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Shoes on Wheels....A Fashion Story

Rerun (character from Charlie Brown)

I could effectively adhere diamonds on the soles of my shoes. Not that I have the funds or inclination to do so but as my feet are planted mainly on my wheelchair's footplate, the chances are the sparkle of the bling would occasionally be spotted, even if the source would be difficult to identify. The glint of reflection when the light would hit the diamonds on just the right angle of refraction would surely invoke the idea that the sun certainly does shine out of my.......feet.

But I digress. The wearing of shoes when ones feet don't actually touch the ground has a different set of criteria. Important criteria none the less but one less concerned with grip on any surface that requires a sign stating 'Watch your Step, Slippery Surface'.

I do not have a great many pairs of shoes and have often made the joke that 'I only buy a new pair of shoes every couple of years just to wear something different’. You see my shoes don't wear out, don't get overly scuffed and very rarely require shinning. They do however, Go out of Fashion!!!! (Insert music of doom here). Now I may not be the most avid watcher of fashion but I do try to stay afoot of podiatry preferment and the fashion of the foot.

There has been another important reason why the purchase of footwear has been limited in my wheeling years. Getting shoes on and off is a tad harder, plus my delicate tootsies may not be aware of pressure damage until after the fact. Feet skinny in morning, fat at night, makes shoes loose in a.m., tight in p.m. I have tended to stick to shoes that not only look just okay but cause little problems for my feet. If shoes have caused issues, they stopped getting worn ASAP as nowhere have I ever seen in fashion mags images of fat, swollen, pressure sore feet combined with just the right jeans.

So there are some practical considerations in choosing the right pair of shoes but recently I have discovered an easy solution to wheeled shoe wearing that opens up the world of feet fashion. But be warned, this tip may be unfathomable for some and bordering on criminal for others.

Here are the facts. I do not need to spend exorbitant amounts on shoes as they never have to touch the ground so they do not need to be comfortable to walk in. They don't need to have leather soles or extra grip nor do they need to be good for running, the gym; be able to manage stairs, grass, gravel, alcohol stained carpets or survive a day at the races, hung off my finger whilst juggling a never ending glass of champagne and lost on the way home (plus I’m a bloke). They can be a cheaper brand of shoe or a mock-up of a more expensive brand as long and as you buy at least half a size bigger (I usually go one size bigger) as this eliminates most issues with less than quality workmanship on the shoes digging into any soft foot fleshy bits or sharp bony edges, but they can still look good. Remember the shoes are only seen from one angle, above, so this is what others see.....the brand is kind of irrelevant and I don’t believe Jimmy Choo makes men’s shoes anyway.

I recommend shoes without huge soles, again what is the point, your soles are never going to wear down plus the bigger or chunkier the sole, the more you look like you are wearing boats on your feet, and I don't mean the sock less boat shoe style, I mean you look like your shoes are too big for your body, like you are wearing canoes.

I also recommend slip on shoes, laces are okay but can be an extra task requiring flexibility, and dexterity and time...why bother.

Now here is the big tip. As I mentioned, getting shoes on when you don't walk and your flexibility is a tad restricted and you want to prevent any pressure issues is not easy. But this is what I discovered and came about due to frustration on getting shoes over my heel and how difficult it was with some shoes. Get a Stanley knife and cut the back of the heel of the shoe vertically right in the middle of the heel of the shoe. Do so for approximately 2cm. This makes it 100 times easier to get your shoes on/off and also relives pressure on the foot. I can hear some people gasp in horror 'how could you do that to a new pair of shoes'. Well no one will ever borrow my shoes; no one ever sees the back of my shoes and here is the clincher, this easy little solution as now increased my shoe choice in style and fashion and colour tenfold. I can now appear to be an icon in the shoe fashion stakes, I can now wear flat, mat, shiny, pointy, square toed, patent leather, wing tipped, high cut, suede, plastic, low heel or high heeled (although not likely, don't want to turn an ankle) shoes.....the simple task of a 2 cm slit has opened up the shoe fashion world and my feet have been liberated. Now I just have to figure out how I am going to pay for all these new high fashion feet wear. Donations welcome.

I have to say I only wish I had thought of this little trick years ago as I feel I have been deprived of feet fashion faux pas and will only now be open to rookie errors in my over exuberance of shoe choice and purchase. So if see me wheeling down the street in god awful shoes and you see light shining out from under my feet, take comfort in the fact that if I now can afford diamonds on the soles of my shoes, I really won’t care what you think…talk to the sole or keep walking.