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Everlasting pointe shoes


suzysue
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It's curiosity really but wondered if anyone had any thoughts on how on earth my daughters pointe shoes have lasted so long? She started on pointe at age 12 in February 2014. 2 1/2 years later and she is still in the same pair of pointe shoes! The ribbons haven't even needed resewing. She usually only does 1/2hr pointe class a week although recently there's been extra exam prep and rehearsals for shows and festivals on top, they must have been danced on for 50-60-70+ hours. How can this be? She's been told she has strong feet (and her shoes are Bloch serenade strong), is it that her feet are strong so she is not needing support from the shoes or did she not need the stronger shoe? I am grateful for the expense I have been saved, as we approach their 3rd birthday I am also mystified by their long life!

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You are so lucky my dd's first pair of pointe shoes Grishko Pro Flexes lasted 4 weeks before being broken in. She is nearly 12 and only wears them 30 minutes a week!! Her second pair are Grishko 2007 medium shank. Which she has worn 3 times now and don't look to be wearing out as fast. But 2 pairs this term! Hoping this second pair last longer as she I assume going to be dancing En Pointe a lot more as she progresses...

Edited by Snowflake
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It's usually bendy banana feet that go through pointe shoes quickly

 

But half an hour per week isn't very long so it might be the fact she's not doing much.

 

Dd's Bloch shoes lasted two terms (but didn't suit her feet). Her Merlet are gorgeous but only last 6 weeks. Her Gaynors last around a year (she has very bendy feet)

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DD is in third pair in 9 months but only due to growth. I have no idea if her feet are strong or not but I do know that they have changed shape quite considerably since starting in MIDS in September. The fitter in Freed commented that it is quite usual that a narrow foot becomes much wider as the metatarsal gain strength from all the exercises RB have given to her to do.

Is there a rule about strong feet needing strong shaft shoe etc?

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No Pictures is right, the stronger the foot is the less need for a hard back. A bendy foot needs a strong back until strength has been built up. My DD used to break Grishko hard backs very quickly, she now wears a Russian Pointe medium back and can wear them until they are fairly soft.

She used to need a hardened wing as well but she doesn't need to Shellac her Russians.

Flexible ankles, high arches and bendy feet are very pleasing to the eye, but are high maintenance and hard on the bank balance!

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Thanks for explaining, that does make sense.

DD's first two pairs say studios professional on the bottom (I don't know if that is the name of the style or if they all say that) latest pair are custom ones made for someone else but best fit freed could manage. I actually think the first two look nicer but what do I know ????

Dance teacher has previously said DD has good feet but I don't know exactly what she means by this, she is hyper mobile with swayback legs. I don't know if this indicates bendy feet ???

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I think some fitters prefer and/or stock different brands and styles so that influences. Also the foot shape changes as you do more pointe work as well as with growth. Some use different shoes for different tasks. Eg the shoes that look best may not last long so save for performances etc. My dd used a different shoe once as the Bloch she needed were out of stock.

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Yes similar for dd.

 

She wasn't overly getting in with her Bloch & changed to Merlet which she said felt like an extension of her own feet. They looked lovely. However they only last a matter of weeks hence the move to Gaynor's when she first tried Gaynor's she couldn't get on with them but after a while her needs changed.

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My DD has had a few pairs of the Bloch Serenade Strong that have lasted the same number of hours as that, though over months not years as she was at vocational school and doing a lot more pointe than 1/2 a week. Equally she has had bloch serenade strong that have worn out in half the time of other shoes. She did not start out in the strong though and only switched to them when she started killing shoes more quickly.  She has worn a mixture of Bloch and Freed mostly over the years and generally had 4 pairs on the go, rotating them with her own preference for performance ready, exam ready or just for class.

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My DD seems to make her pointe shoes last longer than the average. She's worn Gaynor Mindens for a good number of years now and they definitely last longer than traditionally constructed shoes, but even when she wore other brands she seemed to keep them longer than her friends did.I'm not sure why. She's never had any that lasted as long as suzysue's DD's though! With the Gaynor's it seems to be the box softening that ends their life, or simply that they look battered (and smell somewhat iffy!) that consigns them to the bin - the shanks do seem to be pretty much indestructable.

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My DD is the same as you 2dancersmum - would prefer to stick to Freed but they just don't last as long as Bloch Senergy for her.

Used Gaynors for one show as she hoped they would last the rehearsals but they are just not good for you, they don't let you use your feet so she stopped using them. Usually has four pairs on the go depending on the dance.

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Just as a heads up gaynor minden a can be washed either by hand or on a gentle cycle in the washing machine to make them clean or to stop the smelling funny???? Because they are made of synthetic materials they don't break down when washed????????

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My DD suggests to other DD's that Gaynors are a performance shoe for professional dancers to cheat, they were not made to be trained in. My DD does not know of any teacher who would encourage a student to use these in training. If you look at the shoe before you buy it, you can see that it is pre arched, this means that any dancer that doesn't have exceptionally strong feet can go from flat to point simply by hopping on to the shoe, this damages the achilles and shin and weakens the dancers over all point work ability.

 

Yes some professional dancers do use them, but that is because they have acquired the strength in their feet to be able to break them in enough and because in the long run for some professionals they are cheaper if you are paying for your own shoes.

 

My DD was surprised to think young dancers were wearing them for years during training and recommends that dancers in training buy a proper pair of pointe shoes and a Thera band and ask their teacher to give them metatarsal, foot and ankle excersises to get them back on track, otherwise they could be in trouble soon. The best people to ask are S&C coachs that specialise in ballet, they will advise the individual dancer what's best for their feet.

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I don't really have any knowledge but I don't understand how you can 'cheat'? I've heard Gaynor mindens are harder to roll through which put me off because as a beginner practically everything involves rolling through your shoes! Surely it would make you feet stronger though?

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I would thank your daughter to keep her opinions to herself especially if she has not seen the dancers in question. I find it amazing that someone over the Internet can over-ride the combined opinion of two physiotherapists, and several vocational school teachers.

Edited by Picturesinthefirelight
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Couldn't agree more pictures!! I use gaynor minden after trying very many shoes( just ballet can vouch for that) and going through them at quite a pace. I've found since using gaynors that my pointe work has become stronger and I've found no problem with the springing onto pointe. None of my teachers at full time school have expressed any concern over my choice of shoes. Every foot is different and what works for one person doesn't neceraaarily work for another

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My DD suggests to other DD's that Gaynors are a performance shoe for professional dancers to cheat, they were not made to be trained in. My DD does not know of any teacher who would encourage a student to use these in training. If you look at the shoe before you buy it, you can see that it is pre arched, this means that any dancer that doesn't have exceptionally strong feet can go from flat to point simply by hopping on to the shoe, this damages the achilles and shin and weakens the dancers over all point work ability.

 

Yes some professional dancers do use them, but that is because they have acquired the strength in their feet to be able to break them in enough and because in the long run for some professionals they are cheaper if you are paying for your own shoes.

 

My DD was surprised to think young dancers were wearing them for years during training and recommends that dancers in training buy a proper pair of pointe shoes and a Thera band and ask their teacher to give them metatarsal, foot and ankle excersises to get them back on track, otherwise they could be in trouble soon. The best people to ask are S&C coachs that specialise in ballet, they will advise the individual dancer what's best for their feet.

In regards to the pre arched comment there are also other shoes that come pre arched so are those 'cheater shoes' also??
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Pre-arched shoes are harder to balance in on flat and the fact that dancers CAN 'spring' onto pointe in them does not mean that they will do so! My daughter feels that because it takes work and strength to roll up onto pointe correctly in her Gaynors, this has strengthened her feet and legs further. Her strong and very arched feet basically meant that even hard shanked traditional shoes were simply not lasting for her and she tried Gaynors on the recommendation of all of her teachers, 2 of whom were RBS trained and including an experienced RAD examiner - I can assure you that they would not and do not let her 'cheat' in any way.

 

As I said before, they won't suit everyone but then neither do the many traditionally made pointe shoes. DD feels that for her the negatives of having to balance on flat in pre-arched soles (which she certainly doesn't need) and the real work needed to roll up and down from pointe are more than compensated for by having a shoe she trusts - and my wallet agrees. Nobody can make a blanket statement about Gaynors being 'cheat' shoes for everyone, certainly when DD, along with many many others, is not allowed to 'cheat' by her highly trained and extremely experienced teachers.

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Gaynors are unique in their construction (as far as I understand it) but other pre-arched shoes don't work in quite the same way as Gaynors.

 

My dd has high arches and insteps, and wears pre-arched Russians. They are made on a curved shoe last which means that the fabric around the sides is cut to a different shape. They hug her feet much better than shoes which aren't pre-arched, which tend to gape a lot on demi-pointe.

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