I hate, detest and positively loathe shopping for clothes and above all else for shoes! I just know that I am not going to find something that ticks the box “I like those”, I will have to settle for “Those will have to do even if they are f-ugly”. It messes up my mind and puts me in a downward spin or depression and pissed off frustration.
You see, I have to wear afoot-drop splint on my left leg. As its name suggests my left foot drops, I do not have the muscular power to lift my foot at the ankle and this is designed to hold my ankle at the 90º angle. It looks something like this, but mine has a strap around the arch of the foot as well and it a tanned skin colour.
To add insult to injury my toes will not slide when you slip your foot into a shoe they curl under towards the foot and I cannot straighten them, this problem is solved by wearing socks. There is little point in wearing tights [pantyhose], stockings, pop socks etc as the edge of the foot drop splint will just cut straight through them like a finger nail causes a run. All this brings about with it some pretty specific footwear requirements.
- No boots, cannot slide foot in splint round ankle of boot
- No flip flops, too great a risk of them coming off and tripping me over
- No slip ons, they slip off as I walk because they cannot get a purchase on the back of the splint
- No sling backs, same reason as above
- No foot moulding inside the footwear
- No heel, flat as flat can be [possibly 1/4 inch, maybe]. This is because if you add height under the heel it tilts the brace forward at its top pushing the knee forward and from under me.
- There must be a rigid heel cup for the foot/splint to sit in
- Sandals/sockless shoes must have open toes – so I can hook my finger in from the front to flatten my buckled toes
- Must have some sort of across foot strap to hold foot in place in shoe/sandal
- Must have sturdy underneath grip
- Shoe must not be too heavy on the foot
Yesterday I spent an utterly enthralling couple of hours, perusing thousands [and I do mean literally thousands] of pictures of sandals, looking for a pair for the summer. I have my zip-fronted gladiators but they are a little loose especially on the non-splinted foot. To some degree the cost of the shoes is a factor, I cannot justify spending a hunk of cash on something that doesn’t look nice, will be damaged by my splint and hardly covvers all the requirements. I don’t mind trainers except I find them weighty and make me feel like my feet are akin to coco the clown. I went through clothing catalogues, footwear companies, even eBay and found ONE, just one solitary pair of sandle that meet the requirements.
Do I like them, not really, but they will have to do ~ such is the way of things when you have a dictatorial muscular condition.