Too Much Padding?
Hi, so I'm 12 and I'm on my second pair of pointe shoes and I started pointe work about four months ago. When I went back to my fitter for my second pair and she wanted less bulk in my pointe shoe, (I was wearing ouch pouches and bunheads jelly toeson my fourth and fifth toes) so she switched me to some wear moi gel pads. So I quick sewed my pointe shoes and went to class an hour later, when I got to my pointe class I soon discovered after about two exersizes that the gel pads were squezeing my fourth and fifth toes together, an it really hurt! So for my next pointe class I tried using my old ouch pouches, and they didn't fit in the shoe!
My pointe classes are over for now but I have to go back for a camp and I will have an hour pointe class every day and I really don't want to kill and destroy my feet! I have perfect ballet feet, extra strong and extra flexible feet and ankles as well as perfect arches and no problems with sickeling. Do you have any tips?
PS: I'm currently wearing Russian Pointe Encore with a flexible soft shank. (They really work my arches!) I have also moved up very quickly, I came back to school this year and took grades 1, 2, and 3 along with pre-pointe. I am natrually strong and built the rest of my strength very quickly.
I agree with your fitter - wearing ouch pouches and jelly toes is too much.
Before you do anything else, I suggest your first step should be to try dancing in your shoes without any padding (not for a whole class, just for a few minutes). That way, you can work out where it hurts!
Padding doesn't protect you from injury or damage. You're not going to "destroy your feet" by not wearing it! Padding is there to fill any gaps or unevenness in your toes, to ease pain and avoid blisters. The better your shoe fits, the less padding you need. The less padding you have, the better you can feel the floor and the more sensitively you'll dance.
Once you've tried dancing without padding, you'll know where your "hot spots" are. That's where you need padding, and you may not need much at all elsewhere.
It certainly sounds like your fourth and fifth toes are your main problem. Wear your jelly toes, perhaps with a little lamb's wool in the very toe of your shoe, and see how that feels. You may not need pouches at all!
Another idea is to try Gaynor Minden padding (details here). You can wear them with any shoes, not just Gaynor Mindens.