Getty Images

The Best Ways to Prevent Blisters from Pointework

Podiatrist Dr. Thomas Novella weighs in with tips for new and seasoned pointe dancers.


Sometimes blisters are inevitable.

If you're just starting pointe, your feet will be especially susceptible until they naturally build calluses. Experienced dancers may develop blisters whenever there's a change in their normal routine. For example:

  • new style or size of pointe shoes
  • overly sweaty feet
  • holey tights
  • shoes have become too tight
  • choreography calls for more movement in the shoes, like twisting or turning
Pattern made of Beige wound medicine aid patches

Getty Images

Watch for hot spots.

Novella recommends covering them with moleskin, tape or cloth Band-Aids (as long as they don't shift around when you dance). Make sure it goes on flat, and don't pull it too tight. If you need padding, some dancers like silicone toe sleeves, the Ouch Pouch cushion by Bunheads, lambswool or something more minimal, like a paper towel.

Sticking to your shoes?

There are a variety of products to reduce friction—like petroleum jelly, non-talc powder or Body Glide Skin, an anti-chafing cream that's sweat-resistant. Experiment to see what you prefer.

The left hand of a young female person holds a container with skincare cream over colored clean background.

Getty Images

Wear tights.

Rolled-up tights may be trendy, but tights provide an important barrier between shoe and skin. Opt for pairs made of polyester or microfiber, which will wick sweat away more than cotton and reduce your chance of blisters.

Alternate pairs of shoes if you can.

If you have a dance-heavy day, swap sweaty pointe shoes for another pair to keep feet dry.

Getty Images

Practice healthy habits...

...like keeping your feet clean. Eat a mix of fruits and veggies, says Novella, since strong skin depends on a balanced diet. And avoid smoking—smokers' skin injures more easily and takes longer to heal.

Latest Posts


Laurent Liotardo (post-production by Nik Pate), Courtesy ENB

Catch English National Ballet’s Rising Stars in the Emerging Dancer Competition Livestream

The coronavirus pandemic may have postponed English National Ballet's annual Emerging Dancer competition last spring, but the show must go on—digitally! You can still watch ENB's best and brightest talent during the competition's livestream, taking place on September 22 at 7:20 pm BST (that's 2:20 pm ET). Now in its 11th year, the competition for the Emerging Dancer Award will be broadcast live from the company's East London production studio for the first time. Tickets are available for $6.99 per device and will remain available to view on demand until September 29.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
From left: Alaina Broyles, Courtesy Werner; Courtesy Underwood

Gaynor Minden's Latest Dancer Lineup Features a Body-Positivity Activist and Its First Guy

Pointe shoe brand Gaynor Minden recently welcomed 32 young dancers to its coveted roster of Gaynor Girls. But this year, the company included two applicants who push the boundaries of what it means to dance on pointe. While both Mason Simon Underwood and Colleen Werner are longtime GM wearers, they stand out from the rest of this year's group: Underwood is the first ever Gaynor Guy, and Werner is a body-positivity activist.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Dylan Giles, Courtesy Festival Ballet Providence

Festival Ballet Providence's New Leap Year Program Gives Dancers Facing a Gap Year a Place to Grow

A new training program at Festival Ballet Providence called Leap Year is welcoming pre-professional and professional dancers who don't have a studio or company to dance for this season.

The endeavor is the brainchild of Kathleen Breen Combes, FBP's executive and artistic director. "I kept getting these emails of dancers saying they just need a place to train this year," says Combes. "I thought, What if we could provide a space for dancers to get stronger, experiment and try new things in a nonjudgmental and no-pressure environment?"

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks