Ah, the never-ending pointe shoe fitting saga.
What, you thought it was over? Never!!!
So I posted pics of my newest Grishkos (the 2007s) for the pointe shoe forum moderators at BT4D. The fitter who originally provided my suggestions said she thought it was time to move on to Freeds.
Dun dun dunnnnn….
The OTHER fitter moderator lady is the Freed guru. Had to wait for her reply.
Her reply? Might be time to start thinking about customs.
Golly and gosh! The idea of getting shoes made just for me is both thrilling and terrifying. On the one hand makes me feel all fancy and stuff. On the other… I mean, seems a bit overkill for someone who is just a recreational dancer. But back to the first hand… this is what Freed does. It’s actually very easy to order custom shoes, you can order just one pair if you want, and the cost isn’t much more than a stock Classic. Why not get exactly what you want and need to dance to the highest level of your ability?
The first step, the fitter told me, was in fact to go find some stock Classics. If you don’t know anything about Freeds, they have a couple different models. Some are meant to be consistent. The Studios, Studios II, etc. are all built to certain standards and should fit pretty consistently. The Classics, though, vary depending on the maker. For example, some are more tapered than others; the block strength can be stronger or lighter. Each maker has a mark which is either a letter or symbol and they stamp it into the sole of each of their shoes. So… it’s not enough to say “I want a Freed Classic.” You have to know your makers.
Being the average Jane I’d have no idea where to begin among the couple dozen makers. Luckily the BT4D moderator does and gave me a couple to try (D and Y, if you’re curious) and suggested sizes. I e-mailed my somewhat local mega-dance distributor and a nice girl there dug up the shoes she could find in those sizes and makers and set them aside for me.
Then, the moment of truth. Went in to try them on. They only had one of the sizes in maker D and it was totally gappy and hella uncomfortable en pointe, to boot. Forget that. Maker Y felt good. The wider size was more comfortable. I usually find that this means I’ll be sinking like a rock in the shoe once it’s broken in, so I went with the more snug but more secure narrower size.
The next goal is to get them sewn up and do some dancing in them so I can report back to the moderator how I feel about them. Then we can start making decisions re: specifics for the customs. Eek.
I must say, it feels kind of cool to be following in the steps of Megan Fairchild, et al.:
I may never get to meet my maker (heehee!), but it’s neat to think that Mr Y over in London probably makes lots of shoes for famous pros and then will whip up a pair for little ol’ me. Whee!