Best Shoes for Strong “Shallow” Egyptian Toes?
Hello! What pointe shoes would you recommend for these feet:
My feet are wide at the metatarsal and normal (medium) at the heel. My toes are long and slightly tapered (big toe is the longest). I have a high profile, a high arch and a low-ish instep. I'm an experienced dancer and my feet are strong.
Capezio Contempora and Merlet Pulsion were too narrow at the box for me. Grishko Fouette (in XXX) were a good fit, but I "felt the floor" a little too much, it was too hurtful to dance in. Bloch Serenade (in D) fit like a glove, but the platform goes soft pretty quickly and I feel like my feet have to fight the shank. I'm afraid that in any shoe with too square a box there's too much weight on my big toes.
I'm thankful for any suggestions!
Your experience just goes to show that no matter how much we try to categorise shoes according to foot type, strange things happen when you have the real foot in front of you. sometimes a shoe fits perfectly, even though the description says it shouldn't - and that's what's happened here. The Serenades are designed for square toes and a medium profile!
In fact, all the shoes you've tried are medium profile. That may just be because the shop didn't stock any shoes for high profile feet - unfortunately, there are very few models designed for them.
If you like the Serenade, it would be worth trying the Bloch Sonata which suits a higher profile and has the TMT system, which means the platform should stay harder for longer (you have to break them in using a hairdryer!). Similarly, the Merlet Premiere is similar to the Pulsion but with a higher profile - worth a try. If you're at pre-professional stage, then you could consider the Bloch Alpha - it is broken in by dancing in them until they mold to your foot, then you have to seal them with jet glue to hold their shape (and keep them in the fridge).
However if the Serenade feels so good, I think it might be worth sticking with them. The Serenade's combination of narrow heel and wider forefoot is ideal for your foot shape.
It's a pity the Serenade doesn't come in softer shanks, but you can work with the harder one. Make sure you break in the shank properly - put on the shoes, work out where the shank needs to bend, then take the shoes off and spend some time gently flexing the shank at that point with your hands. Never just rely on your feet to "train" the shank! If that doesn't help, take a close look at an old pair and practice cutting the shank down to three-quarters. That may make the difference you need. You'd be surprised how many professional dancers rip the innards out of their lovely new pointe shoes . . .
As for the platform - I wonder if I'm seeing a pattern here, because the platform on the Fouette was also too sensitive. It's the problem with having a long big toe, I'm afraid - it's out there in front and takes all the punishment! Gaynor Minden has a "fit package" that includes a variety of gel shapes - maybe a small gel or sorbothane disc in the platform would help?