For those who require a little more of their shoe, this Freed model incorporates a "WING BLOCK" for support and smoothness of line, and a deep v-cut vamp to lend support to the metatarsal. Other features include a strong block, a medium strong insole, a deep vamp, a naturally angled platform, straight cut sides, and a cotton drawstring. Hand lasted by Freed of London Pointe Shoe Makers and constructed entirely from natural and biodegradable components. Often chosen by students as their second pair of shoes and used right up to professional levels. Ribbons not included.
I have worn freed wing block shoes for over 10 years. These are truly my shoe. I tried everything: Gambas, Blochs, Capezio, Gaynor, Grishko, Other Freed shoes, etc... if they carry it at any dance store in Oregon or Washington, I have tried the shoe. I have a strong foot, a wide metatarsal, and a narrow heel. Since they are Freeds, they are made my different "makers" who all have their own shape and style of this shoe. Variables can be anything from the strength of the shoe, the length of the block, the wings, the taper of the box... truly anything, so you will have to find the "maker" who fits your foot. I suggest ordering as many pairs as you can afford, looking up the Freed maker chart on their website, trying on the shoes who's description seems to be a good fit, and returning the shoes to D.D. that won't work. (Just be sure to try them on, on a towel or other clean, soft surface so you don't damage the shoes and make them unreturnable. Ordering shoes this way will save you a lot of money. My only other option in Oregon is to place custom orders from Freed themselves, where the shoes cost $100+shipping/pair, and I have waited for as long as 6 months for an order. When I get my shoes, I immediately Jet Glue the inside of the box to keep moisture from getting into the past and breaking it down so quickly. If you don't Jet Glue Freeds they will go soft very quickly. I have friends who will Jet Glue their Freeds after 1 or 2 wearings to help them shape to their foot, but I have never found this to be a problem. I wear a size 7 or 7.5 street shoe and wear a 5xx in Freed Wing Block Pointe Shoes. I have also worn 4.5xxx in narrower makers.
I switched to these Wing Blocks after wearing Classics about a year ago. I have square toes and a medium arch. I used to wear Russian shoes so I like the narrower profile. They do indeed provide more support and last longer than Classics but, like the Classics, as soon as they mold to your feet, Jet Glue becomes necessary for the shoe to maintain it's shape and support. I am also in the habit of cutting a 3/4 shank and inserting a Shank Tack underneath my arch to lend further support and strength. -- I would recommend this if you tend to be hard on shoes and kill them quickly. Like many others, I do not order these shoes from Discount Dance because I cannot request a maker.
I've worn these for 12 years now, after having gone through just about every shoe available, and they are by far the best pointe shoes I've ever used. Unfortunately, I always have the same maker so I cannot order them here and I don't know about the other makers. They are durable, easy to break-in, and comfortable (or at least the maltese cross maker is!)
They look SOOO pretty on some people, but they looked TERRIBLE on my feet. There was tons of extra satin floating around, which isn't good! This shoe is not good for people with thin heels! They are also EXTREMELY unpredictable, no shoe is ever the same. Each maker has a totally different look, size, and shape.
I hate these shoes! I have a 90 degree arch, and these shoes broke after one class. Though I'm newly on pointe, I am fairly strong and a shoe should at least last me through a couple weeks! What a waste of money!
I love these shoes because they mold to my foot rather than giving that "brick" look and feel. They are beautiful and give a wonderful sense of lightness. You just can't beat hand made. Thank you Freed!