“Apolla Performance Wear is a company dedicated to delivering high quality, high performance, and beautifully crafted products designed specifically to meet the dancer’s needs.”
The Whole Dancer founder, Jess and Intern, Jessie (not at all confusing that we have the same name) each tested out a pair of Apolla Shocks to share thoughts on this company innovating the way we think about footwear in dance.
Apolla Performance Wear created a compression sock available in various styles and colors in order to promote and support foot and ankle health for dancers.
Here’s Jessie’s take :
“For this review I chose the performance Apolla Shocks with traction. I picked the performance because I wanted extra compression on my ankles, since I’ve had tendonitis and ankle sprains in the past.
I have very small and narrow feet, so I was worried about how the shocks would fit. I was very happy and surprised when they fit my feet perfectly. I didn’t have any extra baggy junk I’ve had to deal with in the past when I would buy socks from Uniqulo (I’d have to put them in the dryer a few cycles before they would fit my feet).
I purposely wore these socks in different dance situations to get the feel of them.
The first time I wore the Apolla Shocks was for teaching. I teach intermediate and advanced level ballet for 3 hours on Wednesday evenings. I demonstrate all of the barre exercises full out, as well as some of center.
For a the past two years, I was wearing jazz shoes for teaching. But this season they have been bothering my feet so I was rotating between jazz shoes, ballet slippers, and socks.
My feet have never been so comfortable while teaching! I don’t usually love teaching in socks, but I would definitely teach in these socks again.
I was a little skeptical how this traction thing was going to work. When you first take the shocks out of the bag, the traction part is stiff. It took a few barre combinations for the traction part on the ball of my foot to start to mold to my foot. But once it did, it felt like any other sock.
I really liked taking barre in these socks. Part of me wishes that there were some traction on the heel so it would feel exactly like a ballet shoe. But I know that’s not possible with the design of the sock.
Because of the compression, I felt that my feet were warm and ready to go a lot faster than they were while wearing normal socks or ballet slippers. I will definitely be wearing my shocks for warm-up and at least the first few combinations at barre in class from now on.
My one concern is during barre as my feet got sweaty, the toe part of the shock got a little baggy. When I would turn I could feel the fabric twist under my feet a little so I didn’t wear them for center. I found the baggy-ness goes away after I washed them. But if you wear them multiple times before washing them again, the toe will get a tiny bit baggy.
Also I wonder if it’s possible for the traction to rub off or make marks on certain Marley floors. I had a panic moment towards the end of barre when I realized there were small black circles that looked like the ball of my foot at my barre spot. I did check the Apolla Performance website, and it says that the traction may rub off in the initial wear, but comes off with regular cleaning.
The traction goes down a bit after you wash them the first time. But putting rosin on them makes them good as new. However, I wonder how you add more traction when a studio does not allow rosin in their studio for example STEPS in New York. How would putting water on your socks affect the traction?
In Sneakers at the Gym:
My feet and ankles felt great while wearing my Apolla Socks while at the gym. I felt like I could run longer than my usual 20 minute run. The only tiny negative was the socks get really hot while wearing them in sneakers. Though in this rough winter weather, at least in the North-East, hot feet are much better than ice cube feet.
Overall, I would say Apolla Performance Infinite Shocks are a great sock. I highly recommend it for any dancer that needs to give their feet and ankles some extra love and support while dancing or teaching.
Here’s Jess’s Take :
“As someone who has suffered from chronic ankle sprains throughout my career, I was super intrigued and excited when I heard about Apolla Performance Wear. This is a woman run company with a goal of helping dancers prevent injury in order to dance stronger and longer.
That’s something I can get behind.
I wore my Infinate Shocks with Traction to a ballet class. After that initial experience, I now wear them every time I take class! I’ll definitely need to add a few more pairs to my collection.
The traction actually felt more grippy to me than a ballet shoe even though there’s no traction on the heel. I felt SO supported through my feet and ankles. Within a few combinations my feet were so warm they were actually sweating.
I actually really like the indication that my feet were warm. I see it as a plus.
After barre I switched to regular ballet shoes and found that I felt a little disconnected from the floor. So now I’ll either keep my socks on for center or switch to ballet shoes towards the end of barre in order to feel the floor before going to the center.
In addition to ballet class, I’ve also worm my shocks while traveling. It’s really important when you’re traveling, especially for dance related reasons ie auditions or tours that you wear a compression sock. The inactivity of travel, whether you’re in an airplane, car or bus, causes blood to pool and feet and ankles to swell. Compression socks will keep the blood flowing.
Have you tried Apolla Performance Wear? Share your experience in the comments!!