The modern pointe shoe has kept ballerinas on their toes since the early 20th Century.
Each delicate, custom-made satin and leather shoe endures a punishing routine that begins even before a dancer places a shoe on her foot.
As part of an occasional series called Tools of the Trade about performers and their relationship to the tools that make their work possible, I talked to members of the Kansas City Ballet about shoes.
Tool: Pointe shoe
Place: Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity, 500 W. Pershing Road, Kansas City, Mo.
WATCH: Watch this video to see dancers demonstrate how they break in their shoes for the right fit.
Kansas City Ballet presents 'Cinderella,' through May 18, at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo. 816-931-2232.