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Can you make leather slippers less sticky?

je danse dans ma tete

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I really hurt my foot in class last week. During frappes to the back, my newish leather slippers (capezio spilit-sole cobras) stuck to the floor and my big toe folded under and jammed really hard against the floor.


I do not think I broke anything, but for a few days there, I was not so sure! :D:yes:


I used to wear canvas split soles or full sole leather shoes and my full-sole leather ones stuck a little but not this bad. I love the shoes (make my feet look so pretty, just like the bloch pumps :) ) but they scare me now. Can I do anything to make them less sticky?


Thanks, Lauranne

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I would like to know too. My standing leg foot mostly fails to come along and turn when I try to pirouette in my leather shoes. I fear sprained ankles.

The canvas shoes stick too.


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I'm stumped here. Maybe someone else will have an answer :shrug:


Could this be a technique issue??? I mean, the frappé issue could be because of not being pulled up enough in the supporting leg, and having the working leg moving too much. Same thing in a way with the pirouette problem; too into the floor.


If it's not technique, then I'm stuck for an answer.... :grinning:

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Sometimes students mistake the brush of a frappe for a smack on the floor. That could be part of the problem.


Or...I have know baby powder to work as far as making for less stickiness with leather slippers. I do not know how that would go over in a classroom situation, though. You would have to discuss that with your teacher, of course.

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I'm afraid that using baby powder could be very dangerous. It would make the shoes too slippery, and then the floor would become a hazard as well. I would definitely not allow it anywhere near a studio floor!

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I find that stickiness is usually more an issue of the flooring than the the type of shoe. Even canvas shoes have leather on the ball of the foot where you turn. Humidity and rosin are two things that come to mind that make the surface of many types of dance flooring very sticky. Marley type floors that have not been properly cleaned can become either too slick or sticky depending on what has been on them- tap shoes, hip hop sneakers, character shoes all have different kinds of soles that can leave residue on flooring. You may want to ask the instructor about the problem, especially since he or she is familiar with your technical work.


I will agree, though, that baby powder belongs nowhere near any dance flooring!

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If you have a residue buildup on the bottoms of your shoes, then you can wash it off with a little saddle soap and water. Remember to rinse with clear water before you take them back into the studio. Saddle soap, being a true soap, leaves a residue of its own after application. A clear rinse removes this layer of "lime soaps".

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well, my teacher said it is not a technique problem. she suggested I practice things like tendus and pirouettes over and over to make the leather pack down along the pleats as well as to get a coating of dust on the shoe to help reduce friction. The slippers are brand new and the pleated part is what sticks, not the patch under the ball of the foot. A few others in the class say that they have had their slippers stick during turns etc to the point where the body rotates ahead of the stuck foot and the ankle gets twisted, ouch! the teacher said it happened to her once as well, while teaching or demonstrating fouettes, and she dislocated her knee!!! At least I am not alone... but I'm almost more afraid now!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Leather shoes due tend to grip more. Add a little moisture (sweat), and a pair of leather shoes will create little suction cups on the floor.


You can hear it as you lift your feet off the floor on a humid day.


I think sticky floors are almost as dangerous as too slick floors, especially for any brushing movements.

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The slippers are brand new and the pleated part is what sticks, not the patch under the ball of the foot



I've noticed that some brands, like Capezio have larger and wider patches than other brands, so the pleated part is actually smaller. I've used both Capezio and Bloch, and while the Bloch patches are just slightly smaller and narrower, I haven't had any 'sticky' experience with the slippers. So if the problem is with the patches, maybe you can go online and compare the patch sizes of various slippers. Discount Dance Supply (located in Southern California) and Dance Distributors (located in Harrisburg PA).

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Breaking the shoes in tends to help a little too. The barer spots of my leather slippers where the paint-like layer has worn away are less sticky than the rest of the shoe. Can you wear them around the house some?

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Yes, just be sure to cover them with gym socks or something, so that you don't collect a wax buildup on the bottom of the shoes.

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I had good luck turning in a new pair of canvas Russian Pointe slippers last week. Of course while we were on the floor, my teacher said they had just swept the floor because it was so gross. Frankly, it was still gross but I had no trouble sticking.



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  • 2 years later...

I was searching a similar topic and decided to bump this one.


Part of my problem with pirouettes these days is shoes. I'm better in canvas, but I need to re-sew my elastics since they aren't sewed right. In either canvas or leather, while I turn I can feel the slipper either rolling or sticking to the floor.


Are there any slippers out there that are more ideal for turning? I'm willing to give another shoe a try to see if that helps reduce or eliminate the problem.

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Are there any slippers out there that are more ideal for turning? I'm willing to give another shoe a try to see if that helps reduce or eliminate the problem.


I hate to be the sort of dancer that associates "charm" qualities into things like shoes, but I have to stand behind the Grishko Performance for turning. I at one point even called them, "my turning shoes". The leather sole under the metatarsal seems to be wide and generous, making pirouettes seem more easy. Surprisingly, for not having much lining on the inside of the shoe, the Performance also does not seem bunchy under the metatarsal area or heel either. My main problem with many shoes is that awful bunching under the metatarsal that I'm *sure* affects turning too.


Give 'em a try! I hope you'll like them. Unfortunately, I think they only come in canvas. They're my shoe of choice now.

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