Two ballet teachers and choreographers, Chun Che and Chan Hon Goh have designed a new pointe shoe. The Diamond Pointe which is based upon their experiences of dance and personal injuries as well as and consultation with young dancers in their early teens and practicing three or four times a week. Ballet dancers are traditionalists and would never wear a safer shoe unless it looked and felt like the real thing. Mindful of this the designers made sure the Diamond Pointe has a supportive arch which helps the foot when the heel is off the ground. The shank is designed to reduce stress injuries. Principle Shoes was set up in 1996 and sells to stores across the US.
Other innovative footwear comes from Gaynor Minden who supply shock absorbing plastic footwear which is both light weight and hardwearing.
Arch Angels from Australia are specially designed in-socks for ballet flats and pointe shoes. As the dancer begins to point the foot or rises to demi-pointe or full pointe position the orthoses recoil to follow the arch.
Whilst supportive pointe shoes and associated paraphernalia are not the complete answer to dance perfection, all experts agree, good technique with warm up stretches is essential. Combined with appropriate footwear, technique and added support informed sources believe this will help reduce the injuries both pointe and demi pointe dancer may face in their career.
There are many ballet shoe factories around the world just under half of the pointe shoes are made by Freed of London in the East End of London. Europe’s leading online retailer of dancewear is Dance Direct , and another major distributor of ballet shoes is Bloch.
McCurrah I 2003 These shoes were made for dancing The Times Magazine
July London 35-38.