Monday, July 13, 2015

The Very Latest in the Pointe Shoe Saga

I mentioned back in May that my Grishko Novas had started giving me problems because they were twisting (especially on my left foot). I changed my elastics (used something heavier and criss-crossed them) and that helped some, but not completely. My AD thought I might want to try something with a higher wing.

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!
Capezio Airess
Anyway, at the first shop the fitter was REALLY into the new Capezio Airess (in fact, I think the girl before me was trying them on too), and I was subsequently fit into the 1133 (tapered) model. I haven't tried a Capezio shoe yet, and I was intrigued by the Airess. It comes in a variety of widths and box shapes, and wasn't horrifically uncomfortable (though the Nova will forever win on that front). I went ahead and bought them because I was like, "Why not?"  They look very nice on my feet in comparison to the Grishko, but I definitely feel more big toe pressure :(

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 tried the Airess in class for the first time last week (I didn't want to wear them/break them in for the show), and they were decent.  However, as a note to anyone else that might try this shoe: they are like BRICKS, and you will DEFINITELY want to break in the shank and maybe squish up the box a little (I did minimal squishing to the box, because I want the wings to stay as long as possible, but the shank needs serious bending). I thought I'd done a pretty good job with the shank (I get paranoid about over-working my shoes before I even wear them), but BOY HOWDY, I had some moments were it was hard to get all the way over and the shank of my Airess is only a 1/2 shank!  LIKE BRICKS, YOU GUYS.

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!


  1. Wow! I checked your pointe shoe saga out, and you really have tried a lot of shoes out! I don't even want to start thinking how much that is moneywise... Do you keep all your pointes, or toss them if they don't work?

    How long have you been doing en poite?

    1. I don't want to think about it money-wise either, haha! I have been keeping them, and am thinking about doing something artsy with them at some point--we'll see!

      I started pointe at age 10, and did it through my early 20s, but then I took a long break from dance for about 6 years. I just started pointe again in January 2014. It's been a challenge!

  2. Oh, a going artsy with pointe shoes! Would love to see that! So if you ever get down to it... ;)