Everyone needs a good pair of shoes. Most quadriplegics do not walk, however, they have many of the same options when it comes to what shoes are best.
Shoes for quadriplegics can be any shoe that fits well, is breathable, and that looks nice. Most quadriplegics need help putting their shoes on so pick a shoe that is easy to put on and take off. No need for anything fancy unless you just want a specific style.
Style can be important to most people. This is not lost on those who are quadriplegics. A good looking outfit and a pair of shoes can do a lot to boost a person’s confidence.
When a person becomes paralyzed from the neck down they feel helpless and that’s a lot to cope with.
However, once the initial shock passes you can start to live a little. Picking out a good pair of shoes is one of the best ways to take charge once again.
The world is full of choices, aesthetics, and keeping up with different styles and clothing items.
Quadriplegics have most of the same choices in footwear as anyone else, as long as the shoe is breathable and has room for swelling.
Do People in Wheelchairs Need Shoes?
This seems like a pretty obvious answer; however, the question does get asked from time to time. Yes, people in wheelchairs need shoes. Footwear provides protection. Shoes keep your feet and toes from getting injured by bumping into things.
They also keep your feet warm when it is cold. This is important for anyone, insulated shoes keep your feet from getting frostbite in extreme temperatures. Just because you cannot feel your feet does not mean they do not need the same protections.
Besides the protection shoes provide, everyone needs to look nice. Getting a nice looking pair of shoes can help people cope with their situation.
Many wheelchair-bound people will even collect shoes, cause why not? Fashion is something that you can get lost in. Sometimes we need things like collections and nice clothing to keep our minds in a good place.
Let your good taste show with your choice in shoes, however, keep in mind that it helps to have breathable materials and the option of going one size bigger in case of feet swelling.
Quadriplegics Have Different Levels of Movement
Most quadriplegics have very little to no movement in their arms and legs, however, there are different levels to their movements.
The amount of movement depends on the severity of the injury to their spinal cord. Some quadriplegics have no movement at all below the neck. Others can move their hands or feet a small amount.
This means that some people can still manage to dress themselves or put on their shoes, while others cannot.
After an SCI (spinal cord injury) there can be an adjustment period. You may not be able to wear shoes right away.
After a while, things will adjust and you will be able to try different pairs of shoes.
Whether you are at a level where you have to have someone put your shoes on, or you are at a level where you can put them on yourself, there will be many obstacles and adjustments.
Make sure you have been approved by your doctor to start wearing socks and shoes before you go putting on a pair.
Tips on Selecting Shoes for Quadriplegics
There are a few tips we suggest when selecting shoes and socks for quadriplegics. Since you may not have any feeling in your feet, you must keep an eye on the health of your feet. Someone who is not able to feel their feet will not know when they are hurting or in bad shape.
Edema is swelling of the feet, ankles, and legs. After an injury, you will experience swelling and could develop edema.
Tips for selecting shoes for quadriplegics:
- Wear thin socks
- Pick a pair of shoes that are breathable
- Make sure the shoe size leaves room for swelling
- Put your shoes on for 30 mins at first
- Flexible shoes are the best
You will want to wear thin socks. Quadriplegics have sensitive skin, especially around their feet. It takes time for your feet to adjust to not being able to move. Thin socks rub less and keep your feet more comfortable.
The material of your shoes should be breathable. Many shoes are made from breathable materials that are comfortable and good for the feet.
You will need to buy shoes that are a size or two larger because of the swelling that occurs. You may want to get adjustable shoes at first such as adjustable slip-on sandals.
When you first start wearing a pair of shoes start by only wearing them 30 mins at a time. Let your feet adjust to the new socks and shoes.
Flexible shoes are the best, such as Crocs, and slipper-style footwear that lets you adjust the shoe with a strap.
Adaptive Shoes for Swollen Feet
Adaptive shoes are shoes or slippers that have wider toes, flexible materials, and adjustable straps. You may need to consider adaptable footwear when you first have your injury.
After a while, your feet may swell less and start to adjust, at which point you may be able to wear sneakers and other footwear.
You will always benefit from adaptive shoes if your feet continue to swell, it may not be the best look but it will keep your feet comfortable and healthy.
Adaptable footwear comes in multiple styles from wide toe sneakers, slippers, sandals, and leather shoes.
Best Shoes for Wheelchair Users
Many people who are bound to wheelchairs such as quadriplegics wear ortho designed shoes that are breathable and made from materials that are easier on their feet.
You should look for lightweight shoes. The lighter the better. You should pick shoes that look good, but also keep in mind that comfort is just as important. The blood in your feet needs to be able to circulate.
Shoes with wider toes that are a size or two larger will always be better for quadriplegics that are in wheelchairs.
If you are not having circulation problems or swelling then you have more options and can venture out into different styles of shoes.
Best Shoes for Quadriplegics
Many quadriplegics have different levels of movements in their legs and feet. This means some might have no movement while others can move their feet a small amount.
If you have some movement you may be able to put on slip-ons yourself. Many shoes are designed for people with swelling and for people who have issues putting on shoes.
Here is a list of the best shoes for quadriplegics:
- Slip-on shoes
- Wide toe sneakers
- Ortho shoes
Crocs are great for people with limited movement or no movement in their feet. They are easy to put on and take off and are breathable.
Toms are also a good choice for women who need a comfortable slip-on shoe. They are breathable and have insoles that help the health of your feet. Toms also donate a part of their proceeds to charity, how cool is that?
There are many slip-on and adaptive shoes. Slides can be a great option for quadriplegics. They slip on and off easily and if you have some movement you may put them on by yourself.
Many sneakers come with wide toe options. If you are considering sneakers make sure they are breathable and get a pair that is one to two sizes larger.
Sandals are another great choice since many of them are adjustable. With sandals, you should pick a pair with soft materials that will not be hard on your skin.
The best choice for quadriplegics that have some movement in their feet or legs is to buy a pair of ortho shoes. These shoes are designed specifically to help with blood flow and arch support.
Style and Preference
You will have many options for footwear. You do not have to go with the cheapest or most adaptive pair. Some people will not have as much swelling as other people and can wear most brands of shoes.
Keep in mind that you can still have your style and preference when it comes to shoes. Having a safe pair of shoes that will keep your feet healthy is a must, however, most quality shoes are made of breathable materials and have foot health in mind.
Having Confidence in your Choice
Owning nice looking shoes can help boost your confidence. You should be able to look nice regardless of your situation. Have confidence in the shoes that you choose.
Don’t let style completely rule your choice, however, as long as your shoes are comfortable and safe you can venture out and try different shoes.
You may even start a collection! It’s a great way to express your style and have something to keep you satisfied.
What shoes are bad for quadriplegics? You should avoid shoes that are too tight, made of rough materials, and that are not breathable. If you have the option, an ortho shoe is the best choice. Stay away from shoes that are cheap and not comfortable. Your feet need to be healthy.
Can quadriplegics wear boots? As long as the boots allow your feet to breathe, and are made from a comfortable material they can be worn. Boots like UGG are a good choice since they are comfortable and made from soft materials. Ortho boots that are adjustable can be a good choice as well.