These Boots Were Made for WalkingFrom the perspective of a young-schoolgirl who is utterly smitten with her crush du jour, I recently blogged about my all-time favorite brand of boots.  And much to my surprise, I was overwhelmed with comments and emails asking me where to buy the boots and to buy shoes, in general.

You see, for those of us living with limb loss; the idea of shopping for shoes is a less-than-desirable event because looking for shoes that are both fabulous and functional is not easy.  Prosthetic feet have pre-engineered features making them necessarily functional (i.e. proper heel heights) so that they most appropriately mimick a non-prosthetic gait.  Love that.  Need that.  Wouldn’t want it any other way.

But when it comes to finding shoes, it’s not an easy task.  Enter the convenience of e-shopping in which we can literally wander through an entire store, albeit it virtually, without ever setting a foot inside their door. And with competition growing amongst the online marketplace vendors, the consumer becomes the intended third-party beneficiary of their marketplace volleying techniques.  Hello! Great sales, free shipping, and free returns?  What’s not to love about that?

Wanna see what I’m talking about? Go to one of my fave on-line shops and get started.  The beauty of each is that you can search through thousands of shoes with your search terms. For example, if I am looking for flats, I would search “flats”, “low heel height”, or “heel height less than 1 inch”.  Then, if I am looking for dressy shoes, I would select the “evening” option and let the images begin.

From most of the images, you can look at different views of the shoes from the top, bottom, side, front, back and so it.  And in the end, you have thousand of options to find the perfect shoe.   Ready, set, shoe!

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Ivanka Trump Laura 2I recently wrote about the fabulous flats that are making this year’s fall fashion scene.  But what I didn’t write about was what makes them, oh so, uber fabulous-aside from their obvious beauty.  So, allow me to introduce you to some gorgeous shoes and I’ll show you why I LOVE themVogue Lady is Vamp for their fabulous and limbitless appeal.  (Oh, and the perspective from which I judge products for being “prosthetic-friendly” is what I have coined as “My Limbitless Thoughts”).

Rockport Ashika Chain Ballet

Criteria:  Flat, Wide Heels with Pointed Toes!
For me, they have to have flat heels, meaning between a ½” to ¾” inch heel height.  Why?  Because most prosthetic feet come pre-made with defined heel heights to best replicate a non-prosthetic foot and gait pattern.   So, when heels are too high, the physics get out of whack and I feel like I’m walking up a slope.  Suffice it to say, it’s not an easy way to walk.

Why wide heels?  Because when I start walking, I begin with heel strike of my prosthetic leg.  So the moment when my heel hits the floor, the walking cycle begins.  At heel strike, my prosthetic knee activates into its functionality which results in a foot over foot gait pattern.  Thus, with a wider heel, I have a stable interface with the ground and won’t slip and slide- and no one wants to slip and slide, right?

Klogs USA

So, here’s to Vogue’s Lady is Vamp; Rockport’s Ashika Chain Ballet; Klogs’ Roxy USA; and Ivanka Trump’s Laura 2 styles for being limbitlessly fabulous!!!