Ballet News Previews | A brand new pointe shoe
When a brand new pointe shoe arrives, it’s a rare & exciting moment. These shoes were made to a specification agreed with one of my readers who had tried just about every pointe shoe out there and wanted to see whether these new shoes could be the perfect fit.
Pointe shoes are essential to a ballet dancer. Finding the right maker can take an entire career; a lucky dancer will find a great fit early on and then tweak and customise, working with her maker at the factory if her feet or her work requirements change. Large ballet companies have shoe departments where advice can be sought, but if you’re a student on a tight budget, or if you live miles from any dance wear shops, what do you do ? It’s always recommended that you visit an experienced fitter, ideally with your teacher. If that’s not an option, and as in this case, Ballet News was able to help, providing the manufacturer with maps of the dancer’s feet and precise measurements. As I say, it’s not the ideal way to find a pointe shoe, but needs must.
Made for Hope Wright, the shoes, called ‘Concept 9’ arrived. It’s a pointe shoe with a broad, flat, slightly tapered box with a semi v cut vamp, which is cut slightly higher for good foot support. It has a unique toe cushioning system in the pleated area which is also a shock absorber – making it quieter. The durable box has been developed to break in easily. The pointe shoe shank has 3 strengths : hard, medium and soft and the size range is from 1 – 8.5 with 5 width fittings in NN,N,M,W & XW.Once the pointe shoes were ready, they were sent overseas and we all kept out fingers crossed.Wright told me, “I was so excited when I got the shoes, I put them on right away and they fit perfectly. When I took class in them for the first time they felt great. The second class I took was longer and I was having pain in my big toe metatarsal. I’m not sure what is causing it but I think I might need a little more room there but maybe breaking them in more will help. Everything else is great – people keep telling me how good they look and asking what type they are. I especially like the strength, vamp, and outer sole. The shank is strong like the box but has the perfect amount of flexibility to roll through demi pointe when needed. The vamp is nice because it’s higher but has a slight v-shape which extends my line. And the sole provides more stability when I’m standing because it’s not flush with the rest of the shoe and its also nice for jumps. A lot of people said they really liked the shape and the satin fabric on the outside. Thank you soooooooo much!”
Wright’s teacher has also approved the shoes, but due to the pain Wright is experiencing, there may be more adjustments needed in manufacture before Wright has the perfect shoe.
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