Disability Hack for buying fashionable shoes and boots when you wear one afo/leg brace or orthotic and need shoes in two different sizes.
Share this post

I started Trend-Able to empower women with invisible physical disabilities to look and feel their best in order to live their best lives. I struggled with low self esteem as a young person with invisible disabilities and have made it my mission to help others learn how to accept their perfections and focus on their strengths.

If you’re new here, I wear leg braces ( called afos) due to foot drop & muscle weakness in both of my feet due to a neuromuscular disorder I inherited called Charcot Marie Tooth Disease. You can read more about my story in my Skinny jeans and Leg Braces post.

Trend-Able is a resource to help women with disabilities look and feel their best and some of the posts focus on fashion and shoes. I research and share the latest fashionable comfort shoes that work for me and may work for other orthotic and afo wearers as well. I also post seasonal outfit inspiration consisting of fashion-forward and disability friendly clothing and accessories.

When we wear clothing and shoes that we feel confident and comfortable in, the effect is similar to wearing a smile when you feel sad. You feel better and more positive.

I’ve received several questions lately via the Trend-Able Facebook and Instagram pages from people who wear just one leg brace and thus need two different size shoes. Of course, there are many people without disabilities who also have two different size feet and share a similar shoe buying challenge.

In my research on this subject, I found the post ”Where to buy shoes when your feet are two different sizes” on a website called The Ability Hacker. Instead of reinventing the wheel, I received permission from the writer and website owner Amy to use portions of her 2016 post. You can see the original blog post and check out her very helpful website for people with disabilities here

One hack for people with two different size feet, is to use an insole to fill up the empty space in a too large shoe. There are several companies that sell insoles specifically for this purpose. One is called Sizers and you can find them on Amazon here and another one is called Shoolex which you can find here.

As you will see from the list below, it is also possible to purchase a pair of shoes in two different sizes and/or a single shoe.

 Nordstrom

  • The best resource for both adults and children with extremely accommodating policies for people with disabilities, amputees and those needing irregular sizes.
  • They have an unadvertised ”split shoe policy”
  • There cannot be more than a 1 ½ sizes difference between each shoe
  • There is no extra cost for buying two different sized shoes.
  • It’s easiest to buy them in store with the help of a sales associate. In order to purchase two different sizes online, you have to purchase a pair in each size, and then return the shoe from each pair that you do not need.
  • Nordstrom also has a limited selection of single shoes which you can find here

 Healthy Feet Store

  • They do have a ”special discount program” for people ordering mismatched shoe sizes.
  • The exact discount amount differs for each shoe and brand.
  • The website says to call Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time if you’d like to order mismatch shoes: 1.866.324.3338

 Shoe Swap

  • Website and marketplace for people who need two different size shoes and/or just one shoe.
  • You can find a shoe buddy to share the purchase of two pairs of shoes and swap sizes.
  • People buy, sell and swap unwanted and/or unneeded shoes.

 Birkenstock

  • They offer a one size only increase or decrease on their classic cork footbed styles.
  • You get 40% off of a second pair of closed toe shoes or waterproof sandals. You have to order two pairs and then the company will donate the unused shoes.
  • They will discount some shoes 40% if you need a single shoe.
  • You can call Birkenstock at 1-800-451-1459.

 THE NATIONAL ODD SHOE EXCHANGE (N.O.S.E)

  • A non-profit organization that helps people needing two different sizes and or amputees needing one shoe
  • They ship brand new shoes to people in the US and Canada.
  • In order to participate, send your name and address along with a short letter stating your needs and restrictions to:

The National Shoe Exchange
P.O. Box 1120
Chandler, AZ 85244-1120

 MY LEFT SHOE

 ODD SHOE FINDER

  • An online shoe marketplace for buying and selling odd size shoes.
  • Like an Ebay just for odd size shoes
  • Website also links to a custom shoe store. http://www.oddshoefinder.com

 TARGET

  • There is no official policy but they do have some mismatched pairs of shoes in their warehouses.
  • What is done with the odd shoes is left up to each individual store manager.
  • People should inquire with the store manager directly.

Do you have any odd size shoe hacks or know of other great resources not mentioned in this post? Please share the love in the comments below.


Share this post

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

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

Post comment