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What Makes Them Better

Pointe shoes perform a remarkable job — enduring tremendous forces and repeated strains, all the while appearing as dainty and delicate as the ballerina herself. Gaynor Minden retains the classic beauty of lustrous pink satin and elegant tapered lines, but with a completely modernized interior to meet the needs of today’s athletic dancers. They are made with expert European hand-craftsmanship, the most up-to-date athletic materials, and first-hand knowledge of ballet. The designer and almost the entire team are former dancers. 


Gaynor Mindens last 3-5 times longer than traditionally made pointe shoes. The parts that provide support for the dancer, the shank and toe box, are made from flexible molded inserts. These are modern materials, not the 19th century paste and cardboard construction found in most other brands.

The buoyant support that you feel in the new shoe will remain the same throughout its life; that’s why it’s so important to select a stiffness that feels perfectly broken in when new — they do not soften with use. We offer FIVE stiffness options for stock shoes, and additional options by special order.

Our flexible molded inserts are made from a synthetic material prized for extraordinary pliability, strength, and resilience. They are neither rubber nor fiberglass. The same material is also found in medical devices such as prosthetics, and in a wide range of athletic equipment. Gaynor Mindens have been tested to withstand hundreds of thousands of relevés without any weakening or deformation of the shank or box. They can actually help promote correct alignment (see FAQ). Shanks are pre-arched for better support and a prettier line. However, the dancer must still work her feet in moving through the demi-pointe position.

Gaynor Mindens are lined with genuine Poron® Performance Cushioning.  Poron is a microcellular urethane foam, found in the best athletic shoes, that can absorb significant impact even when only 1/16″ to 1/8″ thick — no comparison to cheap latex or EVA foams. Also unlike other cushions, it does not “bottom out”; it always rebounds to its original state of resilience. We place different densities of Poron in different areas. A light density, 1/16″ layer is directly underneath the entire length of your foot for all-around comfort and shock absorption. An additional, medium density cushion is underneath your heel to protect it and to ensure that you never feel the edge of the shank. Instead of pleats, high density impact (and noise!) reducing materials are underneath the toes, so landing from jumps is as quiet and fluid as possible.

All of our pointe shoe satins are custom woven and dyed in Italy.

The Premium Weave Soft Satin used in our Lyra line encourages expressive footwork and effortless roll-through. It features a unique weave and material blend that is only available at Gaynor Minden. More colors coming soon.

The robust satin used in our Europa line provides wraparound support to the entire foot. It is available in a range of colors in addition to our traditional Pink. Cappuccino, Mocha, and Espresso satins make it so much easier to complement a wide range of skin tones. They work well as a base for further customization, but also work for many dancers as-is. Matching tights, ribbons, and elastic are available for all of our pointe shoe satins. 


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Our linings are moisture wicking, and are slightly textured to help prevent the shoe from sliding along the foot.

The drawstring opens at the side, rather than at the throat, so it won’t irritate the top of your foot. After being tied it is easily concealed in the natural space at your arch, making for a clean, uninterrupted line along the vamp. The platform is pleatless, creating a greater useable surface en pointe and fewer wobbles in penché flat. It also provides the space for noise and impact reducing materials under the satin. Platforms are available in either satin or suede. It’s a stock shoe you can customize. Full sizes and half sizes, most in 3 widths, 5 box shapes, 5 stiffnesses, 2 vamps, 2 heel heights. Special orders allow further customization including extra shank reinforcement, different satin finishes, suede platforms, and adjustments to sides, vamp, and heel.