One of my biggest challenges is that I’m kind of vain … especially when it comes to shoes. I want my kids to have cool-looking, durable shoes that don’t cost a ton of money. It was no issue whatsoever for my older son; the options were limitless.
And it wasn’t an issue for my middle son—until he got fitted for orthotics.
Suddenly, nothing worked. The shoes were either too narrow or ugly. He’s only 3 years old and probably doesn’t care about what the shoes look like, but like I said, I’m vain and I want him to look good.
So in an effort to make your life a bit easier, if your child wears orthotics, here are a few things I’ve learned:
Go to a shoe store and use one of those foot measurers (called a brannock device) and get an accurate measurement of how long and wide your child’s foot is when wearing the orthotic. This will give you good information to shop around. The width is particularly important—make sure you measure it at the widest point.
If you’re an online shopper like my wife and me, look for places that have free shipping and free returns. Zappos.com is a great one. You can purchase as many shoes as you want, try them out for size, and then return the ones that you don’t need without any hassle whatsoever.
Your physical therapist, doctors, and other family members will have some good recommendations on decently priced brands that do wide sizes for kid’s shoes. Ask around and get recommendations on what has worked for other people.
Sometimes creating the right pair of shoes can be as simple as cutting out the tongue or putting a notch in the back to make wearing them a bit easier. Also, take a look at things like zubits.com. They replace laces with magnets to take the hassle of tying shoes out of the equation.
Bottom line is that it might take a little extra research, but there’s no reason that our children can’t be styling just like their friends.
Check out Navigating Daily Life – Parenting Children with Disabilities on this website for more parenting tips.
As parents of children with disabilities, we strive to control as many things as we can—in a reality filled with things we cannot.
Students with disabilities are much more likely to be bullied than their nondisabled peers. When children don’t feel safe at school, it can have a devastating impact on their emotional growth and ability to learn.