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Best London store for fitting first demi pointe shoes?


MAK
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Hi everyone,

DD is looking for her first pair of soft blocks and we will need a lot of help from the fitter as we are very much novices in this game. I have read a few other threads but interested in recent experiences of similar fittings in London or nearby. DD is very small and will be looking for shoes in a 1 or a 2 if that makes any difference. She doesn't have great arches and her toes are quite long and feet narrow to medium. As I say, we will really have to rely on the fitter so recommendations would be very welcome. Thank you!

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If you go to Freed, I would always recommend asking for Beth, Sophie or Jade.

 

The only other soft blocks than Freed that dd has tried were Capezio and they sounded like tap shoes - the boxes literally never quietended down. If dd ever needs proper soft blocks now (as opposed to de-shanked and bashed used pointe shoes) she goes to Freed. Their soft blocks fit her beautifully and they soften and quieten down really well.

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I'm glad it isn't just us that have had bad experiences at Bloch with staff attitudes. You always wonder if you are being overly sensitive! Until a few years ago I couldn't fault the service but it has deteriorated and last year we walked out of a pointe shoe appointment and have not returned. Ironically walked over the road to Dancia and bought Bloch shoes there, served by friendly staff despite shop being very busy.

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DD is in demi-pointes this year but we didn't worry about getting fitted as they aren't supporting her body-weight. She only wore them for a short time before she was able to mutilate a pair of broken pointe shoes, but if they are just to get them used to having a block at the end of their foot, I wouldn't fret too much about it. It's not half as important as the fitting for the first pair of pointe shoes!

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DD is in demi-pointes this year but we didn't worry about getting fitted as they aren't supporting her body-weight. She only wore them for a short time before she was able to mutilate a pair of broken pointe shoes, but if they are just to get them used to having a block at the end of their foot, I wouldn't fret too much about it. It's not half as important as the fitting for the first pair of pointe shoes!

At some vocational schools the students wear them for all ballet classes apart from when en pointe. In that case you want them to fit properly as they are harder to work in and the girls want their feet to always look at their best.

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At some vocational schools the students wear them for all ballet classes apart from when en pointe. In that case you want them to fit properly as they are harder to work in and the girls want their feet to always look at their best.

 

dd has to do this too and most definitely not at a vocational school. we have found that they only become really good to work in  just before they wear out

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In fact, the best pair she has ever had were the result of putting her water bottle in her dance bag without closing it properly. By the time I had noticed the mysterious puddle in the train carriage, it was too late and everything was swimming. When the soft blocks did eventually dry out they were - well soft. But with an unattractive tide mark :( . But certainly more effective than my usual method of steaming them over a kettle and hitting them vigorously with a rolling pin.

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Dancia International and Freed are both excellent.  I'd try the Grishko soft blocks in Dancia - Bloch tend to be quite wide, especially at the heel/sides.  They stock Sansha too I think, or at least they used to.

 

I found the Bloch softblocks to be really big fitting, I bought mine online as there isn't anywhere locally that stocks softblocks! I've had Bloch pointe shoes in a size 7 and Grishko in a 6.5 XXXXX, yet my size 6 Bloch softblocks are too big, they're actually larger than the size 7 Bloch Jetstream pointe shoes I have, which is crazy considering the pointe shoes are generally expected to be worn with a bit of padding, if anything, I'd expect the softblocks to be slightly smaller to make up for the lack of padding!
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We find both Grishko, Russian Pointe and Sansha soft blocks the most flattering for customers. I agree that the Bloch shoes come up big, but find they can suit a squarer, more solid foot.

 

As Cara said, they're not weight bearing shoes, so comfort is the priority! With this in mind, a low vamp and steaming with a kettle or iron usually achieves a good result!

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I was really surprised to learn from our local dance shop that each make of dance shoe makers only actually supply one design of demi pointe shoe.

That may be true of Freed BUT because their soft blocks are based on the Classic - i.e. made by individual pointe shoe makers to their own specific style - Freed soft blocks vary greatly depending on which maker you like. Also if you get them from Freed's London shop you can have them returned to the factory for minor alterations like elastic drawstring.

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Hoorah I have just performed successful 'percussive maintenance' on dd's latest soft blocks! Was advised to wrap them in a towel and hit them with a claw hammer - and it works they don't clunk anymore.

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