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    Do you have questions about celiac disease or the gluten-free diet?

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My daughter is in her second year of pre-pointe. This year she got the pre-pointe shoes. Her teacher is out of the country. The teacher that was filling in said that the pre-pointe shoes are simply pointe shoes that didn't pass inspection and that they then remove the shank from them. I don't know if this is true or not. She also went on to say that wheat flour was used in the making of the shoes. Does anyone know if this is true?

So far my daughter hasn't had any problems with the shoes. She handled them quite a bit in sewing on the elastics and ribbons and has worn them I think three times.

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I've never heard of wheat flour being used in the construction of pointe shoes. I'm trying to think how it would be utilized but just can't grasp how. Of course, ballet was a long time ago for me and I am not at all an expert about making pointe shoes but still...you've got the box, sole and shank plus ribbons and elastic. Could there be wheat flour in the glue somewhere? I would think they'd have something better in this day and age!

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My DD is a dancer and there is a flour paste in some brands of pointe shoes (Freeds, Gambas and others) that is used in the box to harden the box area. There are newer shoes that use synthetic materials (Gaynors) but many shoes are still handmade with natural materials.

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I used to dance ballet and I would not be at all surprised if there was flour paste in them. They use a glue solution to soak the tips of the shoes in and form them into the correct shape before hardening, I'm pretty sure. Then they are covered in satin. I bet there is a "making of" video somewhere or maybe you could call the company and ask about how they are made.

That said, the risk of contamination would be low unless she has some kind of contact dermatitis from them. She'll be wearing her tights and probably wool in the box, but sweaty feet could make some of it come into contact with her toes. I'd imagine She'd have to be very, very sensitive for the wheat to be a problem.

She's not going to be eating while dancing and she's not going to touch the box of the shoe much, and it's covered in satin, so I doubt it poses a real risk, even if it is full of flour.

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My daughter has Celiac disease & also has allergic reactions to wheat (throat swells & contact skin rash). When she was little, playing with wheat based play dough caused skin rash. She has danced since 3 years old and received her first pointe shoes 6 months ago at age 11. We have had a professional fitting at The Pointe Shop in CA. There we were told to avoid point shoes made by Capizio, Freed, & Bloc as they contained gluten based glues. The professional fitter said the dancer's feet become very hot & sweaty in the point shoe, which causes the release of the glues & breaks down the point shoe. The foot is literally soaking in wet hot bit of glueing mess for hours. So, it is not just a casual brief brushing of wheat against the skin, but a substantial exposer. Hope this helps. 

Edited by JulieW

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