Gaynor Minden and my two cents

I wanted to announce my change of opinion on Gaynor Mindens. My Grishkos have served me well the last 5 months. They do incredibly pinch my pinky toes sometimes until it’s black and blue. My pinky toes are now heavily armored with calluses from relentless friction causing blisters. I have no issues with this as being able to dance in a supportive pointe shoe is essential, especially during Nutcracker season. They were FAR better than my Bloch Axis.

I recently came to the revelation that my 5 classes a week and nutcracker work have really strengthened my feet. Grishkos most definitely helped too. Being a Russian shoe, they’re very solid, strong, and it’s a work out just to break in the shoe. However, I was able to kill a pair in a month of dancing, and I’m not a professional who may have killed them in a couple hours. Yet the short amount of time the shoes were viable to me was a testament to my foot strength.

I decided to try my Gaynors again. They sat there sadly neglected. So much so a large spider and made a hidey hole of one of my shoes. Yuck. They were swiftly evicted. I hadn’t touched my GMs since summer. I didn’t even wear them at the intensive, they rubbed a ruptured blister worse. I had issues previously wearing my GMs, getting over the box, sinking after my feet warmed up, lack of foot strength in pointing. I think even with the flexible shank the shoe was too strong for me at that time.
I didn’t want to waste the hefty $80+ I dropped into these shoes so I wanted to give them another try.

Last week after resewing them I tested them out. I forgot how “soft” in comparison to traditional shoes these are. So quiet, no clunking about. Demi was not a fight with the shoe.
What surprised me most was how easy my ability to get over the box. It was like wearing my Bloch axis again. I get over the box so easily I wobble off pointe if I’m not careful. I don’t ever remember this being the case when I first go the shoes.
When pointing my foot in dégagé or develope it was a beautiful arched pointe. It did not look like the pre-arched shoe by itself. It actually looked like I was pushing the shank and creating my own pointe.

After the first night though I hated the shoes from discomfort. My feet were sinking by the end of barre. I had to remove my shoes after a few center exercises.

Second night wearing them I stuffed some extra box liners I had. World of difference. A little too tight in certain places but even my Teacher recognized a difference in my dancing with them. I recognized a difference. It was very easy and I had great capability with the shoes. I could actually use them to their potential than be dragged down by discomfort.

I think now, when I buy a new pair maybe sometime before June, I’ll order a size smaller in the box. It may look unattractive by rippling but after the shoes stretch out a little I think the fit will be just right. I still want to buy the additional padding for “thin” feet like mine to see how much a difference that will be.

I still have two pairs of grishkos to get through before I try new shoes again.

Overall, I think Gaynor Mindens are good shoes if fit correctly, and it can still be a struggle to get there. I do feel though that you need to have proper foot strength first before buying a pair. If your feet aren’t strong I feel they may make your feet weaker and they should stop being prescribed to dancers who’s feet are less than perfect for pointe. That’s my two cents.

2 thoughts on “Gaynor Minden and my two cents

  1. Hmm interesting! I’m currently in Bloch Serenades Strong Shank, they’re pretty nice for my feet but they are hell to break in by dancing alone..

    • A strong shank in Bloch is probably equal to the medium shank in my Grishko. The medium shank in my Bloch axis were ridiculously flexible and didn’t hold me up any longer, it was an utter struggle to stay en pointe. My arch is very arch-y and it’s hard to get a shank to support it just right.
      Grishko’s shank will bend at 3/4’s for my foot which is fine. The shank won’t completely rest in my arch because the shank is straight. The GMs though because it’s plastic flexible material will really move along your arch, and helped stretch the top of my foot more. I’m still using both shoes, last night I used my Grishkos for strengthening. They don’t feel horrible since they were the first and only pair I put on for the night. Going from GM to Grishko though is fairly unpleasant.

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