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Pointe shoe shops in London


Pointytoes22
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Travelling up to London on Saturday for London Senior Ballet Audition and thinking about getting new pointe shoes whilst up there as i don't go to London very often - local shop doesn't have much stock/variety and I'm not convinced their fitting is too great either!

What are the big dance shops in London that I could go to for a good quality pointe fitting?

Thanks :)

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Well, on Drury Lane you have Bloch and Dancia. Parallel with Drury Lane on Endell Street you'll find Capezio. Sansha is also on Drury Lane and Freed are further towards Leicester Square/Trafalgar Square (on St. Martin's Lane near the London Coliseum).

 

The only two I feel happy to recommend wholeheartedly for pointe fittings are Bloch (especially Tiffany, who is back - for now) and Freed.

 

Capezio are lovely for leotards and Bunheads stuff but really don't seem interested in fitting shoes. I've had similar experience in Sansha. Dancia can be a bit hit and miss - dd's first pointes from there were ok but after that they literally just wanted to give her the same model in the next size up, not taking into account whether they were still suitable.

 

We've had two different fitters in Freed and I liked them both.

 

But that's just our experience - give the shops a try, don't be afraid to say you have other shops to try, and see what you like and don't like. :-)

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Dancia stock all the different makes. Is there still a Porselli shop in London? I'm sure there's been a thread on here about pointe shoe shopping in London before, either that or I'm getting a major sense of deja vu!

 

I've had issues with pupils going to Freeds, when I used to work near London; the fitting always seemed dreadful but it might be that they walked around for hours getting hot swollen feet before going to be fitted so do bear that in mind.

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My daughter has been very well looked after by Tiffany at Bloch, who not only fitted her but gave her lots of personal advice. Tiffany was a proffesional ballerina in Australia I think, so she knows what she is talking about. Freed unfortunately have never been right for my daughter, I felt in our experience that they like to tell the student what is right for them but they do not listen to the student or they didn't when my daughter was getting fitted. Dancia also spent a lot of time fitting point shoes for my daughter, they did listen to her but they didn't have the right shoes for my daughter. Lots of choices for you in London, good luck and have a lovely day.

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I must say I was wary of Freed but a friend's dancing daughter had the most fantastic fitting there with Sophie so as Tiffany had temporarily left Bloch, I thought I'd give Freed a go. Sophie wasn't there but Michelle Atfield was there and (her slightly fearsome reputation notwithstanding!) she was excellent with dd.

 

I must say dd's Freeds lasted her all through EYB and only just gave up the ghost a week later. She didn't have even one blister throughout the whole process. We went back last week and had a different fitter who the other staff seemed to defer to, so whether she is a Manager of some sort I'm not sure. This time we are trying the same shoe with a regular shank (instead of hard) as dd isn't doing pointe every day this term. She was a very professional and nice fitter.

 

So I'd say give Freed a try but do give the other shops a try as well because everyone has different experiences.

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Dancia, Dancia, Dancia!! Utterly <3 the place!

 

Went to London last month, went in Bloch, Sansha, Capezio and Dancia. Bloch- had a rather dodgy experience there; the incredibly enthusiastic asisstant spoke very badly about my previous pointes, declaring 'Yuk! I'd cry myself to sleep if I had to wear these!!' The pointes in question were a Christmas present, and I was a bit offended by such a remark, as I thought they were very comfortable. She then asked 'Are they a bit small?' I replied that yes, they were- thinking that pointes were supposed to be a bit snug. She then, without really asking, attacked them to turn them into soft blocks. (I was perfectly mortified by this, as a) i already had a pair of barely-used soft blocks at home, and they were the only pair of pointes I currently had that fitted well!)

 

I then tried on at least 20 pairs of Bloch pointes, but just could not find the elusive 'perfect pair'. I felt slightly disheartened that the assisstant had not asked anything about what kind of shank, box, vamp etc I prefered, or how many hours of pointework i was doing (With my previous pointes- Suffolk- I felt that, having been very lucky to be fitted by none other than Mark Suffolk himself, Mark ensured that the shoes were exactly right for me, and ensured that they were as I needed them). Meanwhile, another young girl came into Bloch, and the assistant started fitting her too. I felt rather unpeturbed by this, as I thought that a pointe shoe fitting required the full attention of the fitter... The young girl said that her previous pair- Bloch Jetstream- had 'no demi-pointe at all, I could get about an inch of my heels off the floor before going straight to full pointe...', which concerned me, as I was paying my own money for my pointes, so wanted them to be perfect. Anyhow, I left Bloch after a rather frustrating hour, having not found the perfect shoes. (in general, the platforms seemed very small, the box pinched my feet, and the shanks felt as if they would never be broken in!)

 

Went into Capezio, which stocked Chacott (i think!) Suffolk Solo, and Spotlight, but not the new Stellar design. Got no pointes but a lovely leotard and split-sole canvas shoes, which i would highly recommend. Next, Sansha, which did a lovely range of onesies (which were very big- I am 5ft 1, and size 4-6, and they were all huge on me, but might fit if you're a bit taller. Got canvas and leather split-soles from there, the fitters were very good.

 

Last but by no means least, Dancia. Had to wait about 10 mins for a fitting, but the assistant was lovely, and chatted to us all about her dance training. She was also incredibly knowledgeable about the different bands of pointe shoe, and identified why I could'nt get over the box particularly well in my old pointes. Got some absolutely Stunning (but very, very pricey :o ) Mindens, which will be perfect for 6th form Auditions next year! :D (just hope my feet don't grow, lol!) Dancia also stocked a lovely range of Grishko, and I think I saw a poster advertising Capulet pointes, but i'm not totally sure.

 

Oh, and i do hope ive not offended anyone on here by being quite anti-Bloch, as quite a few people seem to have got on well there- good for you, im glad you got lovely pointes that suit you, but my personal experience there wasn't quite so good. Tulip, I think I probably wasn't served by Tiffany, who sounds great. Happy shopping, Pointytoes22!

 

Oh, and whilst you're in Covent Garden, if you want to you could go to Floral Street, to gaze in awe at the Bridge of Aspiration ;) i simply had to take off my shoes & shamelessly do an arabesque right there in the rather busy street, beneath the Bridge (to my Mum's horror, who i asked to take a photo of me & the Bridge... LOL!!)

Edited to change my huge chunk of writing into easier-to-read paragraphs :)

Edited by swanprincess
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Although not a pointe shoe shopper, huge endorsement for Dancia who were so helpful last month when I was shopping for DS last month - unlike Bloch who couldn't have been more snooty and made me feel very uncomfortable.

 

The assistant who helped me in Dancia is an ex Hammond student btw.

 

meadowblythe

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We've never bought pointe shoes in London, but last time we were down I bought tap shoes for DD and was very impressed with the assistant in Dancia. DD tried on several pairs but there was something not quite right about each of them. They were all ok, but not perfect for her. Rather than sell us a pair that we weren't totally happy with, the assistant recommended a particular model of Bloch shoes that she thought would suit DD so we strolled down the road to the Bloch shop (who were also very helpful.)

I guess it's hit and miss in every shop, depending on who you are served by though, and even the best assistants must have their off days.

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No offence taken Swanprincess, just proves the point that if the sales assistants are not providing the service required then we should say no thankyou. Point shoes have got to be right for our dancers feet as the wrong shoes can cause serious injuries. When my daughter finally got the right pair of point shoes and it has taken us years to find them, they made a huge difference to her dancing.

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Whilst my daughter loves Bloch shoes, we have only been to Bloch once - cant say it was the best experience - it definitely depends on the fitter. We too had the experience of a fitter trying to satisfy two or three customers at the same time. My daughter came away with a pair of shoes which although fitted well - she hated and we returned to our local shop to purchase her usual Bloch style.

 

Robin64 - could you pm me with the shop details please - not that I need any excuse to visit the Mumbles it would be good to combine shoe shopping at the same time!

 

I am desparately trying the find stockists of Grishko Maya 1 and Ulanova styles - cant find anyone in the UK who stocks them. My daughter knows on paper what her perfect shoe spec is and lots come close but she believes either of these two shoes will provide it but we cant find them.

 

We have a good stockists of Grishko locally but they only stock a couple of styles - basically Grishko have two shoe formats and from that produce several styles of shoe: Eleve (2007, Elite, Maya, Ulanova-I, Ulanova-II) which are designed for rolling through and Releve (Fouette, Vaganova) which are designed to accommodate the Russian technique of springing.

 

It seems the Releve styles are commonly stocked and when you ask for more roll-through (which my daugher wants) they provide you with a pro flex version of the same shoe - aghhhh I'm not about to start telling them their job but its frustrating when I know the shank isnt what my daughter wants - I am in contact with an American Dancewear shop and it looks like I may be able to get them but its going to cost me £30 postage :-((

 

(sorry didnt mean to go on!)

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Last time we went, we must have been unlucky, as the staff in both Dancia and Bloch were a bit casual and offhand and didn't actually listen to what we explained that dd needed for her (rather unusual) feet.

 

Sometimes it really is pot luck, as previously staff in both shops have been extremely helpful...

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Bankrupt-mum, have you seen this? http://www.pointeshoefitting.co.uk/pointe_shoes/Grishko_Maya_1_%26_2_Pointe_Shoe_2.html

 

This lady seems to be able to fit and order many Grishko models.

 

I also meant to say that if people are having problems at Bloch, you can still make an appointment to see Bob Martin there who will specify custom-made shoes.

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Thank you S&P - they are on my 'reserve' list for contact - their shoes are a 6-10 week delivery. Be good to go and get a fitting though. The £30 postage is probably cheaper than a trip to London for us so I will take the chance of a postal option initially and see how it goes - she has worn 2007 and Fouettes before so she knows her size/width.

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Admittedly we don't buy pointe shoes but even buying flats can be interesting. DS wanted to try something different from his usual Sansha's. Bloch were ok not brilliant though (when we were buying jazz sneakers and tap shoes that was very different). Dancia were completely disinterested only showed him one shoe not even a suggestion of something else and they weren't busy at the time. He ended up with Sansha's again.

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Linda at pointe shoe fitting is fab. If Grishkos are the shoes for you she can get any stock shoe or any custom alteration made to order as she deals direct with the pointe shoe makers in the workshop in Moscow. Having met a few in our travels, she is hands down the best shoe fitter (regardless of make) that we have come across.

 

Just to add that for those who's feet have stopped growing she will after an initial face to face fitting post subsequent pairs to you.

Edited by Elliepops
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Linda is based on the south coast in Brighton. Very close to the station if travelling by train, so easy walking distance and there is also a large car park very nearby. We've never had an appointment last less than an hour, as Linda is very thorough in her assessment. Plenty to look at and do in Brighton afterwards if you are able to make a day of it.

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Elliepops, does Linda have a shop in Brighton where the fittings take place or do you have to make an appointment to see her at home/office etc I go to Brighton at least twice a year to visit my brother so would love to have the address. Could you PM it to me please if you can't give the address out on the forum. I know Brighton very well as I used to live there too but as it was before children I probably wasn't looking out for pointe shoe fitters then!

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