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To the pointe: 18 shoes--your perfect pair is here.

Choosing a pointe shoe is daunting. Just when you settle on the perfect pair, your foot grows or your skill level improves and you have to start all over. "For a while I was squishing my feet into shoes not realizing they were getting too narrow for me", says Lisa Thorn, associate ballet mistress for Kansas City Ballet. "Your body is always changing, so I recommend that dancers have their feet measured every few years." A change in foot size isn't the only reason to try a new type of shoe. "Pay attention to tendon problems you never had before, or rubbing you've never noticed," says Thorn. "Reevaluate the shoes if you're suddenly gripping your muscles." Remember that working on pointe is an extension of working in a slipper "Watch to see if there is a dramatic shift in how you execute a movement in slippers versus pointe shoes," says Thorn. "It could be the shoe pulling you off a pirouette. Shown here are a fraction of your many pointe shoe options. If you prefer a configuration not pictured, call or log onto the manufacturer's website for information about other options. Take heart, there's a shoe for every dancer!

1. FREED OF LONDON

Freed Satin Block Toe

#SBTD, $80

866.MY.FREED

www.freedusa.com

A shoe handmade and signed by one of over 20 highly skilled craftsmen. Comes with a standard 1.8mm red card insole. Shown with a deep vamp. Special orders available.

2. CHACOTT

Veronese II

$80

866.MY.FREED

www.freedusa.com

A lightweight shoe with a tapered V-shaped vamp. It's available in three widths. Choose from medium or hard shank. Ribbons included.

3. GRISHKO

Pro2007

$79

www.grishko.com

A special strip on the platform and sole reduces noise. Features glue with latex to provide elasticity to the box. A new box assembly reduces the length of the vamp's stiff portion. The inner sole features flexible material. Available in super soft, medium, or hard shanks.

4. GAMBA

Gamba 97

#G97X; $70

800.858.5855

A shoe for performance, class, or rehearsal. It features a standard V-shaped vamp, 3/4 shank, and wide block. Available with medium or hard shanks.

5. MIRELLA DANCEWEAR

Superlight pointe shoe

#MS101A; $64

www.mirella-dance.com

Features a short, open U shaped vamp and low cut sides. The suede outside is curved gently to aid in foot articulation. The insole is made of a strong composite material. It features a large platform.

6. PRIMA SOFT

Prima Rusee

$70

www.prima-soft.com

Requires very little break-in. Features a flat platform and the "Perfect placement" toe box. The low vamp is ideal for dancers with short toes. The graduated roll-through shank is available in flex or regular shank.

7. RUSSIAN POINTE

Almaz from the Jewels collection

$75

866.R.POINTE

www.russianpointe.com

A lightweight shoe featuring a pleatless platform and pliable shank. It's made from natural materials. Available with U-cut vamp and elastic drawstring or V-cut vamp with no drawstring.

8. PIETRA & MERLET

Dedicace

$66

800.660.6818

www.merletusa.com

A shoe designed to fit several types of feet. Choose from a medium or hard shank. Features a wide box. Available with half, 3/4, or full shank,

9. GAYNOR MINDEN

$75.99

800.637.9240

www.dancer.com

Each shoe is 100 percent customizable. Specify your length, box shape, width, shank strength, vamp, and heel height. Features elastomeric technology for a long-lasting, unbreakable box and shank. Note the shock absorbent sole.

10. BLOCH

Axis

#S0190L; $65

775.824.2550

www.blochworld.com

A pointe shoe shaped on a curved last to provide more contact between a dancer's foot and the shoe. Features a U-shaped vamp and lowered sides. Angled seaming minimizes bagginess and creasing. Fine and flat pleating for increased stability while standing flat.

11. PRINCIPAL BY CHAN HON GOH

Diamond Princess Pointe

$60

604.925.8668

www.principalshoes.com

www.principalcanada.com

A shoe with a short, soft wing block. Features colorful lining, Offered with a full shank and your choice of soft or medium hardness. An inner Supportive piece and reinforced tip are standard.

12. HARMONIE

Melody

$59

www.harmoniedance.com

Features Harmonie's "silent technology" for a quiet performance. Standard features are a woven cotton lining, feathered wings, 3/4 leather sole, and 3/4 skived moderate strength shank.

13. FUZI INTERNATIONAL

Canvas pointe shoe

$36

888.368.6255

www.fuzi.net

Made with pleated, dyeable canvas. Features a leather sere and brown board full shank. A soft pad under the heel relieves foot pressure. Ribbons are included.

14. SO DANCA

Performance by Cecilia Kerche

#EF26; $56-60

*available through retailers nationwide

www.ceciliakerche.com

www.sodanca.com

Features a long vamp and a flat base (not pre-arched). Available with 3/4 shank in stock or full shank by special order. Strong lateral wing support is a standard feature.

15. LEO'S DANCEWEAR

Split sole pointe shoe

#0051; $67

773.889.7700

www.leosdanceweancom

The scored outer sole is split but the inner sole features a full-length red board shank. The toe box is broad and the platform is flat. Elastic drawstrings are standard.

16. REPETTO INC.

Rushka

#T116; $51

800.858.5855

A shoe for advanced dancers. Features reinforced wings in the box and side cushions. Elastic borders keep the shoe snug at the heel. The vamp is V-cut.

17. CAPEZIO

Glisse

#102; $62.50

800.533.1887

www.capeziodance.com

Features a broad, feathered hand-molded box and wide platform. The vamp is long and U shaped. Made with Capezio's #3 hard shank. Suede lining and elastic drawstring are standard.

18. SANSHA

Etudes

#505; $34

212.246.6212

www.sansha.com

A shoe designed for both beginners and professionals. It features a wide, flat platform and wide box. The standard shank is medium in strength and the vamp is low.

Photographed by Nathan Sayers
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Title Annotation:DM STYLE
Author:Hanlon, Khara
Publication:Dance Magazine
Date:Aug 1, 2007
Words:975
Previous Article:They came, they danced, they survived.
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