Seasonal: What To Do
If You Only Need One Shoe
- What To Do If You Only
Need One Shoe
- Kent Basson
Your feet carry you thousands
of miles in your lifetime so it is critical that you take good
care of them. You can inherit problems with your feet from your
Aunt Sue but more often trouble with feet are caused by wear
and tear or neglect. The shoes you wear make a big difference
in the health of your feet. Wearing the wrong size of shoes can
cause neuromas, corns, calluses, blisters, hammertoes, back and
leg pain, bleeding or numbness.
If you have two feet that are
the same size then it is easy to find a pair with a good fit
and style. However, there are millions of people around the world
that need a pair of shoes in different sizes and there are also
many handicapped and injured people who need just one shoe. In
the United States alone almost 10% of the population wears -
or should wear - a different sized shoe on each foot.
Who are these people who need
two different sized shoes to make a pair or who only need one
shoe? People with feet that are two
different sizes, those with clubfeet, polio survivors, the handicapped
or injured, amputees, lymphedema sufferers, and diabetics.
So what is a person who has
two different sized feet or who only has one foot do when it
comes to buying shoes?
The old solution to this problem
was expensive and inconvenient. Often people with feet of different
sizes buy one pair each of the same shoe in two different sizes,
leaving a closet full of unused mismatched shoes. People who
only need to wear one shoe because of an injury or disability
paid for two shoes when they only needed one. Some people spend
hours visiting thrift and second hand stores looking for two
identical shoes in two different sizes.
There are two non-profit organizations,
the National Odd Shoe Exchange and the One Shoe Crew, that provide
shoes for amputees and people with mismatched feet. These organizations
can only help so many people because it is impossible for those
organizations to find a matching pair of shoes in each of an
individual's shoe sizes given the many brands, styles, and colors
of shoes available.
The Internet has opened up
a whole new world for people who have mismatched feet or who
only need one shoe. General auction sites like ebay allow users
to list one shoe out of a pair but given the lack of knowledge
about finding odd shoe sizes or single shoes means that many
of these auctions end without buyers. One website, MixMatchShoes.com,
sells pairs of shoes that are two different sizes but the selection
of shoes is limited.
The newest solution for people
with mismatched feet are websites that allow users to sell single
shoes or mismatched pairs of shoes and to search for other single
shoes or mismatched pairs of shoes for sale in their sizes. Instead
of buying two pairs of shoes, a user can buy a single shoe or
a pair of mismatched shoes from another user of the site, and
a pair of the same brand, style, and color in the size of the
buyer's opposite foot from a retailer. After the shoes arrive
from the retailer, the buyer can post the shoe(s) not in their
size(s) for sale on the site. This type of website gives sellers
and buyers a chance to find the perfect pair of shoes or one
shoe in a style and size that fits their feet.
As more people discover and
begin to use these sites, there should be pairs of shoes available
to accommodate virtually all combinations of mismatched feet
so that users will not have to resort to buying a pair of matching
shoes from a retailer. Many
users with unused mismatched and single shoes ask only that those
who can wear the shoes pay shipping charges.
Auction, commercial and non-profit
sites are adding inventory all the time to make it easier to
help the handicapped and people with mismatched feet to purchase
stylish, comfortable shoes. Thanks to the Internet purchasing
one shoe or two different sized shoes in a pair will become a
easier shopping experience.
(c) 2008, Odd Shoe Finder.
Kent Basson is the founder
of OddShoeFinder.com an online webite that helps people find
mismatched or single shoes. The site was
created after Kent's sister suffered a foot injury that resulted
in her having to buy two different sized shoes. After searching
the web, he discovered the problem is far more common resulting
in millions of unused, mismatched pairs of shoes that can now
be given away, sold or purchased at http://www.oddshoefinder.com.
April 30, 2008