FAQ POINTE SHOES
What different styles of pointe shoes do you offer and which foot would be best suited to each style?
Bloch has sixteen styles of Pointe shoes. There is no hard and fast rule regarding which shoe suits a particular foot. However a Suprima might suit a very narrow foot, an Alpha an advanced foot, an Amelie for a beginner and a European Balance for a wider foot.
What is the vamp of the shoe and how does it relate to the arch of the foot?
The vamp is the length of the shoe from the platform to the drawstring and helps control the foot when ‘en pointe’ as it acts like a wall to prevent the foot from over arching.
How long does a pointe shoe fitting take, what is involved & should a dancer bring anything with them at the time of the fitting?
Times may vary in fitting a pointe shoe but we would allow a good 20 – 30 minutes for a beginner as this fitting would generally take longer than a girl who has already been ‘en pointe’. If a dancer has not worn pointe shoes before we take them through the procedure step by step explaining what she has to do to stand en pointe. If a dancer wears a particular pad inside the shoe we would fit the shoe with that toe protection.
What differentiates your shoes from other brands?
With a diverse range of shoes with different lasts, widths, shanks, vamps, lengths and paste Bloch offers a huge choice to find the correct shoe. Our shoes are hand made in the traditional method using special materials and formulas however we are constantly looking at ways to improve our existing range by listening to dancers’ feedback.
How long will my pointe shoes last?
There is no set time frame for how long a pointe shoe will last. A young student having one or two lessons per week of pointe work, will no doubt grow out of their shoes before the shoes wear out. A more advanced student may require two to three pairs of shoes per term, depending on the repetitious nature of their classes, the type of flooring in the studio and how she looks after the shoes by airing and drying the shoes after each wear.
Why can’t you buy a pointe shoe with a little extra ‘growing’ room?
A shoe with growing room will not support the foot when ‘en pointe’. The foot must be encased in the shoe so there is no room for the foot to move around inside the shoe. Movement in the shoe can cause friction which could hasten blisters to form.
What’s the best protection to use?
This is really up to the individual and your own personal needs as some dancers like very little if anything inside their shoes so the shoe can mold to the foot better and be as one. Some younger dancers may feel every part of the shoe and would like to use a Pointe Cushion or Pointe Pad to relieve the pressure. Lambs wool is an excellent barrier to relieve pressure as it adds protection without bulk and can be washed and used many times.
How old should a student be before going ‘en pointe’?
Medical fraternities advise that a young student should not commence pointe work before the age of eleven or twelve as the cartilage and bones of the feet are still soft. The student would normally have been studying ballet for about three to four years prior to going ‘en pointe’. Serious damage could occur if pointe work is commenced at too early an age before the correct development of all the muscles, however, it is the teacher who would advise on this.
What is the best way to colour change a pointe shoe?
We suggest that to change the colour of a pointe shoe you could use a material dye (eg. Dylon) that can be mixed with methylated spirits as it is not recommended to use water on the shoe. If red or black is required a felt pen will do the trick or silk paint from a handicraft store also works well.
What is the fastest way to break in pointe shoes?
We suggest rises in first position parallel through demi pointe up to full pointe is good to soften the Box as well as walking on demi pointe. See our Maintenace of Pointe Shoes for more information.
Please see our FAQ Dance Footwear for further frequently asked questions.