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My DD will have to wear Freed in her new vocational school, she has been wearing Grishko Smart with a M shank till now. She is used to be trained in Vaganova so harder shanks worked better for her. But now, she will continue her education in French style and they require softer shanks for more efficient foot work.

Does anyone have experience in both Grishko and Freed so that they may give some advices?

She has narrow feet and medium insteps. What would be good model options in Freeds?

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Hi. What I find quite concerning is the phrase ‘have to wear’ when it comes to pointe shoes. No two dancers feet are the same and therefore their demand are different from their shoes. No two brands are the same. My DD has only ever worn Grishko. Having moved up from Pro Flex, 2007, Nova and now Miracle. Having tried others but just couldn’t get a comparable fit as well as they just didn’t meet her needs as a dancer. I’ve never heard of a school insisting a pupil wears a particular brand just recommending being refitted if they felt the shoes weren’t correct for them. Is this request for Freed direct from the school or word of mouth? Supply of Freed can also be an issue depending on the location. Our local store can’t stock Freed for example. 

I wish you well because I know from experience finding the right shoe isn’t an overnight event. 

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I agree, balletbean. I can’t imagine why a vocational school would insist on a specific brand of pointe shoes when they must be well aware that it’s an extremely personal choice - and there is so much choice now available. It can only unfairly compromise those dancers for whom Freed is not the best choice. 

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At White Lodge only Freed is allowed. There is a huge range available and most people seem to adapt ok. despite wearing Grishko/ Russians etc beforehand. C pro specials are a lovely shoe but everyone has their own very special requirements so Beth at Freeds would be the person to see.

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Can not imagine that school would ask to wear certain brand unless they are on a commission or being sponsored. My DD was Vaganova trained, has narrow foot but Freed's are shoes that does not fit at all. DD was opting out for Grishko H shank for classes and M for performances to work her feet. She was tempted to try something else and we had numerous fittings directly with Freed in London; they are simply not for her foot. One days she spent in the fitting over 5 hours! Wish i could recomend comparision, but feel for you. Also if you are in country that does not stock them or have limited source. 

Edited by FlexyNexy
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I have never found a Freed shoe that works for very narrow and/or shallow feet.  It seems astonishing in this day and age that RBS still restrict their pupils to one manufacturer and  I can't help wondering whether this contributes to some girls being assessed out - it is difficult to make good progress if your shoes don't fit!

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21 minutes ago, Pas de Quatre said:

I have never found a Freed shoe that works for very narrow and/or shallow feet.  It seems astonishing in this day and age that RBS still restrict their pupils to one manufacturer and  I can't help wondering whether this contributes to some girls being assessed out - it is difficult to make good progress if your shoes don't fit!

This is odd as I know one young lady at RBS US who wears Russian Pointes. 

 

Not it too sure if there’s crossed wires somewhere. Prefer/suggest v’s must have. 

 

Wrong shoes as we we all know can not just affect their dancing but can also create untold damage to the dancers feet incl the bones and skin. 

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7 minutes ago, balletbean said:

This is odd as I know one young lady at RBS US who wears Russian Pointes. 

 

Not it too sure if there’s crossed wires somewhere. Prefer/suggest v’s must have. 

 

Wrong shoes as we we all know can not just affect their dancing but can also create untold damage to the dancers feet incl the bones and skin. 

Not sure how wearing Freeds determines wearing the wrong shoes!!

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11 minutes ago, balletbean said:

This is odd as I know one young lady at RBS US who wears Russian Pointes. 

 

Not it too sure if there’s crossed wires somewhere. Prefer/suggest v’s must have. 

 

Wrong shoes as we we all know can not just affect their dancing but can also create untold damage to the dancers feet incl the bones and skin. 

My Dd is at WL so I know the rules!

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27 minutes ago, valentina said:

Not sure how wearing Freeds determines wearing the wrong shoes!!

Wrong shoes for the individual. Not just foot shape but also the demands of a dancer. 

Just like there are many girls that can’t wear Gaynors , Russian...., or, Grishko. 

I’m not singling our Freeds 

 

As ladies we all know when shopping for shoes on the high street, there are brands or styles that just don’t fit our feet and therefore shop elsewhere even though the shoe would be our size. Or we’ve even bought a pair that gave us blisters or pinched and therefore confined to the bottom of our wardrobes. 

 

Pointe Shoes are therefore no different.  

 

Edited by balletbean
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3 minutes ago, balletbean said:

Wrong shoes for the individual. Not just foot shape but also the demands of a dancer. 

Just like there are many girls that can’t wear Gaynors , Russian...., or, Grishko. 

I’m not singling our Freeds 

 

As ladies we all know when shopping for shoes on the high street, there are brands or styles that just don’t fit our feet and therefore shop elsewhere even though the shoe would be our size. Pointe Shoes are therefore no different.  

 

All students shoes are personalised by the fitters at WL, eg tucks taken in at the heel, vamps lengthened a minuscule, extra support in the shank etc. Much time and care is taken to make the students happy and comfortable with  makers adjusting them as needed. As an ex-teacher and whenever I’ve seen classes, I haven’t seen anyone wearing ill fitting shoes! To arrive at the conclusion that students may have been assessed out because they can only wear Freeds is frankly ridiculous. Students are assessed out in years 8 and 9 when pointe work is still a very small part of the assessment.

I agree that students will want to experiment with other shoes in time and I believe that is being introduced in yr 11 once the technique is fully established.

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48 minutes ago, valentina said:

All students shoes are personalised by the fitters at WL, eg tucks taken in at the heel, vamps lengthened a minuscule, extra support in the shank etc. Much time and care is taken to make the students happy and comfortable with  makers adjusting them as needed. As an ex-teacher and whenever I’ve seen classes, I haven’t seen anyone wearing ill fitting shoes! To arrive at the conclusion that students may have been assessed out because they can only wear Freeds is frankly ridiculous. Students are assessed out in years 8 and 9 when pointe work is still a very small part of the assessment.

I agree that students will want to experiment with other shoes in time and I believe that is being introduced in yr 11 once the technique is fully established.

I appreciate your comment but I have never ever mentioned or referred to pupils being assessed out because they can only wear Freeds.

 

I would never ever cast an opinion as to why a pupil leaves. That’s personal to the child/parent and their teacher and definitely not for public discussion or comment. 

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We all seemed to wear Freeds back in the day but as I didn't get any particular personalised attention as the RBS students seem to get as an above poster suggested I never found them that comfortable and wouldn't choose Freeds today personally.

But in the end if the school likes it you have to go with it and hopefully by the age of 16 the students will be able to experiment a bit.

There are so many different shoes available today that certainly we didn't have the choice of so shoes must be a better fit for most I should think.

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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhBKKY5kOCA

This video has been around some time now.  At 5.46 a young student is doing pointe exercises at the barre in her first Freed shoes - presumably RBS as it is filmed there.  The left foot is badly sickled and the shoe simply does not fit! The right foot isn't brilliant either. If one of my pupils turned up with such a poorly fitting pair of shoes I would send her back to get them changed/refunded.

Edited by Pas de Quatre
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I DO remember the parent of one DD on this Forum a few years back who said her daughter was assessed out of WL because she couldn't wear Freeds. The school thought she found pointe work difficult. But she didn't. She was accepted into another Vocational school, was allowed to wear different pointe shoes more suitable to her feet and I  *think* went on to become a professional ballet dancer.  Don't think i'm going mad, i'm sure I read this on here. 

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I was going to say the same I think you’ll struggle with freed with a narrow and shallow foot. The lasts they use are not that shape! I know they will tailor make for rbs but if this isn’t available to you, she may struggle to find one. As far as models go I haven’t found one great for narrow feet, particularly if they are also shallow. Wineglass maker is more tapered and narrow than some others and may be worth trying. Will she be able to visit a freed specialist who is able to custom order? Or could she get away with another soft shoe such as merlet?

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To be honest I'm finding it really hard to understand this restriction on pointe shoes! Why should pupils be forced to wear Freeds.....though hasten to add any schools rules must be complied with .....but just don't understand this particular rule other than the RBS do have some sort of special contract with them!! Or perhaps they want to exercise a degree of control over what they consider to be suitable shoes. They may feel some of the Russian ones are too hard to work through for growing feet and there are some awful ones available now which actually prevent going through the foot so they practically put you onto pointe without any effort.....fine for adults perhaps but not for young dancers who may want to have a professional career as its so important to have really strong feet.

Nevertheless there are other makes of shoes like some of the Bloch makes which I'm sure are just as suitable.

I think it may be quite hard to compare two makes like Grishko and Freeds for an equal match as you would have to know both makes quite well but hopefully somebody here does have that experience!

 

 

 

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It's interesting what posters say about narrow and shallow feet - now I know why no fitter at multiple shops has ever tried a Freed on DD.

 

The thing about adjusting Freeds with tucks etc is interesting but why not choose a shoe that fits in the first place?

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Grishko make soft and super soft shoes which are just as easy to roll through as a freed. To be honest all the shoes including gaynor’s can be ‘rolled through’, if the student can’t its probably more that they have the wrong strength rather than a problem with the shoe. I wonder if your daughter could get away with Suffolk pointe shoes as the construction is the same as freed but they go down very narrow and are

designed for different foot shapes

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Freeds use paste (similar to papier-mâché- flour based) whereas most of the others use various glues to stiffen. The other materials in freeds are traditional, natural materials too, whereas some of the others now use plastics. 

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That's really interesting Moomin I haven't got much idea about pointe shoe construction details... .....though I feel as if I should have by now!!

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