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Russian Pointe shoes are created by hand in Moscow by master cobblers working in the world-renowned tradition of Russian ballet shoemaking. To make shoes for Russian Pointe, all cobblers undergo rigorous training, with months of initial observation, study and practice followed by years of perfecting their craft.

The Russian Pointe method combines old-world hand-craftsmanship with modern equipment that helps ensure the high level of precision and consistency needed to create truly functional, reliable and beautiful pointe shoes. Here, a cobbler pierces components of the sole, preparatory to sewing sole and shank together.

After carefully molding the toe box from many layers of several natural fabrics and all-natural, non-toxic glue, the cobbler balances each shoe individually. Using precise taps with his hammer, and then checking to see that the platform is perfectly smooth, flat and balanced, the cobbler makes sure that the shoe will give the dancer a secure and exquisitely supported experience on pointe.

For consistency, the satin and cotton that make up the pointe shoe’s upper are cut by machine. Then, each upper is sewn individually. Every pointe shoe model, size and width has its own pattern, and sewers must work carefully to maintain that unique shape as the pieces come together.

When it leaves the sewing room, the pointe shoe looks like a slipper, made entirely of fabric. Then, it is turned, in the classic method of pointe shoemaking, and fitted onto the cobbler’s “last.”

The cobbler molds each pointe shoe on its individual last, the mold that determines the exact shape of the shoe. Here, as the cobbler balances one pointe shoe, its partner lies nearby. In front of the cobbler are pointe shoes that have just been crafted and are still on their lasts. Behind him are shelves filled with some of Russian Pointe’s thousands of lasts – one for every combination of pointe model, size and width.