My Son Needs New Shoes – Expensive Shoes

As I’ve mentioned before, our oldest son has Down Syndrome. He’s also got really wide feet. During the summer he can get by with wearing flip-flips but now that winter is coming he really needs a pair of shoes.

AJ (our younger son) has used Zappos in the past and has been very pleased with them.

I needed to find out what size shoe to order for my son, let’s call him Big A. Now you’ve met me, Mrs. Accountability, my husband, Mr. A, our youngest son, Accountability, Jr. aka AJ and now our oldest, Big A. Okay. On with the post.

First off, Zappos doesn’t have anything on their site that tells you how to measure your foot to find the size. I even called to ask and the polite young woman I talked to came up with every suggestion she could think of to avoid having to pass on at my request, the suggestion to Zappos corporate headquarters to put at very least a link on their site to how to determine your shoe size and width. I at least wanted a ball park area to start with.

Finally I found’s site on measuring your foot to find your shoe size here. So I measure Big A’s feet.

According to the charts for size and width he wears a size 6.5 in men’s. And his width is off the chart. An E (Wide) is only 3.8″ wide. Fortunately Zappos has shoes that go up to 9E wide, but who knows how wide that is? If each E means another 2/10th of an inch as seems to be the case at then perhaps he will need a shoe that is 6E or 7E.

There are no shoes available in size 6.5 at 6E or 9E, there are a few dress shoes at 5E. So I bumped the shoe size up to 7 to see if anything was available. Nothing in 9E, but there are several at 6E.

Oh, and so that he can dress himself, he needs velcro closures, which adds to the fun. Yeehaw!

I think these would fit the bill: Drew Thunder Velcro – Black! Ah, very good, the Zappos reviews do say to go up 1/2 a size. And there’s even a review from a mom with a son that has Down Syndrome, too, and her son loves his shoes. This is good!

Big A has his own income since he’s disabled and we keep a savings account for him apart from the family. There is enough money in there to buy these shoes, so I am going to order them and see how they work. The really great thing about Zappos (which I know from my son’s experience with them) is they ship free and if the shoes aren’t right, you just let them you know you need to return them, and it’s free to ship them back.



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6 thoughts on “My Son Needs New Shoes – Expensive Shoes

  1. Are you involved in any discussion groups about Down Syndrome? I bet a lot of people have the same trouble you do finding footwear, and probably have some good, less expensive suggestions.


  2. What happens when you go into a regular shoe store and ask the salesperson to measure his feet with one of those measuring things? If it’s not too disturbing to Big A, maybe you could figure out that way what size he would need.


  3. @Anonymous: Good suggestion, I’ll check that out. In the meantime, the shoes arrived and they fit!

    @Anonymous: Never heard of those. Google corrected my spelling to ETNIES. We’ll check those out.

    @Funny: I guess you mean a place like Florsheim’s in a mall. I have a vague memory of trying to get his foot sized a few years ago and the shoe salesperson wasn’t able to figure it out because his foot was wider than the device. Anyway, the shoes arrived and I think they will work.

    Thanks for visiting and commenting!


  4. Hi, my 6-year-old niece has Downs, and needs new waterproof boots. While she doesn’t have “Big A’s” width issues, I want to make sure to get her something that’s supportive and that she can put on and take off herself, but that doesn’t look like an orthosis. Do you have any suggestions from when your son was young?


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