Shoes Are Not Always My Friend

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by Jill Price |

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Shoes. Most women have a closet full of them. Most women love to go shoe shopping and get the latest, cutest trend. Not me. I truly hate shoe shopping and always have. It always has been a struggle to find comfortable, cute, wide shoes with enough support for my unstable ankles. I can thank Charcot-Marie-Tooth for these shoe issues.

When most people have an event to go to, they tend to buy the dress first and then the shoes. I tend to find the shoes first and then find a dress to match the shoes. It often is easier to find a dress for the event than find shoes that might work for the day. For my son’s bar mitzvah last year, I began the search for dressy, comfortable shoes six to eight months before the event. I must have ordered 10-15 pairs of shoes from Zappos. Thank goodness for free shipping and returns! I tried many different brands and styles until I found one I actually could wear for his big day.

Which brands work for me

Now I have the added challenge of finding shoes to fit with my ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) that are comfortable for my hammertoe. The AFOs cause me to need at least one size larger than normal and extra wide. This sounds like it should not be too much of an issue. Sadly, it can be. It is hard to find shoes that fit the AFOs and are cute or fashionable. I have had luck with the Propét brand. They are fashionable, supportive, come in double-wide, and are reasonably priced, which is a huge plus. I now have two pairs of their shoes and find the styles with a bit of stretch the most comfortable for my feet.

Another brand that is supportive and wide enough for the AFOs is SAS. SAS has very cute shoes and some styles come in extra-wide. I have found that only a few styles work for my feet. The biggest downside to SAS is the price for my limited budget. Someone suggested I look at Hotter shoes. I have looked at their catalog, and there seem to be a few styles that might work. I have not tried these shoes yet, mostly due to the price and the uncertainty of fit. Maybe I just need to order a pair and see how it goes.

Shoe shopping is definitely one of my least favorite things to do. When I do find a shoe that fits, I get so excited! At times, I am one of those people who buy the same shoe in every color just because I know it will fit and be comfortable.

I wish it was easier to find shoes, and that I could walk into a shoe store and walk out with one or two pairs of reasonably priced shoes. Maybe one day that will be possible.


Note: Charcot-Marie-Tooth News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Charcot-Marie-Tooth News or its parent company, Bionews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Charcot-Marie-Tooth.


Monica Harris avatar

Monica Harris

Hi. I have a 7 year old daughter that has been diagnosed with Charcot Marie Tooth since the age of 2. We find it hard to find shoes that fit. Her daily shoes are Crocs. What show do you recommend.


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