Forum: Irish / Irish

My Shoe Conundrum
By DanceintheTARDIS
On Sun Feb 16, 2014 05:58 PM

I'd REALLY like a pair of soft shoes, as I've been dancing in my ballet shoes for the past few months. The problem is that I don't know how to get them. I asked my teacher and she told me to get them at a local feis, which I ended up being unable to attend (this was some time ago.) The next feis locally is one in that I'm hoping to actually participate in- not to mention that it's 5 months away! I don't want to order them online, since it would be my first time ordering a pair, and I haven't been able to find used ones because anyone my size probably isn't outgrowing their shoes! How can I buy some? How do all of you get your shoes?

9 Replies to My Shoe Conundrum

re: My Shoe Conundrum
By Hop_123member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Feb 16, 2014 06:38 PM
I usually buy mine at a feis.

You could order some online and just get 2 or 3 different sizes, try them on and send back the other two pairs. We actually got our first pairs off ebay.

Most of the websites have a size chart, while not perfect, will at least get you pointed in the right direction. Other people have come on here and asked what size such and such soft shoe they wear compared to their street shoe size.

It would definitely be rough buying soft shoes the day you need to dance in them, though dancers have done that before!

You could also travel a bit to feis that is farther away, not to compete, but just to get shoes.

Good luck finding a pair.
re: My Shoe Conundrum
By Realtreble
On Sun Feb 16, 2014 07:15 PM
You may find good condition used ghillies in your size if someone decides to change brands. Never say never. Post your needs on the Wanted board here. Many sellers will accept returns if the shoes don't work.
re: My Shoe Conundrum
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Feb 16, 2014 08:08 PM
The folks at Rutherford or Fays can be very helpful if you send in a tracing of your foot. Where are you located?
re: My Shoe Conundrum
By boleyngrrl
On Sun Feb 16, 2014 08:58 PM
Check within your school. With Worlds coming up, people are buying new shoes and have old ones that they might be willing to part with. Ask your TC if there's anyone who might be willing to sell some lightly used shoes. Also, most schools have a shoe bin/sales room of used shoes. They won't be perfect for you, but they'll definitely get you the five months and might give you an idea of what you like.
re: My Shoe Conundrum
By Tansey
On Sun Feb 16, 2014 09:12 PM
Do you know other dancers whose shoe size appears to be close to yours? Perhaps they'd let you try theirs on so that you can get an idea of what size and brand fits you best. That might make you more comfortable with ordering online. As The MidlakeMuse said, Fays and Rutherfords will both work with a tracing of your feet in determining what size to send.
re: My Shoe Conundrum
By bigTreblemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:11 PM
I've seen basic Irish dance shoes in some general dance supply stores, as well as in stores that sell Irish "goods" (you know, the little shops that sell beleek and cable knit sweaters and cadbury candy bars. Unless you actually live in Ireland, thenyou probably don't have those...) so those are two types of stores you may want to search for in your city.

Otherwise, I think the idea of buying a used pair off of a fellow student is a really good one!
re: My Shoe Conundrum
By Damhnaitmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:29 AM
I always ordered my shoes online from Rutherfordshoes.com. I think the first time I sent in a tracing of my foot and they helped me from there, but that was quite a few years ago so I don't remember it too much. All I know is I wear a size 6 or 7 shoe size and bought a 4.5 size ghillie. I agree, you won't want to buy a shoe on the day you dance, if not for blisters and stiffness, then for the fact that the leather hasn't stretched yet.

When you first put on your ghillie, your toes should feel maybe a little bit squished. The leather will stretch and then be perfect size in due time. But if you buy a shoe that's comfortable when you first put it on, it will stretch out to be too big. My first pair of ghillies were size 5 and they stretched way past the end of my toes, which is why I went the half size down.
re: My Shoe Conundrum
By hannicamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Feb 17, 2014 03:45 PM
my bloch ballet slippers fit me perfectly. I bought some corrs irish dance slippers half a size smaller and they fit perfectly. If you know your ballet size then you are far more prepared than other beginers. My ballet shoe was 5c so in irish slipper size that is roughly (depending on brand) 4.5 medium width.
re: My Shoe Conundrum
By Camryn
On Mon Feb 17, 2014 03:50 PM
I ordered mine online and they fit nicely. At first I thought they didn't fit though. I talked to the person who was selling them about what size I should get and they told me the same size that was on the size chart. I got Hullachans though, which don't stretch as much. But ordering a few pairs and trying them on might be the best so that way you can compare them. I'm a US 7 and got a 5.5. I was really nervous about ordering them online at first, but if it's your only option, well, you have to do it. You could talk to whoever sells them about it, and tell them how wide or narrow your feet are, if that's a concern.

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