For years, I refused to try Gaynor Mindens. Why? I don't really know.
I thought I had the perfect shoes for me when I went to the Bloch store in Covent Garden, London. That was my first experience with pointe shoe fitting.
The Bloch pointe shoes definitely looked good on me, and I tried lots of models (Serenade, Alpha, Balance European) but none were the best. When the right opportunity came, I made my first appointment with Gaynor Minden in New York City to see if I could find a better shoe.
And I don't regret it!
These are the reasons why I like Gaynor Minden pointe shoes. Once I started wearing them, I broke many myths that exist nowadays for the American brand.
They are perfectly fitted
I love how you can play with the 4,000+ combinations of models, sizes, shanks, widths, and even heel heights. There are shoes for every type of feet that exists, and if they are the correct ones, they will look like gloves. In my case, I have extremely wide feet, and I was very happy to hear that the box #5 was available, and that is the perfect box that holds all my toes and bunions together.
They are very comfortable, almost.
The reason why they are very comfortable, apart from being exactly your size, is because they are cushioned everywhere. But there is a slight turn to it, for me: the plastic doesn't mold, so the platform is very, very hard. Big toe cushions solve this problem. Everything else is, let's say, like dancing on pillows.
It is not necessary at all to wear toe pads with Gaynor Mindens (and I do not wear them anyway).
It is a myth that "they do everything for you"
There is a reason why Svetlana Zackharova, Jurgita Dronina, Alina Cojocaru, Evgenia Obratzova, Joy Womack, and Michaela DePrince love these shoes. They work for them, but that does not mean the shoes do everything for them.
Of course, they feel different the first time you wear them, but you cannot let the shoe control you.
They help me work my feet and ankles
Since the plastic does not bend so easily, my feet have to work extra hard to make it bend and they definitely help me with my rolling up and rolling down processes.
Rolling down is possible on Gaynors!
They last longer
Ah! This is why they are famous. And indeed, it is true. I am no longer worried if my shoes will die on stage or during a rehearsal: I can trust them. The only thing I would worry about is the fabric tearing apart at the platform or any other part of the shoe.
I have been wearing Gaynor Minden for over two years now, and I can say that you should never be afraid of trying new things and getting out of your comfort zone, pointe shoe-wise.