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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Fitting the heel (sole) specifically on soft ballet shoes


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Hello all! Like many other adult beginners, I am getting back into ballet after studying as a child. I just picked up my first pair of soft ballet shoes and am not sure if the heel specifically is fitting properly. They are leather split-sole Bloch slippers, and I had them fitted at a dance store but someone who seemed to know what she was doing. The toes are snug but not uncomfortable, so they seemed ok. But I just noticed (after attending a few classes, unfortunately) that the leather sole piece under the heel is sitting very far forward on my foot. It's not directly under the meat of my heel, but is rather starting up at the bottom of my arch and ending about halfway along my heel, if that makes sense. The top back of the heel isn't slipping off, so it's not uncomfortable, but it seems strange. Shouldn't the heel portion of the sole sit directly under my heel, not so far "up" my foot? (I can also feel the edge of that leather sole portion under the midway of my heel, which is an odd feeling...but if that's intended, I can certainly live with it.)


Basically, my question is whether this is where the heel sole pad (whatever it's called) should sit on my foot - so far up on the sole? If so, great. If not, I'm guessing I need a larger size?


(P.S. I should add that I poked around on the forums and found several threads on fitting soft ballet shoes for adults, which were very helpful in general, but I didn't see a mention of this specific detail. If I missed a thread and am double-posting, please just let me know, since I'm new here.)

Edited by Tigralon
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Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, Tigralon. Great that you're posting.


As for the way ballet shoes fit: I've never been bothered by where the leather sole sits. I wear canvas split sole shoes, with a very soft rough leather sole and I'm pretty sure the sole sits halfway down my heel pad. As far as I know, that's where it's supposed to sit. As you know, ballet shoes are not like street shoes (even though there's a fashion type called "Ballet flats"). Unless it causes you discomfort, is it a problem? I think it's the way they make then to fit around the foot very snugly.

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I always go for two criterias with soft shoes: 1) Are they comfortable, espcially on the toes and at the heel. When they are either too short or too narrow it can cause toe gripping or put pressure on the toenails and/or the heel. Neither of them is good, because gripping toes is bad for the feet and does not give a good stance, pressure on the heel can be bad for the achilles tendon (inflammation). Too much material or material on the wrong place can also cause discomfort. 2) Do they make my feet look nice (standing on flat foot, on demi pointe and pointing)?


If you are unsure about the size, I would rather go for your feet's width and length. If the sole does not bother you, when you are standing or pointing your feet, then it is ok. If too much material inside the shoe is bothering you, you might rip that out (but careful, there might be rests of glue that can cause a sticky feeling at the beginning). A soft shoes should sit like a second skin with out cutting in your heel or make your toes curl up.


Also if you have your first and new pair of slippers, keep in mind that they will adapt to your feet and stretch out to a certain degree. Esepcially canvas shoes will get longer and wider with wearing and using them.

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Are they the Zenith? I have noticed 2 of Bloch's flat shoes- the Zenith and the Pro-Elastic (without the drawstring) to have very peculiar designs. Of course, the same can be said of the Capezio Juliet Canvas and Sculpture Canvas......

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I have the exact same problem with Bloch flat shoes. They just don't fit my foot correctly and the heel pad end ups under my arch somewhere. Others swear by them.


Shoes I've had success with are the Capezio Cobra, So Danca SD16, and Grishko flats.

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I'm dancing in the Bloch Zenith

The heel pad does sit a bit too much under the arch with that one

But I don't feel it any more, it did bother me in the beginning

I swear by them now haha

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Thank you all for your thoughts! Really helpful.


They are the Bloch Adult Prolite II Hybrid model. kr12, it's interesting to hear you have the same problem. Next time I will try some of the other ones you suggested. And Clara76, I'll be wary of those ones you mentioned.


I asked my teacher about this after class, and showed her the shoe on my foot. She said she thought the heel looked a little closer to my arch than she would have expected, but as long as it fit and was comfortable it was fine (to your comments, Redbookish and Claude_Catastrophique).


Anyway, as I said to her, it's not like they're motorcycle boots and will last for 5 years! ;) Once this pair wears out, I'll try another maker/model instead.

Edited by Tigralon
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Haha, you are right about that. Make sure that you always work the floor pretty well and you have to get new shoes soon :clapping:

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