The Challenges Of Researching Pointe Shoe Brands

I enjoy writing about pointe shoes and for the most part find it to be a most rewarding occupation. Writing so many posts about pointe shoes gives me something to read on rainy nights. Yes, I do re-read my old posts from time to time!

Researching any topic that you are very interested in is made much better when you can write about what you found and keep a permanent log of your findings.

There are a few challenges to deal with when trying to find information about pointe shoe brands:

Time: There are days when I stay glued to my computer from early in the morning until late at night. I have a long, long list of bookmarked sites and have to travel back and forth from one site to the other.

Language Barriers: I am not multilingual and neither are many of the Italian, German, French, Chinese, and Spanish websites that I am trying to decipher. Internet translators do a very poor job at true word for word translating. For example, I found an Italian dance website which describes a part of a pointe shoe as a “pianta”. No matter what translator I used, the word came back “pianta”. The dictionary translates pianta as “plant”. I cannot write an article about an Italian pointe shoe unless I know what part of the shoe is the “plant”.

To make sure I get the right translation I have to go to social networking sites and beg for Italian/English-speaking people to tell me what these words mean. Fun, but also a bit time-consuming.

Poorly designed ads: This is a huge frustration factor! Pointe shoe descriptions that offer little or no information about the most important parts of the shoe leave the reader wanting more (like me). Many European pointe shoe companies focus exclusively on the shank strength only and never mention profile, box shape, vamp length, or who the shoe would be suitable for.

Company representatives who give incorrect information: This is where it takes a great deal of patience. Nothing can be more frustrating than finally publishing an article only to receive an e-mail from the company rep. saying, “oops, I gave you the wrong information, could you please edit?”. I certainly can’t say no. I want you, my reader to have the correct information.

More than anything, research takes a lot of patience. It’s not for everyone. Computers and the internet have made the world seem a lot smaller. At least I wouldn’t have to get on a dog sled to find out what kind of pointe shoes they wear in Tibet. I can stay in my cozy home and look for Tibetan dance websites and then go begging on social networking sites for help…….

2 responses to “The Challenges Of Researching Pointe Shoe Brands

  1. My best guess is that the word “pianta” means shank. But I’m not sure. Maybe if I saw it in context I might be able to make sense of it. I took a few Italian classes once. 🙂


    Here is a description of one of the pointe shoe models on the Freddy website:
    Professionale e studio. Modello indicato per chi cerca un prodotto avanzato.
    Rigidità conchiglia/puntale: Very hard and resistant – Very durable
    Mascherina: Medium
    Pianta: Wide
    Rigidità suola: Medium
    Colori: Salmon-pink
    Taglie: 34-42

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