This time two years ago I had just started pointe classes. Twenty years of wanting a pair of pointes and now I was actually learning to dance in them. By Christmas, about six weeks after the first class I had to most terrifying experience when I was told to relevé to retiré in the centre with no barre to support me. It was the most exhausting thing I’ve ever done. It was then, that it was firmly confirmed that ballerinas are super human beings with mega strength.
I started off wearing Bloch Serenades Size 3.5 D. And today I’m currently wearing Grishko 2007s 4.5 XXXX having gone through five pairs in different sizes in between.
I wore Bloch Serenades for the first eighteen months of pointe work, going from 3.5 D to 3.5 C. There was always a better for out there but being new to the pointe shoe game and the fact they didn’t really hurt to dance in I thought they were THE shoe for me.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
In the search for prettier looking feet, something to bend easier at the arches, something that the Serenades never did I tried out the Bloch Sonatas in size 3.5 D. I have never had a pair of shoes that caused so much pain. Yes, the shank bended easier under the arches than the Serenade but the shoe was completely the wrong fit, hence the pain. The box was too square and wide, and having just tried them on just now for a picture, I can’t believe how I ever danced in them, way too big, and STILL uncomfortable when en pointe.
One positive that came out of the Sonatas was the fact that despite the pain, getting over the box was much easier than the Serenades. My left foot is very different to my right foot, and also the weaker foot. In going back to the Serenades I could really tell the difference in how much difficulty I was actually having, especially on the left. It had also previously caused my Achillies to become aggravated, it was time to shop.
I found a new fitter who instantly condemned my previous pairs, and then welcomed me to the world of Grishko. The love was instant, the support in the shank was instant and I could not believe the difference. I was fitted with Grishko 2007s 5 XXXX and have had two pairs in that size.
I recently went back for another fitting as despite the fact they have been the best fitting pair of pointes I’ve ever had, I felt we could do with a little tweaking. I’ve gone down half a size, and I the difference is so big. The left foot is properly over the box for the first time in its ballerina life.
It’s still trial and error throughout the breaking in process, the heels are so snug en pointe that until the demi-pointe was broken in they were seemingly at constant risk of pinging off. And there was been a little niggle on the left big toe that with the right padding I’m sure will be just fine. There has been a fair bit of rearranging lambs wool and trying silicon toe socks. But despite that tiny issue, the fit is the best, most supportive yet.
This, perhaps, may actually be THE shoe.