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Need help, can't get right fit in ballet slippers


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#1 KikiM

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 09:57 PM

I am new to ballet, in the last few months since I've started taking lessons, I've bought many ballet shoes, but I think I have not yet come across the right fit. I've been to a few stores in person and have the sales people fit me so I know I have the right size. The main reason I think the shoes do not fit quite right is when I am in releve, I feel like I do not have enough room to properly stand on my toes-- the shoes seem short and pull away from my arches rather than mold to them. Same with flexing my feet-- there is just not enough room. But any bigger and the shoes sag on my toes. I am not sure if the shape of my feet matter (not even sure I know what the shape is). My street shoe size is 7.5, narrow heels, slightly narrow to normal width, tapered toes. Does anyone have suggestions of what the problem is? The shoes I have tried so far are all split toe, canvas, leather (including capezio, bloch, grishko).

#2 Redbookish

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 02:49 AM

If you do a search across the whole messageboard you'll probably find a number of threads on this topic.

My only suggestions are: have your pulled up the drawstring? the elastic or cord that runs all the way around the top of the shoe? I always need to tighten that quite a bit.

And how have you sewn on the elastics? Criss-cross or a single one? It could be that the elastics aren't doing their job of helping to mould the shoe to your foot.

Oh, a final thought -- if you have canvas shes, they're quite washable. After checking the top drawstring and the elastics, why not wash them and wear them dry, so they mould to your feet.

Otherwise it sounds like you need a different sizing, or to have a pair fitted while up on demi pointe.

#3 Hans

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:30 AM

To add just a bit to Redbookish's very practical suggestions...

If you haven't already, you may wish to try the Wendy Totalstretch by Angelo Luzio, the Bloch Neo Hybrid, and the Bloch Pro Arch. I wear the Angelo Luzio one, and I have a student who wears one of the Blochs (can't remember which at the moment) and they conform to the foot beautifully. I know you said you have tried Blochs, but I wasn't sure if you'd tried those particular models.
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#4 KikiM

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 01:19 PM

Thanks so much for the responses-- I did search extensively around this board, but I guess everyone's feet are different. I am wondering if the problem is me and maybe I don't know exactly how the shoes are supposed to fit. I have had the elastics sewn and had them marked before I left the store to ensure they were in the correct place.
Hans-- I just pulled my bloch pro-arch's out the drawer as I didn't remember what I didn't like about them. They fit beautifully in the arch and look great on demi point and in flex (and the toes are very comfortable when I am standing on them) but when I point my toes they feel very loose and bag off the end-- I feel like I am dragging my shoe around. Ultimately I think that is the issue with everything I've tried-- they fit properly when I either point or flex, but not both. But perhaps this is how they are supposed to fit? It make sense that feet shorten when you point then would lengthen when you flex so I guess that makes sense? Or do I have disproportionate feet?
At any rate, I like the sound of the Total Stretch shoes and will order them and see if they work, thanks!

#5 TemptressToo

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 02:48 PM

Have you tried Grishko pro series?

http://www.allaboutd...6/wcp_aad_1.jpg

I love them. They hug the foot very well, have the elastic in the arch so it forms to your foot when pointing, and seem to hold up well. Make sure that your elastics and draw strings are where they should be as well. Your teacher should be able to check those for you to see that they are correct.

#6 KikiM

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 04:09 PM

Hi Temptress-- I think I have these same shoes-- they are called performance? These are the ones I wear the most often and are the best fit so far-- still the same issues as my post, but less extreme than others I've tried, kind of a compromise between the two problems (saggy when pointing, too snug in demi pointe), but still far from perfect. I think if they had more stretch to them they would fit better for me.

#7 kylara7

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 07:40 AM

I was going to suggest the same shoes as Temptress Too...those are my personal favorite and flatter my foot the best, probably due to the cut and the elastic in the arch. I have tried different brands and found that some just didn't seem to work as well...for example, the forefoot of the Bloch shoes just don't conform to my tapered foot and there is always extra bunching of material around my little toes that is ugly and annoying (makes a bump that interferes with my contact with the floor). In contrast, one of my dance friends LOVES the way the Bloch slippers fit her and hated my Grishkos when she had to borrow them in a emergency situation :) My second favorite is Sansha Pro slippers, which have a slightly baggier fit (on me at least) but follow the contours of my foot and arch nicely. http://www.discountd...e&SID=319814985

I suppose it's just trial and error with the shoe and the placement of elastics :/ Good luck and keep us posted!

#8 Hamorah

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 10:11 AM

Sometimes it helps to get a slightly longer shoe (say a half size bigger) but a narrower width fitting. You should have room for your toes when standing on demi-pointe, so it sounds to me as if you might be taking too small a size.

#9 KikiM

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 11:19 PM

I think you are right Hamorah-- perhaps I am getting a size too small, at least in some of these shoes. Each time I did have the sales girl help me with the sizes but I never stood on demi-point when trying on. In fact this entire time I was thinking that's just how they are supposed to fit until a recent class where the teacher was saying make sure all 5 toes are on the floor and actually came over and knocked my toes that were scrunched up.
Thanks for the tip Kylara-- there is a sansha store here so I may as well try those in a couple sizes too. And already ordered the Total Stretch. So it doesn't sound like my problem is all that unusual, it's just a process of trial and error. I wasn't sure as I have a very hard time finding street shoes that fit-- like high heels (my arches never hit the shoe so all the pressure is on the front of my feet) so I thought maybe I have a weird foot configuration or maybe my arch is in not in the right place.

#10 KikiM

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 11:12 AM

Hans- just got the total stretch and I am optimistic-- they seem to be a really good fit.

A more general question, when in demi-point are ALL toes completely flat to the floor? I noticed my 4th and 5th toes the knuckle raises slightly (even barefoot)-- not sure if that is normal or something I need to work to correct?

#11 Hamorah

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 05:05 PM

If I really put all 5 toes on the floor, I sickle, so I think it's quite OK if the little toe is not completely on the floor - I think it depends a lot on the length of your toes. However, do check that if both your 4th and 5th toes are in the air, that you're not sickling the other way.. The important thing is not to crunch up the toes and to check that the foot is aligned properly with the ankle.

#12 MJ

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 09:31 PM

experiment with wide and narrow sizes.

#13 KikiM

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 05:27 PM

Wow I am so glad I posted here-- I'm not sure what it is about the Total Stretch shoes recommended above-- but I can now confirm they fit perfectly-- somehow they are roomy in the toes without being baggy and there is plenty of room in the arch (but they still conform to the arch ) so they don't shorten up like the other shoes. Yay! Thanks all!

#14 TemptressToo

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 11:50 AM

One other thing you might consider...I buy most of my canvas flats a half size smaller becuase they stretch with time. At first they might feel a bit snug, but after a few workouts they fit like a glove