How to fit vamp elastic to pointe shoes

How to fit vamp elastic to pointe shoes

A sad consequence of having beautiful arches en pointe can be the affliction of “going over too far” or “popping out”, which is a dreadful thing to experience, but Gaynor Minden‘s ingeniously simple Vamp Elastic eliminates this curse very simply. All that you need to do is just stitch Vamp Elastic in the throat of your shoe and you’ll get the same kind of extra support that a deeper vamp would provide—with no compromise of demi-pointe flexibility, either.

There are two ways of fitting the Vamp Elastic to the throat of your pointe shoes, the Standard Way and Shirley Hancock’s Way. Either way you need to cut the Vamp Elastic into four equal pieces, each approximately 3½ inches long. You will then have enough elastic for two pairs of shoes done the Standard Way and one pair Shirley Hancock’s Way.

When fitting the elastic the result should be snug but not constricting.

Standard Way

With the Standard Way the Vamp Elastic stretches side-to-side across the top of the foot.


Insert Vamp Elastic down into the throat of the shoe, past the drawstring casing, orientated so it stretches side-to-side, not toe-to-heel. Determine how much of your foot should be covered and supported by the elastic. Most dancers like about 1½ inches of elastic measured up from the centre of the throat. Measure how much elastic you will need for a snug fit and then trim excess. Stitch the elastic in place either just below the drawstring casing or to the casing itself. Be careful not to stitch through the drawstring.

Shirley Hancock's Way

This way is named after Shirley Hancock, a former physiotherapist to the English National Ballet, who suggests overlapping two pieces of elastic so that they form a 90 degree angle or V shape.

Pin or make one small stitch to hold the two pieces of elastic together temporarily. Insert elastics down into the throat of the shoe, past the drawstring casing, orientated so they form the V shape, which points down toward the toes. Determine how much of your foot should be covered and supported by the elastics. Most dancers like about 1½ inches of elastic measured up from the centre of the throat then extending back toward the sides. Measure how much elastic you will need for a snug fit and then trim excess. Stitch the elastic in place either just below the drawstring casing or to the casing itself. Be careful not to stitch through the drawstring.

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