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What is a 3/4 Shank Pointe Shoe?


taxi4ballet
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My dd wears 3/4 shanks. Basically, if you were to rip a pair of pointe shoes apart (not recommended!), under the innersole you will find a thicker piece of leather or cardboard. In my dd's Freeds, this stops 3/4 of the way along the innersole. A full shank runs the full length of the innersole.

 

I was told that full shanks are better for beginners as they offer more support.

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My dd wears 3/4 shanks. Basically, if you were to rip a pair of pointe shoes apart (not recommended!), under the innersole you will find a thicker piece of leather or cardboard. In my dd's Freeds, this stops 3/4 of the way along the innersole. A full shank runs the full length of the innersole.

 

I was told that full shanks are better for beginners as they offer more support.

 

They do offer more support. But, like in everything else about pointe shoes - this, too, is a variable. I have seen a beginner or two for whom it was a good choice for those particular students.

 

There are some dancers who buy shoes with full length shanks and then cut the shank at a place that is particular to their needs rather than where the maker would cut them. And, some dancers don't cut the shank - they shave it so there is a ramp effect where the shank meets the shoe.

 

(I've even seen one pair in which the dancer (major ballerina) split the inside of the platform of the shoe.

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Often a 3/4 shank can make a fairly low arch "prettier", but I believe that the foot has to be strong enough (and the pointework technique solid enough) to ensure that the dancer isn't "sitting" on the shorter shank but is still pulling up and out of the shoes.

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Another piece drops into place...my DD had 3/4 shanks for her first pair of pointes. I was pretty sure at the time that the fitter was trying to sell her what she had rather than what was best for my DD and now I am certain of it.

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  • 5 years later...

Hi, I've just googled 3/4 shanks and this thread came up from 2012! ... I'm trying to understand the whole 3/4 shanks thing. 

 

Basically, my dd was quite proud of ripping and cutting her shoes apart to make them into a 3/4 shank. They were actually a spare pair that she wasn't wearing as she said they had started to break/split under one heel or arch.

 

Anyway, she says it helps her get on pointe quicker and makes her feet look nicer. 

 

Anyone else know why someone would want a 3/4 shank?  Not sure if she's just spinning me a yarn through destroying them by experimenting with them or not :) 

 

TIA

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You can buy pointes with shorter shanks as my DD wears them. She naturally has very flexible feet that make that banana shape curve when pointed which results in a lot of extra fabric bunching on her heels. The 3/4 shank lessons the bunching, if that makes sense. 

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Ahh ok so I understand the bunching thing as can recognise that as she was showing me that they look nicer as more snug to her heel. I’m just wondering about other things in terms of support or how it affects development as she possibly wouldn’t know this and is just going by what looks and feels nice :) 

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DD is 14 and has been en pointe for 3 years, wearing Bloch full shank shoes. Last year her new teacher said she'd like her to try Freeds, and that she was strong enough en pointe to experiment a bit. We got 3/4 shank Freed Studio Pros and they make her feet look better. She's never had bendy feet and one is much stronger than the other, so she has to work on one shoe more than the other when breaking them in. So I don't think it's necessarily about strong or weak feet – just what makes a dancer's feet look better while giving them whatever support they need.

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