Can you superglue your vamp? I am new to pointe and don't know where to apply it. —Amanda
Industrial-grade superglues, such as Jet Glue and Satellite City Original Hot Stuff, can extend the life of your pointe shoes. But you have to be smart about where you apply the glue—and use it sparingly! The liquid comes out fast and can be very messy, so squirt lightly and carefully. It's always better to apply too little and add as needed—too much glue will make your shoes rock-hard and slippery. (And you don't want to accidentally glue your fingers together. Trust me.)
Many dancers glue the toe area inside the shoe's tip and the material around the shank for reinforcement. Try to avoid bunion, metatarsal and drawstring territory, though. You need to be able to articulate those areas when you flex and point. Stiff, dried glue against your joints will not only make it hard to do that, but it will hurt and can cause blisters. Some dancers with flexible feet also like to apply a patch of glue to the outer sole where the shank breaks.
Pro Tip: When used carefully,
superglue can extend
the life of costly pointe shoes.
Everyone's feet are different, so it will probably take some trial and error before you figure out where and how much glue to add. I liked to wear new shoes once to break them in a bit before gluing; other dancers I know apply it before their first wearing—it all depends on your needs. For best results, glue your shoes the day before you plan on wearing them to give it time to cure. Lastly, make sure you store the liquid in a small plastic bag to prevent spills.
Have a question? Send it to Pointe editor and former dancer Amy Brandt at firstname.lastname@example.org.