A Wheelchair-User’s Obsession: Shoes, Glorious Shoes


36431_442860467867_3795794_nI 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.

Button-Down Boots

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.

Pumas

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.

Moccasin Booties

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?

Products mentioned

Minnetonka Moccasin Classic Fringe Ankle Boot

– Puma Athletic Shoes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real Time Web Analytics