Cerebral Palsy
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odd sized shoes to accommodate foot brace

Kayley BettsKayley Betts Member Posts: 5 Listener
edited April 2015 in Cerebral Palsy
Hi I'm 29 and have cp and a back condition this has put even more strain on my already very painful joints. I have recently been given a footbrace by orthotics to help with ankle rotation on my right foot how ever this has left my right foot a size 7 and my left between a 4/5 aside from looking a bit of a clown with my giant right foot I am really struggling to find odd size shoes anywhere but clarkes which proves ridiculously expensive cost plus 50% more for needing an odd size. I'm therefore having to get two separate pairs elsewhere. I wrack shoes off really quick anyway so having to replace two pairs regularly is really having a really detrimental effect on my bank balance. I've always hated shoe shopping anyway cos I'm so limited already but since the footbrace I hate it with a passion. So can anyone advise me of the best place to find either odd sized shoes or accommodating shoes preferably that don't cost the earth thanks Kayley xx

Replies

  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Hi Kayley,

    The charity Hemihelp has produced a factsheet about shoes which includes a list of places you can try. I hope this helps.
    http://www.hemihelp.org.uk/files/Shoes_final.pdf

    I have also heard that shops such as TxMaxx and Deichmann sell odd sized shoes at times so it's worth checking there too. If you have a shoe seller at a local market it might also be worth having a chat with them to see if they can help.

    Best wishes
    Debbie
  • Blue FrogBlue Frog Member Posts: 373 Pioneering
    Hi Kayley, it's a long shot finding what you like and need, but sometimes they come up on eBay. Brantano are also really nice and helpful. Hope you manage to find something nice :)
  • NoahNoah Member Posts: 430 Pioneering
    Hi kayley, welcome to the community forum. Yes getting shoes to fit leg braces can be a real challenge. I wear two afo's which mean I have to wear larger boots, but at least they are the same size! I'm guessing you have taken the insoles out of the shoe you have the leg brace on? One possible solution would be to try and get your orthotics department to supply you with a carbon fibre leg brace as these can often be made much smaller so that it's not always necessary to have to go up a size in shoes. My advice would be to research the many benefits of carbon fibre leg braces. And fully explain to your orthotic dispenser the reasons why you are not managing well with having 1 foot larger than the other. For example, are you more susceptible to 'falls' with your current setup? Hope you find some of the above helpful. Feel free to ask me any questions. Please let us know how you get on. All the best. Noah
  • Kayley BettsKayley Betts Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Hi thanks all for your great replies lots of places I hadn't thought of trying looks like I've got a bit of shoe shopping to do! Thanks also Noah I was hoping for a carbon fibre one but have not had much luck getting my needs met at orthotics to be honest they weren't very helpful at all. I had 3 footbraces in as many months and had to purchase shoes each time it was changed and it still isn't brilliant now. They weren't very helpful in giving advice regarding finding different size shoes just told me to buy two pairs and we're really quite rude and made me feel i wad imagining things when I explained that I couldn't put my foot down at all in the second footbrace it later turned out it had been made with far too high an instep leaving it the equivalent of wearing a 6 inch heel on one foot and a flat on the other. I think its a postcode problem when it comes to orthotics as I have an aunt who lives in a different town and she has only ever had really good quality carbon fibre braces and even gets given a spare. I really appreciate all this advice hopefully I will be able to find shoes a little more easily now.

    Kayley
  • Kayley BettsKayley Betts Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Also in answer to your other question I am really susceptible to falls and feel I walk even worse with the footbrace but orthotics were happy that it seems to have helped stabilize my ankle a bit more but I do think the size difference also makes a big difference as I find it hard to gadge the space needed by the larger foot leading to lots of trips .
  • NoahNoah Member Posts: 430 Pioneering
    edited May 2015
    Your most welcome. My experience of the local NHS orthotics has not always been that special, everything takes way too long and it seems that it takes so many attempts to try and get a foot brace that actually fits! I think you are right it does depend on postcode area. I have friends in other areas of the country that have had the latest carbon fibre braces supplied and it has made a huge positive difference in their life. I've got another appointment a week today, where they have hopefully at long last have got the cast right......! It was June 2014 when my orthopedic consultant identified an issue with my AFO effecting my foot position.....I constantly chase them, by phone, email, I've even sent photos of the problem! Guess they are doing their best, just very over stretched. Thankfully I have a very good relationship with my GP who is very much on my side, and depending on the outcome of next week we are going to explore the possibility of getting me referred to hospital that we know already supply carbon Fibre AFO's, and will hopefully get it right first time. Everyone should have the choice of where they receive treatment, you might find this link helpful http://www.nhs.uk/choiceintheNHS/Yourchoices/hospitalchoice/Pages/Choosingahospital.aspx

    I have also, have not ruled out, going directly to the company in Leeds that make carbon fibre AFO's. They are called Crispin orthotis http://www.crispinorthotics.com/carbon-fibre-orthotics-2/

    With regards to you being much more susceptible to falls because of the different shoe sizes. If your current solution you are being offered is increasing your risk of injury, I feel you have a strong case to have your treatment reviewed. First hurdle tho is getting someone to listen and be on your side, maybe its worth discussing these things with your GP or another consultant.

    All the very best, you have my sympathy, I know how hard these little battles can be. Don't give up, it will be worth it.

    Noah

  • Kayley BettsKayley Betts Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Hi Noah, glad you are hopefully going to get sorted please keep me posted. While I do get that all services are ridiculously over stretched it does make you wonder quite how much would be saved just by using the better quality braces to begin with rather than having to produce several ill fitting braces first. I mentioned to orthotics about the larger foot making me trip even more often than usual but they said cos of the type of brace I needed it is an unavoidable problem and the fact my feet are slightly different sizes too doesn't help matters either I have to be awkward.
  • Kayley BettsKayley Betts Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Its great I have got a couple more ideas of places to look now anyway I'm so glad I joined this site its hard when friends don't understand the difficulties when doing simple such as buying shoes especially when half of the shoes that do fit footbraces are designed for 80 year olds if only
    Loubouton did stretchable shoes ey.

    Hope things go well with the footbrace for you . Keep me posted.

    Kayley
  • NoahNoah Member Posts: 430 Pioneering
    Yes, I couldn't agree more. The time and expense that would be saved if they took the time to get it right first time, would be significant.

    My orthotist has already said that he really needs to spend a whole day with me to get it right......! As my feet are a little bit awkward to! Yet, he is restricted to just 40 minute appointment slots to try and get everything right - and its not an exact science. You can imagine the number of visits I have had to make, I have completely lost count!

    I'm hopefully that with latest scanning technology and possibly 3D printing/CAD CAM it will become much easier/efficient in the future.

    The place where I currently go has never supplied a carbon fibre AFO, although I have been told that I'm top of the list for Carbon Fibre, when they decide that they can supply them!

    A while ago I provided the Orthotics department with a load of information on Carbon Fibre AFO's including pictures etc. They now have a large display at the entrance of the centre which includes photos of carbon Fibre AFO's!!

    I will defiantly be letting everyone know once I have correctly fitting AFO's made from carbon Fibre! :-)
  • NoahNoah Member Posts: 430 Pioneering
    Hope you find some suitable shoes that your leg braces will fit.

    I have managed to find shoes recently in Sports direct and hotter. Might be worth a try.
  • ShellbellsShellbells Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Hi have you thought about joining Jo’s Odd Shoes on fb we have members with odd size feet who can sometimes find a swap buddy. 
    Kind regards
    Michele
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