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How long do your pointe shoes last?


taxi4ballet
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Well you know all feet are different; my dd has strong feet but not very high arches. Plus her feet kept having growth spurts so combined with not doing much pointe to start with, she would outgrow pointe shoes before she killed them.

 

She did manage to make her Freed Classic Pro (hard shank) shoes last for the entire run of EYB rehearsals and performances, but a week later the shanks broke. Bloch Jetstreams were a nice fit on her but she killed them within a couple of months.

 

The longest lasting shank was actually her Grishko 2007 Pro-Flex - sadly the box and vamp of that model didn't suit her feet at all, but I was impressed with the longevity and endurance of the shoe!

 

We're back in Freed Classic Pro now; I don't think they'll last very long but like the Bloch Jetstreams they do look nice on her feet.

 

Edited to add 30 minutes pointework at Associates, plus Inter and Adv. 1 classes in the week and some pointework in her private lessons.

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I am thinking about letting her try Gaynor Mindens but to be honest I still hear good and bad so dont know if it will be another expensive mistake.

 

We are off to see Bob Martin on Saturday in the hope he can help, DD loves the Bloch Heritage shoes but they dont last her, currently doing three half hour sessions of pointe a week plus some extras. She loves the shape and fit of the shoe so I am hoping he can produce a stronger version of it for her.

 

Grishko (especially if you avoid the pro flex) have been the strongest shoe she has had to date but there are limited styles available in the UK none of which she find suitable.

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As I have mentioned before my dd wears a variety of different makes/styles of pointe shoes depending on the type of work she is doing but she is amazed by how long Bloch b morphs are lasting - about 3 or 4 times longer than any other shoe she has had. As I understand it these shoes are like the Bloch TMTs (which she didn't like!) and use similar materials to Gaynor Mindons (didn't like these either). They are the shanks that you can reshape with a hairdryer and then set in the fridge although dd says she never needs to do this and they are danceable with virtually no breaking in. Btw dd is in final year at vocational school and dances in pointe shoes for several hours every day. If your dd likes bloch shoes it might be worth looking into their ones that use this type of technology.

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Hi Spooky, yes my dd currently wears Bloch Serenades which fit well and suit her feet, and we're going to try the ones with the stronger shank next time. The normal ones last her about a fortnight (3-4 point classes a week) and it's costing me a fortune!

 

She has tried on some Gaynor Mindens, but they didn't look 'right' on her feet somehow...

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My DD is wearing Gaynor Mindens and they do definitely last a lot longer than the Grishkos she favoured before. But whilst the shanks have not been a problem she has found that the box does go "soggy" (her description!) eventually. She's currently doing a couple of pointe classes a week and her shoes will last a few months.

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Try treating the inside of the box and paint across the shank with Ronseal wood hardener (Bridget EYB tip) or Shellac. Having two pairs on the go also means they dry completely between each wear and can be stored in a bag in the freezer for extra strength (according to DD).

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Try treating the inside of the box and paint across the shank with Ronseal wood hardener (Bridget EYB tip) or Shellac.

 

We have a pile of dead shoes (it used to be the shank that went first, now it's the box and wings) so I think I might head down the DIY shop and have a go at treating an old pair.

 

I do wonder (aside from Gaynors) whether some makes are more durable than others.

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My daughter wears Freed shoes as they are quieter on stage than Grishko's for example. The downside is they go soft very quickly so she regularly has to harden them to keep them going. A while ago she attended a RB pointe workshop and was surprised that she was one of only a handful of students whom knew how to harden her shoes. She does a lot of pointe (up to 5 or 6 times a week) so has at least a couple of pairs on the go at any one time so she can dry out and harden one pair whilst wearing another. Think she would only get one or two weeks wear without and uses hard shanks too. Her current teacher also likes her pointe shoes to be calamined so they blend I'm with her tights although I gather this is a personal preference.

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And I have another silly question!!

 

What is it exactly that breaks a pointe shoe? I know that poor technique can make a shoe break/wear out in certain ways, but what causes what, exactly? Does the way ou dance effect the life of the shoe as well as the amount you dance?

 

 

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No, Spanner- as the box of a pair of my pointes is reasonably soft, I dont use ouch-pouches. I put hardener in them a week or so ago, and they're definitely not uncomfortable, and I can't feel anything different on the underneath of my foot, but the box is a lot better :) i used Papillon pointe hardener, the stuff from Dance Direct.

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My daughter doesn't wear anything in her shoes nowadays except a gel toe protector. Royal prefer them to use lambs wool only so they can feel the floor better but she wasn't keen. Used to have the thinner pro pouches when she first started. You need to smooth down the inside of your shoes before hardening as any lumps or bumps will go hard and can rub. They are stiff when you first put them on but are fine after a few minutes. DD puts hardener where it is needed which in her case is usually the blocks which have gone soft and the flat bits either side of the shoes underneath. Then leaves them on the radiator. As the shoes get older, she hardens them more often until even hardener doesn't restore them. Freed shoes need to be dried out regularly as bit like papier mache which goes soggy as sweat soaks in and then hardens up as it dries.

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My dd has strong flexible feet with high arches and generally gets through point shoes at an alarming rate, however, she has been wearing Suffolk Solos for the last 6 months or so and absolutely loves them. We recently went to the Suffolk factory to get her fitted and stocked up. Mark Suffolk fitted her and recognized that she must get through shoes quite quickly and explained why. She now has a harder shoe and he even recommended a slight modification to enhance the look of the shoe on her foot when up on pointe. She loves the shoes and the fit and they do look beautiful. Dd is at vocational school and does have a few pairs, but it will be interesting to see how long it is before I get the call to order more shoes!

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She'll probably grow out of them before she kills them, Lemongirl! :-)

 

Dd's feet seem to have stopped growing for now (hopefully!) so now the shoes just die when they've had enough. The Blochs started to creak horrendously like an old door, and Bloch checked them and said the shank had just about had it. The Freeds were easier to spot as it was suddenly really easy to bend the shank and you could feel that there was no support there. But if you're not sure, the shops (or your teacher) will check them for you.

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I've been through Bloch serenade, then gaynors and now love Capulet shoes.

 

I agree the Gaynor box tends to soften before the shank, but hardened mine with "Daniel's pointe shoe glue" from America (now stocked on our site as I couldn't find anyone selling it over here!)

 

I used to use the propads with my blochs but find I don't need anything with the Capulet shoes and like gaynors, they last for a long time.

 

I do 2-3 pointe classes a week and have had them for 6 months!

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How interesting! I like the sound of the Capulet shoes anyway and somebody else recommended them so I really want to try them first now and they don't cost a bomb! (All this depends on whether I get another ballet lesson although Spanner and Peach3 have told me of fairly close dance schools. Peach3's has 2 lessons a week and shows! It sounds great! Hurry up or I am leaving, dance teacher!

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Yes, DD was very excited when she saw an advert for the capulet shoes with D3o in them.She'd being doing something in physics at school about the same material and was fascinated to hear about it being in a pointe shoe.It's an "awesome" material apparently! I was tempted to let her try some on when we were in London a few weeks ago but decided against it as I didn't want her to fall in love with them only to be told we weren't going back for another pair. I already drive 3 hours each way for the bloomin' Gaynor Mindens and that's plenty far enough I'm afraid! Would be very interested to hear more feedback on the capulets though - it sounds a very interesting concept.

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lemongirl I agree that your DD will probably outgrow her 1st pair of pointe shoes - we've never had a warning squeak with bloch shoes but to the dancer I think it is fairly obvious. For one DD (shank close to breaking) it felt like she was starting to go to far over., for the other DD (box) her toes felt really uncomfortable and she got a bruise on her big toe nail from previously comfortable shoes.

 

As for soft blocks - my DD has always darned hers - at her teachers insistence - platform and underneath and it really does make the shoes last a lot longer. A lot easier and quicker to darn than pointe shoes aswell.

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  • 5 years later...

My dd wears Gaynor Minden extra flex sleek - they last round about 12 months with use every day! Just got a new pair as last pair absolutely dead. 

She decided to have a change last year as wanted a second make in case schools didn’t like GM’s - tried Freed Studio Hard - they lasted 4 hours and were dead!! 

Think we will stick to GM’s!! They are expensive but in the long run are well worth the money (only downside is sewing the ribbons on - it’s a nightmare!)

There are so many variations as dd has very strong awkward feet - Dancique spent a couple of hours with her to get the right shoe and fit, so it’s worth the trip to get the right shoes. Hope that helps x

 

Edited by Dancing unicorn
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1 hour ago, hoglett said:

DD worn Bloch European Strong for three hours pointe and the shank is coming apart already and one of the boxes is squishy. Help...it's costing me a fortune!! 

Ouch, that is painful on the old wallet!! 

 

How old is your DD and what grade/hours danced per week, if you don't mind me asking. 

 

My DD loves Grishko. Never had an issue with them, started with the Pro then Pro flex, Nova and now the Miracle (padded lining). She's changed shoes, as her feet have changed shape and her ability has developed. Taking Grade 8 and Intermediate in June.  

 

If you haven't got a supplier near to where you live, try Leanne Bisson of straightothepointe, brilliant fitting service as she travels all over England. Check her out either on Youtube or instagram. :)

 

 

Edited by balletbean
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Was it three hours continuously in one pair of shoes? Dd was advised by Grishko fitter to swap shoes after about an hour and allow them to dry. 

Having said that we never found a Bloch or Freed style that lasted more than a few hours. Grishko did better but best value for dd have been Merlet. Initially they had a problem with shank but the company have listened to the dancer’s feedback and improved them. 

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