Friday, March 18, 2011

Bring on the Shoes!

Have you ever taken a toddler shoe shopping?  Yeah, it's frustrating!  Imagine that your three-year-old has just found the perfect pair of light up Sketchers --you know the pair that resembles a white police car with strobe lights?  Now image that after trying on three different sizes while chasing him down the aisle and holding his leg between your knees, you find the perfect fit.  Okay, now start all over again.  You have to find a matching shoe for the left foot that is usually two sizes smaller.  Shoe shopping has been a nightmare!  Not only is it nearly impossible to find matching shoes in different sizes, but it must be like having twins --because you're searching for shoes for two very different feet.  Did I mention that one foot is quite wide while the other is narrow, given it's missing a toe and all.  You know, too, how brands vary --you can't just assume that the size 10 fits the left because the size 12 fits the right (believe me, I've tried that --unsuccessfully!).  When you cross over to Kids' Sizes -a one or above, try finding the matching "infant" size shoe!  Yeah, you guessed it --nearly impossible to find.  One last thing to whine about --the expense!  Don't complain about the cost of a pair of Nike's until you buy two pairs and then discard two shoes!

Solutions?  I've found a few.  Check out The National Odd Shoe Exchange on-line (I have to admit, I didn't contact them --you have to write a letter to a physical address--unless their website has changed).  They will send shoes to anyone in need on an oddly matched set --for a donation.  We actually sent several pairs of Ethan's odd left overs to the company.  It's hard to throw away perfectly new shoes when there are children whose parents can't afford to whine about buying two pairs!  You can buy three pairs of matching shoes.  For example, you buy two pairs of shoes - size 9 and size 11.  Go ahead and buy the size 13 --you'll already have the left shoe in the size 11 box that will match the size 13.  This will at least save buying one additional pair of shoes.

Nordstrom sells mismatched shoes!  If you try to buy on-line, then you'll have to contact a customer service representative.  Be careful in person --we were so happy to find a Norsdstrom in Baltimore and couldn't believe we could buy one pair of shoes (one shoe to fit each foot packaged in one box).  The overly helpful salesman wanted to handle everything himself, and when we got home, we discovered a box with two left feet!  How disappointing!  We're taking them back this summer --somebody's gotta give us a break on that one! 

Shoe lifts!  We were hesitant to believe the prosthetics tech who assured us that when the lift went inside Ethan's shoe, he could probably wear the same size.  Well, she was right.  His shoe was lifted on the outside, but he also got a shoe insert!  Hallelujah!  In December, Ethan received his first set of same sized shoes!  (I don't know about you, but it reminds me of the magical shoe elves who fix the cobbler's shoes while he sleeps! --remember the cute cartoon?)