Pointe shoes are specialized footwear worn by ballet dancers, particularly female dancers, enabling them to dance on the tips of their toes (en pointe). They are constructed with a sturdy box at the toe to support the dancer's weight, a shank for arch support, and a tightly fitting, usually satin, exterior. Pointe shoes allow dancers to achieve the illusion of weightlessness and grace, demanding strength, technique, and years of training to master. They are an iconic symbol of ballet and its demanding physicality and artistry.