There is a lot of information to consider here if you go through the links and read the accompanying texts. The PDF document – Self Evaluation will be “answered” in a separate entry.
Skewing answers to “fit” won’t help you at all – remember I said this was not just about donning a pair of ballet heels and skipping off into the sunset. Like anything that is worth it, effort must be put in. “Nose against the grind stone” “Bum up head down” (into your school books) … that sort of thing.
I’m starting with very basic information here that is relevant to feet in general. We all have them no matter what style of shoe we wear, and the method of care is exactly the same.
1. Concept of the Ballet Heel
Ballet heels come in several different heights but have the same general look, which is that of a ballet pointe shoe with a heel attached. Many sites state the heel is a stiletto heel, however it is too thick and incorrectly shaped to be called a stiletto heel.
“Not all high slim heels merit the description stiletto. The extremely slender original Italian-style stiletto heels of the late 1950s and very early 1960s were no more than 5mm in diameter for much of their length, although the heel sometimes flared out a little at the top-piece (tip). After their demise in the mid-late 1960s, such slender heels were difficult to find until recently due to changes in the way heels were mass-produced. A real stiletto heel has a stem of solid steel or alloy. The more usual method of mass-producing high shoe heels, i.e. moulded plastic with an internal metal tube for reinforcement, does not achieve the true stiletto shape.”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stiletto_heel
The feet are held up on the toes, keeping the wearer in the fully extended posture of a ballerina. The heels are as long as possible, usually about seven inches depending on the size of the foot. It appears that the wearer is being forced onto the foot, however, if correct posture is used, the toes merely hang into the box of the shoe and the greater pressure is concentrated on the heel, where it should be. The boots usually zip and lace, making them comparatively easy to put on and remove. Mostwearers are almost completely immobile when wearing the boots.
2. History of the Ballet Heel
The fascination with the sensual and romantic look of a woman’s leg, foot and ankle that began with the development of en pointe ballet in the nineteenth century quickly translated into a fetish. Most of you by now are very aware of the history of the ballet heel as much as there is written about it. I will not reiterate. The antecedent of today’s ballet heels could be seen in Vienna around the turn of the century in shoes whose heels were longer than the toes, making walking and standing completely impossible, but also besides the point. However, I will showcase a pair of these very soon.
3. Accepted “FACTS” surrounding ballet heels
- The restrictiveness and unnatural shape of ballet boots renders them extremely painful after a few minutes of wear;
- They are usually worn by submissive types or masochists under controlled circumstances;
- They should not be worn long as severe cramping can ensue;
- They are impossible to walk in;
- They are only for the bedroom;
- They look stupid;
- Only a trained dancer can wear them successfully;
- You will hurt your back; and
- Your feet will be deformed
Please note. “If a lie is told often enough, it soon becomes the truth.”
Oh. And This: “The world don’t move to the beat of just one drum, what might be right for you, may not be right for some…” What I’m saying is don’t give up before you start because somebody has spread gloom and doom. That is merely their experience – no matter how slim they make the chances seem you will be able to do what you want. That’s pretty much what ANY controlling faction will try to do – create an environment where people don’t even bother to try. I’m seriously asking you to make your own “facts”.
4. What Size SHOULD I buy?
There are three distinctly different “factions” I have found surrounding this issue:
1. To buy them a size larger;
2. To buy them a size smaller;
3. To buy them in the same size you already wear.
I prescribe to the second “fact” and can say from personal experience that your foot needs to be held snugly in the boot and due to the nature of the positioning of the foot into the boot, a smaller size is best, unless you want to push an inch or so of padding into the toe to correct the anomaly of size. If you want to wear the pump/mary-jane/shoe type varieties, then buy 2 sizes smaller. Anyone purchasing a pair from me will receive personal attention in this regard to ensure their best fit.
5. Stockings, Socks and Foot Padding.
As you probably know by now, wearing stockings decreases the size of your foot marginally. Socks do this too, but depending on how thick the material is they are made from, they appear to increase the size of the foot. If your heels are too big, get thick socks, or wear a couple of pair. It’s really important that you buy the right size so you can avoid these measures to ensure you have a firm fit in your boot.
You will need to buy toe pads. I cannot stress this enough. The uppers of your toes will be damaged by the toe box so it’s important that they are protected as much as possible.
I use these but there are other brands around:
You can also use a cut up stress ball as I’ve outlined in this entry CLICKY CLICKY
6. Self Assessment
Possibly the hardest thing you will do. Please click on the link and download the self assessment questionnaire.
Points to remember:
- This is about you.
- No comparisons.
Self Assessment PDF
7. Foot Care for Ballet Heels wearers
Most of what you will find here is common sense. Many of the issues that prevent happy use of ballet heels are the same issues that will prevent you from enjoying your feet at all. I don’t believe in re-inventing the wheel and the information provided at the links is proven.
Some interesting facts about feet:
General foot issues that relate to Ballet Heel wearers.
Keeping your feet and nails in good condition adds to the enjoyment of walking as a basis and wearing ballet heels, as the extreme.
Common problems include ingrown toenails, infection along the side of the toenail, fungus, ill cared for nails; brittle nails. Please consult the link provided for some general information on this subject:
I keep my toenails filed short.
I exfoliate my feet every time I shower using a hemp hand mitt.
I massage olive oil well into my feet and toes after every shower.
I keep cuticles at bay.
I make sure I home pedicure my feet once a week.
Permanent injury or disability of the foot:
http://www.podiatryvic.com.au/Public/Facts10.htm and if you wear these:http://www.podiatryvic.com.au/Public/Facts12.htm then ballet heels are not for you.
If you can manage it, do your own pedicure. That way you get to know your own feet well. If you aren’t comfortable about touching your own feet maybe you can pay someone to do it for you. Whichever way it happens, it’s important to keep the excess skin at bay on your feet and toes.
The above image shows the areas highlighted in red that are most affected by corn and callus growth. Pedicure as routine maintenance will help prevent excessive build up of dead and dry skin. This foot is in particularly poor condition as noted by the shape of the toe bones. Too small a shoe causes the toes to claw up in this manner. It is hard to maintain balance with feet like this as the toes should be flexible.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is your feet’s best friend.
I have very sensitive skin and don’t like perfumed chemical preparations on my skin. I’ve used Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) on my skin for years. Give it a try. You might be surprised. Speaking of natural preparations I also rub Vicks Vaporub onto my feet and put a cotton sock on to keep the gel on the foot and protect the house from the gel. I usually do it just before I go to bed and sleep in it.
Seriously, your feet will be really soft in the morning. Petroleum jelly doesn’t work as well, so it’s possibly got something to do with the penetrative effects of the Eucalyptus/camphor/etc essential oil mix but I’m not really sure as not much research has been done into why this is so. All I know is it’s a fabulous and cheap “foot spa”. Here is a cut/paste from Wiki with reference to the use of EVOO in skin care. The whole article is really interesting if you like to read it.
In addition to the internal health benefits of olive oil, topical application is quite popular with fans of natural health remedies.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the preferred grade for moisturizing the skin, especially when used in the oil cleansing method (OCM). OCM is a method of cleansing and moisturizing the face with a mixture of extra virgin olive oil, castor oil (or another suitable carrier oil) and a select blend of essential oils. Olive oil is also used by some to reduce ear wax buildup.
Olive oil can be used as an effective shaving oil to shave facial and other body hair giving results that are equivalent to expensive commercial products.
Studies on mice showed that application of olive oil immediately following exposure to UVB rays has a preventive effect on the formation of tumors and skin cancer.
Jeanne Calment, who holds the record for the longest confirmed lifespan, reportedly attributed her longevity and relatively youthful appearance to olive oil, which she said she poured on all her food and rubbed into her skin.“
Your feet are your best friend; treat them well
Some links to follow for interesting reading:
Counter active stretches and muscle toning exercises have been used by many people over the decades. It is sometimes called isometrics. I will share specific exercises with you in the third lesson where I also discuss some other fine points for your posture, which is to be discussed next week.
Using the Tutorials:
I have researched all links as thoroughly as I can to ensure the information is correct and provided what information I believe is important relating to the subject of using Ballet Heels.
Please follow the links provided and read the information there. It saves me cut/pasting it and these entries being ridiculously long.
Please feel free to scroll to the bottom of the wiki page and research the links. I quote wiki because it’s easy and I have already read the research links and found the information to be sound. I know the wiki has a bad reputation which is why I double check before I use it as a link.
Please download any documents I link to and read them. You will easily find downloadable PDF material by looking for this:
Please watch/download the video content posted with tutorials.
A picture paints a thousand words. 30 frames a second says quite a bit, I think.