Developed in the early 19th century, pointe shoes are worn by female dancers to enable them to dance on the tips of their toes.
Male dancers typically do not wear pointe shoes. They wear ballet slippers or special ballet boots that are flexible enough for them to move in.
In the early 1800s, with the development of the pointe shoe and the many stories about fairies and nymphs, the Romantic tutu became popular. This skirt came below the dancers’ knees, and gave them a dreamy, ethereal look, while allowing them to move more freely.Karen Kain