"Suffering the Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune"

Long term readers know that shoes are an ongoing problem for my daughter – and, if you have EDS yourself, you probably have your own shoe woes and know of what I speak personally. I would just give up and let her go barefoot, but the fact that she has been told to wear inserts (which sort of have to be worn WITH shoes) and the fact that winter weather is not conducive to going barefoot makes me push on to find some sort of answer.

After Em’s recent bout with turf toe, I dropped $60 on a GREAT pair of shoes that she proclaimed adequate (that sounds less than enthusiastic but it is a very high shoe rating on this child’s scale, actually) while trying them on in the store. We had high hopes that these shoes would solve all of her problems and bring peace on earth – or, at least, that she would wear them once in a while.

Sadly, peace on earth is slightly more likely than Em wearing shoes – she wore this particular pair a few times before tearfully stating they were killing her feet and surreptitiously shoving them under the bed. With cooler weather arriving, I gave up and got her a pair of slipper boots to wear in lieu of flips flops – they are cute but hardly give the kind of support she needs (the winter equivalent of flip flops).

However, today she found a blog that shared instructions on how to lace running shoes for various foot issues – a narrow or wide foot, a high instep, a heel that slips out, a too-tight feeling shoe and so on. She got the discarded shoes and laced them per the high instep instructions… and said it helped. She actually tried them with the inserts and it is doable – which is better than impossible. She likes the shoes much better without the inserts but who knows, if world peace is unreachable at this time, maybe she will still be able to train herself to wear the inserts. ‘Course she has to train herself to wear shoes first, but at least we are getting somewhere with this lacing technique. She actually wore the newly laced shoes for nearly half an hour before ripping them off in a fit of ‘I hate shoes’, so that is progress!

Anyway, she said I had to share the blog with these instructions with you all, knowing many of you probably have similar issues. Click here if you would like to check it out! Em highly recommends it. Here is a pic of the shoes laced for a high instep:

You may note the irony of the fact that Em was willing to take a picture of the shoes laced, but not willing to actually WEAR them for a picture. But, still, every little bit helps so this is a good thing.

Continuing with the EDS foot theme – here is another possible solution: Strutz. Em has given this product a try and really likes them. Obviously, the fact that she can wear them without the dreaded shoes is a huge plus as far as she is concerned but she can certainly wear them with shoes (the new lacing technique makes this more likely!). If I have to choose between her going barefoot and flat footed or barefoot with a little support, well, I will choose the support. She said it immediately helped her back and reduced her pain overall. The one downside that I can see is that they will probably wear out pretty quickly, but, we will deal with that. I got them at Walmart for $10 – I felt like it was worth the risk at that price and, so far, it has been a great investment – she has actually worn them frequently, so I call that a success! That she can wear them with her flip flops is icing on the cake.

Hopefully you find these tidbits helpful!

Do you have any helpful hints in making wearing shoes less torturous?


Comments on: "EDS shoe woes and solutions" (9)

  1. I may have to get a pair of those Struts. Sadly, I don’t have any advice, I’m trying to figure this all out myself…I got a new pair of shoes about a month ago and sprained my ankle for the first time I can remember a week ago. It’s rolled before, but never so violently or painfully. My Physical Therapist suggested getting some form of sneakers, but my feet sweat a lot and in a confined shoe, they’ll soak through socks within a day. My new arch supports are pretty nice, they certainly help the foot itself feel better, but my shoes are incredibly tight now and hideously uncomfortable.

    • Emily really likes the Strutz – it was amazing the difference they made. Good shoes are important but you can spend a fortune on ‘great’shoes that sit in your closet. We totally get the phrase ‘hideously uncomfortable’. Hope you find some that are ‘amazingly comfortable’soon!

  2. Oh, thank you both for that shoe lacing link – that should come in very handy!

  3. Hi Beth!

    I can completely understand Em’s shoe woes. Victoria and I spend a great deal of time arguing over the use of her inserts. We usually go with Lands End mary janes for her and there is a pair of slip ons that Nick loves and work really well with his inserts. I started running this spring/summer and royally messed up my knee. After doing some research I realized thanks to EDS my feet roll out. I didn’t want a minimalist running shoe so I was looking for something in between. I found Saucony Women’s ProGrid kinvara Running Shoe (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003R0M3TG/ref=oh_details_o02_s01_i00). I was skeptical at first given that I am used to a much bulkier shoe but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try it. I am pretty sure I could probably get my inserts into the shoe but I haven’t had a need to do so. The shoe actually retrained my step. It was a little uncomfortable at first but that didn’t last long. I love these shoes. They have been fantastic and espicially since I haven’t had to add the inserts at all.


    • Oh, the tears that were shed over shoes in Emily’s past! I so sympathize with Victoria (and you!). In my experience, it only gets worse as the teenage years approach! If I knew anything at all about shoe design, I would make my own line of supportive CUTE shoes but sadly, I have no such knowledge.

      The shoes we just got for Em are Saucony – I don’t think they are the exact shoe you have, but they are supposed to be good. The last pair she had was Rika (I think… Also ‘good’ running shoes with anti-pronation technology). She just has such nerve pain and everything else, that almost any shoe is uncomfortable. I do think the new lacing technique might help. I will take any help that we can find!

  4. Lacing has helped the boys. Of course it took the PT to get them to listen – what can I say I am just Mom. LOL. Victoria is already a shoe diva and we have lots of arguements about foot and leg pain when she decides cute is more important than support. If I could figure out how to get my inserts into my work shoes comfortably I would wear them everyday … but alas the inserts I have don’t work in dress shoes. So to our daughters and their shoes and hopefully finding someone who can help develop a cute supportive shoe.

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