I have a friend who’s a comedian who thought it’d be funny if he asked me one day why wheelchair-users wear shoes. He thought he was clever with that one, “Well, we don’t walk so what’s the need,” he joshed, but I have to admit I’ve found his joke dumb.
Shoes are much more function, they’re about the fashion; making a statement wherever we go, telling the world a little bit about who we are wherever we roll to. And anyways, we may not be walking, but we need to protect our feet too. I mean come on, how often have you accidentally ran into something as a wheelchair-user? Your feet would get pretty busted up without shoes.
And over the years I’ve fallen in love with shoes. Accessories are such a great way to add a little panache to your look as a wheelchair-user, and shoes are my all-time favorite accessory. But not every pair of shoes will work if you use a wheelchair. Heels can be worn don’t get me wrong, but the style of heel matters big time.
If you’re a wheelchair user and are wanting to look for new shoe options, here are my all-time favorite shoes styles.
When I was 21 years old, I decided I finally wanted to try to wear boots as a wheelchair-user, but I bought the wrong kind. I bought a pair without any buttons or a side-zipper, making them nearly impossible to put on. Those boots were returned mighty quick, and I returned home with a pair that had a zipper. With the zipper, you can fold down the length of the boot to make it easier to slide your foot in. When you have paralyzed feet, this is a must.
Mary Jane Heels
While I love all styles of high heels, I have to be practical about the kind that I attempt to wear. Many styles of heels will simply fall off my feet the second I lift my foot up from the foot plate, leaving me without a shoe on and looking rather ridiculous. To avoid this, I now only where Mary Jane high heels; the style of shoe that has a strap that goes over the foot. These heels can be hard to find, so I tend to go online to find them.
While all styles of athletic shoes work ok as a wheelchair-user, I found Puma athletic shoes are some of the best. Their fashionable, comfortable on the feet and go well with a lot of different looks.They also have several pairs that come with Velcro straps, making them easy to put on and take off.
Booties, an ankle-length version of a boot, are a great style of shoe to wear as a wheelchair-user, however my all time favorite booties are moccasins, beautiful leather shoes that are soft and easy to put on. You can go the expensive route and get a pair from Minnetonka moccasins, otherwise you can buy moccasin booties at most department stores.
For a lot of wheelchair-users shoes just aren’t a fun thing, but with a little bit of thinking and experimenting with different shoe styles, chances are you can wear more styles than you thought. I can tell you one thing, I never in a million years thought I could a rock a pair of heels sitting down, but boy was I wrong. It’s one of the most empowering feeling I’ve had sitting down.
What kind of shoes do you prefer as a wheelchair-user?
– Puma Athletic Shoes