I spent most of the afternoon with my niece yesterday buying shoes. Having been informed by a paediatric physiotherapist that she required a particular make of shoe in order to support her at the ankles and improve the way she walks, a shoe costing £70+ was suggested. However, even those shoes do not seem to do the job as many girls from a local school wear them and they eventually become misshapen forcing their legs to stick out in all directions! When my niece first tried these on she struggled to walk and looked so miserable. I too tried them on in order to get a feel of them and my feet felt encased in concrete. Instead I purchased a £70 Mary-Jane style shoe from the range and asked my niece to walk around in them at home first. 2 months down the line she still did not find them comfortable, so I returned them.
In order to combat the sensory issues with regard to wearing shoes, the tendency is to go for trainer style ones, but these are not accepted by the school nor do they offer the support needed. Yesterday I found a pair of inexpensive shoes having applied the techniques suggested by the physio when shopping for a pair of shoes e.g. they should not be collapsable at the front or at the heel. The sole was even throughout and solid. My niece considered them to be ugly but comfortable.
For school sports we visited a well known sports shop in search of trainers, using the same theory. My niece chose a pair from the New Balance range. The sole is wider than the shoe – perfect in that it supports her feet correctly but also prevents the ankles from leaning in either direction. This is turn improves her posture, as she slouches. Her wide feet means that I cannot rely on foot measurements but instead have to rely on her response to pain or comfort.