Are you confused about your pointe shoe ribbon placement? It seems there are many varied opinions on the subject, but really, they are either too far forward, too far back, or just right. Only you will be able to correctly position the ribbons on your shoes.
Pointe shoe ribbon placement is slightly different for everyone. Ribbon placement that is too far forward will not successfully pull up the satin from the base of your shoe, which in turn highlights your arch, and ribbon placement that is too far back will assist in keeping the heel of your shoe on, but provides no tension to cup the arch of your foot. Folding the heel down to meet the insole will establish the general vicinity of pointe shoe ribbon placement, however it does depend on where your arch is most prominent. Placing the ribbon correctly will help shape the shoe to best showcase your foot.
Your ribbons will be more effective in pulling up the satin of your shoe, if they are stitched from quite low down, almost to the shank. This also prevents the risk of the ribbon coming loose in a performance as there is more surface area of stitching, providing more security. Sewing the ribbons deeply down into the shoe makes the shoe feel more supportive and stable on the foot, and will encourage the shank to sit snugly to the sole of your foot when the foot is pointed.
The best way to find the perfect pointe shoe ribbon placement for you, is to loosely tack it on first. Try the shoe on, and wrap the ribbons as you would to tie them, but just hold them in one hand. Work the foot and shoe through the full range from plie to fully en pointe, and check for any gaping or bagging in either the shoe or the ribbon. This may take a few attempts, but eventually you will find your position. Then take the time to sew the ribbons on securely to withstand the demands of your class and performance work.
We hope this helps, and feel free to share any tips you have on pointe shoe ribbon placement!
Written by; Vicki Attard