The Shoe Saga Begins

We picked up her AFO yesterday then immediately hit the shoe stores.

I had heard Stride Rite could well be *the* place to go, due to their selection of wide width shoes. So, I had already braced myself for that. I don’t typically buy expensive shoes. But I understood our dilemma. And since LilBit’s feet *are* so small, quite short, like 0-6 months socks, short, at 15 months, I was getting myself ready for the expenditure of these shoes. Not confident other stores would carry shoes that would fit well.

But, not yet willing to give in, we tried Target. That was a no go. Mostly because the particular store we went to had a super crappy selection, but nonetheless, that was strike one.

Two doors down was a Shoe Carnival. What the heck? They had a super crappy selection of baby shoes too! Oh if you want Nike or Kswiss you could choose from several pair, but that wasn’t what I was looking for, preferably. Strike two.

Next came Payless. Payless has wide width, we might make out ok there. Wrong! First I had the sales gal who thought she knew what she was doing but she really wasn’t helpful at all. Then when she noticed I wasn’t impressed with her ‘expertise’ she just bailed.  Strike three.

That’s when I recommitted myself to the Stride Rite idea. *ouch* Our PT advised us to not spend a lot on the shoe, it wasn’t necessary, she had the ‘pricey shoe’ already, the AFO. She just needed something with the proper bottom and all. I’m guessing she’s never actually *shopped* for shoes to fit over AFOs. Oh sure, she’s talked to parents who have, but I’m thinking she’s never actually been on that boat,  looking for a place to dock.

Mind you, I did have a certain style in mind. Not that that was *the* only style I was going to accept, just, ya know, that’s what I was going to try first. I had something in mind, I was going to exhaust those options before moving to option B.

So I get to Stride Rite and the sales gal there starts off pushing this ‘option B’ looking style. Blah. It was very….not attractive. NOT what I was hoping for. Um, no.

I point out styles I was hoping for, she brings out a couple.



What about these?


Or these aren’t bad.

Oh, those might work.

And I really like these.


I have LilBit crawl around in them for a while.


She crawled out of the shoe. Not the AFO one, the other side. I was afraid of that. It was along the lines of (yes, this is a Target shoe and I said I was at Stride Rite..I was just already browsing Target shoes again and came across this shoe nearly identical to the one  I fell in love with at SR…that LilBit crawled out of 😦 )

So, you see, this meshy, open-ish, sandal-esque kind of style is what I was hoping for. It’s nearly summer afterall…in Alabama. I wanted to make her first summer in AFOs to be as comfortable as I could make them. Offering summery, breathable shoes to fend off sweaty feet.

I tried a more Mary Jane style shoe.


T-straps were out too as they wouldn’t open up enough.

I’m hoping to find something like this:  I see that the back has a velcro strap, hopefully the top opens wide enough. The next concern here is the openness of the back. They are like the ones linked above…without a full back, just a strap. I don’t know how that will do on her un-AFO foot.

Next choice, I think we’re looking at some Chucks. Not necessarily pink, not necessarily velcro, but, anywho.

Until then, LilBit shall be sportin’ these (not my first choice, I don’t care for character shoes/clothing items)***8********BG40544*W070&stockNumber=BG40544&showDefaultOption=true&subCatId=cat1530651SR&subCatTabId=&viewall=

If I can figure out how to get a pic from my iPhone to the blog, I’ll post. But, you might have to wait for a phone dump day…or for me to remember to take a pic with the Nikon. So, yeah, links will have to do for now.

Oh, I guess I could probably manage a pic fairly soon. I need to snap a shot of her AFO :p (with the real camera, I mean)


3 thoughts on “The Shoe Saga Begins

  1. Hey I would love to touch base with you! I left you a comment once before, my daughter was born in April 2011 also with a lipomyelomeningocele. Can you see my email address since I fill it in when I leave a comment? We live in Southern California and I think my daughter is having trouble with her feet (we haven’t seen a dr about it for a few months as she was doing fine and we’re waiting to see). She flexes her feet all the time now that she is starting to move (crawling, in the past few days just started pulling herself up on furniture). I’m noticing the flexing getting worse, and also particularly on the left side if I try and push her foot back into a relaxed position, she acts as if that makes her uncomfortable. Sometimes when supporting her own weight, I’m pretty sure she is carrying it all on her right side (she’ll drop that foot down) whild keep her toe pointed on the left side. Also she seems to be dragging her feet a little bit when she walks with a walking toy. Anyhow, starting another round of doctors appointments to see what the next step is. I appreciate reading your blog to give me some idea of what to expect since you seem a few months ahead of us. I feel like there is so little information out there and very few people who are in the same boat.

    1. I know what you mean about the information out there and few people in this boat. I, too, often feel alone…even surrounded by others in the SB community. My daughter’s lesion was mild and low. I tend to hear more about the worse cases, not so much about those like LilBit with milder symptoms. It’s really hard to know what is normal, what to expect and when to worry. Where’s that baseline!?! 😉

      That is ‘odd’ about your dd’s feet. LilBit seemed to do *better* once she started crawling. Her feet, especially her weaker left side, were more commonly pulled up, she wouldn’t point her toes much. I would ‘stretch’ her frequently throughout the day, as she nursed or whatever, I would just play with her feet, stretching her ankles this way and that. She never fussed about it. Before long we noticed things loosening up.

      Then once she was crawling she would control them better. Though she still doesn’t bear a lot of weight on her left one. She will try to drag it a bit lately when walking. (not on her own mind you, with much support by us…)

      I’ll try to drop you an email so we can keep in better touch if you’d like. (I should be able to see it when I go into my comment edits)

  2. Hi, I have been looking into your blog for several months now. You are the only one I have found who number 1 has lipomyelomenigocele and number 2 writes about it. I am on the support groups on FB, but no one really can relate. I have seen your lilbit has had surgery early on. My daughter is 10 mo. and they said they wanted to wait for hers. (She had a heart defect that required open heart surgery and a pacemaker). I am not sure when they are planning on her Back. My daughter has Scoloiosis as well. Like Elise, I would love to stay in contact if that is alright. I would like to have someone to talk to that is going through something similar to what we are. We live in East Texas and go to Childrens in Dallas. It would be nice to bounce off each other. Thank you for your blog. I appreciate it.

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