When I was in California I was able to pick up my Discount Dance Supply order. Despite it being a single order it came in three shipments and they all shipped differently, and arrived on different days. Two were USPS, one priority the other first class, and the other was FedEX. Why they routinely do this I’ll never know. And don’t think you can order from DDS if you’re in a time crunch because two of the orders came over a week after placing the order.
I wish I took photos of everything, I didn’t because I was both busy and frustrated. Everything but the MDM shoes went back. In fact the Sansha shoes were an overall mess. They sent two in the usual peach color and one that was light pink. The drawstring was also on the side as opposed to the center front. When I brought them into the store to return I initially thought they wouldn’t take them back. In fact for a bit it looked like I might have been stuck with them. But a supervisor came over and said all the style numbers matched. It just seemed like they took a really old style and tossed it with my order. They ultimately took everything back, but it took forever and was not without a hassle.
One of the employees was able to help me replace the Sansha shoes, because I still needed a pair. I ended up with another style of canvas Sanshas that cost the same. They don’t have the same pretty V shaped vamp but they work okay. The sales girl said I have a narrow foot with tapered toes and I really need a narrow shoe. Of course they didn’t have any, this was something of a recurring theme with them. I ended up with a regular width and they’re not too bad, I’ll try ordering a narrow before my next California trip.
Here are some photos of my new Sansha’s. They’re these one’s, http://www.discountdance.com/dancewear/style_S1C.html?pid=62&Shop=Style&SID=533896885
Now the elastics came pre attached to the back of the shoe and I had to sew them down by the arch. And since I already had the needle and thread out I decided to do a bit of modification. The one thing I really like about Bloch shoes is they way they sew the drawstring down by the heel. I hate having shoes too tight there. So if you can see, about a half a centimeter away from the back elastics on both sides I sewed down the drawstring. It was easy to do, though I did need my thimble at times. I highly recommend this to anyone who hates the way elastic drawstrings dig in to their Achilles tendon.
My other two pairs are the MDM shoes I talked about in a previous post. Here’s a look at the shoes and their packaging.
Both shoes came packaged in plastic bags with slid zip tops. The canvas shoes came with the smaller ad that shows their leather shoes, and naturally the one that came with the leather ones advertise the canvas shoes. The one that came with the leather shoes shows how to put them on but apparently this info isn’t required for their canvas shoes since the reverse side of that ad is blank.
Both shoes come with a little satin shoe bag that has the company name on one side and the logo on the other. It’s a nice touch and they are cute but they’re thin, white, and polyester satin so I don’t see them lasting very long. So I’d really rather they skip the fancy packaging and drop the price of the shoes.
Now the shoes are pretty, and they seem quite well made. The heels are molded like that and so is the sole. It looks like the stuff they use to make their “EVA support structure” is very similar to craft foam. Perhaps a bit thicker. Do to slight imperfections I’d guess these are (like most ballet shoes) made by hand. For some reason they said “modern ballet shoe” and I heard “made by machine”. This does not appear to be the case.
The elastics came pre attached which is always nice, they’re not too tight or too loose. The elastic running around the perimeter is comfortable too (though I could fix it if it were tight, but I’d need my sewing machine). I feel like the leather shoes are a good width, though it boggles the mind I’m wearing a wide. I think I may go down to a narrow in the canvas next time, they really do fit quite differently from the leather. The length feels okay though they’re a bit snug right now. I didn’t want to swap them as they may grow.
The lining is very, very soft and thick and I do worry they’ll make the shoes quite hot. It’s great they’ll help warm up and keep your feet warm, but excessive sweating is just going to make them prematurely gross. My feet are perpetually like ice, but if you have normal feet you should keep this in mind.
All in all I’m happy with them. I need to wear them around the house more so they stretch out a bit and start to conform to my feet. I don’t want to do that in class since I don’t want to be more focused on my shoes than my dancing. I have tricky feet, I’ve been dealing with numbness in my right big toe for months now and the other foot is worse. So they need to fit right before class.
While I was at DDS supply I tried on another shoe, the Capezio cobra. I actually loved them. The material was very thin and soft and they really flattered my foot. So much so they could be my “perfect shoe”. The sales girl said they run a smidge narrow and work well with tapered toes and I have to agree. There was no bagging around the toe and they hugged my arch so nicely. My only problem was they were just a little too small. Capezio does make them in bigger sizes (including the half size I need) but of course DDS didn’t have that in stock. They’re available online so I may end up caving and buying a pair if there’s a sale, if not I’ll wait till after my move. But they will be mine. I may like them even more than my much anticipated MDM shoes.
The salesgirl also recommended Russian Pointe flats for me as they’re apparently quite good for tapered feet and have numbered widths. But she looked for them and apparently they had all vanished from the show room. Strange how so many shoes could have simply evaporated, but they did. She did not opt to go to the back room to look for them and I couldn’t be bothered to press. They don’t have my size on their site so it may have ended in disappointment anyways. Perhaps I’ll be able to try some on in store when I get to Washington.
I’ll be sure to update on how the MDM shoes preform once I’ve had a chance to really use them. They cost a lot and make some pretty big claims. I think people have the right to know if they really live up to them.