Distribution Confusion; Triple-Branding The R-Class Collection

Svetlana Lunkina, By Ирина Лепнёва (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Svetlana Lunkina

By now, every American ballet student and professional knows that Russian Pointe is a highly-respected and popular brand name  of pointe shoes. Looking over their models, I can agree that the aesthetics of a Russian-made shoe are some of the loveliest in the world.

However, there is something very interesting going on at the Russian Pointe   factory that needs sorting out in my head and on this blog. To sort this out so it makes sense, I will begin with the obvious; the factory in Russia.

Construction of the various models that Russian Pointe makes involves the basic materials and a standard last for that type of shoe. It isn’t until the cobbler is told  which country the shoes will be shipped to that he can decide what kind of sole to attach to it. He chooses between three brand stamps for the sole; Russian Pointe, R-Class or Energetiks. For the sake of example, let’s take the model Brava.

Russian Pointe Brand Shoes That Stay In Russia Are R-Class

I stay in Russia, so I get the R-Class sole

I stay in Russia, so I get the R-Class sole

Here you have a pair of R-Class Bravas. They are the established brand name that is synonymous with the high standards of construction that are required for the serious dancer seeking gorgeous aesthetics and variety of fit.

When I first learned that Russian Pointe was really an R-Class shoe, I did question the name difference, but didn’t think too much about it.

Russian Pointe Shoes That Come To America Are Russian Pointe

I go to America, so I need a Russian Pointe sole

I go to America, so I need a Russian Pointe sole

Russian Pointe Brava:  When Russian Pointe came to the United States many dancers immediately found the answer to their fitting, performance and  aesthetics nightmares.

When I visited the website, I was highly impressed by their collections and their vast choices of vamps, boxes, shanks, widths and styles. They really try to have something that works for everyone which is highly commendable.

Russian Pointe Shoes That Go To Australia Are Energetiks

I go to Australia, so I need a sole stamped Energetiks

I go to Australia, so I need a sole stamped Energetiks

Energetiks Brava : Let me mourn the day when something as graceful and delicate-looking as a ballerina on stage would be wearing pointe shoes with the aerobic-shoe-esque  name of  Energetiks.  Perhaps those mischievous  energetic Australian kangaroos are behind all of this.

In my mind, this name is about as far from a graceful Russian ballerina image as one can get.  Anyone who visits here regularly knows that I fret a bit about shoe names and how they make me feel. I tend to wax poetic and become highly disappointed when pretty pointe shoes don’t come with magical, soulful, imagination-stirring ballerina names.

flowerRemember the regal days of French castles and aristocracy,  Kings, Queens and names for precious ballet shoes fit for a princess. The dance imaginations of theatrical  fans ,  like a dying rose,  will wither away when romance is removed from the classical ballet story.

This triple-branding could now mean that:

  • A customer who lives in Russia, but wants a Russian Pointe sole has to order from Chicago, U.S.A.
  • An American that wants the Energetiks stamp on her Russian Pointes that are really R-Class needs to order from Australia
  • An Australian looking for R-Class stampage ( is that a word?) on her shoes has to order from Russia

 You can find out more about this Australian distributor by visiting their website, Energetiks.com.au.  You can also check them out on Facebook.

Why Do They Do This?

Why can’t an R-Class Pointe shoe be shipped as an R-Class Pointe shoe anywhere in the world like a Capezio or a Bloch ? I really don’t know. It could be a conspiracy against bloggers that like to categorize things like ballet shoes neatly and in logical order. Imagine how simple things would be if an R-Class shipped out as an R-Class anywhere in the world.

Energetiks Brava

Energetiks Brava

When this distribution confusion happens, my hands are tied when it comes to adding links on the sidebar for brands. If one company happens to slap different soles on the same shoe, but calls them by another name, you can understand why I can’t categorize them as different brands.

Of course, to be fair to R-Class/ Russian Pointe/ Energetiks as a manufacturer, this is most likely a business set up that lets them keep track of sales and distribution by separating their products into different names for different regions of the world. Many companies separate their products to sell under different brand names.

This modern way of doing business around the world sometimes includes pointe shoe brand names as well; a sure-fire way to keep us on our toes trying to make sense of it all.


Svetlana Lunkina, By Ирина Лепнёва (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons



9 responses to “Distribution Confusion; Triple-Branding The R-Class Collection

  1. Rosalind Wirsing

    Are the three soles truly identical or are they perhaps of slightly different thicknesses, cut from hides from different breeds affecting sole longevity or noise or have different nail placement for some reason?
    Or is a different shoe glue used? I could potentially see the average temperature in Australia vs Russia being factored in.

  2. very interesting – I definitely like the Russian Shoes the best – thank you for helping us all with POINTE SHOE BRANDING CONFUSION, I did vote – one shoe one brand.

  3. I just want to add, that in Western Europe these shoes are also called “R-Class”. There is a distributor in the Netherlands who offers the whole collection.

  4. There may be other issues involved. Maybe the different names signify a free-trade zone manufacture (which can be as simple as an area in the factory), a domestic or EU sale only which may carry VAT (TVA) or other taxes, a made-in-bond license or visa….. Or it could be that some of the names are already in use, perhaps for a different product, but it cannot be registered in some countries.

  5. It is all an easy explanation… Here is the real deal here: R-Class is the parent company that makes the pointe shoes and they have been in business for over 20 years. All three brands are truly identical. The only difference is that Aleksandra company (Russian Pointe) just flat out lies about their shoes in heir marketing and makes it seem like they are the manufacturer of the pointe shoes. Only an importer. Slaps their name on the sole and calls it good. oh yeah and jacks the price up as much as they can to pay for the owner to put her face in every magazine. Again, R-Class is the company that just makes and designes all of the shoes, Russian Pointe and Energetiks just buy those shoes at very low prices for resale in their own territory. You can actually buy R-Class pointe shoes from overseas for about half the price of Russian Pointe and have it shipped to the US or Australia. The shoes are exactly the same, I have had all three brands in Rubin and they are all the same, no difference in glue or satin, nothing. Don’t waste your money on EXPENCIVE shoes, buy them from Eastern Europe directly.

  6. Wow thanks so much for this post, I was so confused. I even went as far as to think that R-Class were fake Russia pointes.

  7. Thanks so much for this article. My research told me that Russian Pointe was highly recommended for dancers with very narrow feet, and I was despairing that I wouldn’t be able to buy then I’m Australia. Now I know that they are sold here as Energetiks I’m confident I can track them down.

  8. I just want to add, that in Europe these shoes are also called “R-Class”. There is a distributor in Bulgaria who offers the whole collection.

  9. Eat Right Chef Louisa

    Thanks for this article. I love Russian Pointe! I agree that it is idiosyncratic to use different brand names for the exact same shoes. I believe the name R-Class is also used in exports to other countries than USA and Australia. At least I know that it is used for their pointe shoes sold in Hong Kong.

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