So, when I went on a family vacation at the end of May/beginning of June, I did my usual and looked up all the dance shops in the areas I'd be visiting and ended up being fitted at two.
First, can I just express my annoyance that, when I called these shops looking for specific shoes, I was informed that yes, they carried them, only to get there and they had ONE pair that was not in my size? That doesn't count as carrying them, people!
At the second shop, I compared the Airess to several other shoes. The fitter at this shop was MUCH more willing to give other brands a go, and tried me in pretty much every shoe they carried (that would work for my foot). She thought the Airess would be okay to try, and gave me a secondary option of the Russian Pointe Lumina (Plan B--or by now, probably Plan K).
I'm also having a hard time padding them correctly. I tried them on initially with both my Grishko padding (which was only a Big Tip and a sock toe), as well as my Ouch Pouches, but I'm getting a lot of big toe pressure, so I'm having to play with it. Luckily, I have lots of options because I seem to have collected every toe pad and toe padding device in existance during this very, very long pointe shoe journey. I think my best plan is to try to spread the weight over more toes, so put a little more padding (maybe lambs wool) in the negative space above my shorter little toes. We'll see how it goes!