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Bulging out of Pointe shoes - advice?


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Hi all,


I have been dancing en pointe for (ooft) maybe 6 or 7 years and I made the AWFUL mistake last time I needed new shoes of going to my local shop in my home town rather than taking the trip to London. I have always had Freed Studio 2s, I have a very strong arch and was warned off the student shoe because I would break them and I have a short but broad foot, so the wider box and platform was really useful.


I should say, the shoes I currently have have never been a perfect fit (I kind of felt bullied into buying them to be honest), if anything the box is a little large and the shank was slightly too hard until I snapped the left one in class last week. However, my dance teacher's main problem with them is that my feet look like they're bulging out over the vamp. She suggested the vamp is too high, but when I practice at home in front of the mirror they look okay. I realised it is because after an hour and a half of flat work, my feet are a bit hot and puffy when I come to put my pointes on. I am finally able to afford a new pair and I am definitely back off to London but I don't know how to predict how they will look when my feet are hot.


Does anyone with experience have any advice? I will of course let the fitter in Freeds know that I have this concern, but how can I be sure that they won't look beautiful on my cool feet but then have muffin tops when I've warmed them up again? I don't recall ever having this problem before so it could just be this disastrous pair of shoes...

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Maybe walk around for a while wearing heels and thick sock right before your fitting - stylish lol !


I would perhaps just explain to the fitter about the problem you have and take the shoes you've been wearing so she can have a look at them. If your name indicates your hometown and the dance shop there it certainly wouldn't be my first choice to buy pointe shoes!

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Thanks Aurora,


My plan was to take my current shoes and my old favourites (I could never throw them out, because they were the best shoes I ever wore) and explain the issue. Perhaps a bit of jumping up and down on the spot while I'm waiting to be seen will help, ha.


Do you know the area? I heard the place in S. Shields is supposed to be good?

Edited by Cheyenne
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Why oh why would you allow someone to bully you into buying shoes you are not happy with? You said you have been on pointe for 6-7 yrs and so I am sure you have some idea what you are looking for. You are the customer - you are in charge. Advice from an experienced fitter is good - but you,too, by now have some experience.


Ideally, the shoe and the foot warm up together - that way the shoe molds to your foot. I know that many times pointe shoes are put on after a class in slippers - and so this is a problem. However, generally speaking the shoes are fitted when the foot is comparatively cool (except for walking to the shop). I always wore my tights when I went shopping for pointe shoes. The heat and moisture from the foot will break down and mold the shoe. .


By the way - I do not recommend practice at home. Ballet was meant to be studied under the supervision of an experienced teacher.


Do you bring your new shoes to your teacher so she/he can check them for you before you sew on the ribbons? It's always a good idea to get her/his opinion.

Edited by Anjuli_Bai
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  • 2 weeks later...

Anjuli_Bai, the truth is I am rather shy and unassertive person, and I was not a match for the boorish man in the shop. I will never make the mistake again, though!


This pair, I bought before I came away to uni, I had just left my teacher at the time (couldn't show her the shoes), didn't have time to go to London for a proper Freeds fit and I - I admit - settled for a pair that I knew weren't perfect. On top of that I then had a break from pointe dancing so they didn't get the usual work out, and I wonder if my feet changed a little.


I have actually broken the shank (which I never had in this style before) but I haven't touched the box - even with all the good old techniques I could never get it to soften - after many many hours of classes in them and of home practise (I don't have enough class time in the week to get away with not practising in my kitchen, I'm afraid) it looks almost new. Maybe I just got a bad pair fitted by someone who wasn't 100% on it - my own fault I know for buying them, but the point is I now need to rectify the mistake.

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Everyone gets a bad pair now and again.


I know of no way to fix a broken shank. I have heard of taking the shank of one shoe and putting it in another - but I've never seen it done and can't imagine that it wouldn't destroy the shoe in the process.


I have heard of - and experienced - the rare indestructible box. I pounded mine with a mallet while moistened with alcohol.


As for the "muffiin" top - it is possible that your feet could have changed. Frankly, I always went with how the shoe felt rather than how it looked. Ideally, we marry the two issues to produce a good fit. But how they feel is more important. I remember having a shoe which made my feet look fantastic - but were a disaster otherwise - threatening to bring on serious problems I'd never had before. Through tears of vanity - I threw them out.

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