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The sole of the foot and ankle have to work so much more with every tendu, degage, the rise onto demi-pointe, and push off in allegro. The shoe resists, and the muscles get a better workout.
If the thickness of the sole makes your foot wobble because it does not lie flat on the floor, here's a balance exercise you can do: standing on one foot at a time, close your eyes, and concentrate on finding your balance. You will strengthen your ankles this way.
Pointe shoes are beautiful when new, but get beaten up looking easily. When I was training, there was little concern about how long they would look new. Scuffs and worn satin were the rewarding sign of hard work.
If you have a performance coming up, it's different. Wear socks over them as needed, but cut a hole at the toe and heel, so that you won't slide. Try to have as many pairs as you need broken in, to the same degree, before your shows.
When your feet are totally sore and aching, use an ice pack! It is wonderful for pain and can be done several times an evening. (5- 10 min. per hour max). But, don't have a plastic ice pack touch bare skin.Wrap it, or get a fabric covered ice pack.
|Versatile Ice Pack|
Also, lying on the floor with your legs resting straight up the wall for a few minutes is good to help your muscles relax.
Work hard, and relax and stretch your muscles to keep the best tone. Use a pinkie ball under the soles of your feet to work out the muscle tension.
I highly recommend The Perfect Pointe Book to help you learn all about working your feet correctly in ballet pointe shoes. It is the best ballet guide for strengthening your feet and avoiding muscle strain and injury!