Monday, November 24, 2014

Pointe Shoe Surgery

I'm trying yet another new pair of pointe shoes, this pair recommended to me by a shoe mistress from a professional ballet company.

They're a Freed Wing Block, size 5.0 XX. Wing Blocks have hardcore shanks, and one of my issues with the RPs (according to the shoe mistress) was that they weren't conforming to my arch properly, and were restricting my technique. She recommended that if I wanted to try the Freeds, I should 3/4 the shank, and suggested I practice on some old pairs to work out exactly where it should hit my foot.

Cutting shanks is not an easy-peasy chore, let me tell you. I experimented on several different pairs (two different old pairs of Blochs, and the RPs) and it was sort of fascinating how different the shanks were in each pair.

The Bloch Heritage shank, cut and beveled

Alas, those shanks did not prepare me for the Wing Block shank. While I was able to cut ALL of the aforementioned pairs with a Stanley utility knife, that knife (and my fancy Boker pocket knife) proved to be no match for the Wing Block. I ended up having to use hardcore wire cutters (thanks, dad!) to cut that sucker, and then file it down to a bevel so that it wouldn't cut into my foot.

Post-surgery Freed Wing Block (complete with fancy pink duct tape)
I haven't had a chance to wear them in class yet (will have to report back), but I can already tell I'm going to have to switch up my padding, as the Ouch Pouches feel far too thick. I suspect lots of tape and maybe a sock toe are in my future, but we'll see.  Switching shoes is always a complicated journey. One day maybe I'll get everything perfect!


  1. Ah I had that same problem with the RP's, they just didn't shape to my arch and held me back in the shoe, which was totally bizarre for my high/flexy arches. Why do we go through so much stress for ballet again? :)

    1. Yea, if I ever try RPs again, I'd like to try the soft shank (which is funny because I wore hard shanks as a teen). We are gluttons for punishment, I guess! ;)