Which Brand do I use?
I’ve tried a bunch or brands and types of pointe shoes, and I’ve just now have found the ones that work for me. It defiantly was a struggle, and I’m grateful to have tried so many brands. Currently I wear Gaynor Mindens in the yellow bag. I’m not going to get into the specific shoe size that I wear, otherwise we’d be here a while. One thing I really like about Gaynors is the way they’re made. They’re made here in the US, making them a really good product. They’re composed of a more athletic shoe- type material called elastomeric materials. This makes it possible for the shoe to last longer and be more comfortable. Traditional pointe shoes are made of layers of paper mache type material, and within a few weeks they break down. I started off wearing Blochs European Balance shoe, but I would go through them in a month or less, and pointe shoes aren’t cheap! My Gaynors tend to last me 4 months or more, but I’m not quite sure if you’re supposed to have them that long. My preference is the worn-out feel Gaynors will get.
I’m not here to do a Gaynor Minden promotion or anything, just to clear that up. I actually just happened to like the feel of them and the different sizing options. I’ve heard people call them a “cheat shoe” because they don’t let you roll up the same way as a traditional shoe, but I don’t agree. Finding the right fight is important, just as finding the perfect fit for your shirts are important. You need to find a shank strength where you can roll up and down with ease and feel the floor. I’m actually thinking of trying a softer shank for a while to build up even more muscles in my feet. As I mentioned earlier, I use the yellow bag, which is labed as “Extraflex”, and are comparable to slightly worn-in traditional pointe shoes. Gaynor Mindens are also quieter than traditional shoes, making them perfect for performances. I love being able to land from a jump with hardly a sound, especially the more worn-out the shoes get.
Are They For You?
Gaynor Mindens aren’t for everyone. I’ve read a lot of bad reviews, people saying that the shoes caused bruised toenalis and discomfort, but I still haven’t gotten a blister or feet problems in my three, almost 4 years of pointe work. One of my ballet teachers told me that she used to wear Gaynors, but after a while they stopped working for her. I sure hope that isn’t the case for me and thousands of other people that use them! I’ve also read good reviews where people have mentioned how they lasted 2-3 times longer than a traditional shoe and how they are quieter and more comfortable. Gaynors don’t work for everyone, however, especially for your first pair of pointe shoes. I recommend Bloch for that, as they offer a wide variety of shoes. At my school in Georgia, The Ballet School, they sent a Bloch fitter to fit us for pointe, and I ended up in European Balance. The only issue I had was the width of the shoe and how I went through them so fast.
What brands have I tried?
As we know, I wore Bloch European Balance shoes in 5 xx for less than a year, going through two pairs. I then decided I wanted to branch out a find a better fitting shoe, so I found Mirella Whispers, but they didn’t seem to make the cut. The Whispers are supposed to be quiet, but failed to do that for me. they also were to wide and I sunk into them, and they died fairly quickly. I then drove down to Jacksonville, FL to get fitted into a shoe that I knew would work for me. I had done some research prior to this and found Gaynors. I was desprate to try them after reading about the shoe’s qualities, so I suggested them to my fitter. We tried on traditional shoes first that had harder shanks, but the shanks were all TO hard, and I felt like I was being pulled back in my own shoe. I tried on Grishkos, Russian Pointes, the Bloch split-sole design, and none of them seemed to work. My fitter then brought out a pair of Gaynors in the yellow bag, and I actually really liked the fit. I felt supported in the shoe, and I was able to get over my box. They defiantly took some getting used to, as they are quite different than a traditional shoe, but the adjustment didn’t take long, and I’ve been wearing them since. I’ve gone through three pairs of Gaynors in about two years, and I really enjoy them.
Thanks for reading this blog, and remember that I’m not a Gaynor Girl or spokesperson, I just happened to like the fit of this shoe and am sharing my experience. If you would like more dance posts, comment your suggestions, and don’t forget to share with your friends about my blog! Until next time!
Dancing With Chickens