If you’ve been reading my previous blog posts you have a little idea of my frustration and disappointment and continued expensive experience with pointe shoes. In this continuing pointe shoe saga of trying to find the perfect pair of shoes, first after my feet changing size, and then after finding *the ones*, wearing for a few months, and having them then be discontinued I have felt helpless. It’s a horrible feeling. You know you can dance better, hate blaming it on your shoes, but when your pointe shoes don’t fit correctly you really can’t do anything properly. Every relevé feels scary and every pirouette feels life threatening. And inside you feel like you don’t want to make excuses for yourself but at the same time the shoes are just not helping you dance, in fact they may be hindering, holding me back, or just downright dangerous.
So moving right along, (timeframe puts us roughly in June, but it’s been a whirlwind so I’m not one hundred percent sure about dates) I went to Onstage Dancewear and was fit by Ariel. I told her I was looking to try on Russian Pointes in different models but specifically the Rubins because I suspected they would be the closest match for my feet. She was happy to help and had me try on one pair of Rubins, apparently they were out of stock of other sizes in that model so we moved on to other models of Russian Pointes. She moved quickly through a lot of shoes for me to try on, so I didn’t get a chance to keep track of each model and size I tried on. Eventually she brought out a new model of Suffolk shoes called the Sonnet. Keep in mind when you’re trying on shoes you’re basically only on flat, or you’ve stepped onto pointe, not a lot of roll through action happening because there’s no ribbons or elastics. As we began to narrow down the options I tried shoes with my traditional quarter of a (Sonnet photoo below!) dish towel as padding (see photo above!), with the dish towel as well as a wing insert, and as a last resort with the Pro pads (only padding on top, not below toes) I had picked up somewhere along this journey. It came down to being between two shoes, a Russian Pointe in a model and size I did not catch (they aren’t too keen on verbalizing that I assume so you will come back to their store to purchase) and the Sonnet in a 5X wearing the toe pads. The Russian Pointes felt like “home” and much more familiar to me, but me feet look extra amazing in the Sonnets. Like ba-bam overly archy (which they are not!) so I decided since I was trying something new, I would really try something new and purchased the Sonnets. I was excited and sewed them right away. I also darned them since that is what I have been doing for years and didn’t want to change too much in terms of how my shoes slide over the floor. I really feel like darning gives you a bit more grip and somehow makes your shoes last longer. So when the time came to try them in class I was excited, but also told myself to be careful since they were such a new and different situation. And boy was I surprised when I could barely get en pointe!!! Like literally not all the way onto the flat toe part. It was such a crushing moment because I was so ready for the Sonnets to be my new favorite shoe. I felt so betrayed by my own body. But I had promised Ariel and myself that I would give them a two week trial. I knew from the first class (I think I wore them at barre, and knew by fondus) they weren’t going to be a match but I made myself wear them to rehearsals during that two week period and tried my best to give them a fair shot. I tried bending them to allow myself more fully over the box. But no matter what i did, they just kept me so far back. By the end of the week I was counting down the hours of rehearsal left till they were done! Stay tuned as I next try wearing Russian Pointes, Sanshas, and more!!!