In an interesting turn of life events, Max now has two different size feet. As in, two whole sizes. Left, 4&1/2, right, 2&1/2. This, I know now, is not uncommon with children who have cerebral palsy. Because they don't already have enough to deal with and neither do their parents.
First, Max got new orthotics, purple. Then I had to find shoes to fit. Max has long worn Hatchbacks. I called the company and a rep said they might be able to sell me samples in two sizes, except it turns out they don't even make shoes for big kids.
Nordstrom is known for its customer service, and for being willing to sell two shoes in different sizes (and only charging for one pair). I took Max in for a fitting. The staffer helping us said we needed an Extra Extra Wide pair of sneakers, then clicked around on her phone and could not find a manufacturer that had them. Max had been amazingly patient but after twenty minutes, he wanted out. I didn't blame him. Who wants to sit around in a shoe department?
The woman said she'd call to follow up, and didn't. I got in touch with the store manager. The shoe department manager called, and told me she would get in some sneakers. When I asked if they would be extra extra wide, she didn't know what I was talking about, which is when I
ripped my hair out suggested she speak with the woman who had measured Max's foot. Then I got off the phone and shouted into a pillow. (Vastly cheaper than therapy.) (Although what kind of therapy exists for parents of kids with different size feet?) (Please, God, don't let him ever let him like Ferragamos.)
I told my friend Peggy what was going on. "It's never easy, is it?" she said. Some days, it definitely feels that way.
In the end, it was New Balance to the rescue, model 990v3. Turns out Max only needs an Extra Wide. I took out the soles, and the orthotics easily fit in.
Next up, the fun part: Giving away the sneaks Max didn't need. Options include The National Odd Shoe Exchange and the CHASA Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy Shoe Exchange on Facebook, where you find postings like this:
I posted, parents responded, I shipped the sneakers out. It felt good. If Max is going to have two different size feet, at least he can have sole mates to share them with.
I was going to mention New Balance, but looks like you found them! My 8-year old grandson uses New Balance with his orthotics, along with soccer socks that help wick the moisture. Your pic of Max in this post resembles what my grandson looks like when wearing his orthotics (which is all the time, except when sleeping, of course). It makes my heart ache for him in the summer, when other kids are wearing crocs or flip flops or going barefoot. "It's never easy," is exactly right! Sigh.ReplyDelete
Kyle uses New Balance in extra wide for his orthotics, too! We have always had great success with this brand!ReplyDelete
sole mates :)...wow it is important to keep ones sense on humor intact to handle life some days isnt itReplyDelete
yes! My Max wears the New Balance XW with his orthotics too :)ReplyDelete
I never knew that about Nordstrom! I may have to check them out the next time I need shoes: I'm an adult, but I can mostly only wear kids' shoes-- usually a 3 or 3.5 depending on the shoe, but only because one foot is a 2.5W-3, and the other is a 3.5W-5...and I don't have CP! I just have a body that we joke was put together by Nature during her Picasso period.ReplyDelete
New Balance is known for their XW. Some stride rite stores carry a limited number of XWs.ReplyDelete
Different foot sizes are common with Clubfoot too. Jonah's left foot (the more severely impacted) is around a 12w or xw, where his right foot is a 13.5. The discrepancy isn't big enough that we fall into Nordstrom's split size policy (interesting that your Nordstrom's couldn't accommodate...) and we generally make due with a wide in the larger size and just tie tightly. Thanks for the links to the split size sites -- I'll share them with my clubfoot peeps!
Well to add a couple of shoe brands that are made for kids with orthotics. One is Italian and just started selling to the US. Nice rear door type shoe, with dial to tighten it all up easy for the kid or parent. http://www.easyup-shoes.com/ and another normal tying shoe that doesn't look like a special needs shoe. http://keepingpace.com/pages/prod_shoes.aspReplyDelete
I had no idea that kids with CP could have different sized feet. Just what you needed, right? Well I'm glad you had a way to rid yourself of the unwanted sneakers, that's a plus! :)ReplyDelete
I haven't tried out this company as my daughters feet are so tiny but they look nice and seem to have bigger sizes for older kids. http://www.goplae.com. And they are pretty customizable.ReplyDelete
I have wide feet, so it's hard to find cute shoes in my size. I am a size 6 and a lot of wide shoes start at size 7. -_-ReplyDelete
Has anyone tried phrasing the request for two different size shoes as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (or the equivalent disability rights law if you live in another country)? I don’t know if that would actually work to fix the problem of companies being hesitant to sell two sizes of shoe in a pair, but I just wanted to put the suggestion out.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for posting this. My husband splits sizes due to a club foot and with the exception of what he buys at Nordstrom we just end up buying two pairs of shoes. Today I just bought brown leather slip on loafers, Sketchers, and the leftover pair is L 10 R 9. Would love to send them to someone that will use them! I just requested a join of the CHASA shoe exchange, but if anyone sees this and can use them my email is e v a 3 8 1 @ hotmail dot comReplyDelete
Hi Ellen and all!ReplyDelete
Yes, unevenly sized feet are common for CP, polio, clubfoot, and often for no obvious reason - like in my case.
I am working on a community marketplace for people with unevenly sized feet and also amputees where we can swap leftover shoes and buy mismatched pairs.
Have a look: www.solemates.io
Hi, I run a website called Odd Shoe Finder - which is a marketplace for odd-sized shoes. The site's been around since 2007, has 4000 registered members and lots of shoes listed. We've just updated the site and have the 'new' site set up at search.oddshoefinder.com while we make the transition. I invite you to have a look.ReplyDelete