Oh the drama! Oh the stress! Oh the expense! Which leads to more stress! Oh the feeling of not being able to dance to the best of your ability which once again leads to even more stress! Such is life when you’re on a “trying new pointe shoes” adventure. If you’ve read my previous blog posts you’ll know that my feet changed size after wearing a shoe for many years, and then I’ve been on a pointe shoe bender trying all sorts of different brands. Now somewhere in this forgotten timeline of visiting dance stores, I went to the Grishko boutique in Manhattan. I spoke with the ever knowledgeable Judy regarding the 1737 Katya that I had fallen in love with, and she was super interested to see the shoe in person. She told me it was a cheap copy of Grishkos and that each section, the toe, heel, etc was modeled off a different Grishko model shoe. Well that’s all fine and dandy, but it worked GREAT for me! So I told her I had emailed Grishko World, and they had told me the closest shoe was the Maya 1 plus padding in the toe. So I requested to try on the Maya, which she told me I wouldn’t like. She was right! (But more on this later! A gal can always change her mind!!!) While there I also tried on the Elite, just to try, assuming the toe would be broader than what I was searching for, which it was. Then I tried on a new shoe called the Allure. (I’ve come to find out this is the American name for what the Grishko World site is calling the Dream 2007) It was so pretty! Supportive in the toe and box area and three quarter shank. So I purchased a pair, 5 XXX MF. I was excited to try a new model of Grishko! I sewed them, darned them, and put them on to try at the barre while teaching my beginning pointe dancers. This allows me to occasionally break in shoes and more importantly let’s my students see how it is done en pointe. Sometimes much easier to just demonstrate rather than try to describe or explain. So within two minutes I was in pain, like a lot of pain. Not like, oh I’m trying a new shoe and it will feel different, but actual pain. My big toe joints on both feet were on fire! Like my big toe felt like it was knuckling and then that top was hitting the top of the shoe. I’ve since decided that the shoe must be too tall, like the depth from bottom of foot to top of foot was not working for me. Literally wore these Allure shoes for 4 minutes, and into the pile of pretty much new/worn for 5 minutes discarded pointe shoes. Want a deal on some pointe shoes? Grab a pair that I tried very briefly here!! Mention the blog and I’ll be certain to give you a discount.
Which brings us to mid May, when I had an appointment at Pirouette in Huntington to once again be fit by Stephanie. I knew from the moment I walked in the door that I had made the right move! She greeted me and was more than ready to help me try lots of different options. She brought out the Grishko Novas for me to try again, and they actually looked quite nice! Makes me wonder why I thought I didn’t like them the last time she fit me in them a year ago. (Maybe I should give them a whirl again?!) She brought so many things for me to try I couldn’t even keep up and don’t remember all the names and models. This was great! There were for sure some Blochs, some of the new space age stretchy split sole Blochs and a few different models of Capezio and Gaynors just as a comparison. And of course Russian Pointes, in different models. She, like me, thought that the Rubin would be a good match but was unfortunately out of them in my size range, it’s a pretty common size, and was getting them back into stock soon. She agreed to call me to let me know when they arrive and I will go try them. I was anxiously waiting for this moment! She had one pair of Russian Pointe Almaz shoes in MY size kicking around. They were a 37.5, w4, v2 MF. And they looked quite nice on my feet, and were reasonably comfortable especially with my wing insert. So I took those in case I needed shoes for upcoming rehearsals. She really hooked this gal up!! I mean seriously, first Stephanie lets me try on like half the store, and then she is so understanding of the fact that I have a “type” of shoe I like and doesn’t suggest other things, and then she sends me off with the Almaz pair to try! (“So you can use them as an experiment to see how you’ll want to bend and break in the Rubins when they come in your size”). So come back for next post and I’ll tell you how I liked the Rubins!!