If the shank is too firm and has no discernable curve when you are en pointe then it is too stiff and needs to be worked before you wear it, as otherwise it will pull you off pointe or twist away from the sole of the foot. I break in all my girls shoes using the following technique and they love wearing the shoes from day 1.
So, how do you break in a shoe? I have created a little video clip of the process which you can view on youtube. This is how you go about breaking the shoes in correctly...
- Turn the satin of the heel of the shoe inside out so that you can see the sole.
- Place your foot in the shoe (with any padding/ouch pouches that you will wear when dancing).
- Place the foot en pointe (don't take your whole weight on it, just press down a little.
- Find the point of your foot where the arch ends and the heel begins.
- Turn you finger over and find where this is on your shoe.
- Remove your foot from the shoe, and gently, using the floor, shape the back of the shoe down to this point only.
- The rest of the shank should stay straight and the shoe should curve perfectly up under your heel.
This will help support you in the shoe to stop sinking down, and will also make the shoe last longer.