The "Intrinsic" is a canvas split sole ballet slipper designed to strengthen the muscles of the lower leg and provide a heightened level of support for the foot and ankle. Prior to the release of the "Intrinsic", canvas split sole shoes have been frowned upon by dance teachers for their lack of support and remedial characteristics. This issue has been addressed by building a support and strengthening substructure into the shoe. The patent applied structure is designed to impose a level of controlled resistance to the muscles of the lower leg each time the foot points and flexes, building strength and stability over time. The structure is shaped to envelop the heel and arch which offers the dancer an unrivalled level of protection. It supports the foot and arch and allows the intrinsic muscles to recover when at rest. All this is achieved while maintaining the optimum aesthetics for a longer leg and a clean line.
I followed the ordering instructions and ordered 1/2 size down from my street shoe. After waiting 4 weeks for them, I was excited to try them on, only to find they were too small. The canvas has no stretch and my toes scrunched up uncomfortably, enough to warrant a return.
I will say, that the overall feel of the shoe was great and I have already re-ordered a size up (and have started the backorder waiting again). When they arrive I will try to re-review about actual comfort , fit, and durability, but I wanted to at least mention for me the sizing guide was off.
I dance 8-10 times a week (sometimes 2-3 classes a day) and I both take Advanced classes and teach and a current issue I've been facing with my other ballet flats (Bloch Pro -Canvas- Elastic and the Capezio Leather Juliet's) is that since I've been strengthening my arches by taking so many classes, the ball of the foot always seems to tear apart on my shoes. This has been a new issue this year as they usually tend to last me 6-7 months and have only been lasting me 2 months before ripping apart. I researched new shoes and saw that these had great arch support, something new in flat ballet shoes, and despite the high cost for canvas shoes decided to follow the size chart guidelines and ordered a 5N (I wear 5.5 in Women's street shoes but with pointe my feet have been shrinking a lot lately). When they arrived in the mail, they arrived with a cute little white silky bag (I dont even get bags as nice as this with expensive pointe shoes!) and saw how small they were & immediately got anxious if it would be too small. They ended up fitting PERFECTLY and felt like a pillow connected to my foot! I used them to teach a pre-ballet/jazz combo class then an Intermediate ballet class and after taking them off in between the classes/on my break I could feel aches in my feet as if I had pointe shoes on!!! I was super impressed the first time using them with how sore my feet were (the good kind of sore though).
I don't think the top part of the shoe is thin like the other reviewer said, it is lined inside with the same soft type of cotton?? as the Capezio Leather Juliet's --which is what I absolutely LOVED about those shoes and while it is somewhat thin, it is canvas, and is expected since I've never come across a very thick canvas ballet shoe. They look like they'd get dirty quickly but as soon as theres dirt on them you can actually just wipe it off with your hand (the top part anyways, haven't tried the bottom of shoe). Haven't washed these yet but I heard they are machine washable so I can't say much on that part aside from that its pretty cool and a huge plus if its true. When not on your foot the shoe feels like the ball of the foot has padding but once on releve you don't actually feel any gathering of material.
Since it's Nutcracker season I can't say much for durability since I've had these for only 2 months and I've been constantly working on pointe work but if you're on the fence, buy them AND follow the sizing chart.
This is my second pair and I love these shoes! Friends have ordered them after seeing mine. I dance 6-10 hours a week and they provide great support for my high arches. I am in my mid 50's and will continue to order them until I stop dancing. I highly recommend them to dancers who prefer a little support in their slipper.
I loved the feel & support of the shoe. I did however find that 1 of the shoes fit, but the other was uncomfortably small. It could be my feet having a difference in size. Solution: ordered a pair in a larger size. Now I have 2 custom fit pair of shoes, since there is no R or L in ballet shoes.
I got these because I teach multiple ballet classes for hours a day and my feet would be so tired from the lack of cushion and support. Now that I have these, my feet are so much happier! The cushion and arch support works great for my long ballet days. And I love the little bit of resistance i get when doing barre work. My feet have gotten stronger and my pointe is better from using them. I also love that they can be washed and dried. My shoes get so smelly after a while from wearing them all day. So being able to wash them without them falling apart is great..
I have a narrow heel, higher arch, and wide (but compressible) toes. I ordered a size 8 M (street size 8.5) and they are perfect in length and snug enough (just the way I like them). There is only a little extra fabric near my 2/3rd toe but It gives my tapered toes a flattering line. The heel lays flat and fitted, the revolutionary heel/arch material looks great on the arches and gives a stable and cushioning feel in the heel. It does appear to help articulate the feet by bringing more awareness and resistance, although it feels a little different to have something pushing back on the arch. I teach beg-adv dance and am in my ballet flats 15hrs a week. I just received these and have only tendu'ed and balanced around the house, so I have no feedback on durability or long term comfort, but they look well built. My favorite shoe in the past was girshko's flats but these may be the new choice! Worth the money for the fit and comfort.
I love these shoes. I couldn't wait to get them for Christmas. Wore them to class the Monday after, and I couldn't believe the difference in my bar warmup! I could feel the support and resistance immediately. At the end of class the teacher even wanted to check them out for herself. I'm pretty sure she is going to get a pair too! Do yourself a favor and just buy them. They fit like a glove, and it didn't get any of the rubbing that I had read in other reviews, but I wear tights in my shoes, so maybe that is the difference.
I have always had trouble finding ballet shoes that fit me--I have a wide metatarsal and a fairly narrow heel. These shoes fit well, although there was a little bit of extra fabric near my little toes.
These shoes really do help strengthen the muscles in your feet, without being bulky or uncomfortable. They are some of my new favorite ballet shoes.
They do come with the elastic already sewn.
They're very comfortable, and it shows your arch of nicely, these shoes might be a bit expensive but from their site they're about 45$!!! so this is a great price, great shoe, and they support your heel and work very well! Only thing is that the elastic looks like it was sewn on funny buy if u adjust them once u put them on they're fine. They bag a little itty bit at your toes but thats no problem,
The first time I wore these to class my feet hurt so badly at the end. It was a good kind of hurt though. The muscles in my feet felt incredible worked. It's almost unbelievable, the difference. For that reason, I've been converted. I might even try the leather version of these.
Now for the negative. The fit is quite odd on these. I understand what someone said about possibly going down on width. The shoes have a very round toe. I tried the normal and the wide and still preferred the wide for the metatarsal area of my foot, but I do have quite a bit of fabric baggage when I tendu. It fits my smaller heel well too. It could have a lower profile, but it's snug and secure.
It's aesthetically, not as attractive, but it's worth it for the improvement on my feet and my arch is still showed off pretty well. I have a pair of Fuzi's that have a beautiful tapered fit, they suit me perfectly. I can use those on stage.
I would suggest ordering a half size down, like DDS recommends, and keep with your normal width. If you're in between widths, I would go down though.
These are seriously magic shoes. Since I purchased them about a month ago, my barrework has improved immensely. As a person with hyperextended knees, I tend to focus on keeping my knees straight, and I won't entirely work my feet, etc. Since you can really feel these shoes hugging your arch when you point, they "remind" you to use your whole foot when you do dégagés, etc. I already have pretty strong feet, so I didn't necessarily buy them for foot strengthening. However, if you have weaker feet, I think that these shoes would give you a good workout. Also, these shoes are VERY flattering, especially when on demi-pointe. They really highlight the natural curves of your arch, without getting bunched up or anything. And I DON'T have crazy, archy, banana feet! I have pretty straight insteps with medium-high arches, and from a distance, it almost looks like I have banana feet! Hard to explain, but I tried! I also found these shoes very comfortable. I have narrow heels and these shoes stay on my heels better than any other slippers I've owned. They're also a very nice color, and complement different shades of tights (I wear Capezios and Grishkos). These shoes worked really well for me, and I hope more people try them!
As we all know, ballet shoes don't provide support. But these shoes do provide a little bit. The pink insole add-in is not noticeable when on your feet. I was concerned about not having a drawstring on the shoes, but it is actually much more convenient. In a warm-up we have to walk on our heels, and it would always hurt my feet, but in these shoes its like walking on clouds! For whatever reason it does give no support to your toes, so you can feel every movement on the floor (ex: tendu) and burns your big toe. I try to wear these with lambs wool pillows (also not visible through the shoe) to help with this. I do recommend some kind of padding on your toes because it does burn. But as someone with high demands for ballet shoes, I love these! I did go a size up as recommended, and they fit fine so I recommend going a size up.
Do not underestimate the awesomeness of having a truly flat, stable sole beneath your metatarsals and heels. The sole in these shoes is the flattest and most even of any brand I've ever worn. It makes balancing and turning so much easier.
These are what I call "female foot shaped"- most females have a heel that is 2-3 times smaller in width than the forefoot. These shoes are built on that style last. Many people who might usually need a wide shoe will not need it in these. If the ball of your foot is closer in width to your heel, be sure to order a narrow.
Finally, I am so impressed with MDM. When you look at the construction of the shoe and how it is made, it just blows away the competition. It is designed with the comfort and performance of the dancer in mind. It is a little pricier than some other canvas slippers, but that extra $6 - $10 is a small price to pay for this innovation.
Finally! I have been looking high and low for canvas shoes that fit perfectly without strangling my feet. I have a bit of a foot complex... I have very low-profile, slender feet and my arches are very average with a nearly non-existent instep, so it is really important to me that my shoes help to make my feet look better. I like the feel of canvas better than leather, but they tend to look baggy unless I order a size lower, which ends up feeling uncomfortable. Not so with my new MDM split sole canvas shoes! They look amazing, have a very defined arch and are not baggy at all. The stitching is very high quality and is strategically placed so that the shoes hug my feet in all the right places. The "arch strengthening" aspect is also true-- there's a stiff support on the sole of the shoe that mimics a full-sole shoe and forces you to use more muscle to point. After just one class of wearing these my arches were killing me (in a good way!). I wear a size 8 regularly (street shoes), so I ordered a 7.5 B as suggested. They fit beautifully. This is my new favorite brand of shoe for sure.
I dislike these on two accounts:
Comfort- the canvas upper is very thin and when I would tondu back, my poor big toe would feel EVERYTHING. We had not even finished Bar work and my feet were hurting me terribly.
Pointe- this shoe is cut with a very round toe box and it creates a lot of extra fabric which puckers when you pointe and almost hides your pointe completely, so you end up looking like you have a very poor pointe.
In summary I do not recommend this shoe, mine are going to Goodwill.
The special insole in these shoes works your feet, even though you don't feel it right away. But after wearing them for class two nights in a row, I noticed my feet work working harder at barre. I've been using them for class 3 -4 times a week for the past two months and they're holding up well.
My feet are wider through the metatarsal area and these shoes allowed me plenty of room - so much room that I might try the medium width next time. I followed the suggested fitting and the length is just right. (I wear 11 in street shoes and ordered 10.5 as suggested). In the past, I've had trouble with slippers sliding off my heels while jumping; the insole material extends into the heel and has solved this problem. Overall, a very nice shoe even though the wide width is just a little too wide for me.
My mom bought these slippers forme after watching the video explaining the construction of the shoe. I dance 7 days a week. This ballet slipper is wonderful as it provides the necessary support in my arches without compromising my point (tendu). My feet are more tired than usual after using them but this is a good thing because I know I am getting the resistance I need to develop even more strength on my feet.
I love that they pre-sew the elastic. That said, for my Summer Intensives I am required to also have ribbons on them. That means un-sewing the elastic and resewing them with ribbons first.....O well...c'est la vie!
I would recommend this to all dancers and would purchase this again
Finally a perfect fit! My daughters feet are very narrow, and this shoe is an excellent fit. No bunching in the arch and heel when she points. Thank you MDM!!! More products please!!!! She also says they are very comfortable, bonus!
I LOVE these - very supportive for teaching, yet the added resistance inside makes your feet burn by petit allegro (in a good way!) love love love them. And they can be washed and tumble dried (I do it once a week) and they don't bunch under the toes or anything - they come out like new!
I wear a 7.5 in men (9.0 in women) what size should i get? also i took the fit quiz that is on the MDM website and got an adult 7.5 narrow does the MDM size line up?
We do suggest that women fit a half size smaller than their street shoe size, as these run CLOSE to street shoe size. Please follow the width suggestion in the Fit Quiz. - DDS Customer Service (06/08/2015)
Will these shoes be damaged if I dye them Black? Will they dye well?
by: Nick (06/05/2015) Age: 17 or under
i have to wear black and as of now pink is the only color in stock.
The canvas will dye well. However, we do not recommend submerging the foam insole in liquid. It will absorb the dye and possibly ruin the molded foam. If you need to alter the color of the shoe, I would recommend using a permanent marker to color them, like you would a pointe shoe. However, please know tht after altering the original shoe, DDS is not responsible for outcome. - DDS Customer Service (06/08/2015)
i am 9.5 u.s. street shoe. I normally wear a 12m sansha #1 pro. Looking for something different to try and very interested in what these have to offer.
Most of our ballet slippers are sized for women, so men will need to order 2 sizes up and then follow the suggested fitting. We do carry men's ballet slippers, you could try item MCP. - DDS Customer Service (03/13/2014)
by: Talya (12/10/2013 - Rockville, Md) Age: 17 or under
I really want to purchase these shoes, in street shoe sizes i normally wear an 8 or 81/2. In Bloch ballet shoes I am a 6.0.C so would I get a size 8.0M in these shoes?
The sizing for this shoe suggests that women order a half size smaller than their street shoe size. Depending on how you like your slippers to fit, I would recommend getting the shoes in a size 8.0M - DDS Customer Service (12/11/2013)
Are the canvas stretchier than the leather shoes initially?
by: Fiorastar (08/04/2013)
Last spring, we purchased some of the MDM leather shoes, size 6.5 M, because my daughter's director wanted them to have leather for their Spring Concert. She wants the arch and heel support of the MDM's but in a canvas shoe, so we are now ordering these. The leather shoes, her regular street shoe size, were too long, but a bit narrow for her at the metatarsal. So, we know to actually believe the "half-size smaller" edict, but are wondering about the width. She normally has a narrow to medium width foot, depending on the shoes, but my experience is that leather shoes tend to be narrower and stretch over time. Are the canvas shoes more stretchy from the beginning?
Canvas will not stretch at all. This particular shoe, according to the vendor, runs a bit small and they recommend ordering a half size smaller than your street shoe size. As far as the width goes, I would recommend going with the Medium width since this shoe will not stretch over time. Narrow width may be a little snug. - DDS Customer Service (08/05/2013)
by: PLdarkangel (04/09/2013 - Chicago, Il) Age: 25 to 34
I am a size 7.5 or 8 street shoe, and finding ballet shoes have been tricky on me. I have wide feet. I been using Angelo Luzio ballet shoes, and i am a size 6M, in Sansha an 8W. I am not sure what size to try from these ballet shoes.
More help would be appreciated! maybe a foot sizing chart, place foot on paper scale, and it will decipher what size you should be.
THe MB100 reccomended sizing is to order a 1/2 size smaller than your street shoes size. Based off of your regular street shoe being a 7.5/8 I would best reccommend a 7.5. Again, this is just a reccommendation as we can unfortunately not guarantee sizing. - DDS Customer Service (04/09/2013)