What is pointe shoe darning? Pointe shoe darning is the act of modifying the box of your pointe shoes with embroidery floss, crochet thread, or elastic chord to create a wider platform to balance, create additional friction for turning, or to quiet the box.

Pointe shoe darning is one of those secrets that gets passed down from dancer to dancer to extend the life of the shoe, and improve your ability to perform.

But if you’re reading this, then you’re most likely looking for tips to darn your pointe shoes. So let’s get to it.

Tips for Darning Pointe Shoes

What you need to darn pointe shoes:

Needle. We recommend using a thick needle or leather needle to get the job done.

  • Thread. We recommend crochet thread because it’s thick and non-slippery— making it better for traction and turning. You can also use embroidery floss or elastic chord.
  • Thimble. Protect your fingers 🙂
  • Scissors. You have to cut the thread somehow.

How to darn your pointe shoes

There are a number of ways you can stitch your pointe shoes to darn them. I prefer using a whip stitch. When stitching, make sure you push the needle into the first layer of the box. Not just the satin.

Keep in mind, this can take a while for a set of pointe shoes. Here’s a step-by-step.

1. Start by looping the thread around the box multiple times (8-10 loops sometimes more).
2. Next, whip stitch them together around the box, while holding the wrapped threads together. Here’s a tutorial on whip stitching, and we’ll also have a video tutorial below.
3. Cut away any excess thread

Once you’re done, your pointe shoe should look similar to the image below.

darning pointe shoes

Here’s a video using a method similar to the one we listed above, but using ribbon instead of thread.


There are several different ways to darn your pointe shoes, including the two mentioned above. You can also play with the different spacing with the stitching, and experiment with different materials to see what works best for you.

Alternatively, you can always use a stick suede patch using a good quality haberdashery glue.

For more info on pointe shoes check out these resources:

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