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Pointe shoes for first year pointe students
By MissTalia Comments: 989, member since Mon Jul 26, 2004
On Sat Jan 07, 2017 05:11 PM

I'd like to father some professional opinions here. My preference for first year pointe students is a medium shank. The only exceptions are A. If a student with an amazing arch and super strong feet, then I want them to have a harder shoe. If it's a student with a near flat foot, then I still prefer the 3/4 shank. Opinions? I feel as though I need to make pointe shoe fitting a group event as I had a student fitted terribly at Capezio of all places! The shoes were so tight and when she'd releve she'd be nearly over her pinky toes. Needless to say, after attempting to soften up the shanks and having her wear thinner padding didn't do the trick
I had to tell her mother she needed different shoes. So aside from
opinions on first year pointe shoes, what are your favorite shoes with 3/4 shanks?

4 Replies to Pointe shoes for first year pointe students

re: Pointe shoes for first year pointe students
By hummingbird Comments: 10441, member since Mon Apr 18, 2005
On Sat Jan 07, 2017 08:12 PM
We have a store that's in our nearest city that I like. They have a good selection of different brands that suit different types of feet, Grishko, Russians and Gaynors, that's the important bit. I try to go with my dancers, but if not I tell the girls what I think might suit them but ultimately I trust the store's fitters if I'm not there so I'm very lucky in that respect.

There are quite a few other stores in that city, but they either don't have the range of shoes or they don't have experienced fitters and some of my dancers, like your recent one, have had badly fitted shoes from them so I now tell them which store to use.

As for my preferred shoes, they're the ones that best fit and suit my dancers feet. I will either go with them and talk to the fitter myself, or phone up the shop and talk to the fitters before their appointment, or just give the dancers the information the fitters are going to need if there are any special considerations I think should be allowed for. Other than that I know I can let this stores fitters get on with their job.

Do you have a store you prefer?
re: Pointe shoes for first year pointe students
By MissTalia Comments: 989, member since Mon Jul 26, 2004
On Sat Jan 07, 2017 08:41 PM
Well, the studio has its own store. The workers there are teachers who supplement their income by working there. That said, I don't prefer capezio anymore; they'll let anyone fit a student.
re: Pointe shoes for first year pointe students
By turtletoeshoe Comments: 176, member since Tue Jun 03, 2003
On Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:17 PM
I've had kids go to really great fitters but most of my experience has been with places that are horrible, so I've had to learn a lot about what shoes for what kind of feet and I've gotten pretty good at knowing what kids should wear. That being said, my favorite first time shoe brands are grishko, Russian, and Bloch. I always try to go with the kids to fit them myself, but always make them pass off their shoe with me before they can wear or sew them (even with a trusted fitter)
re: Pointe shoes for first year pointe students (karma: 1)
By Sumayah Comments: 6945, member since Wed Nov 12, 2008
On Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:47 AM
Back when I worked for Capezio, I was our store's local pointe fitter. That said, I do not recommend my students go to Capezio to get fitted for shoes. First, they do not have enough variety in shapes and widths. Second, their vamps all run really high, which is fine for super flexy feet that need to be reigned in, bad for literally everyone else. There is not enough variety in shanks. They do not offer enough widths. The rise of the box is frequently too deep. Third, I know the training you get as pointe fitter there and if I hadn't come in with extensive pointe shoe knowledge (my feet are notoriously hard to fit and I have spent loads of time researching shoes, trends, and trying to find a shoe that works for me), I would not have been a competent fitter.

We have a store that carries everything but Capezio and I recommend my kids go though, despite it being minimally a 45 minute drive one way. This is my pointe letter to the parents:

Spoiler: Show
I've been watching [dancer] and feel that she has shown exemplary growth and dedication in her classwork. I am very pleased with placement and strength and feel that she is ready to begin pointework [semester]! I've also seen her focus on taking and applying the corrections I've given. Because starting pointe is based on many factors - the dancer's health and safety is a primary concern - not all dancers in the class will get their pointe shoes at the same time. I would recommend a visit to your regular doctor if you have any concerns on your dancer's physical readiness. Additionally, if you have any questions regarding pointe, please feel free to contact me!

Though it's a bit of a drive away, I personally like the selection that [Store] provides. Capezio is also a good store, however the shoe selection is limited to only a few different brands outside of the Capezio brand. I do not have a brand or style preference; I am generally happy so long as the shoe fits appropriately. I recommend calling and setting up an appointment to be fitted for shoes as it can be a time consuming process (45 minutes - an hour+) and if they know they have a first time fit, they can have someone dedicated to your needs. Once a shoe is purchased, do not do anything to it as I will want to see the dancer in the shoe and approve the fit, then I can also make recommendation on how/where to sew the ribbons and elastic (ask for enough to make an X).

The student then brings the shoes and padding to me, I have them put them on and I do my own fitting of the shoe. If I approve, I give them instructions on where I want the ribbons and elastic sewn. If I don't like the fit, I send them back. What's great is the store I like gives the dancers a sheet where they'll write down what they noticed concerning the dancer's feet and why they put them in the shoe they did, along with recommendations of shoes that were runner-ups. So if I don't like the shoe, the dancer can show them the sheet and try from the next best fit. But so far, because they are highly trained, I haven't had to send a dancer back to try again.

If I feel the shoe needs to be 3/4'd I keep a pair of hedge clippers on me and I'll 3/4 them myself. Sometimes instead of 3/4ing them, I'll pop the top nail out so the shank has more movement to bend, but the dancer doesn't lose the full shank support. Otherwise, I'll just manipulate the shank a little for them. But each dancer is so unique that they all need different things. I don't care paste or plastic, so long as the dancer feels confident in their shoes.