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Ballet Shoes and Boots with High Heels Attached ("Ballet Heels") Gone Mainstream

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It has been over four years since my book titled All About Wearing High Heels was published. I did not write much in that book about ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached, citing only that it was "impossible to walk down a flight of stairs or steep hills in them making them impractical for normal use".

Since that time, I have received numerous questions regarding this type of footwear. Also, there are now over a dozen shoe retailers, who sell these ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached. So, additional information is long overdue.

Furthermore, some famous entertainers have taken "ballet heels" mainstream. These included Meg White (who actually descends stairs in ballet heels in the White Stripes video "Blue Orchid"), Pink (while sitting in her video "U & Ur Hand"), Christina Aguilera (who actually stands and walks briefly in ballet heels in her video "Hurt"), and Beyonce with five backup dancers (who were standing in ballet heeled shoes in their "Green Light" video, that reportedly took 18 hours to shoot in 2007.)




ORIGIN



I have previously grouped ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached into the "High Heel Fetish Footwear" category. Other high heel footwear categories include "fashion', "club wear" and "tango dancing".

Ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached had their origin in the fetish footwear community or industry. In John Willie's Bizarre magazine No. 25 (published in 1958), on page 57, there appears a photograph of several very high heeled boots including a ballet boot with high heel attached. Also, these boots were primarily sold by prominent fetish footwear retailers, including the Little Shoe Box in London (United Kingdom), Pierre Silber in California (United States of America) and Solanj in California (United States of America), who sold them in the 1980's.

I asked Helga Silva (a teacher who proclaimed herself and her students in Portugal to know everything about shoes) about the exact origin of ballet boots. She wrote me back saying "They were amazed with this type of shoes and and they had never heard of such a boot! "

It is probably reasonable to assume that the designer of the first pair of ballet shoes or boots with high heels attached was a fan of pointe ballet dancing. The history of pointe ballet and pointe shoes is very murky and possibly, dates back to 1823.

Nowadays, women and girls, who do Clogging (an Irish form of dance) also get up on pointe. Here is a picture of the incredible Clogging move and its awesome look.

cloggin3.jpg








MY OPINION



Personally, I am AGAINST (or opposed to) anyone wearing ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached for three reasons:

  1. high probability of injury   (As always, I am AGAINST anything that can take away a person's ability to wear regular high heel shoes and boots.)

  2. pain

  3. not sexy nor beautiful



NOTE: I will discuss these in more detail below. While I am AGAINST ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached, I am FOR other ultra-high heel footwear styles, in particular shoes and boots with heels from 5 to 7 inches high and without platforms (or with platforms up to one inch thick).




PAIN & INJURY



For most women, wearing ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached is a very painful experience. The wearer will usually experience considerable pain in her toes, feet arches and calf muscles.

Furthermore, the toes can easily be damaged to the point that it becomes impossible for the person to walk in any high heel footwear ever again. This should be the main concern for anyone, who tries to walk in ballet shoes or boots with high heels attached.

The pain is usually due to lack of physical attributes needed to wear heels so high and/or the lack of proper training needed to wear heels so high. Not every girl or woman has the physical attributes to learn pointe ballet dancing. Any qualified pointe ballet dance instructor can spot and weed them out. Similarly, not every women has the physical attributes to stand and walk in ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached.

Improperly-fitted ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached can also cause pain and injury. For women who try to stand and walk in ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached, it is very important to use only properly-fitted ones.




REQUIREMENTS



Individuals who are most suited to wear ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached and not have a painful experience are those who:
  • are underweight (as opposed to overweight)

  • are physically fit

  • have legs that are equal in length

  • have feet that are equal in length

  • have some previous training in pointe ballet dancing and are capable of doing simple pointe ballet moves (like getting up on one's toes)

  • know and understand how to use toe padding

  • have properly-fitted (or custom-fitted, if needed) ballet shoes or boots with high heels attached, that allow for the use of toe padding

  • always have their toe nails properly trimmed (Ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached can wreak havoc with toe nails. The toes can bleed.)




TOE PADDING



Pointe ballet dancing is done on wooden floors only. The toes, feet, ankles, knees and hips simply can not take the pounding on any type of flooring that is harder than wood, like concrete.

Also, toe padding is commonly used in real ballet pointe dance shoes for pointe ballet dancing. Spook mentioned using padding on her website back in 2001. (More about Spook later.) It is strange and very disappointing that all of the shoe retailers, who sell ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached via the Internet have mentioned nothing about toe padding.

Lamb's wool (which is available as a Dr. Scholl product in most drug stores) or special pointe ballet toe pads are used to cushion or soften the impact on the tips of the toes. However, since toes need air circulation, one usually needs to air out the feet every few hours or so when using toe padding.



NOTE: There is one retailer that makes a special style of ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached, in which the toe boxes do not allow the toes to touch the bottom of the shoes. The toe box is shaped more like the letter "v" (rather than the letter "u"), so that the toes are pinched together and unable to reach the bottom of the toe box. This design is a very thoughtful one, as it eliminates most of the pounding that the tips of the toes would take otherwise.

Unfortunately, this style is more likely to lead to Merton's neuroma and/or metasarglia (which are very painful foot problems involving the nerves in the front portion of the feet), if one stands up in them for long periods of time. Either of these problems (Merton's neuroma or metasarglia) can make it too painful and impossible for a person to walk in any high heel footwear ever again. So, for those who wears this style of ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached, they should try to limit the amount of standing and walking in them to short periods of time only.




NOT BEAUTIFUL NOR SEXY



Pink satin pointe ballet dance shoes can be mesmerizing by themselves, when girls get up on their toes in them. Adding high heels to these pointe ballet dance shoes adds to the mystique, but eliminates the beauty and sexiness.

Regular shoes and boots with ultra-high 5 to 7 inch high heels (without platforms) are undeniably ultra-sexy (or erotic) as well as beautiful (or pretty). The first emotion or reaction to seeing a woman wearing such footwear is usually that of "joy" or "pleasure" and men may also get a strong sexual reaction.

However, ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached do not provoke the same feelings, as they are not as beautiful nor as sexy. Instead, one usually reacts to the sight of women wearing ballet shoes or boots with high heels attached with "awe". The first emotion or reaction is usually that of "amazement" and one says "wow". Remember that the Portuguese instructor said her students were "amazed".




NOT SUITED FOR NORMAL USE



Although it is possible for people (who have the appropriate physical attributes and desire) to train to wear ultra-high heel fetish footwear (with heels over 5 inches high and without platforms) as their normal everyday footwear (especially, in the right environment), it is generally inappropriate or unsuitable to wear them in most public places, especially during day-time hours. This applies especially to ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached, that have the highest possible heels (about 8 to 10 inches high) without platforms.

Also, ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached are generally not suitable for outdoor wear (except where the ground is flat and level). While wearing ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached, one can fall face-forward or backwards, when trying to walk downhill or uphill, respectively. This makes them far more dangerous than other styles of high heel footwear.

Furthermore, as mentioned previously, while it is possible to walk up staircases wearing ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached, it is not possible to walk down staircases wearing them. One can easily fall down with serious injury and possibly, break her neck.

So, the use of ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached is usually limited to BDSM scenes or under BDSM conditions. However, as I have mentioned on numerous other occasions, there are always some exceptions or extreme cases. In regards to every skill or talent that mankind possesses, there always appears to be some outliers or people at the extreme ends (either with no skill/talent or have/develop exceptional skill/talent).

In this case, there are some exceptional women who have actually ventured out into the public wearing ballet boots with high heels attached. One of them was a young woman nicknamed "Spook", who even wore her ballet boots with high heels attached 24x7 for a few months in 2001. (I wrote about Spook on my Bizarre web page in 2001. I believe that some of my comments to her helped discourage her from continuing to do so. Spook also wore corsets 24x7 and unofficially had the world's smallest waist.)

Last year (2004), I received an email about a web site that shows two other women walking in ballet boots in a mall. One woman is named Mistress Nathalie, who walks in ballet boots, but has a few scary (or unstable and possibly, painful) steps with her right foot. The other woman is named Serena, who appears to walk better in her ballet boots than some people do in flats. Personally, I think her skill has something to do with her technique. It seems that Serena "shuffles" her feet and appears to glide along the floor. Also, her ability to turn with relative ease is simply amazing. (NOTE: I would link to this web site, but it contains some real adult BDSM images that may be disturbing to some people. If such images are acceptable to you, the URL of the web site is balletboot.com)




MISCELLANEOUS



There is another retailer at www.thighhighboots.net, who advertises their own style of "ballet shoes/boots", even though they are not shaped like normal "ballet pointe" footwear. The entire bottom of each shoe/boot is craved out of wood, so that it is platform footwear.

ballet042front.jpg---thighhighboots.net used by permission from Doug Dealy at www.thighhighboots.net

Like many people, I do not like thick platforms because they make the shoes too heavy and difficult to walk in. Walking in any footwear with thick platforms usually makes one look awkward, as if walking on stilts.

However, this style of ballet shoes/boots has no heels -or- are almost heel-less, making the footwear lighter. In fact, the retailer has the shoes modeled by some woman, who is standing up in some of the pictures. Also, the folks at www.afterdarkfashions.com.au indicates that it is possible to walk in this style of ballet shoes/boots for small distances.

The design of the toe boxes with this style of "heel-less" ballet shoes and boots is more tolerable or favorable for the toes than other styles of ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached. Pressure is placed more on the bottom of the toes rather than on the tips of toes.

However, this style of "heel-less" ballet shoes and boots has super-high insteps (equivalent to about 6 inch high heels), usually making the feet flex downwards over 90 degrees (or to the maximum). Standing up in them is equivalent to getting into the very difficult position that a pointe ballet dancer gets into when she gets up on toes on one foot and raises her other foot as high as possible. In ballet terminology, this position is referred to as "high arabesque".

pointe



Walking in this style of "heel-less" ballet shoes and boots is going beyond anything done in pointe ballet dancing. There is no equivalent dance move in pointe ballet dancing.

With the extreme degree that the feet are flexed into by these "heel-less" ballet shoes and boots, there can be extreme pressure placed on the ankles, knees and hips when one tries to walk in them. In other words, there is danger of injury to these body parts while walking in these "heel-less" ballet shoes and boots, unless one is very careful and does not over-stride (or take steps that are too long).

Nevertheless, this style of "heel-less" ballet shoes and boots is more sexy and beautiful than other styles of ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached. This is especially so with the ballet shoes with ankle straps style. In the retailer's picture of these shoes, the woman's feet (specifically, the front of middle part of the feet) can be seen to be arched or flexed downwards over 90 degrees, producing a look that is undeniably ultra-sexy as well as beautiful.




Some eMails concerning Ballet:

I have heard that there is something called a high heel trainer which is something that you can wear on your feet at night to take the place of heels, yet keep the foot pointed. I am a ballet student and I just started and I was told to basically wear heels 24/7 so that I can get up on pointe quicker. I even have a pair of ballet boots that i wear when i am just sitting around even though i cannot walk or stand in them, but i want something without a heel top wear at night, please let me know either way if you know of a plach i can get something

Ashley - 10 Feb 2005




I am very interested in foot-bending. I am skilled in walking in high heels (4-5 inches at most...im only a size 6) but I covet the ballet dancer's, or gymnast's arched foot. I have seen many devices that claim to stretch the top of the foot (or is it the top of the ankle, not sure). I would guess that you would disaprove of doing anything like that to feet, but I am pretty determined; I would like to make the safest possible choice. The websites for the products I have found are listed below.

Thank you,

Kristy - 5 Apr 2005

Dear Ashley & Kristy,

Ask any qualified pointe ballet dance instructor with more than 10 years of experience and she will tell you that such stretching devices are never used or not needed to learn how to do pointe ballet. There are training exercises that they teach you to do to develop more flexibility.

However, flexibility is limited by bone structure (or the shapes of the bones) and the length of the ligaments in the ankle area. Some woman have bones and ligaments that allow them to flex their feet over 90 degrees downwards, while other women have bones and ligaments that will never permit them to get up on their toes and do pointe ballet.

It is possible to use stretching devices to help increase one's flexibility to some extent, but it is also possible to overstretch the ligaments in such a way that they never contract back fully. (Heike of Germany showed that it was possible to use another type of apparatus to permanently bend a person's feet downwards in the pointe position, i.e. deform a person's feet to wear ultra-high heels only for the remainder of the person's life.)

Also, ligaments can be torn. So, I do NOT recommend using any of these stretching devices. Check my writings on my Bizarre web page. They addressed a similar issue with information on the web site called "Creating a High-Heeled Woman".

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Ashley, what you stated is basically correct. If you don't like the heels on your ballet boots, you can ask any shoe repair shop to take the heels off of the boots.

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Kristy, please do you yourself a favor. Don't take any chances that might jeopardize your ability to wear 4-5 inch high heels. For a size 6 feet, that's great! You should be grateful to God for having that ability.

If you still want to develop the flexible high arch of a pointe ballet dancer, then my best suggestion is to take pointe ballet lessons from an old, experienced instructor.

Regards,

J.J. - April 16, 2005




Hi JJ,

I have been constantly wearing ballet boots for 4 month this Saturday. I am trying to become a perminent wearer. Can you tell me how much longer it will take?? I am 25 5'6 57kg and only take them off to have a bath and maintanence. Has anyone else done this yet?

Kind regards,
A. - 1 Feb 2006

Aoife,

I don't know of anyone who has become a "permanent wearer" of ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached, but I have heard of a few other people wearing ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached 24x7. Remember that ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached are relatively new. The first pair was probably made in the mid-1900's.

Also, wearing ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached is usually considered a BDSM activity, which is still practiced mostly in private and semi-private settings involving couples and small groups. So, if anyone has done it, the general public may never hear about it.



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Again, I am NOT a fan of ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached. Also, I do not want to encourage nor discourage anyone from doing any extreme activities (like you are now doing) involving any type high heel footwear. While most people will probably consider such activities to be crazy, insane or stupid, everyone should have the right and freedom of choice to do any extreme activities if they wish to.

In my book titled "All About Wearing High Heels", there are some points to be considered by individuals who are near getting permanently shortened calf muscles and Achilles tendons for high heel footwear. These points may also apply to those who are trying to become "permanent wearers" of ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached. In addition, the following points may be considered:

  1. Wearing ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached still appears to be on the rise in this decade, as in the 1980's and 1990's. The rise in popularity of ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached seems to mirror the growth of the practice of BDSM. So, there is a distinct possibility that someone will eventually become stuck wearing ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached (just as other people have already become stuck wearing regular styles of high heel footwear with lower heel heights).

  2. Individuals attempting to become permanent wearers of ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached should already be able to walk "well" in such footwear. I know of only two women, who seemed to able to walk well in ballet boots with high heels attached. They were Spook and Serena, who I previously mentioned.

    Most people are not able to walk well in ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached, even with training. It would be terrible for someone to become stuck wearing such footwear that they could not walk well in.

  3. Being stuck wearing ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached will involve numerous limitations (or things that one can no longer do). However, since ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached usually involve tight ankles (that prevent flexing the ankle joints), the wearer should become well aware of these limitations long before the calf muscles and Achilles tendons become permanently shortened.

  4. If the wearer becomes unable to stretch permanently shortened calf muscles (and possibly, certain other leg muscles) because the feet are flexed downwards to their maximum limit, then these muscles may undergo atrophy (or become thinner) over time.

  5. Spook mentioned that it was difficult for her to switch from wearing ballet boots to regular ultra-high high heel shoes, when she did NOT even have stage 1 or temporary shortening of her calf muscles and Achilles tendons. So, it may be impossible or extremely difficult for a person with permanent shortening to switch from ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached to regular ultra-high heel footwear.

  6. As I indicated in previous writing (on my PROBLEMS web page) about ankle equinus, the amount of time it takes for each individual person is unknown because of many factors. However, permanently shortened calf muscles and Achilles tendons is a real problem (not a joke!) that some people have. It may involve changes to other ligaments throughout the lower body (including knees and hips) as well.

    So, the problem may not be easily reversed. Also, any accident or injury to the legs or feet with this problem may lead to a serious crippling condition.

  7. Think long-term. Are you honestly willing to commit yourself to wearing ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached for the remainder of your life? (This is definitely NOT something that I would ever do.) Also, how are you going to support yourself or, who is going to support you for the rest of your life (while you are stuck wearing ballet shoes and boots with high heels attached)?

  8. Regards,
    J.J. - February 18, 2006




    I recently came across a German web site with some video clips and pictures of a woman who takes wearing ballet boots with heels attached to another level. She does more than just walk "well" in ballet boots with heels attached, as she rides a bicycle in them. She even walks uphill and downhill in them, which is a feat that I was led to believe was impossible.

    However, while amazing, walking in ballet boots with heels attached outdoors in public is too bizarre (for me at least). The video clips of her walking in 6 inch high heels are much better and more beautiful to look at. She really walks "well" in her 6 inch high heel shoes (in the manner that I mentioned in my book and elsewhere on this website).

    (NOTE: I would link to this web site, but it contains some adult images that may be disturbing to some people. If such images are acceptable to you, the URL of the web site is light-fetish.de)

    J.J. - November 10, 2006


    P.S. - Pata now has one of her ballet heels video on You Tube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeUBpABglK0 . It contains the best collection of ballet heels that I have seen so far on the Internet.

    There are now also many videos of other women who can also walk in ballet heels on You Tube including two Ballet heels - from Mary Jane to Pump. Snip! Snip! at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBx0TRtOGqU&NR=1 and Jump Rope in Ballet Boots at http://www.youtube.com/user/CirqueDeImelda#play/all/52B728CFE0A8F969-all/0/L2cHbJZnt9A by CirquedeImelda, another incredible lady in ballet heels.

    J.J. - July 30, 2009


    For more about ballet shoes, see my Bizarre web page.


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All Styles of High Heel Footwear & the People Who Wear Them

High Heel Fashion Wear

High Heel Club Wear

High Heel Fetish Wear

Origin of the Stiletto High Heel

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Written by J.J. Leganeur, author of All About Wearing High Heels .

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All About Wearing High Heels

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This page was last edited on July 30, 2009.