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First pointe shoes


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One very excited 12 year old DD, has just been advised she is ready for her first Pointe shoes! I will be avidly reading old posts prior to our shopping trip. Hope you dont mind me sharing with you all but no one else understands! Any Pointers (sorry!) are most welcome. Havent

posted in ages but have been lurking!

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Hi ballet shoes

How lovely for you both, a day to remember ,I remember when my dd got her first pointe shoes,we made a little ballet cake and had a little party and took lots of pictures

Have a lovely day how exciting for you both

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Congratulations to your daughter - a big step indeed!

 

There is a thread I posted in a whole list of things to consider.....if you need it posted again - let me know - I will be happy to do that.

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I hope this helps.....

 

 

Buying Pointe Shoes

 

The first person to ask advice is your teacher.  She may very well have suggestions as to what style/make of pointe shoe would be appropriate for your feet.  So talk to her.  Also ask her advice as to what shop to go to.  You need to find a shop with a knowledgeable "fitter."

 

The next thing to remember: Don't Sew On Any Ribbons, Elastics, or wear your shoes (except for the fitting) UNTIL YOU TAKE THE SHOES IN TO SHOW YOUR TEACHER.

 

If the shoes are messed up - dirty - sewn on - the shop will not take them back. 

 

It is difficult the first few times to find shoes which are right for you since you, as a beginner to this, have little idea how the shoes should feel.  That's why you need your teacher's advice and a good experienced fitter at the shop.

 

How to buy pointe shoes? First of all I would NEVER, EVER – buy them from a catalogue or online, unless I lived perhaps in the wilds of some forest tundra without a store within a 1000 miles.  Would you buy any other kind of shoes without trying them on?  I wouldn’t……….

 

I always made a habit of having the clerk bring out every pair of shoes in my size (or close to my size) and style.  Every single shoe is different.  I found I could eliminate 50% of them before even trying them on.

 

Line them up in front of you on the floor and just look at them – are the vamps (part of the shoe which covers the faces of the toes) even?

 

Are the platforms (where you stand when on full pointe) bumpy?  The pleating should be as smooth as possible.

 

Do the platforms go straight across or do they angle off to one side?  This will throw the foot off center.

 

Are the shanks (support along the inside bottom of the shoe) already weak or broken  (from other dancers trying them on)?  Look at the bottoms of the shoes and see if there is a line across the sole of the shoe which would indicate a break line in the shank.

 

Are the lasts (the entire length of the shoe) straight?  I could really eliminate many just by checking that – if the last is crooked the shoes will throw your feet off center.  This usually results in the feet rolling in.

 

How about the wings (sides)?  Are they at a flattering yet supportive level height?

 

Is the thickness of the shank correct? Or is there too much of a “step” down between the thickness of the shank and the satin of the heel?

 

Is the sock (inner lining) smooth? A rough or wrinkled sock will abrade your skin.

 

Now take the shoes in your hands and very gently - VERY GENTLY - bend the shank and see how much resistance there is.  There should be resistance.  Otherwise the shank may already be weak either from the way it was manufactured or from other dancers trying them on.

 

When you have the shoes on – make sure you are trying them out on a non-carpeted surface.  Standing on a carpet will make quite a difference.

 

Are the shoes soiled?  That's an indication of prior usage.

 

When you have them on - do they gap anywhere? Are you able to stand on pointe with the entire platform in contact with the floor with your knees straight?

 

 

Switch lefts and rights - see how that feels.  Pointe shoes (slippers too) have no lefts or rights.

 

Check the stitching at the seams and see if it is secure (I had one pair pull apart within 15 minutes of wearing them.)

 

When selecting shoes remember to not only think in size of length but in size of width. Since every pair is constructed differently – sometimes changing one or the other would affect how the shoes fit.

 

Try to get to the shop without walking too much – especially in warm weather.  If you have to walk a great deal this will make your foot swell and will affect the sizing.  Wear the same tights you are going to wear to class.

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It will be helpful if your dd has short toenails for the fitting, and wears convertible tights. Also perhaps check with her teacher what sort of padding she prefers her students to wear in their shoes, as this needs to be used when trying the shoes on :)

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Thank you for the sound advice. Dd dance teacher has a favourite fitter/ shop so we are off shopping tomorrow! Think it opens at 10 bet Dd has,me standing there early waiting for it to open!

 

The excitement of the young!  Isn't it refreshing?  Especially when they have worked hard to achieve it.

 

 

 

It will be helpful if your dd has short toenails for the fitting, and wears convertible tights. Also perhaps check with her teacher what sort of padding she prefers her students to wear in their shoes, as this needs to be used when trying the shoes on :)

 

Excellent advice.  I would only say the toenails should be trimmed - but not too short.  I found it's best to do this after a warm shower or bath when the nails are softer - and NEVER just before class.  I used to do this as many hours before the next class as possible. 

 

I have taken the liberty, Taxi4ballet, to add your point(e)s to the list.  Hope you don't mind.

Edited by Anjuli_Bai
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Pointe shoes bought! Had a lovely day the fitter spent a long time with DD and she tried numerous pairs on. Narrowed down to 2 then the test for DD! The fitter said he could see which pair were better for my DD but could she? My daughter gave her reply and then she was asked to explain why she had chosen a particular pair. DD said she felt the chosen shoes held her foot better. The fitter agreed. We shall seek approval from DDs teacher on Monday. The shoes are bloch serenade if that means any thing?! Thank you so much for your post Anjuli it was most helpful. 

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Sounds like you were well looked after - it's so important to get dancers to think about their fitting - especially those new to pointe :)

 

Serenades were my first pointe shoes about 30 years ago! Great basic student shoe that suits lots of foot shapes.

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My 12 year old daughter has just started on pointe too. I had help from lots of lovely ladies on here when it came to darning them! She too has Bloch Serenade shoes as these were the ones her dance teacher fitted for her. So far, so good after the first few weeks - she goes out with a real skip in her step when she is going to do her pointe class. I hope your daughter enjoys it too.

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Congrats to your dd. My dd also got first pointe shoes yesterday. Teacher had been hinting that she was nearly ready, and then told her in class yesterday am that she could get some now. I'd been reading posts /advice on here & lady that did fitting was great. She ended up with Merlet shoes - not one I'd seen mentioned on here. Now just need teacher approval & lesson on darning....

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Sorry to hear your dds shoes weren't suitable. Hope she wasn't too disappointed

My dd had teachers approval on Monday so ribbons etc now on! She even had a few seconds en pointe

as,part of the teachers check, said it felt amazing! Both went to see Scottish Ballet Romeo and Juliet

tonight which was fantastic. First Pointe class is tomorrow!x

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How exciting, hope she enjoys first class! Because of holidays dds first class not till after half term so still time to get some more, get them approved & sewn, so she wasn't too disappointed, she gets to try more shoes on which she sees as a bonus

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We have fitting booked at shop that's bit further away but told they have lots of different makes/models. Has been recommended by several others at dance school. Dd quite excited to be going to different shop, although I'mnot so sure - every time we're in a dance shop we end up with more than we went for ...

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In case it's useful, I would check if the shop would be happy to order other styles if their stock is not suitable. As an example, if they only have Grishko 2007s, but your DD might suit another model, would the shop order them for you? The worst case is if the shop insists on making something in their stock fit your DD, even if they were not the best fit, presumably so they get a sale from you. I once had a fitter who placed insoles in my pointe shoes to make them fit better because nothing in their shop suited my feet. Whenever I've mentioned this experience to other fitters/teachers, they've always been shocked that there are fitters who advise on placing extra stuff in new pointe shoes to make unsuitable shoes fit better.

 

On the other hand, I have also had excellent fitters, who were honest with me when my feet did not suit the shoes they had and did not try and make me buy from their shop.

 

By the way, this thread makes me remember my first pointe shoes but I must have been more than 10 years older than your DDs! I was lucky to have a patient fitter but I managed to fill half the shop floor with unsuitable shoes I tried on, turning the tidy shop into a right tip! :)

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Dds teacher is going to phone shop we are going to (she has used them herself so knows them) & will let them know issues we had with merlet shoes (she has also said they didn't fit right). She also spoke to dd about them so she will have a slightly better understanding of how they should feel. We've been told by others that they do have wide range & will bring out bags full of shoes to try & they have been known to order in when necessary. DD has quite wide feet & can be hard enough getting flat shoes, but we'll get there.

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