The Pointe Shoe Saga

I live in a small town that only has one dance shop, so finding the right pointe shoe can be difficult. I've tried multiple outlets (the local store, the internet, and even a fitting out-of-town during an intensive), but the perfect pointe shoe remains elusive.

About my feet:
  • Short toes
  • Medium arch
  • High profile
  • I also have extreme hyper-extension in my knees, and flexible ankles

Current shoe: Capezio Aria (121ES) 9M

Previous Unsuccessful Pointe Shoe Attempts:
Brand Model Size Problems
Bloch Heritage 5.5 XX & XXX XXX breaks in too wide; XX makes the shoe too short (but could be a padding issue)
Bloch Suprima 4.5 D Shank too strong. Tiny platform made me nervous.
Capezio Airess (1133) 8.5 Platform weirdly soft, making my big toe hurt. Hard to get up in for some reason (something I've never had a problem with before)
Freed Studios Professional 5E Box twisted and it felt slightly too short. Maybe try slightly wider/longer in future?
Freed Wing Block 5XX (maker Y) Box too narrow; shoe twisted too much.
Grishko 2007 5 XXXX Vamp too long, heel too baggy. I didn't actually dance in these (teacher did not approve because of the vamp and heel), but box seemed nice.
Grishko Maya I 5 XXX Shank not giving enough support, pushing over the box. Possibly too short. Also baggy heels (a Grishko thing)
Grishko Nova 5.5 XXXX (S) Was perfect at first, but started twisting off my heel as it broke in. Might try different width in future.
Russian Pointe Entrada Pro 38-V2-W3-MF Shank still too strong, and the box may be too tapered/narrow. Got a bruised toenail and foot cramping.
Suffolk Solo 5 XXXN & 5 XXX Shape of box not right for foot--pain across top of big toe. Profile too tall.
Suffolk Spotlight 5 XX Shape of box not right for foot--pain across top of big toe. Profile too low.


  1. Wow, what a list! I also have short toes so I understand your problem. I've also tried a lot of different brands and they're all misses. That's because I only learned recently that with short toes, a low/short vamp is NECESSARY. The sad part is that pointe shoes in stores and even online are very limited in their vamp options. I've only found two brands that offer to customize vamps & shanks and they are Grishko & Russian Pointe. I customized my Grishko Miracle vamp and made them lower it 1cm because their regular vamps are too deep for me. I will eventually try Russian Pointes as they also offer a low vamp option. I suggest you go to their websites and see based on their in depth description of each of their pointe shoes which suite you best. I also watched Russian Pointe and Gaynor Minden fitting videos on YouTube. They taught so much about pointe shoes and what they say there we will probably never hear from most store fitters.

    1. It's so nice to find someone else who feels my pain, haha! Finding short vamps is extremely difficult--I may end up trying the custom Grishko in the future (the Nova has worked best on me so far), though I'm also finding I also need high wings, so that's an interesting challenge. Before my ankle started bugging me again I was going to try the Freed Studio Pro, but I'm still in the middle of PT...The vamp isn't horrifically long, is V-cut (which helps), and it has wings. I just have to get back onto pointe!

      I will definitely see if I can hunt down those videos! Thanks!