Illustration from Bill Nye's Ballet Toe Shoe Patent [Source: Google]
The patent is for a "toe shoe capable of providing support to a ballet dancer's foot, toes, and ankle during en pointe dancin." Its innovation appears to be related to the structure of the show and how it affects weight-bearing in the foot, toes and ankle:
"The toe shoe preferably includes a toe box in the toe of the toe shoe, an upper and an outer sole. Support structure within the toe shoe includes a longitudinal support member, a foot encirculating tubular sleeve, and/or a toe ridge."
I've never been en pointe so I don't know how to evaluate this. If you're one of those beautiful dancers with tortured feet, let me know what you think!
Official Site: Bill Nye the Science Guy