Ballet Pointe Shoes - Russian Pointes or Gaynor Mindens?

by Larisa

Ballet Pointe Shoes - Russian Pointes or Gaynor Mindens?

Hi Odette!
I've been wearing Russian Pointes ever since I started pointe, but they've started to look terrible on me. I can't do fast footwork and I can't straighten my legs (which may be a technical issue) and the shoes are dead within two months. My teacher fit me with Gaynor Mindens today and they looked gorgeous on me! But I've heard a lot of rumors about Gaynors, like after you wear them your feet won't adapt to anything else. Is this true? What is your opinion on Gaynors?
I'll send pictures soon!


Reply by Odette
To:- Ballet Pointe Shoes - Russian Pointes or Gaynor Mindens?

Hello Larisa,

Thank you very much for contacting me it is a pleasure to hear from you. I understand your trouble with your pointe shoes, so do not worry.

How long have you been wearing your Russian pointe shoes for? It seems strange that they have only just started to look not as pleasing for you. But this is normal, because as you progress through your pointe training your feet are constantly developing and strengthening so it is natural for your fit of pointe shoe to change too.

It is true that dancer's should work their feet in their pointe shoes, yet I do feel the pointe shoes make a crucial different to how you feel when you dance. It certainly will not help fast footwork or advancing in technique if your shoes are troubling you. It may take time but experimenting and patience is the key. You will soon begin to learn what works well for your own particular foot shape.

When it comes to Gaynor Mindens, it is true there many mixed rumors. Many professionals dancers wear this brand of shoe. There are many different views on this brand which makes it hard to form an opinion. I believe it also depends on how far you are with your training and your strength in your feet. If you are developing and learning the true techniques of pointe work, perhaps a standard and traditional pointe shoe could be better. Only because I have tried Gaynor Minden as a student for a short period myself and I felt a remarkable difference compared to a standard shoe, but I do not know if this difference was benefiting the strength in my feet. The shoes felt extremely comfortable, but I personally felt I could not articulate my feet as well.

Of course, every dancer has different foot shapes so it will depend on the individual. I do feel that Gaynor Minden are a brilliant idea for professionals. They are comfortable, quiet and last for a long time. But perhaps not so much for students.

Your teacher should be there to guide you, so if she allows you to wear them then perhaps you can consider it. At my school we had to ask special permission to wear Gaynor Minden and in some places I believe they are not allowed.

Remember you can experiment with a few different brands before you find your 'perfect' pointe shoe. So if it means you wear Gaynor Mindens for a while to see what they are like then go for it. I tried 3 or 4 different types of shoe before finding my preferred brand.

Best wishes,

ps. To become the best dancer you can be, learn the Seven Secrets ..... go to my 'Seven Secrets of Ballet' page

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