For this round, anyway.
So, for a new type of shoe timeline photo, here are the four pairs of pointes I’ve attempted dancing in over the past 6 months
From left to right we’ve got the Bloch Heritage (a front-runner), the Russian Pointe Rubin (boooooo… the shoe that sent me on this odyssey in the first place), and the Chacott Veronese II (the everything-old-is-new-again shoe, i.e. last model I owned prior to quitting ballet, so hey, why not try it again). And in front we’ve got the winner. The Grishko Ulanova I.
How did I determine my winner?
Well, clearly you can search past posts to see why the Russian Pointe Rubin was out months ago… I just put it in the picture for the sake of completeness.
The Chacott Veronese II… I might use this once in a while for something. It’s very light and quiet. But not attractive, not particularly supportive. And it does the same wonky platform thing that the Russian Pointes did where it throws my weight back on my baby toes, though not to the same degree.
Which brings us to the Bloch Heritage. It’s a beautiful shoe, lots of great things going for it. But it started causing me a lot of pain. I attributed the pain to the foam cushion in the toe box. Supposedly it’s there to help make the shoe quieter (and it is a quiet shoe) but it rubbed me the wrong way… quite literally. So this weekend I dug it out on the advice from a few people who have had similar experiences. That was a chore and a half. Didn’t come out neatly whatsoever. I had tiny pieces of gray foam all over the place before I was done… and there are still fragments in the box that I couldn’t dig out. I tried them today pad-free… and damn, my feet sank like bricks and they hurt even worse then before. I could “feel the floor” in the most uncomfortable way possible. They were off like a prom dress and it was back to the Grishkos.
Ooooh. Aaaaahhh. Pulled up. Secure. Pain free. And loud as hell. I could do a tap dance in those things, no joke. The good news? Apparently Grishko makes a shoe on the same last called the Fouette Proflex which is supposedly made to be quiet (quiet Russian shoes is kind of an oxymoron). So I think I’ll give those a go next time. If they fit the same (which they should) but are quieter then yeehaw, I may have found The Shoe!
In the meantime I’ll relish the fact that I’ve found a shoe that is darned near wonderful. And that it’s a Russian shoe (yayyyy!) which is way better than a Russian-inspired shoe made in Thailand for an Australian company (Bloch, I’m looking at you). But not THAT Russian shoe made of cement and hellfire (sorry, RPs… you know I wanted to love you). And they don’t have the appearance of being sat upon like the Chacotts do.
So here, again, the winner:
The winner on my feet (pardon the rolled up jeans):
And what you get to see if you are my toes:
The Tunnel of Looooove right there 😉 Always amazes me to see how tiny that little platform is on the inside.