How can I reuse or recycle ballet shoes and pointe shoes?

En pointe shoesWe’ve had an email from Flannery, saying:

i would like to suggest : pointe shoes.
i have ten trillion old ones and they’re just hanging around

We’ve already covered shoes in general, Crocs and high-heeled shoes – so there maybe some suggests that’ll apply to these shoes too.

Flannery’s “ten trillion” of them suggests they’ve been worn as much as they can/should be so giving them to, say, beginners or other dancers might not be an option. I suspect like with high-heels and other “pretty” shoes though, they might lend themselves to crafts, especially if they’re “shabby chic” slightly scruffy rather than completely trashed. A display like the one in the picture might be a wonderful decoration for a dancer, former dancer or ballet-fan’s house.

Any particular suggestions or other ideas?

(Photo by crisderaud)

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102 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle ballet shoes and pointe shoes?”

  1. Jeff says:

    im in the U.S. I take all unwanted ballet pointe jazz shoes as well
    As any dance wear for arts program for special needs kids
    Please email if you want to recycle Ty
    And God bless

  2. Linda Tucker says:

    I am an art teacher in a secondary school in Cnanterbury, Kent and I would love your ballet shoes for an art project. let me know where you are based or how much it would be to post them to me.
    thjank you

    • Helen says:

      Hello Linda,

      Are you still looking for shoes to collect for your project? If so, I have a couple of pairs of old pointe shoes, leather ballet shoes and satin ones that I no longer use.

      Thank you,


  3. Linda Wenzel says:

    Hi Everyone,

    Just a quick note to introduce the Gambia Ballet School her in west Africa. As well as ballet classes, we do a lot of work with dis advantaged children in urban and rural areas around Gambia. We work with local schools and NGOs to provide these kids with a structured introduction to the world of ballet.

    We aim to develop this side of things and are setting up a ‘ballet up-cycling initiative’ that will channel old, used and second hand ballet equipment from Europe and America to Africa

    We need secondhand ballet shoes and ballet costumes to equip the under privileged children that show some potential and we need children’s ballet books and teaching materials to donate to orphanage and school libraries.

    We want our projects to be sustainable and by showing this type of
    commitment to the kids and the school teachers we are working with, we feel that we really can make a difference!

    If you have anything remotely related to ballet that you no longer need please think of us?


  4. Sarah Jones says:

    Hi Linda,

    Can you tell me how we go about sending donations of Dancewear to you? I have some pointe shoes that are barely worn, some satin full sole shoes and possibly some character shoes. I work at a dance studio and I’m thinking I could start up an ongoing collection for this sort of thing.

  5. Anne Barker says:

    Hello. My daughter went to Dance School and is now a dance teacher at a large comprehensive in South London. She is getting married in the summer and I would like to decorate the church aisles with ballet shoes filled with flowers. If anyone has any old/unused ballet shoes they are getting rid of, I would greatly appreciate them. Thank you. Anne Barker

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