On Monday I did it. I took pointe class with no padding in my shoes. It was a decision born out of stubborness to not let the money I spent on my newest pair of Grishko shoes go to waste. But they were too small, you say? Yeah well I'm a woman, and we are nothing if not a determined people who would never let a small thing like not fitting stop us wearing the shoes we want.
So no, my feet were going into those damn shoes, one way or another. It this instance, it just had to be the other.
I bought some microfroam tape and some fabric tape, which looks like fabric plasters but without the middle bit, and went to work taping up the bits in my feet and toes I figured would rub the most, which was basically everywhere.
I added a little lambswool to cushion my toes and squeezed my feet easily into the Miracles. I must admit, I was kinda dreading it. I mean, have you seen the state of dancers feet who don't wear padding? Holy crap, that shit looks like the plague! Blisters bursting, then the skin coming off and more blisters forming on top. It ain't pretty. But if meant making those shoes fit me, then that's what I was going to do.
With trepidation, I put them on and when I stood up en pointe, it wasn't that bad. "Ok this is a good start", I thought to myself. When I put on normal shoes I know immediately where they are going to rub my skin off, but with the pointe shoes it looks as if I'd covered the worst areas with my thorough taping regime and that they might not rub that badly.
Class began with some slow rises and roll throughs, which actually hurt if you have new shoes anyway, but much to my relief it didn't hurt at all. After the plies we quickly move on to 16 echappes, which is a good test as to how your shoes will perform and if they are going to hurt. But, again, no pain. This no padding shizzle is amazing!
Pointe is not exactly painful in the strictest sense of the word, it's a different kind of pain to anything else, but it's born more from working your feet very hard and wearing shoes which are so different to normal footwear. I could feel normal pointe discomfort but not added extra pain from having no padding. But even more suprising was my pique turns. I felt so much more in control of them as I could work the shoes much easier somehow. I love pique turns but I definitely haven't been able to do them as well as I did on Monday.
The predict it will get more painful as the shoe begins to loosen up, because my feet will begin to sink into them more, but that happens anyway. My shoes generally die when the box softens up too much for me. But I am so happy I could get the Miracles to work for me as I thought perhaps I would have to give up on them.
When I took off my shoes, I did have some skin which had rubbed off in bits where I hadn't taped, but now I know the additional places I need to protect for next time.
So in conclusion, I take back what I said last week about the Miracle being renounced. These shoes were, indeed, sent from heaven.