Spotlight and Jewels models feature "next generation" shanks, made from 100% natural materials and demonstrating extreme pliability and unmatched durability. Next generation shanks are available in both Standard (solid) and Flexible (cutout at ball of foot) designs. Standard shanks provide more strength behind the ball of the foot, for springing to pointe, hops on pointe and other high-impact choreography, and for dancers who break their shanks at the ball of the foot. Flexible shanks provide more lightness behind the ball of the foot, for enhanced demi-pointe and roll-through.
Designed for springing onto pointe, standard shanks feature a solid shank from the toe platform through the ball of the foot. Recommended for dancers who break shanks in the ball of the foot. Available in seven strengths.
Flexible shanks feature a cutout design at the ball of the foot for extra lightness, enhancing demi-pointe and roll-through. Available in four strengths.
The distinctive construction of Russian Pointe Flexible shanks is in the cutout design in the ball of the foot. Original (Classic and Polette) shanks softer than Medium (M) have a pressed cardboard component that is too short to be cut out in the ball of the foot. If a dancer finds that a Medium Flexible (MF) shank is too hard, she should try a Standard shank in Medium Soft (MS), Soft (S), or Super-Soft (SS).
Because of the innovative technology and new materials of next generation shanks, lower-strength shanks can be cut slightly longer than in the Classic and Polette Collections, making the Flexible shank construction possible in Soft (FS).
There is no definitive answer to this question. When fitting all dancers, including beginners, Russian Pointe suggests focusing first on selecting the properly fitting toe platform, size, width, and vamp, and then choosing the shank. Many professional instructors favor lighter shanks for beginners. Lighter shanks allow beginners to experience roll-through and develop foot strength without over-reliance on the shoe as a prop. All dancers should learn that pointe shoes are meant to provide support, but that strength in the feet must be developed from the beginning if proper technique is to be achieved. Even in the first year, however, different dancers have different needs. For example, a dancer with very strong, high arches may require a stronger shank as a beginner than a dancer with flatter arches. Ultimately, shank choice for beginners is the same as for more advanced dancers: choose the shank that best matches the dancer's needs. The right shank strength provides adequate support while allowing proper placement on full pointe and the desired level of flexibility for roll-through.
These pages are for informational purposes only, and are not a substitute for professional fitting.
To experience Russian Pointe® shoes, visit an authorized retailer near you.
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