Tying our shoes is one of those easy daily tasks most of us do without thinking. When you have mobility challenges, though, even the simplest of tasks can become daunting. One company recognized this and created a shoe that’s accessible for everyone.
After two major surgeries left my daughter with right-sided hemiparesis (weakness), she needed an ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) to help her walk. An AFO is a rigid or semirigid brace that provides support for a weakened ankle and foot.
Among all the challenges the procedure and the recovery presented, we never expected shoe shopping to be one of them! Our goal was to find a stylish and practical shoe that would fit over my daughter’s AFO and match all her adorable outfits.
Fortunately, we found Billy Footwear! This company creates modern, stylish shoes with a universal design that’s accessible for everyone. When I stumbled across this company and found it was dedicated to designing fashionable and functional footwear for all, my heart leaped with joy!
A good orthotic-accessible shoe design allows the whole tongue to come out for easier foot insertion. Removable soles and wide options are also a must, especially with bulky braces.
Billy Footwear goes above and beyond with its FlipTop technology, which allows the top part of the shoe to fold completely over the foot and zip shut. The brand calls it “Flip, Zip, and Go!”
The innovative design features an ankle-to-toe zipper, so the entire shoe opens, kind of like a taco. Then, you just place your foot on the sole rather than having to squeeze it into the shoe. This is ideal for anyone with a brace, including AFOs or supra malleolar orthoses (SMOs).
They can also help build confidence and independence for children who are still learning to tie their shoes. Anyone who’s working on fine-motor skills or facing dexterity challenges will love these, as well.
If you have a spouse or parent who needs shoes they can easily take on and off, but would prefer a pair that aren’t hideous, definitely tell them to check out the site. The adult shoes are a bit more understated than the colorful children’s options, but that will probably suit most folks just fine! The important thing is these shoes can make their lives a tad simpler.
They have styles for women, men, kids, and toddlers, so be sure to browse around. You can purchase your shoes directly from the site, but Billy Footwear shoes are also available at other online stores, including Amazon, and Zappos.
Finding shoes that could accommodate my daughter’s AFO has been no easy feat, but she loves her cute new Classic High Tops from Billy Footwear. We can’t wait to pick out her next pair!