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Pointe shoes - questions?


Katymac
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DD had her pointe shoes on today - I think her feet have grown

 

 

Where should her heel be in the shoe, on the satin or on the sole?

 

Should she be square in the shoe or can the sole be more one side than the other?

 

 

I will talk to her teacher tomorrow but I think we need new ones; so where can I go shopping reasonably easily from Norwich?

 

I looked at Just Ballet on a map and it's 4 trains to get there!!!! So I'm afraid it's just that little bit too far from me :(:angry: I think she should move......

 

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The heel of the foot does overlap a bit onto the satin on the heel of the shoe. 

 

The foot should be square into the shoe.  The shoes have no lefts and no rights and after each use they should be switched.  This will keep the shoe straight rather than keeling over to one side or the other.

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Do Porselli still have a shop in Norwich at their warehouse? I think they used to.

 

Edited to add: Katymac, when your dd is putting the shoes on, is it a struggle to get them on over the heel? Also, with the foot en pointe, can you pinch a little bit of fabric at the heel, or is it completely snug to the heel?

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The heel of the foot does overlap a bit onto the satin on the heel of the shoe. 

 

The foot should be square into the shoe.  The shoes have no lefts and no rights and after each use they should be switched.  This will keep the shoe straight rather than keeling over to one side or the other.

 

This has set alarms bells ringing for me...as a non-dancing Mum...I know my DD (who is 10 and does a small amount of pointe work) has never switched her shoes after each use...and I certainly don't recall ever being told about that as a practice!  Should I be worried Anjuli?  Her ribbons are cut slightly differing lengths so they always knot to the inside of her foot - is this wrong too?  Gulp! and Help? 

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I didn't know they should be switched - DD thinks there is a left & a right

 

It's not a struggle getting them on; but on point it is very snug

 

The other thing is the 'plimsoll line' for want of a better description goes along & then dips at the ankle/heel with 3/4 of her heel is on the satin not the sole

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This has set alarms bells ringing for me...as a non-dancing Mum...I know my DD (who is 10 and does a small amount of pointe work) has never switched her shoes after each use...and I certainly don't recall ever being told about that as a practice!  Should I be worried Anjuli?  Her ribbons are cut slightly differing lengths so they always knot to the inside of her foot - is this wrong too?  Gulp! and Help? 

 

Well, don't gulp too hard - she's only ten (which in my opinion is too young for pointe - but that's another story).  I can't answer for what she has or has not been told - but, I can say that I was taught and so taught my students to always switch shoes and the ribbons were cut in equal lengths.  

 

I found this kept the center line of the shoe straight and so gave the foot additional support.  As I noted in the thread in which I posted in an article on how to select pointe shoes - one should always check the straightness of the "last" of the shoe - it should not be skewed to one side or the other.  The object of switching rights/lefts is to keep that center line of the shoe straight.  

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I didn't know they should be switched - DD thinks there is a left & a right

 

It's not a struggle getting them on; but on point it is very snug

 

The other thing is the 'plimsoll line' for want of a better description goes along & then dips at the ankle/heel with 3/4 of her heel is on the satin not the sole

 

It would be interesting to take a brand new pair of shoes and ask her which is the left and which is the right?

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Well they might have a 3/4 shank and a shorter sole; that in itself might not be a problem. But if the fabric around the heel is very snug, so much so that you can't pinch any fabric at all, then it might be time for new ones.

 

A decent shop will be able to tell you if they are too tight - or even your dd's ballet teacher.

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Sorry I meant when they were sold to her they were sold as a left & a right

 

I guess I would have expected the horizontal line to be horizontal at the ankle too

 

 

I was never dramatically happy with them; but I could never tell you why as I don't dance.  They were the second pair the lady put on, as the first pair were completely wrong - but we didn't try any others 

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No, there is no left and right in pointe shoes, they should be identical.

 

The line of the satin can be lower at the heel if - basically - they are low heeled pointes. You can get lower or higher satin at the heel, depending on the shoe style and make.

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Sorry I meant when they were sold to her they were sold as a left & a right

 

I guess I would have expected the horizontal line to be horizontal at the ankle too

 

 

I was never dramatically happy with them; but I could never tell you why as I don't dance.  They were the second pair the lady put on, as the first pair were completely wrong - but we didn't try any others 

 

Well, this would be even more interesting -  ask the fitter which is the right and which the left.  :)

 

I always had the fitter bring out every pair in stock in my size.  And, when considering size think both length and width.  Try them all.  Don't worry about the convenience of the fitter - the correct fitting is too important and the price you are paying high enough to take care of any qualms you may have.

 

(I am feisty this morning aren't I?)  :)

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Goodness me - I just watched a video - we never did any of that!!

 

DD's teacher really got on to her about 'breaking them in' and from the look of things she won't have been able to properly with a hairdryer

 

As these are on their way out I'm going to experiment with them later & see if they are more comfy for her

 

 

I honestly feel such a failure - poor DD she needs a more competent ballet mum :(

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Whether the shoes should be switched every use is debatable... At first most traditional shoes do not have a right and left although some of the newer makes do. However the more traditional shoes mould to the feet and as both feet are significantly different I personally question the practice as if shoes are worn for a class, mould to a foot they then are entirely wrong for the opposite foot, in my opinion.

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Have never thought about this before but first.....sorry this is about ordinary ballet shoes rather than pointe shoes.....I d have pronounced bunions which eventually make their mark on all my shoes including ballet shoes. Ive always but an R for right and L for left on the inner soles. But if right from the beginning I kept swapping them over every time I did class do you think this would make them last longer or even be more supportive for the foot generally?

 

I love the length of my Bloch split soles from toe to front of foot as they seem to come well below the start of the toe line......does this mean they are have a longer/higher "vamp" or is this expression just for pointe shoes. My other non Bloch shoes have a shorter front so to speak and are not that flattering to my particular foot because of my bunion.

So secondly if I wanted to buy a new pair of leather shoes.....not split soles....is any ballet shoe maker known for producing a longer fronted....or whatever they would be called....shoe?

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LinMM I don't think it's the same for flatties as we don't require the same weight bearing support from them. I've never put a right or left on my canvas ones as they stretch over my feet but I used to prefer how leather ones moulded to each foot specifically

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The idea of switching shoes is to keep the shoe from accentuating whatever problems the foot might have .  If the foot has a tendency to roll in - or out - or have too much weight on the big toe - or conversely the little toe (and most of us has at least one of these tendencies),  If the same shoe is worn on the same foot it will soften and over emphasize this tendency rather than strengthening against the tendency.

 

If you look at a pair of street shoes and you see how they wear - look at the heels and soles - since they can't be switched - the shoe will then "throw" the foot in that favored position.  In a pointe shoe, if the dancer has a tendency to place too much weight on the big toe, for instance, the shoe will wear that way, become softened that way and then "throw" the foot that way rather than supporting against it.

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The idea of switching shoes is to keep the shoe from accentuating whatever problems the foot might have . If the foot has a tendency to roll in - or out - or have too much weight on the big toe - or conversely the little toe (and most of us has at least one of these tendencies), If the same shoe is worn on the same foot it will soften and over emphasize this tendency rather than strengthening against the tendency.

 

If you look at a pair of street shoes and you see how they wear - look at the heels and soles - since they can't be switched - the shoe will then "throw" the foot in that favored position. In a pointe shoe, if the dancer has a tendency to place too much weight on the big toe, for instance, the shoe will wear that way, become softened that way and then "throw" the foot that way rather than supporting against it.

However you are automatically assuming every dancer has problems with their feet or alignment on pointe! - if this theory applies then there isn't there also the possibility of throwing a dancer from a good alignment into a faulty one by switching shoes each time too?.... I think that there can be no hard and fast rule for this topic. I agree that in some cases switching the shoes over each time may help them last longer/wear more equally/help with tendencies to favour one side of the shoe or alignment etc but I don't advise doing it if you have a good and problem-free alignment on pointe.

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However you are automatically assuming every dancer has problems with their feet or alignment on pointe! - if this theory applies then there isn't there also the possibility of throwing a dancer from a good alignment into a faulty one by switching shoes each time too?.... I think that there can be no hard and fast rule for this topic. I agree that in some cases switching the shoes over each time may help them last longer/wear more equally/help with tendencies to favour one side of the shoe or alignment etc but I don't advise doing it if you have a good and problem-free alignment on pointe.

 

Almost everyone's foot is off to one side or the other to whatever degree that may be.  If you look at your worn street shoes you can see this.

 

However, should one's foot be in perfect alignment on pointe - then the shoe which has been switched will also be straight and will not throw the foot off.   I don't see how a  "straight" shoe can throw off a "straight" foot.  

 

If one foot has a problem but not the other, switching shoes will help keep the shoe straight for the misaligned foot, while the straight foot will not be harmed since the shoe will be worn evenly. 

 

However, a shoe that is not straight - that is overworn to one side or the other - never switched so that it is evenly worn -  will not  help a foot with the same misaligned tendency - it will aggravate it..

 

I am not stating this as a hard and fast rule with horrific outcomes if ignored - but it is certainly something to consider.   It has a long history of being helpful.  

 

If you have a foot with a problem, you don't want a shoe with the same problem.

 

If you have a foot with no problem - switching shoes will not give it a problem.  And, yes, will most probably wear longer.

 

As for those styles of shoes which are marked "left" "right"  - are they so marked so the wearer can convenientlyl tell them apart in the future - or are they so marked because each shoe is made differently?

 

If you turn them over - soles upward - can you see a difference in how they are shaped?

 

I don't think I would want a shoe shaped with the usual curve noticed in regular street shoes for a pointe shoe. 

Edited by Anjuli_Bai
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I think the styles marked L and R (which I didn't know about, so thank you folks) are because they are moulded to each foot (with the hairdryer, for example) and then cooled to harden them into a specific shape. Because the left shoe is moulded specifically to the left foot, I guess it's easier that they are pre-labelled so one knows which is which.

 

It's a bit like mouldable orthotics and insoles; once moulded and then hardened, there is a definite left and right which of course doesn't fit the other foot.

 

I don't know whether Gaynors and other plasticised but non-thermomorph shoes are already designed for left and right - anyone enlighten me on that?

 

What a very interesting thread. :-)

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DD's Gaynor Mindens have the 2 ends of the elasticated lace that you tie in the inside of her shoes so that one doesn't see them at all when knotted... I don't know if I'm being clear there? Anyway that's how they have a left and a right. The left shoe has the lace on the right and the right one on the left. To me the 2 shoes look different as well...

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