Bloch is a major brand of pointe shoes. It's pronounced 'block' ('blok') These have a pretty hard toe box. I prefer Freed brand myself. Freeds are easier to break in for non-professional dancers...but, of course Freeds wear out sooner, too! I'll put up some photos of Freed of London pointe shoes soon.
Lamb's wool has been used for ages to cushion dancer's toes, etc. It's pliable and form-fits and absorbs moisture. Loose lambswool is great for ANYONE with painful foot problems in fact and you should give it a try. It's inexpensive and easily customized.
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Dancer use gel pads, sometimes, also. Jen my daughter and I prefer a little of both 'gel technology' and lambswool. We have different feet and have to customize our cushioning differently. Those ballerina gel toe pouches are seriously great for everyone with sore toes in any type of shoe. If anyone knows foot pain, dancers do. And even if you just dance a bit for exercise as we do, proper foot care is critical in order to avoid permanent injury.
Of course, don't try pointe until your feet, ankles and legs are sufficiently conditioned and you've been given a 'go' by someone who knows about dance, proper shoe-fitting and foot care.
Look for more footcare tips here soon.
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God Bless you and enjoy yourself,
Reverend Barb Sexton