Cerebral Palsy
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Designing Shoes for People with CP

Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Administrator Posts: 2,176 Scope community team

My name is Redd Smith. I am a final year Product Design student at the University of Leeds. I was born and raised in Bristol and after a year's experience as a Footwear Designer for Clarks Originals last year in Street, Somerset, I am returning to University to complete my final year project. Whilst at Clarks, I learnt a lot of valuable skills and knowledge about footwear and the footwear industry. About halfway through the year, I started to think about how people with Cerebral Palsy interact with shoes, laces and other fastening mechanisms. I felt that this final year project would be an amazing opportunity to explore this area in more detail and come up with an answer that will hopefully make a difference to peoples lives. 


In order to create a design that will really make a difference and solve the current problems, I need to gather some information and generally speak to people with Cerebral Palsy to highlight what aspects of putting on and taking off shoes cause problems and to also hear feedback and opinions on my ideas throughout the project.


As you can probably tell, I'm extremely passionate about shoes and I think that everyone should be able to express themselves through whatever footwear they want, without being limited to certain choices due to how easy they are to put on/ take off. As well as making my project functional and practical, I want to make this a cool and stylish shoe, something that wouldn't look out of place in a New Balance or Asics store!


I have very limited knowledge on Cerebral Palsy and the problems that people encounter day-to-day. You don't need to have any knowledge of shoes or footwear at all in order to help me; it would just be great to hear from you.


If you would be willing to spare a small amount of time for us to either have a chat or assist me with my research, I would be extremely grateful :)

Specialist Information Officer - Cerebral Palsy


  • emma54694emma54694 Member Posts: 1 Listener
    Hi my name is Emma and I have a 2 year old daughter who has just recently been diagnosed with cerebral palsy PVL... I found your topic on shoes interesting because my little girl has just been fitted with leg splints which we knew would be difficult to get shoes for her. When we did go and get shoes for her it's was impossible nowhere sold shoes that she could wear because of how bulky her splint were. We ended up getting her converse shoes,but these still fall off her feet as they do not tie properly. It would be amazing for special shoes to be made so that splints could sit perfectly in the shoe and give children the comfort and ability to walk around in 😀
  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Administrator Posts: 2,176 Scope community team
    Welcome to our community! Finding shoes to fit over splints is always difficult. The charity Hemihelp has a factsheet that might help http://www.hemihelp.org.uk/files/Shoes_final.pdf

    There is also a Facebook group called Jo’s Odd Shoes that could help.

    Specialist Information Officer - Cerebral Palsy
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