Thursday, May 7, 2009

Deep Breath


So, the deed is done, 2x new AFO's for Jasmine and Ella.

They are a new pattern, which is proving to be difficult to explain as we are all still calling them our " butterfly shoes "

DH knows how anxious I get when it comes to shoe shopping for the girls, so we decided to go together, with chuppa chups in hand and get the girls fitted.

Previously I have been to a wonderful shoe shop with a great assistant, so we went back there.

I already had the sweats looking around and seeing all these beautiful shoes that I knew wouldn't fit us, but i decided to try and be brave and open minded.

The lady looked at us with a face that screamed " what the hell am I going to do with these"

She suggested some boys shoes that would fit the girls, which made me pick up the girls ( they are heavy ) and storm out of the shop bawling my eyes out.

DH trying to calm me down, stop me from making a scene.

Anyway, I calmed down and realised that the best way for me to do this, is to go to the shops by myself and shove AFO's in the shoes without the girls around.

So last night I spent 3 hours at Knox City going from shop to shop and finding matching 7 & 9's for Jasmine and 9 & 11's for Ella.

I did it.

I got sneakers, slip ons, boots and gumboots.

I spent hours in K mart and I heard " security to shoe section " when a nice, but very obvious young boy says " can I help you"

I said to him, sitting on the floor with piles of shoes and 2 AFO's around me " I am not stealing anything, I am just trying to find shoes for my daughters orthotics. He just slithered away and I thought, " come and get me security I will let you have it "

Anyway, the girls were very excited this morning to have new shoes to choose from and especially little black 'party' shoes that they have been wanting for a while.

I called up my OT and have proposed a 'shoe bazaar' for the other mums of little girls with hemi's as I have so many matching pairs of odd shoes I can't just let them sit in my cupboard.

I will get around to taking photos, and post them here.

So, there you have it, trying to find shoes, is done and dusted until summer when I start the search again.

Speak soon


  1. Mandy,
    I am so sorry the shoe shopping was such a stress. I can totally, totally see why it would make you feel so upset. Telling you your girls need boys shoes is just cruddy ;-(. I think I would have walked out crying too!!

    But the shoe bazaar sounds like a BRILLIANT idea. I think you should run with it. I bet there are lots of other mums going through the same thing as you, and lots of single lonely shoes looking for someone to love. You could make a lovely shoe swap day out of it and make some new friends.

    Well done you for thinking outside the square!!! (Wouldn't it be great if others could do that too!).

    Have to end by saying, I'm sorry, but I had to giggle at the thought of security considering you, your AFOs and your pile of shoes a risk in K-mart. You're the least likely security risk I've ever met!!

    Can't wait to see some pics,

  2. I hope you don't mind me butting in and commenting - your post came up in a google search for AFO's and shoes. I'm an orthotist and often find myself recommending shoes to people with AFO's.

    For children I love hatchbacks shoes - they're only available online from the US as far as I know ( because of their design most children with hemiplegia only need the one sized shoe. They are also far easier to get on over an AFO than other shoes.

    Closer to home I also recommend skate shoes to a lot of my patients - my grandmother wears one AFO and loves her skate shoes! These shoes have a low heel pitch, are wide and stable. They are also very padded internally and this padding tends to squish down to accommodate the AFO but stays snug on the other leg. Kids also tend to accept them well as they are fairly 'cool' shoes.|%20KID'S%20FOOTWEAR
    The toddlers court graffike or pure velcro in this link are examples.

    I'm pretty sure Clarks shoes do sell split sizes although not all retailers will be as keen to do this. There used to be a section about it on the Clarks website. It may be worth giving Clarks a call or visiting one of their platinum specialists ( and enquiring about this.

    There is also an Australian shoe exchange at I inform people about but I think few actually chose to list their shoes there unless they see a direct benefit to themselves ie - their is something of their size they can swap with which I think is a little unfortunate as it could be a great resource if more people used it!

    Sorry for invading your blog but I thought you may find some of the information helpful and hopefully make it a little easier to find shoes for your gorgeous little girls.


  3. Sorry the shoe shopping was stressful Mandy. I can't believe the sales assistant was so unhelpful...does she not want your money???

    I'm glad the girls have got new shoes for now and that you don't have to go through it again for awhile.

    I hope you have a nice mothers day tomorrow!

  4. Ah, I'm not looking forward to shoe shopping for Zachary. He gets his AFO's on the 25th. The only upside is that he has diplegia (bi-lateral) so we need two shoes in a larger size. I can only imagine the frustration along with other things!