about finishing a season and seeing each pair of shoes laid out as testimony to the dancing that took place.