Shoes for Advanced Dancer, Medium Egyptian Feet
Dawn asks for help with her daughter's shoes:
5'3" 124 lbs US size 7.5 street shoe, strong feet with pretty arch en pointe but wide forefoot, slightly tapered toes (Egyptian), medium toes (big toe 1.5”) medium profile (1.25” ) and disappearing heel. 17 yrs old, en pointe 7 yrs, advanced but not preprofessional dancer, dances en pointe 5 days per week when rehearsing for a show.
Currently in Capezio Tiffany 8.0 W but feels she sickles a little (?too square even with triangular foam padding..) and also in Gaynor Minden 8.5 W 4Box Hard sleek fit (452133) but the vamp is very shallow and she feels less supported en pointe.
Before that she was in Grishko Elite 4.5 XXXX but too square, sickled badly and got big toe extensor tendonitis repeatedly in those shoes.
She strongly prefers 3/4 shank.
I found this question quite challenging! First, the shoes she's tried so far:
Frankly, I'm surprised the Grishko Elites were ever fitted - I would expect them to be too square. I'm disappointed the Capezio Tiffanys don't work, as they would've been my first suggestion. However that does offer some clues as to what might be worth trying.
As for the Gaynor Mindens - why the Hard shank? If she has a strong foot and prefers a 3/4 shank, then I would've expected her to need a soft shank, not the hardest one. The softer shanks last just as long as the Hard one (they vary in flexibility not durability) - so worth reviewing that. Mindens do offer vamp elastic if the vamp feels too low.
Now I will hand over to Caron Jones for some suggestions for which other shoes to try:
Top of the list would be Bloch Alpha, it has a high vamp for the support lacking in the Gaynor Mindens, a generous exterior platform, but not as roomy inside as those deemed unsuitable, a three-quarter outer sole which in practice works like three-quarter shank and a heel that fits very neatly. I would start by trying 4.5xxx.
Next, also Bloch. The Balance European offers the generous platform but is slightly tapered inside. This would provide some of the things this dancer is looking for and again I would start with 4.5xxx. There is a newer shoe, made on this last, in stretch satin, with a split outer sole and durable paste. I've not yet seen or tried this shoe myself so I can't comment further but it might serve as a comparison. This shoe would provide a glove-like fit around the heel.
Finally, Freed Classic Pro. The graduated shank works in a similar way to a Three-quarter shank but could be further cut down by the dancer herself. If she could track down Q or Anchor makers to try they are quite square. Again not too square on the inside. There are a number of variations. A hard shank is available but I would start with the standard insole in a 4.5xx, xxx or possibly 5 in the same widths. There is a natural platform or an angled platform choice to be made also. (A platform which slants back pulls you further over en pointe, I suspect this dancer doesn't need this).