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Buying 1st pair of pointe shoes - North West


Tuco123
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Hi all. New to posting here, thought this would be the best place to ask.

My daughter will be going en pointe in May for the first time and so I need to start finding shops for fitting etc. Can anyone recommend any in the Northwest? There are two dance shops nearby but I don't want to stick with those just because they're closest.

I'm very aware that the correct fitting of pointe shoes is incredibly important so I want it to be right. My daughter has been waiting for this moment since she was 5 so no pressure haha!

The teacher won't be able to come along but she has given me a few tips on what to look for as in how they should fit but at the end of the day I'm relying on shop staff to know what they're talking about. I'm also wary that I could be fed anything just so they sell a pair.

Teacher has advised to get what I think is right, then take them to class for her to see them on my daughter's feet before I sew ribbons etc so that if she feels they're not right, I can take them back and try again. This could be a lengthy process of course so basically does anyone have experience with a shop in the Northwest whereby the staff were very knowledgeable and had a large section of brands etc? Many thanks :)

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Hello Tuco123 and welcome to the Forum!

 

I have slightly amended your title to show you are looking to buy in the North West.  I have also added a couple of tags.  If you click on either you will get a list of topics about pointe shoes.  It could well be worth reading through them for some general advice.

 

Good luck to you and your DD.  Do let us know how you get on.

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Centre pointe in Denton on eastern side Manchester. Easily accessible from M60. Dance and leisurewear in Morecambe.

 

For convenience if your teacher recommends a local shop I would go there but can recommend these 2 as well. Phone for an appt before going. Have fun!!

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I second the advice of pictures, the selection in Staffordshire is terrible. However Barnums in Warrington, provides an excellent fitting experience. They stock a wide range of brands and styles and are incredibly knowledgeable. I take all my students there from beginners to advanced students. They keep a file card for every dancer so they can track how long between fittings etc and gauge how the shoe is being worn. They also have a points card which roughly works out at £5 off every 2/3 pairs of pointe shoes.

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Thank you all. I spent some time last night looking on here at pointe shoe topics, it was informative and made me realise even more than I already did how important it is to get it right.

Birmingham is too far unfortunately :/

I've ordered online from Dance and Leisurewear in the past for other items...I would be prepared to travel to Morecambe....is it a place you've had experience of buying pointe shoes from yourself?

 

Ah, now the dance teacher mentioned a place in Warrington. She said one of the student teachers knows what it's called and so I was going to ask her tonight when I take my daughter to class. It must be Barnums then! That's great, thank you so much :)

Edited by Tuco123
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Thank you very much. I didn't know this forum existed until last night, it's very informative from the posts I've seen so far.

I'm really excited for my daughter, she's been waiting patiently for this moment...I actually can't wait!:-D

Edited by Tuco123
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Pictures, I could almost tolerate an incompetent fitter, if there was a selection of shoes to choose from! I'm baffled as to how shops think 1 brand and 2 styles equates to choice and a well fitted shoe!

 

Tuco123 I found Barnums by chance after a disastrous day trawling the North West in search of pointe shoes. The staff are all really knowledgeable and will happily order shoes in for you once you've found "the one". I'm sure at least one of the fitters has danced professionally and now teaches so they offer really good tips and tricks.

 

Wherever you end up buying shoes from if any member of staff utters the words "with a little extra padding they will fit fine" or "I've left a bit of growing room" take your DD and leave immediately!

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Wherever you end up buying shoes from if any member of staff utters the words "with a little extra padding they will fit fine" or "I've left a bit of growing room" take your DD and leave immediately!

Thank you for the tip, I will definitely keep that with me when we go! I have seen pictures of pointe shoe fittings from one of the shops near me and they just don't look right. Now I'm no expert but I know the shoes are supposed to look like an extension of the foot, close fitting but obviously not too tight. On these pics there's a lot of bagginess round the back of the heel where the shoe isn't even touching the foot and rippling bagginess down the sides. They look like they're hanging off the back of the heel all bunched up. It's totally put me off even venturing there.

 

Thanks for the recommendation for the place in Liverpool too, that's also not too far. In fact we're going to Liverpool soon to get prom shoes for my other daughter so I could possibly make an appointment for that day while we're there.

I think Barnums and That's Entertainment sound like great places to try :)

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Great thanks, I'll look into that also.

 

I will definitely keep you posted on our pointe shoe adventure :)

 

I appreciate all your help, thank you again. No doubt I will have other questions to ask about all things dance now that I've found this very helpful forum :)

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Yes- i will third...fourth....( i've lost count!) That's Entertainment on London Rd , Liverpool. My dd is on her second pair now, and both times she's been fitted there's been another fitting happening at the same time (each with their own fitter) and it's been really interesting to hear both the fitters in action. They obviously worked through various makes/styles until the 'right' pair was found.

My dd was a bit disappointed because her 'right' pair were found fairly quickly, and she didn't get to try loads on!!!!

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Ah that's really helpful to know, thank you very much.

 

I'm going to ring some of the recommended places tomorrow and get some appointments made!

 

You have all saved my bacon here. You've given me confidence in these shops, that they know what they're doing and my daughter will be fitted properly. A huge relief for me so thank you :) :)

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I'm sure you could probably go to 1,or at most 2 shops. These sound like shops that will stock multiple brands. It may be worth checking which brands are stocked at each.

I think that's sensible, otherwise I'll just get bombarded with all the different brands, who sells what, the different prices and the fuel needed to drive all round the Northwest will cost a fortune!

There's been a few recommendations for That's Entertainment and my daughter's teacher, plus a couple of people here, have recommended Barnum's so I'll stick with those two to begin with.

Asking what brands they stock beforehand is a great idea, I shall do that :)

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Try not to get too bogged down in specific brands, all a dance shop really needs is wide variety of brands and styles and good fitters.

My shoe of choice was always a Bloch suprima yet not one of my students wear them. I have heard other teachers telling students to "try freed because I wore them" or "try the same shoe as X because they look nice". It's poor advice. Every foot is different so while a teacher may have preference for a particular brand or shoe, it doesn't mean they will be the best shoe for your child.

 

I liken pointe shoe shopping to bra shopping, you want a good fit, a nice style, comfort and support- I can get all that from a triangle bra, my mum will always need something that resembles construction scaffolding!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi everyone!

Just wanted to update you all on the pointe shoe shopping. We had an appointment at Barnums on Saturday and it went extremely well. So much so, my daughter now owns her 1st pair ☺

The appointment lasted an hour and a half and she tried on 8 pairs. The first pair the lady picked out were actually THE pair right for her....it was as if she knew just by looking at my daughter's feet which pair were right. Still tried on all the others just to be sure.

Very professional and patient, she certainly knew her stuff. They are absolutely beautiful, fit perfectly and we're all so pleased....especially my girl....she's in love with them.

Thank you all for your knowledge and advice, it really did help ☺

Edited by Tuco123
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