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Ballet Talk for Dancers

soft pointes

Guest Starling

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Guest Starling

I was reading (somewhere - I forget) about soft pointes. (The pointe shoes with a broken box/no shank). The article I was reading talked about the use of these shoes to strengthen the feet in preparation for eventual pointe work.


Have any of you used these shoes? If so, when did you start using them? Did they work to strenghten your feet?


Also, I believe in the article I read it mentioned that you can buy these types of shoes? Is this true (I haven't had an opportunity to visit my local dance store in a bit)


Thanks in advance for any responses!



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Freed and Gamba make these, and Bloch does, too. As to the box, it's quite an intact structure, but there is no shank. Very few of my students use them as a shoe of choice, but they are required for RAD Vocational examinations. Most dancers I've seen adopt these shoes for regular use in technique classes are adults. In the US, there used to be a shoe that I personally liked very much made by Capezio, called the "Russian Ballet", which was nothing more than the regular "teknik" shoe with an oak leather full sole. I still use them occasionally, from my stock of shoes that I had on hand when I retired from regular dancing. They did make the feet work harder, just as soft blocks do now.:P

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Guest beckster

Ooh there have been lots of posts about these shoes. If you do a search, I'm sure you will find plenty of info, but as a quick reply:


Yes, I've got some. I bought them from Freed. They are made by lots of other companies like Gamba, Bloch, etc. You can also rip the shank out of a pointe shoe, but since most people use padding for pointe, an old pointe shoe won't fit well when you turn it into a soft pointe.


They work because they have a stronger sole than a normal ballet shoe so your feet work harder. In addition they have a stiffened toe area like a softer version of a pointe shoe so you get your feet used to the feel of this. They are supposed to fit very tightly and as a result they aren't very comfy to begin with, but they do soften up. I ended up soaking mine in water and then bashing the box with a rolling pin to make them bearable.

I find them quite difficult to turn in because a good demi-pointe is much harder to achieve. I started using these a few months ago (so, two years into my ballet life :P) and use them mainly in lower level classes where I have time to really work on the basics - and where I know I won't be asked to do many turns! In harder classes, I have enough trouble keeping up without having the added difficulty of these shoes!

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