For years I wore custom Freeds. Then custom Blochs. For 20 years I've worn paper towels in my shoes and was an avid advocate of it. I could "feel the floor" better and didn't have that "slimy" feeling of gel toe pads. I also had to tape my toes like Michael Jackson to prevent friction. However, I made a radical change and completely switched to Gaynor Minden pointe shoes. Yes i did! I was shocked too... and I love them! I had to rethink my padding approach. Toe spacers, pads, lamb's wool, so many options which could make your head spin! I now am convinced that paper towels are not the better option. None only are we not being kind to the planet by using so many of them, but we lose time to put our shoes on AND if you forget them on tour, you feel like the world is against you, you have to deal with whatever is on site and that your show will go wrong because you don't have YOUR kind. AND it allows more blisters and skin pain! So what now? I went on a dancewear website and ordered 5 different pairs of pads to try them all... Verdict? 2 were the winners!
1/ Pillows Gel tip Lamb's wool pads
2/ So Dança HT02 Full toe pads
The first one (Pillows) have gel. Yes, I know I said no gel BUT these ones are super thin and only on the toes and not under the metatarsals which is what I didn't like with the whole gel ones and the wool forms to your foot over time.
The second ones, from So Dança, are more foam like feeling, very soft and not too thick in your shoe. They form to your toes very well.
For toe spacers, as I have big bunions, I have found that the triangle make up wedges are the best. They're soft, you can cut them to your liking, they stay in place, are cheap
and last a long time. The silicone one create too much pressure for me on the wedge between the first and second toe. These are my favorites:
What else...? Oh! One last little trick in my shoes, on top of bunions, I have a Greek foot!! You know, just to add more fun... Which is when your second toe is longer than your first, which creates a lot of empty space between toes 5,4,3 and the tip of the pointe shoe. So, solutions? Yes!! 2!!!
1/ Gaynor Minden created little adhesive gel pads you can cut any way you'd like and put on the inside of your platform:
2/ Bunheads also has pure simple Lamb's wool you can just form any way you'd like to fill those empty spaces.
There you have it!!! little tricks and tips to make you poor toes' life easier :) #happierfeet