Men En Pointe: The Male Feet and Siberian Swan's Rudolf Pointe Shoes
The purpose of this article is to inform about the latest news on the first male pointe shoes, called Rudolf by Siberian Swan, and also to describe the basic men's feet anatomy. Words by Sergey Bobrov, former soloist with the Bolshoi theatre, artistic director of Krasnoyarsk state opera and ballet theatre, founder of the State Ballet of Siberia company and the Siberian Swan pointe shoe brand, explains perfectly the whole situation.
Being on the Top-10 of pointe shoe fitting problems and talking about long feet (feet that need big sizes, like men's), made us have a break and write this article concerning the basic characteristics of male feet, as well as the first pointe shoe model for men, "Rudolf" by Siberian Swan! On March 2019, Sergey Bobrov - former soloist with the Bolshoi theatre, artistic director of Krasnoyark state opera and ballet theatre, founder of the State ballet of Siberia and the Siberian Swan pointe shoe brand - was proud to release the FIRST MALE pointe shoes in the retail market.
But why male ballet dancers don’t train en pointe on a regular basis, or perform male parts en pointe? The question is still open.
One of the reasons male dancers do not use pointe shoes in their regular ballet practice is because… they simply have a harder time to get pointe shoes in their size! There is no chance they will find a shoe that fits in any local store. They are confined do order custom-made shoes, which several manufacturers are eager to make. This situation leads to extended waiting periods (at least a couple of months), paying extra money and the impossibility to return or exchange the shoes in case they don’t fit.
“It’s about time male dancers were recognized as a separate and competent group of pointe shoe users” – says Sergey Bobrov, “It is not that men cannot go onto pointe for some anatomical reason. It is simply - not the done thing - , and this is about to change in future. Sooner or later a male model should have appeared at some pointe shoe brand. We happened to be the first because we make pointe shoes for our own Ballet company needs, according to our dancers’ requirements and advice. All we had to do was just to follow the request and deliver the needed product”.
As far as the male feet and their characteristics are concerned, male and female feet have some morphological and geometric differences. On average, the width of the male feet at the ball, instep, and heel regions, as well as the ball circumference and length, are significantly larger, than the female feet. However, toe region, instep, medial and lateral malleoli heights are usually smaller than female’s. This is the reason that leaded to developing a separate male model – it could not be just algebraically scaled bigger version of a classic female pointe shoe.
“We analyzed the male dancers’ needs and requirements and found out that men are often looking for pointe shoes as a powerful flexibility and strengthening tool, so we put a lot of thought into this” – says Sergey Bobrov. "The patented Arch Support Technology of the Siberian Swan Pointe Shoes was adapted to support the male feet through all the length, the shank is harder to really help the less flexible male feet get en pointe”. The inner parts of the Siberian Swan are processed with an extract of Siberian cedar that has antimicrobial action, fights the fungi and gives the shoe a special woody resinous scent.
The model "Rudolf" by Siberian Swan, is a great fit for slightly tapered or square male feet. It has a roomy box, a medium-high vamp with a v-cut throat and a medium profile, a wide platform. The model doesn’t have pleats and is provided with a noise reducing layer. It comes in sizes from 6.5 (39 European) to 12 (46 European), and in four widths: from XXX (male narrow) to XXXXXX (male very wide). The default shanks are M (medium), H (hard) and SH (super-hard). The shoe's shank is made of a high-quality engineered plastic that ensures durability. More specifically, the patented technology Active Arch Support regulates and controls the degree of flexibility of the inner-sole both at the heel and the demi-pointe area. The box is made by natural materials and adjusts easily in the shape of the dancer’s feet. It comes in two colors: matte beige and black. The matte beige upper material is a “signature” of the Siberian Swan brand that makes the new brand “stand out from the crowd”.
Last yet important, the name of the first male pointe shoes wouldn't be another but Rudolf! Sergey's first father's name, as well as his never-to-be-forgotten experience of meeting Rudolf Nureyev in 1992, made him approve the name Rudolf in the blink of an eye.
Our website is providing an online pointe shoe fitting service for dancers from all around the globe. We receive about fifteen pointe shoe fitting requests a day, and about two or three of them – and that’s a huge percent! - are from male dancers, desperately searching for pointe shoes. We are thrilled about the Rudolf model and already have dozens of pre-orders.
Feel free to fill out our questionnaire if you need our opinion about your own pointe shoe sizing and models and let’s get fitted!