Saturday, May 24, 2008

Shoes, shoes, shoes

Amigo has what we sometimes call a "double whammy". His two handicapping conditions, blindness and high-functioning autism, sometimes join together to work against him. Where clothing is concerned, that's very, very true. He has rather weak fingers and poor fine motor skills which make it hard for him to engage a zipper or button a shirt or tie his shoes.
He started dressing himself in kindergarten, and we adapted by buying sweatpants and t-shirts so he didn't have to deal with fasteners. This way, he could be independent.

Shoes are another issue. He has worn prescription orthotic inserts since he was two years old. These, combined with his high insteps, make Velcro-fastened shoes impossible. Special education people kept telling us, "Oh, I know where you can buy Velcro shoes that work!" but they didn't come through. I was rather insulted by their insistence that I wasn't looking hard enough. I've bought his shoes since he was two years old, after all. I'd buy easy-to-handle shoes for him if they were out there! Our solution: elastic laces. These laces (that look at first glance like a telephone cord) have been a godsend. He can tighten them when needed, and they never come untied.

But again, no one else in high school has elastic laces. They're more for the youngest and the eldest (Grandma loves them). While Amigo doesn't mind having these in his shoes, the day will come when he needs to look somewhat professional, and coiled shoelaces won't do the trick.

Enter Lands' End. They have casual shoe with elastic, and the laces are purely for show. The shoes are narrow enough to fit Amigo's foot, roomy enough to accommodate his orthotics, and look reasonably decent, too. If the shoelaces keep coming undone, I give in and (gulp) cut them short. Amigo keeps his shoes on, they look decent, and we're both happy.

Until he grows, which at 16 happens all. the. time.

Maybe I should be grateful he doesn't have his sister's fascination with a shoe wardrobe.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Flea said...

My husband has a couple of pair of shoes with a touch of elastic at the sides. They're slip ons, but cover quite a bit of the foot. Almost exactly like these, but he got them for much less at Show Carnival.
http://www.zappos.com/n/p/dp/21140134/c/6.html
But I'm sure you've already looked at them.

I've been going crazy shoeing my two boys. At 11 and 14, they're in men's 10 and 11. Make them stop!!!

5/24/2008 9:27 PM  
Anonymous Professor Shoelace said...

You could also try elastic laces that look like normal laces. Some shoe repairers stock these, as do some athletic shoe stores. You pull them tight, then tie them off permanently with a normal looking shoelace bow. The shoes can then be slipped on and off, yet stay snug because of the elasticity.

5/25/2008 12:20 AM  
Blogger Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

Sounds like you found a good solution. I may have bought a pair in each size up from his now! My boys are going through the sizes too, teenagers!
Thanks for visiting my blog, I adore the name of yours, very cute.

5/25/2008 3:04 PM  
Blogger margalit said...

I hate to mention the obvious, but what about Crocs for this time of year. They slip on, they are INCREDIBLY comfy and light as a feather, you can wear them with and without socks, and they are antibacterial so they don't carry that, ahem, teenage foot odor.

OK, they're ugly. But he won't know that!

5/26/2008 1:26 AM  
Blogger Rhonda said...

You go Amigo! I love any blog that has "Amigo" as the "code" name for their child.

I guess Amigo will go from bright colored coil laces to a more subtle color of laces as he gets older and ready to "be taken more serious."

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Enjoyed your comments. My daughter too becomes like Taz in a shoe store, it's me with the anti-shoe shopping issues. LOL

5/26/2008 7:08 AM  
Anonymous tom said...

Really a interesting post ..My physiotherapist suggest my to wear comfortable and flexible shoes for rid and foot troubles.

5/26/2008 7:41 AM  
Blogger Mama Zen said...

I would never have thought of that!

5/26/2008 7:48 AM  

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