It turned out that her first pointe shoes did not last very long… After 4 classes, the shank on the right one gave out and died. Mrs. Cheng, her teacher, told me to buy a new pair for next week, because her current pair has lost the support. And because she killed the shank so quickly, she needed to get a stronger shank to train her feet… And perhaps, stronger shank would last a bit longer.
As I mentioned on the other entry, Aina’s feet is very narrow… And it made the shoe-searching is very hard. You see, Asian feet are usually on the wide side. So, it seems that all the pointe shoe stores in Singapore only stock up shoes with Medium to Wide width. I’ve been asking 4 different stores, none of them bring in the Narrow width in to the country. This means, I can only order from overseas, and there is no shoes for her width to try out here in Singapore. And if you know pointe shoes, you know that one need to try them on to find a good fittings…
What a headache…
At the beginning, I was thinking of getting another Grishko with harder shank. But the model that she had before, Alice, didn’t come with harder shank… Which means we had to buy a completely different model. Between getting a new model that Aina had not tried them on and the 3-week shipping (we need the shoe ASAP), we decided against it.
So, we came back to Chacott, the only place I knew that sells a model that quite narrow. Out of all Chacott and Freed on the store, there was only one model that was narrow enough for Aina: Chacott Swanilda. They only brought in the D-width for her size, which was the Medium width. But since the shape of the shoe was narrow to begin with, so it fitted well on Aina’s skinny feet. This time, we got the soft shank again, because supposedly, Chacott’s soft shank is harder than Grishko’s super soft shank (which was her Alice), and I didn’t want to go too hard that she would have a problem going over the box.
Her old one is on the left, the new one is on the right. As you can see, the shape is very different. According to Aina, the new one felt better on her feet. I guess because it had a skinnier shape, so it hugged her feet better.
She actually tried this model on during her last visit to the store, and I thought it looked very nice on her feet. But she decided against it, because she felt that this pair was too tight and was too hard for her to get over the box. But I guess, within those 4 classes, her feet got stronger and now she seems to be able to go over the box on the Swanilda every time.
And I still think it looked better on her too…
She went to Mrs. Cheng class this past Friday, and the shoe got an OK from her. She said, this pair was definitely better than her Grishko Alice. They seemed to support her feet quite well that she said, there was no pain on the toes at all during the class. And she was on the box the whole time, able to balance quite well even without the barre and during center works.
Right now, I’m ordering 5 more pairs of Chacott Swanilda straight from Japan, asking Jessi — Ari’s sister who lives in Japan — to buy and send them to us. Mrs. Cheng asked me to buy a harder shank for Aina (we’re going to Medium shank, instead of Soft), because it seems that her Swanilda would die in about the same rate as her Grishko Alice, if not faster. The shank was just too soft for her. And buying straight from Japan would save me some bucks, especially when buying 5 pairs at the same time.
To tell you the truth, I was still in shock on how fast her pointe shoes would die. I thought, since Aina just started going en-pointe, with only 30 minutes of pointe lesson per week, her shoes would last around 3 month-ish. I can’t imagine what’s going to happen if she starts to go to pointe class two to three times per week… or starts doing dances and variations. Maybe one pair per week?
I’m hoping we could find shoes that fit her well (like this Swanilda one), but with a longer life time…
I’m still reading your blog after coming across your Japan trip, haha!
I’m also a ballerina myself and your ballet blog-post got my attention. With regards to pointe shoes, have you checked Costume Connection @ Golden Landmark, Bugis. They take in Sansha brand, and as far as I’ve used point shoes for years (with 2-3 hours pointe lesson per week), my pair last me a long time. I’m also an Asian with small feet size and require smaller width, Sansha fits me well and I hope this could be an alternative for your beautiful daughter if you have not explore this option 🙂
Hi Angelina, I’ve been to Costume Connection, but at that time, we were looking for leotard, instead of pointe shoes. Maybe we’ll try Sansha next, since we have never tried the brand before. Thank you for your suggestion, Angelina (Ballerina! Well, I guess you get that a lot… 🙂 )
Hi! I just got my daughter’s first pointe shoes – the Chacott Swanilda too! Im actually going to be in Japan next week – and plan to stock up on a couple of extra pairs. Do you recommend getting the same size or sizing up? Thanks!
Hi Melina, congrats to your daughter! She must be very happy!
When I bought 5 pairs, it turned out that her feet grew faster than the rate of her shoe died. So she only used 2 out of the 5 pairs, before she grew out of the size. So maybe, if you want, you can stock the size up…
However, from my experience, Aina first shoes didn’t end up as her favorite pair. After it died (or grow out the size), she wanted to try different brands and types. After taking classes and get a feel of the shoes, she knows more of what she wants from her shoes. She actually went through 3 more brands/types after her Swanilda, until she found the type that she liked and stick with it for (so far) 8 months.
Oh another thing… if your daughter wears Chacott Swanilda size 21cm DM, I still have a few pairs laying around, and you can have it. Message me through the email form in the About page if you want them.
Thanks ! My dd is elated for sure. She’s 22.5 CS for now. Her teacher wanted to try the harder shank but they didn’t have it in Sg. May I ask what brand she wears now? My dd also tried Wear Moi at Sonata. It was not bad too but since we got the Swanilda, we might try the Wear Moi when she outgrows the Swanilda. I do hope to check out Sylvia when I get to Japan. Any other tips? Thank you.
Ah, 22.5… our spare pairs are too small 🙂 Aina is currently wearing Grishko. Wear Moi was too wide and her Sylvia died too quickly (only lasted for 3 classes). But if you have the time when visiting Sylvia store in Japan, take time to try out their pointe shoes collection. They carry various brands, from Russian Pointe, Merle, etc… brands that are not available in Singapore 🙂
The shoes didn’t last long probably that was standard shoes from standard materials. Their life span is not that long after you break it in
Try this new brand of pointe shoes Siberian Swan. Uniquely made shoes with Active Arch Support patented technology. Plastic shank (not box, just shank). the curve beautifully breaks right underneath the heal providing support where it is needed, and elegant look by adjoining the line of your foot.
Hi, may I know how old is Aine when she wears pointe shoes for the first time? Did she need to go for more classes during the week? Thanks
Hi Grace, she started wearing pointe shoes when she just turned 9 years old. At that time, she goes to ballet class 6 days a week, with around 1.5 hours – 3 hours per day. Hope that helps!