Ballet Shoe Review: Capezio “Pro” 2039 & “Juliet” 2028

Capezio ProCapezio’s classic Pro canvas ballet shoe is a sturdy shoe that’s built to last. The heavy-weight canvas with traditional split-sole construction does not mold to the foot exceptionally well, nor is the thick fabric as soft as other shoes offer, but the durability may outweigh those issues for some dancers. The shoe gives a rounded appearance at the toe and U-shaped throat for a modern American style look but the lines are marred by a sequence of V-shaped stitches in the center.

I personally prefer a shoe with more bells and whistles and a lot less bulk. My feet want luxurious details and thoughtful features if they are going to put in hours of dancing! And I prefer a shoe that’s more flattering in appearance and conformance to the arch. But this shoe is fine if you just want something simple that’s built to withstand hours of class time on roughly taped or even wood surfaces.

Capezio JulietThe Juliet ballet shoe by Capezio is a step in a slightly more advanced direction, but offers nothing exceptional. The material is much thinner and lighter than the Pro but could use more softness and stretch and the pink color should be deeper.

The split-sole construction is evolved a little with a diamond-shaped arch gusset. The shape is more streamlined than the Pro and therefore more flattering, but could do a lot more to maximize the lines of the foot and arch.

I’d love to see softer, stretchier fabrics on these shoes and light padding for impact protection on the heels. I’ll be moving on soon to ballet shoes offering more modern touches, including the Capezio Cobra, Capezio Sculpture II, Grishko Performance, Bloch Proflex, and the MDM Intrinsic. The search for the perfect shoe continues!

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Ballet Shoe Review: Body Wrappers A45 “Wendy”

Dancers are always looking for a reliable ballet shoes that will show clean lines and provides optimum comfort. The Body Wrappers A45 Wendy is a good start and tries to incorporate a lot of good new ideas, but overall it missed the mark for me.

The last, constructed of what they called TotalStretch canvas, was not as supple and comfortable to me as I had hoped but instead seemed just average. Which is fine, but I’m not sure why they marketed it as special. They say that it “supports and protects muscles.” While they did line it with a thin foam, I wish they provided info on what they are basing that claim on. They also claim to be antibacterial, which I do really like and I’m guessing was achieved by incoporating a chemical treatment to the fabric.

The last is curved for a right and left fit. The peachy pink color matched BW’s theatrical pink tights pretty well. It’s a prettier color than a lot of other brands have created. I liked how that extended the line, but they were still too light a pink to keep from looking gray after a few classes got them dirty.

I found the elastic drawstring to be a bit too thin, made thinner by its own stretchiness. I am not a fan of elastic drawstrings because they never seem strong enough to actually do anything. (Not that I love cotton either, considering that they offer almost no give – can’t we have a happy medium?) The problem was the same here. I did like the “lingerie elastic” binding and found that part really soft and pretty – it has a hint of shimmer to it. It did get a little fuzzy and frayed in the course of normal use.

My main gripe with these shoes had nothing to do with these superficial issues though and everything to do with the foam-padded heel. I love a shoe that incorporates impact absorption, but this heel pad was a huge impediment to proper fit of the shoe. It seems that BW did not calculate properly for the additional fabric at the heel that would be needed to include the heel pad, so the heel sat about an eighth of an inch below where is should – perfectly placed to irritate the Achilles tendons as much as possible and cause the shoe to come off the heel during jumps. This is just a terrible construction issue. What are the two main things a shoe must do? Stay on the foot and allow proper movement. Because of the poorly thought-out construction of this shoe, it could do neither. Tightening the drawstring only worsened the irritation and loosening the drawstring at all meant the shoe would pop off even more easily. Ironically, the packaging instructs that the shoes fit so well that most dancers won’t even need elastics.

All of this said, if you are a dancer who needs a lower heel – and I know there are plenty of you out there! – this might be the ideal shoe for you. Body Wrappers certainly had some great ideas, and I look forward to checking out their next try. I will continue to post reviews of the many shoes I have worn. Have you tried the Body Wrappers A45 Wendy shoe? What did you think?