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Love It or Leave It?: BLOCH European Balance Pointe Shoes

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Hey there dancers and welcome to From the Top’s first edition of “Love It or Leave It?” In this segment of the blog, we will be talking about different dance products, my personal experience with them and if I love them or if I would much rather just leave them! Today we’re talking about the infamous Bloch European Balance pointe shoes! If you are a ballet dancer, 100 times of 10 you have heard of these shoes! Most dancers either adore them or they’re not that big of a fan and now I’m about to give you my opinion as well as the experience that I had with these oh-so popular pair of pointes! Let’s get started!

Dubbed the ultimate beginner shoe, Bloch European Balance pointe shoes are described as “having a curved last with a shank that is in close proximity with the instep to create comfort and reduce the chances of injury.” It also features “a tapered box and a generous instep that benefits in weight distribution for balance.” That’s pretty impressive, am I right?! Bloch European Balance pointe shoes were my very first pair of pointe shoes and I used them for quite some time! So with that being said, here are the pros and cons that I’ve come across with this particular shoe.

One of the things that I like most about this shoe is that the shank is super strong and supportive! It’s also very flexible and you never feel as though the shank is not rising with you as you go up on your box. Once broken in, The shank creates a very snug fit that makes you feel very secure, which is an extremely important element in any pointe shoe! European Balance pointes are one of the top pointe shoes chosen by beginners because of the sense of security that it creates. I mean literally almost every student in my class had these shoes! Another huge plus is that I never experienced any kind of injury while using this shoe and the instep really does help in weight distribution, which is great for a new pointe dancer learning the art of balancing while en pointe. They were also fairly easy to break in, as well!

Unfortunately, with every pro comes a few cons and the biggest problem that I had personally with this shoe was the box. I have long, very narrow feet with very tapered, “staircase toes” and while the box is tapered, it was still a bit too wide for me. Now keep in mind, the last time I used this shoe was around 2014, so I’m not entirely sure if they have made in cosmetic changes to the shoe in the last four years or not. I also wasn’t too big of a fan of the vamp, which didn’t really show the true shape of my foot while en pointe. This wasn’t a problem that I had encountered when I first started using them, however, always keep in mind that a dancer’s feet changes throughout the years and the shoe that may have worked for you wonderfully two years ago, may not be the best fit for you today. So, with the change of my feet in arch and strength, I decided to switch to another model and even though I do not use my European Balances’ as my primary shoes anymore, I keep them in my bag as a spare pair of shoes!

So, if you are a beginner looking for a safe, stable and supportive shoe, you might want to consider giving these babies a try! If you’re a more advanced dancer with extremely tapered toes like mine, you may find these just a little bulky. However, if you would like to see if they’d work for you anyway, I say go for it! You never know until you try! I hope this review helps you along in your search for your next pair of pointe shoes and make sure you stay tuned for the next installment of “Love It or Leave It?” Have a wonderful weekend you guys!

Keep Dancing!

-Lexi

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