The most important thing to consider when choosing shoes for paraplegics is the fact that they are in a wheelchair and need shoes that are going to be comfortable, but also allow them to not slip. The best shoes for paraplegics are those that have good traction and are made from leather or some type of durable material.
Best Shoes For Paraplegics When They Are In The Wheelchair
Here are some of the best shoes for paraplegics when they are in the wheelchair:
- Crocs (or any other sandal-type shoe)
One of the best things about Crocs is that they have great traction and are made out of a durable material so they last a long time. They also come in various styles so there is something for everyone’s tastes. One thing that people do not like about Crocs is that they can be hot since they do not breathe well. However, this can easily be fixed by wearing socks with them or getting low profile sandals instead of high tops since they do not cover as much skin surface area on your feet.
Best Shoes For Paraplegics
For people with disabilities, the decision to buy a pair of shoes can involve factors more complicated than looks and size. Is the shoe easy to put on? Does it put pressure on areas that could cause skin problems? Will the shoe fit with a brace or on a prosthetic?
Fortunately, in recent years mainstream shoe manufacturers have realized there is a huge market of people with disabilities who want stylish, easy-to-wear shoes. With manufacturers like Ugg and Nike investing in adaptive products, more companies will follow suit, and the adaptive footwear innovations will benefit us all. Gone are the days of contorting our feet to fit into the hottest new shoe or settling for our grandparents’ clunky orthopedic shoes.
I was able to check out some adaptive shoes from several manufacturers that are working to meet the fashion and accessibility needs of New Mobility’s readers.
opens in a new windowUgg
Ugg partnered with Zappos Adaptive to design the opens in a new windowUgg Universal line of shoes, available exclusively on the Zappos Adaptive website [see sidebar]. Ugg and Zappos worked with focus groups composed of people with disabilities to find ways to make their shoes accessible to as many customers as possible. The result was the opens in a new windowUgg Neumel Dual Zip, available in men’s sizes, and the opens in a new windowUgg Classic Short Dual Zip, available in women’s sizes.
The shoes are among Ugg’s most popular models available. Both the Neumel and Classic Short feature zippers down the sides allowing the shoe to open wide for easier entry. The Neumel also has an elastic lacing system that eliminates the need for shoe tying. Both shoes have Ugg’s wool blend lining on the inside, which I have found helps to reduce pressure points on the feet.
opens in a new windowCrocs
Crocs has designed a version of its popular clog with Velcro straps attached to the traditional strap that secures the heel in place. This eliminates the need to bend and maneuver the foot and ankle to put the clog on. Crocs are a great option for going to the beach or the pool, or just to wear around the house.
opens in a new windowPropét
Propét offers shoes for men and women, with adaptations such as Velcro straps, zippers, and stretchable material to make them easier to put on. I tried the opens in a new windowKade model, a casual shoe with a Velcro strap and elastic tongue, as well as the opens in a new windowViator Strap shoe, which is a soft, flexible athletic shoe with a Velcro strap and elastic tongue. Both shoes were easy to put on and were attractive.
opens in a new windowAdidas
Some shoes like the Adidas opens in a new windowLite Racer Adapt have no obvious adaptive modifications but work quite well anyway. I was skeptical about trying the Lite Racer Adapt, as it looks slim and difficult to put on. However, I was surprised to find that it stretches easily and the heel folds, making it simple to slide in my foot. It has elastic laces that do not need to be tied, and the shoe remains secure around the foot.
opens in a new windowBilly Footwear
Billy Footwear is a universally designed shoe line by Seattle-based quadriplegic Billy Price. Billy Footwear shoes feature a zipper that wraps along the side of the shoe and around the toe, allowing the user to completely open the shoe and place their foot inside. Once the foot is inside, the shoe can be zipped up easily and securely.
I like Billy Footwear shoes because my toes curl due to muscle tone, and it is nearly impossible to keep them straight while putting on a shoe. Having a shoe that opens completely makes it easier to keep my toes straight while putting on the shoe and reduces pressure points that could cause skin breakdown.
Billy Footwear shoes are available for men, women, children and toddlers, and come in a variety of styles, including athletic shoes, casual shoes and rain boots. Billy Footwear shoes are available from opens in a new windowbillyfootwear.com, online retailers such as Amazon and Zappos, and shoe boutiques internationally. Billy Footwear prices range from $45-$100.
opens in a new windowNike
In 2015, Nike introduced the adaptive opens in a new windowFlyease line, which includes some of Nike’s most popular shoe models modified with adaptations for people with disabilities. Depending on the model, a Flyease shoe might incorporate a zipper, a Velcro strap, elastic bands or a collapsible heel.
Early in 2021, Nike debuted its first hands-free shoe, the opens in a new windowGo Flyease. The Go Flyease’s heel folds back when the shoe is removed. The shoe remains open, allowing the wearer to slide their foot into the shoe and lock it into the heel using pressure through their foot. Although many with spinal cord injuries may not be able to use the Go Flyease hands-free, the design still makes it easier to insert the foot and eliminates the need for tying laces. Nike Flyease shoes come in several models for men, women, children, and toddlers and range from $35-$200 at opens in a new windownike.com.