Here are some pictures of my pointe shoes that I took a few months ago. I hadn't danced in them very much and they looked really clean and pretty!:) I remember the first time I put them on. I stood up and I felt just like a penguin! There really stiff and hard when you first get them. I read about the very first pointe shoes in a book I highly recommend "The Pointe Book: Shoes, training, and technique. How the very first pointe shoes were actually pointed! It sounds very hard to balance on!