shoes, shoes, shoes

After I wrote my Clubfoot Stinks post I had an epiphany. Rather than spending time grumbling about how shoes don’t work, I needed to take some time to see what WILL work. 

So I googled Shoe Tailor and Shoe Repair and found a business literally 5 minutes from my house. I packed up a few pairs shoes that I loved but could not wear (the realistic ones that actually stood a chance with a few tweaks) and figured it wouldn’t hurt to see what could be done.

I drove my bag down to this local business and walked the owner through my shoe dilemma.  I won’t lie. It was humbling. Even greater, it was gift. I was given the opportunity to see the kindness of humanity….as I was telling her my story the woman began to cry.  She was excited to help make my dusty shoe pile work for me.

Here they are in their glory.  They added an elastic band and now my shoes stay on my feet. I was giddy. My shoe shopping experience will never be the same, I now know I have more options.  

Let’s go shopping!

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Clubfoot Stinks

High-Heel-SandalsClubfoot should be a crime. It’s cruel for us girls who love shoes.  I have a small pile of shoes that I thought would work.  They were cute, I NEEDED them but in reality I can only wear them if I don’t move.  Sometimes I just try them on for fun, admire their beauty and then whip them back to the deep dark bowels of my closet.

Some of you are asking, “ummm, what’s clubfoot?”  Let me tell you!

Clubfoot is a common congenital disorder of the legs. It can range from mild and flexible to severe and rigid. The condition occurs in about 1 out of every 1,000 live births.  The physical appearance of the foot may vary. One or both feet may be affected. The foot turns inward and downward at birth, and is difficult to place in the correct position. The calf muscles and foot may be slightly smaller than normal. Treatment may involve moving the foot into the correct position and using a cast to keep it there. Treatment should be started as early as possible — ideally, shortly after birth — when reshaping the foot is easiest.  Gentle stretching and recasting occurs every week to improve the position of the foot. Generally, five to 10 casts are needed. The final cast remains in place for 3 weeks. After the foot is in the correct position, a special brace is worn nearly full time for 3 months. Then it is used at night and during naps for up to 3 years.

I had casts on my legs at birth and went to Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Chicago at 3 months for my first surgery.  The process went on over the years.  That’s how I scored those snazzy braces. Not just anyone can have a pair of those babies!

They did a good job but it comes with a cost.  My feet are flat and straight but I’m assuming the lengthening was a trade off for muscle.  I can’t rotate my ankle or flex my feet.  I remember bringing home my son as an infant and watching in awe as his perfect little feet would stretch, flex and tiny toes would curl. He was two days old and already mastered something I would never.  It was a really weird feeling.

There are rules to buying the perfect shoe…Need a strap to keep them on. A little heel because my left foot isn’t completely flat.  Not too big of a heel because my right foot is weaker and can’t handle it. If only my feet would be on the same page.

I can walk through the shoe department and select my options in a matter of seconds.  I am always on the lookout for a cute Mary Jane style shoe.   What have you found that works?  Any good links you could share would be great. I am starting up the chat forum for this topic and will pass on a few of my favorites.