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Do you have to break in satin ballet shoes? (not pointe)


ScottishDancerMum
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They don't need broken in as such but like legseleven my dd does like to wear hers a few times before competitions. DD doesn't put socks over them though as it's the sole that she likes to get a couple of uses as she says they feel better then & less slippy then. I'm imagining that it's probably more a case of the grip, for want of a better word, is more similar to what their normal shoes are.

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2 minutes ago, ScottishDancerMum said:

Thanks, TooTu and Legseleven :)


Did you find your dancers had to adjust to dancing with ribboned shoes, rather than elastics?  I thought I might put ribbons on her leather practice ones, but would it make any difference?

Personally my dd didn't but she did practice in the satin shoes with ribbons with her teacher in a few private lessons before the competition 

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DD has always done exams / auditions in brand new satin shoes, without using them beforehand for more than ten minutes. Otherwise they inevitably get dirty.

 

I do find they somehow show up the dirt on socks / tights, too, and have learnt to either buy a new pair or soak the ones she's going to wear overnight in Vanish.

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I would say the main priority is fit so they flatter the foot so wearing may be needed. (Of course don't want them to be filthy!!).

 

My dd has very slim feet so I always had to wash the shoes and get her to wear them overnight to dry so they moulded!! I think if you have a more standard sized foot much less preparation is needed!!

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Wearing them a bit helps them to mould to the foot. An excellent fit is probably more important than spotless shoes, as they will get slightly grubby backstage at festivals anyway, and you won't want to buy a new pair for every festival. If your DD is wearing socks backstage, make sure she takes them off... I saw a beautiful ballet solo danced in bright yellow slipper socks once! 

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They look quite a bit too big, although I'm not a ballet teacher... getting them wet and then tumble drying until almost dry, then letting them dry completely on the feet may help. Or they might be your next pair, with a slightly smaller pair to buy first... but I do have a definite preference for 'about to outgrow them' tight! xx

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They look quite deep in the vamp and may well be the best fit possible 'off the shelf'. We found that many satin shoes had shapes that weren't particularly suitable for DD's narrow feet and seemed to have extra material at the sides or by the toes even when they were technically a good fit for her. I think Roch Valley were the only satin shoes that seemed to fit correctly without doing the 'wash them, dry them in the dryer and then wear them with thick socks over the top when almost dry' trick to shrink them. And typically Roch Valley shoes were never the easiest make to find!

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We once overheard a teacher from a different dance school advising a student to put cotton wool or lambs wool into the 'baggier' bits at the side of her satin shoes. We both had to leave the room before the giggles overcame us as we had visions of the poor girl dancing her solo with lumps of wool flying out of the shoes....

Edited by Legseleven
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Thank you everyone!  I really appreciate the time you've taken to have a look and comment.

These are a size 1C.  She has been wearing a size 13C leather Bloch shoe and has been complaining about the fit being too tight (i.e., they are perfect ;) )   I've got ribbons and some of the wide invisible elastic used for point shoes... I didn't think the current elastic was in quite the right place (they were attached at purchase).

I don't think Bloch do half size satin shoes, and didn't think the 12 would fit.  The shop said she would exchange them.  

So should I exchange or just try to shrink them?

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We've had Bloch satin in 1/2 sizes although I know they have reduced their range as they no longer do the 'a' width. She looks narrow, can the shop order the 'b' width? Or try and get an 'a'? Bloch also do a stretch stain which may be better? We've had the leather and satin from that range and the leather are shorter in length by at least 1/2 a size. Did she try the 13 on?

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I've just written to the seller and sent her the photos to see what she thinks.  I checked her messages and yes, they do come in half sizes (my error).

These are the stretch satin Blochs, but yes, maybe a narrow fit is possible.  

We live in the middle of nowhere, so I bought them online.  The seller has been very helpful though - she thought at the time that the 13.5 might be too small, but offered at the time to change them over.  I'd love to get her fitted properly in a shop... next time perhaps ;)

 

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1 hour ago, Legseleven said:

We once overheard a teacher from a different dance school advising a student to put cotton wool or lambs wool into the 'baggier' bits at the side of her satin shoes. We both had to leave the room before the giggles overcame us as we had visions of the poor girl dancing her solo with lumps of wool flying out of the shoes....


That's made me laugh too!  Can you imagine!

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It may be worth trying the Bloch prolite satin which comes as full sole - Just Ballet still have them in the slim 'A' width which were great for my dd who has slim feet.

 

Other then that we found Tappers and Pointers slimmer than Roch Valley.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

We now have these, size 13 Bloch Stretch Satin.  Much better, I think!

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A few more questions:

1)  Do you adjust the binding elastics, tie them and then cut them?  I've never seen ones so long!  Or will I need to adjust them again in time? (I thought maybe tie them, trim them down a bit and tape them inside the shoe?)

2)  I've looked at a few ribbon sewing guides... so do I cut off the elastics that came attached to the shoes, then?  
I've seen the "invisible" (covert) elastic and ordered a length - is it necessary or just stick with the ribbon? (I've read that it's used to keep the heel of pointe shoes down but can't find any indication you need it for slippers.



 

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I always tie the elastics to suit & then double knot them & cut off the excess leaving just enough to tuck securely inside the shoe by not too much that it's uncomfortable. DD has never needed to readjust them as they are usually worn out before then.

 

I usually unpick the elastics rather than cutting them off & then sew on the ribbons. DD has always found the ribbons are enough & has never needed to use any elastic with satin ballet shoes. 

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Those look better! The ribbons go at between 30 and 45 degrees I would think. If you pin them and then try on the shoes you can check. The ribbons go forward and cross at the front of the ankle. You'll soon see if it's lying flat and you may need to adjust the angle.

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i used this method for positioning the ribbons and it seemed to work just as well for flats. You don't need any elastic on them. In a pointe shoe sometimes the heel pops off because the sole resists bending but that doesn't happen in soft shoes. That size looks much better! The problem with satin is that you really can't get them with more than a couple of mm growing room

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