The current ballerina slipper is made primarily with the same materials that were used when the concept of a pointe shoe was first introduced—nails, glue, burlap, satin, cardboard, canvas, and leather. Thus, the limitations of the original slippers persist to this day:
- The shoes have a short lifespan because of the wear and tear on the shoe’s satin. Once the satin becomes worn, the shoe is unusable.
- The ribbons that lace the shoes together are sold separately. This requires the ballerina to hand sew all ribbons.
- Breaking in a shoe is time-consuming and can be painful.
- As the bones in the foot grow, the shoe must be refitted to ensure adequate support. Failure to have the proper fit will result in bunions and other orthopedic deformities.
- At an average of $82 per pair, buying these shoes is a financial hardship to the typical dancer. cardboard
Cannon and Pushkarewicz redesigned the shoe with a removable satin slipper and a custom 3D-printed toe box and shank structure, dramatically extending the shoe’s life and improving its performance. The 3D-printed toe box matches the dancer’s foot shape with an antimicrobial finish that further enhances durability.
By leveraging the social influencer market for dancers, the inventors are planning to establish a relationship with Chloe Lukasiak, a dance influencer with over 6 million Instagram followers. Additionally, the shoe will be distributed at summer intensive dance programs. The inventors are currently exploring options for production and seed financing.