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


Skjalg Bøhmer Vold, Courtesy Merritt Moore

How Quantum Physicist Ballerina Merritt Moore Learned to Dance With a Robot (Plus, Her Newest Film)

When the world went into lockdown last March, most dancers despaired. But not Merritt Moore. The Los Angeles native, who lives in London and has danced with Norwegian National Ballet, English National Ballet and Boston Ballet, holds a PhD in atomic and laser physics from the University of Oxford. A few weeks into the coronavirus pandemic, she came up with a solution for having to train and work alone: robots.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Lauren Anderson's Tips for Relevé Développé Écarté Devant

Développé écarté relevé "is in every class, every ballet," says Lauren Anderson, former principal dancer and current program manager of education and community engagement at Houston Ballet. Below, she gives you the keys to success for this "light and lovely" repertoire staple.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Andrey Chuntomov, Courtesy Arabesque-2020

Inside Arabesque-2020, One of Russia’s Top Ballet Competitions

Much like everything else this year, the XVI Russian Open Ballet Competition Arabesque-2020 was unlike any in its three-decade history. Rescheduled and shortened because of the coronavirus pandemic—and on the brink of cancellation until the very last moment—the competition nevertheless took place October 24 to November 2 at the historic Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks