I am so excited! Over the weekend, I went for my first ever, pointe shoe fitting! Although I have been pointe work for years, I haven’t had the chance to get fitted to the point(e) (pun much intended) of choosing 9-10 pairs at once. As my current studio sells pointe shoes as well, previously Bloches and Grishkos, now Wear Moi (which personally, I feel, looks really bulky) I usually just get fitted by my teacher and buy whatever she recommends to me.
Now, I have been obsessed with Freeds of London, ever since I tried on an old dying(with still a few uses left) pair from my teacher’s daughter, and OH…….. feels like heaven! It was comfortable as hell (not sure if its because it has been broken in) or that the whole look of the shoe was gorgeous. Well, this was probably 2-3 years ago. But I haven’t forgotten that feeling.
So after my last pointe shoe died on me ( my second pair of Chacott COAD), I decided its time to get a pair of Freeds (at last and courtesy of mummy dearest). I made my way down to Chacott’s flagship store (yeap, they sell Freeds there now), all excited, that I totally forgot that I needed to make an appointment to get fitted. After all, I have never worn Freeds and thus have no idea what I should get. I did however, bring along my old pair of COAD, which hopefully might be of some help.
The lady at the shop was a tad annoyed, since I didn’t make an appointment and that she had another appointment in half an hour’s time, but she gave in after I kinda begged her (no way am I making my way there again, as its close to a 45 minutes drive,
which le bf might probably kill me). We tried a bunch of shoes, starting from the Freeds Studios, which totally did not suit me, lots of sinking into the shoe, and gave a really bulky look, before finally settling for Freeds Classics Light.
The feeling was so different! I felt supported, and really stable.
For people who have no idea what the difference is between the two, the Studios are manufactured (factory made) so they are readily available, while the Classics are handmade by different makers. Mine was made by O maker (Freeds gives such weird names to the makers), and his sign is stamped at the sole of the shoe.
Doesn’t this feel extremely personal?
So I was thinking, why not create a list with reviews on my pointe shoe collection (note that there are quite a few that have been to the bin and thus forgotten)?
1) Sansha Ovation 3/4
This was my first EVER pointe shoe. I made a terrible terrible misake with these. Since my teacher told me to get pointe shoes, I researched and got myself the cheapest in the market; at that time was about SGD$45. Although with 3/4 shank, it means that you will have a nice arch, but the box was terribly bulky and far too wide for my feet. I wore it for a couple of weeks before discarding it (thus the lack of real life picture).
I have a pair of blue ones as well, as an impulse buy when I went to Bangkok, Thailand. Could not really fit, but it was oh so pretty~ Of course, this pair has never seen the light of day, since we’re not allowed to wear other colours besides pink, to class.
2) Bloche Seranades
My teacher then proposed that I try the Seranades, since she was stocking them. It looks slightly better than the Sanshas, but the shank was too hard. Or maybe my feet was still weak back then. But yea, with the hard shank, I didn’t have a nice arch, it was hard to roll through demi. Will not ever get them again.
Funny story: One day, the stepmum thought that my bloches look really dirty and so decided to give it a wash. Long story short, the shoes had hardly a black spot on them, and they were as dead as it gets #booknerdalert.
4) Grishkos 2007 Pros
I got these during Swan Lake season, so instead of pink, mine was white. I love these, and still do. They were relatively easy to break in and gave me a nice arch. They were really stable and really pretty. If Freeds do not work for me down the road, I will most likely go back to these.
3) Chacott COAD
I had 2 pairs of these, bought within a span of a few months. The first was a second hand from my dance teacher’s daughter, which she broke in and didn’t like it after. The colour was beautiful, kinda in a salmon-ey shade instead of the usual pale pink and gave me a really nice line. The 2nd, was bought by my ballet buddy when she went to Hong Kong (or was it Japan? I can’t remember). Back then, Singapore didn’t have a Chacott store, so the only way to get it was either from Japan or Hong Kong. She knew my shoe size, down to the amount of Xs (that’s how close we are). Since my first pair was a hand-me-down and might not have much life in them, I told her to get me a second pair.
The first pair was great, but I had a love-hate relationship with the second pair. They feel oddly uncomfortable and unstable. I’m not sure if its just me, but there are times, I find it hard to roll through demi. It doesn’t look as good as the first, since it looks bulky and doesn’t show much arch. There wasn’t much of a support as well, so doing pirouttes en pointe can feel kind of daunting. Also, the colour can stand out quite a bit. Imagine, orange in the midst of pale pink, it can sometimes feel like its sticking out like a sore thumb.
Another funny story: I just figured out the night before why the 2nd pair was such a disaster. Turns out, my ballet buddy bought it in hard shank, as you can see in the pictures. Maybe she has too much trust in my feet. Did not realise that until I took photos of them.
So while I was looking watching some ballet videos on Youtube, I came across some Youtubers saying about how dancers should wear their toe pads under their tights to make their toe pads last longer. However, I don’t see how a thin layer of tights is able to do that. Now, I’m not sure if its a cultural issue, but
most all Singaporean dancers I know wear their toe pads over their tights, mostly due to the convenience when changing shoes.
What do you think? Do you wear your toe pads over or under your tights, and why?