How to Keep Your Pointe Shoe Pads Stink-Free

Ugh, pointe shoe pads: Are they ever not stinky? It's just inevitable: feet + sweat + not-always-breathable materials + confined space = that icky odor we dancers know all too well.

So, what can you do to keep your pads as clean and stink-free as possible? Here are a few tips DS writer Julie Diana got from Kelly Agnew, a teacher at Houston Ballet Academy.


  • Never store your padding in your shoes. Put it in a little mesh bag to air out, and throw the bag in the laundry every other day.
  • Use baby powder on your feet to keep too much sweat from soaking into your padding.
  • Clean your feet with rubbing alcohol. “The cleaner your feet are, the cleaner your padding and shoes will stay," Agnew says.
  • When is it time to change your toe pads? “When you can't wash the smell out of them!" Agnew says.

Read Diana's story about how to find the right type of pointe shoe padding for your feet in the May/June issue!

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