Light weight compared to other pointe shoes. Suede platform makes this pointe quiet and no slip. I have low volume feet so I need to use toes pads. Otherwise, you will not need toes pads; these pointe are padded all around. Lack wings though. The satin is stiff. Sawing the ribbons and elastics were a pain. The shank did not feel different from the previous manufactured on me. I can use a much stiffer shank. And no, these pointe will make you get en pointe easier. You do need strength and technique. I love them.