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Bloch's "Chord" t-strap with 2" heel features a shank and last designed to maximize arch support. Other characteristics include a leather upper and matching heel cover, stronger heel counter and padded insoles. These shoes are not designed for the addition of taps.
I've had my Bloch Chords for several years and came on-line to order another pair in a different color (I need new tan ones so students can better see my feet as I film on black marley at home). I was shocked by a couple low review ratings, so felt the need to chime in with a little bit of information once I saw the accompanying photos.
In order to make a character heel last the way it should, character shoes need to be taken to a shoe repair store to have rubber and heel caps applied. This is inexpensive and the rubber and heel caps can be replaced as they wear out instead of replacing an entire shoe. This is a safety issue as well, preventing slips and falls as dancers move from a marley dance floor to areas offstage that may not have the same grip. The rubber and heel caps don't affect turning (the rubber is about the same as a jazz shoe) and are truly worth the negligible investment.
I bought these for my first college performance, and when I got them I absolutely fell in love. They're very comfortable and are great to move around in. But after the first few rehearsals, the leather started wearing out and stretch. Then, the heels started to separate, but that could have been my negligence. The last issue has been the biggest, the clasp on the T-strap that kept if from slipping out came off, The main clip is still in tact, but it constantly loosened throughout my performances. I'm a fan of the brand, it's the most dependable, these shoes just weren't my favorite.
I ordered a pair of these character shoes for my 14 year old daughter per a recommendation by a musical theater costume designer friend who has worked across the country for professional musical theaters and in the university system - needless to say, I value her opinion as I know she has a vast array of experience with a variety of products. Our friend said this 2" heel Bloch shoe would be a good, mid-range priced, "first character shoe purchase" for our daughter. The fit, heel height, and comfort level was perfect for my daughter. However, after 8 hours of rehearsal, the lining on the underside of the heel began to peel away from the bottom - not the black leather upper that wraps around the back of the heel, but the "white" sole covering. Upon further inspection, the heel cap does not completely cap the end of the heel, but the lining on the inside of the heel is glued to the interior edge of the heel cap. After noticing this, I can see how the heel lining could be compromised in that particular area even after a minimal amount of use. I had ordered two pairs (size 8 and size 8.5) so that we could purchase the best fit and noticed that the other pair had the same construction so I am thinking that this is a standard construction detail with this particular shoe. We returned the shoes after 20 hours of use ...the heel lining had peeled up about 0.25 inch. We were very disappointed in this shoe. NOTE: A friend of my daughter's has different Bloch style of character shoe and the heel construction IS different and the heel cap DOES completely cap the end of the heel. This friend has worn her shoes through many more hours of rehearsal and they are still in excellent condition.
I've been off character shoes for a couple of years, and wanted something inexpensive to break back into them. I know my foot likes the Bloch fit, so I gave these a try. I initially ordered a half size up from my normal street shoe size, but they are true to size and a half size up is just slightly too large. I went ahead and used them and will keep this pair as a backup, but I will be ordering my normal street shoe size. The leather is very supple and comfortable. The sock liner and foot bed provide just the right amount of support for me. Overall I am happy with the shoe.
With that said, these are not top of the line by any means. They are absolutely perfect for the purpose I bought them for, but might not be for other dancers. If you are just looking for a decent enough pair to get you through while you acclimate to dancing in heels, then these are great. I wouldn't suggest these for someone who is dancing for several hours every day.
NOT heel in picture
price and quality right in the middle when compared to sodanca and capezio
would not recommend for professional dancers or musical theatre performers but great for actors who do not usually put a lot of wear and tear into a shoe.
ordered a 1/2 size bigger but would highly recommend a full size bigger than street shoe. also they are narrower than capezio.
all in all for an actor okay
will stick reliable capezio and freed
I bought these shoes to march in Mardi Gras parades with my dance group. I tried on Leos, capezios, So dancas and event LaDuca's. The LaDuca's were obviously great quality, but not the most comfortable shoe (plus $200). The rest all seemed a little narrow, uncomfortable and looked like cheaper dance shoes. The Blochs are AMAZING. They fit like butter from the first time I put them on. I could wear them everyday and certainly have no fear of wearing them in parades (although I do plan on having the bottom soled with rubber to wear on the streets). The heel in this picture is not the right height, the 2" are lower, but do not look stumpy. I still feel like I'm wearing a nice heel.
Get these shoes. Especially if you have a wider foot. I wear a true 8.5 in regular shoes and bought these in a 9. There's a little space in the back, but they're secure enough that my foot doesn't move or slide (no rubbing). It will be great when I'm wearing tights. Also, I ordered these on a sunday and got them the following wednesday...great company. LOVE!
Do these shoes have the suede sole for ballroom dance?
by: Lee (03/22/2013)
this item does have a leather sole. If you are looking for a ballroom shoe with suede bottoms, please see the ballroom shoes we offer online. All of our character shoes would have a leather sole. - DDS Customer Service (03/25/2013)