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How To Buy Off-the-Shelf Shoes For Orthopedic Uses

Hi everyone! As many of you already know, I wear an almost 2” shoe lift. Many women may marvel at the opportunity to purchase a new pair of shoes, but for me, it is something I put off until absolutely necessary. Why? As grateful as I am for being able to perform this needed task, it’s a royal pain in the patoot.

I thought it would be interesting to write down the steps I take to find that “perfect” pair of shoes. Words do not do the process justice, but they will provide insight that will hopefully help some of you. So…here goes…Remember, these suggestions work for me and may not apply to your individual situation.

Shoe type decision. Will I buy a walking shoe ideal for flat surfaces? These are ideal for short jaunts to the gym, store, or other paved area. Or, will it be a pair of multi-purpose hiking boots that provide ankle support? These are perfect for those occasions when grass, gravel, sand, or other questionable surfaces come into play. Having one of these pairs available at all times covers all bases.

Budget. How much money can I spend on a pair? I have a range in mind when shopping for a pair and stick with it. In addition to the cost of the shoe, I must take into consideration the additional $60+ needed for a shoe lift.

Material. What type of material do I desire? Is it already waterproofed or do I need to add that? How much elasticity is there? This is where the side-twist maneuver comes in handy for walking shoes. If the shoe can easily be turned, it goes back on the shelf. It’s too flimsy for my blood. If it has a slight turn, it is a possibility.

Soles. Does the shoe have a sole that can be removed or altered by a shoe repair person? Is it relatively flat? Is it high quality? This is the area where many manufacturers fail, in my experienced opinion.

Construction. Is the shoe durable? How is the stitching? Is it precise or are there threads sticking out? What type of sole is there? Does the footbed offer security? Will it hold my foot upright after a shoe lift is added? Are there “breathing holes” that hinder durability?

Manufacturer. I know that generic brands are always emphasized for cost-saving purposes. I choose to purchase a name brand that has a strong reputation for excellence in craftsmanship, technological advances, and customer service.

Toe area. Is there ample room for my toes to stretch out? If the shoe narrows down from the foot bed to the toe area, it goes back on the shelf. If it appears to have ample room available, I try it on.

Fitting. This is the final step. If a shoe passes all of the above inspections, I try it on. This step can be a few seconds or few minutes. If it is difficult to put on, it goes back on the shelf. If I stand in it and feel discomfort, no go. When the shoe is comfortable to stand in, it is a possibility. I go for a short test walk. How does it feel? Does it bend easily when taking a step? Does it constrain my bones or allow comfortable movement? If satisfied, I wait a few minutes. Then, I go for another test walk.

P.S. Whenever engaged in the shoe buying process, I wear the appropriate socks.

That’s it for now. Hope this helps others going through the same thing. Find interesting? Kindly share..Thanks!

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns. The site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 30+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

1 comment to How To Buy Off-the-Shelf Shoes For Orthopedic Uses

  • Great tips here on getting orthopedic shoes off the shelf. There’s a lot of options out there so it’s important to ask yourself these questions in order to get the best one for you. Thanks for sharing!

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