London Adventure / Pt.Two
FITTED AT THE MOTHERSHIP
You can't go for ballet shoe fittings in London without going to the world famous Freed of London.
The other reason for Prince B booking the trip to London was so I could get fitted for ballet shoes. The choice of ballet shoes in Scotland is poor to say the least. My ballet teacher had told me I really need to see if Freeds would work for me, so it was literally the first place we headed.
My fitter Beth was amazing. She took one look at my current Grishko shoes and told me how entirely wrong they are for me. Every fitter in Scotland I have ever been to either put me in Bloch or Grishko. Honestly, Grishko are by far the least painful shoes I have ever worn, which is why I've stuck with them for so many years, but Beth pointed out that the tapered nature of the box has caused my big toe to turn inwards and my big toe joint to poke outwards.
I also have a lot of torn blood capillaries along the side of my feet, which she said is due to the profile of the shoe being too low for me and being in a shoe much too narrow. I have always noticed that one side of shoes pull, making my feet look sickled. even when they aren't, and she pointed this out too and said it was because the shoes are much too narrow.
So we tried on a bunch of shoes and settled on the Classic Pro's, D maker. These have a very square box and are xxx width, which is quite a bit wider than what I would normally wear. Beth warned me I am basically retraining my feet and to begin with these will hurt like hell but I must persevere with them as I have to realign my big toes or the damage will not be repairable.
I couldn't wait to try them, so i took a beginners class the night after we arrived home as the slow and simple pace of a beginners class would be the perfect opportunity to see how they feel doing basic things such as tendus. I was actually really quite nervous since I've never had success wearing shoes with a square box and couldn't imagine how these would be any different. I used my usual padding plus toe spacers, to help re-align my big toe joint.
I did the class plus added in some extra things, such as a few releves and going up to fifth position and I was thrilled to discover they didn't hurt at all! Of course, it's still not anything close to the work we do in pointe class, so that'll be the real test, but my first impressions are great. I absolutely love them. The pressure I used to feel on my toe joint has completely gone and the wider box is so much easier to balance on. Yay!
GET TO LA POINTE
My second shoe fitting took place at the Sansha store.
I didn't want to limit myself to just Freeds, in case I just couldn't work with them, so I headed for Sansha where I knew they held other brands besides their own, such as La Pointe.
The fitting experience was so incredibly different to the one at Freeds. A little old lady brought out a bunch of shoes in my size and then basically left me to fit them myself. Luckily I was literally just out of Freeds so I remembered everything Beth had told me and I settled on La Pointe No2. Much harder than Freeds, they are a little more what I'm used to with Grishko. I did however select a model with a square box and a wider width than I'd normally wear. I haven't tried these ones yet but hopefully they will be a success.
Not only was this visit to London the best one I've had so far, I'm thrilled that my pointe shoe fitting at Freed of London was such a success. I've been searching for the right pointe shoes for years, so that fact I might have finally found them is huge for me but not only that, I have saved my poor toes from permanent damage.