One of the questions I’ve been asked a few times is whether I’ve heard of any resources for people who need two differently sized shoes due to two differently sized feet.
I’d heard rumor that Nordstrom will sell two different sizes shoes, so I went investigating. And guess what? It’s TRUE! And you know what? Birkenstock, L.L. Bean & the Healthy Feet Store (as well as others) also have policies (although they are more focused on discounting second pair). Many of these places will also help people who only need one shoe due to amputation.
In addition to retailers with different sized shoe (“split size”) policies, there are also a few other resource that could be helpful. These are mostly shoe exchanges, and reviews seem mixed regarding how helpful these are – but I’ve done my best to pull together all this information for you in one place. Hopefully, with the majority of details you need. So … let’s get started!
Nordstrom “Split Shoe Order” Policy
Nordstrom by far gets the most glowing reviews for it’s “Split Shoe Order” policy. I’ve included a link in the resources to a blog post from a woman who ordered a split size pair of shoes in a Nordstrom store – she can’t say enough good about them.
- As long as the shoe sizes are at least 1 1/2 sizes different, there is NO additional cost for buying two differently sized shoes (same cost as buying a pair of equally sized shoes).
- Buying in store: You can buy a split size pair in store with the help of a sales associate.
- Buying online: For online purchases, you must purchase a pair in each size, and then return the shoe from each pair that you don’t need. Although it’s a hassle to return the unneeded shoes after purchasing online, there is no cost for shipping the shoes back to the company. Money for returned shoes goes back onto the credit card you used for the purchase.
- What sizes? This policy is available for both kids and adult sizes.
- What if I only need one shoe? Nordstrom offers a limited selection on single shoes for purchase. See link below.
Resource Links for Nordstrom:
- OddShoeFinder.com: Nordstrom’s Odd Shoe Deal
- The JJ’s List Blog: A Big Store with Lots of Heart
- Nordstrom.com: Shop Nordstrom Shoes Online
- Nordstrom.com: Order form for purchasing a single shoe
Birkenstock’s “Special Order for Split Sizes” Policy
Birkenstock offers different options for different types of shoes. Their policies are more limited than Nordstrom’s policies, but may be useful to some people.
- Sandals with cork footbed (no extra cost for up to one size up/down): Order a pair of sandals in the larger size, but specify which one needs to be changed to the smaller size. However,
- Birkenstock will only increase/decrease ONE SIZE.
- Only available on cork footbed styles. (Excludes styles with polyurethane soles.)
- Closed-toe-shoes & waterproof sandals (discount on second pair): To get a closed-toe shoe or a waterproof sandal, order one pair in one size and the other pair in the other size. You will get 40% off the second pair. The company will donate the shoes you don’t need.
- When you only need one shoe (discounted 40%): Purchase any regularly-priced pair of shoes from BirkenstockExpress and they will discount it 40%. Birkenstock will donate the shoe you don’t need. However, offer does NOT apply to sale shoes.
- What sizes? Men’s & Women’s sizes.
Resources for Birkenstock:
- BirkenstockExpress.com: Start shopping here
- BirkenstockExpress.com: Special Order Policies
- To place an order or to ask Birkenstock questions, call 1-800-451-1459.
HealthyFeetStore.com “Different Sized Feet” Policy
HealthyFeetStore.com offers a special discount program, unique to their online store, for those ordering two pairs of mismatch sizes. The good news is that the shoes can be exchanged or returned if they don’t fit correctly. The bad news is that they don’t publish the discount details, so you have to call them to specifically discuss your needs before you understand how much of a discount they will provide.
Resource Links for HealthFeetStore.com:
- HealthyFeetStore.com: Different Sized Feet Policy & Contact Info
- What sizes? Both kids and adult sizes are available for purchase on the site. The policy is vague, so I’d call to verify discount amount and sizes prior to ordering.
L.L.Bean Discount for “Split Sizes”
While I was not able to find any information about LLBean’s split size policy on their website, a customer service representative confirmed that they do offer discounts for buying two pairs of the same shoe to fit mismatched sized feet.
- An old version of the policy is here: LLBean allows people to order “split sizes”- the size difference can be anything from ½ size difference, and any width difference, to a women’s size in one shoe and a men’s size in another shoe. They charge 1.5 times the price of one shoe (for example, if one pair is $60, you will be charged $90). LL Bean ships the two odd sizes to you with no need to return the odd shoes. Both shoes in different sizes must be in stock when the order is placed, because they need to compare the shoes to make sure the colors match before they ship the “split size”pair. Please ask to speak with the Product Support Team when you place the order by calling (800) 441-5713.
- Order by phone only: LLBean customer service confirmed you must call 1 (800) 441-5713 to order split sizes.
- Order online? No – ordering online not available.
- Sizes available? Website lists everything from infant to adult.
Resources for LLBean:
- LLBean Online: Browse shoes here (remember you have to order by phone!)
Nike “One Shoe Bank” program (for amputees)
Nike has a small inventory of single shoes at their distribution center in Memphis, TN. Amputees who need only one shoe may cal Nike and tell them the size and type of shoe (running shoe, tennis shoe, etc.) that they need. This service is free of charge, and they ship to anywhere in the United States. However, expect about 3 weeks for delivery.
Resources for Nike One Shoe Bank:
- Call 1-800-344-6453 to request a shoe
- Sizes? Varies
- Split sized pairs? Not as part of this program, and I could not find information on whether they have a program for split sizes.
ASK your store if they will help you with odd sized pairs!
Wisdom from Lisa (an Ability Hacker friend on Facebook): Many stores leave the choice for whether to sell odd sized pairs up to the store manager or district manager – so make it your policy to ask if the retailer is willing to sell you an odd sized pair.
- At Target stores, it is the policy that the store’s general manager has the discrepancy to sell odd sized pairs. They can choose to damage out the remaining odd shoes. Two of my five local Targets allow my daughter to do this.
- Dicks Sporting Goods provides us the soccer cleats in odd sizes. Again it is the district manager discretion.
Thank you for sharing your experience Lisa!
Others Rumored to gives discounts for split sized pairs:
- Brown’s Catalog is rumored to discount 20% off each pair and send you the two different sizes that you need. Call them at 1-800-728-6247 to verify policy before purchasing.
- Brooks Sports, Inc. is rumored to sell two different size shoes for the price of one pair, plus a surcharge. You must order through a retailer and not directly from Brooks.
Children’s Hemiplegia and Stroke Association (CHASA)
The CHASA’s Shoe Exchange is facilitated in a Facebook group that is open to parents of children with hemiplegia and adults with hemiplegia. The challenge is finding a “sole mate” whose shoe sizes are opposite yours – which can be tricky – but it seems worth a shot.
You can post shoe photos on the group page. It’s up to you to work out details of exchange, including whether you’re just trading shoes, giving them away, or selling them. Remember to discuss how payment of postage will be handled.
Resource Links for CHASA Shoe Exchange:
- CHASA Shoe Exchange: Click here to go to the Facebook Group
OddShoeFinder.com was started in 2007, and is an online shoe exchange. The site helps people with mismatched sized feet (or amputees) save money by allowing people to sell their own single shoes or mismatched pairs. The site has hundreds of listings in different sizes and styles.
- To find / receive shoes: Create an online account and browse through the shoes listed on the exchange. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can register to be notified as soon as someone posts shoes in your exact size. Prices vary. Some are free!
- Donating or selling your unneeded shoes is free. No fees or commissions are charged.
Resource Links for OddShoeFinder.com:
- OddShoeFinder: Click here to sign up & search for shoes
- OddShoeFinder: FAQ about listing/buying shoes off the exchange
- OddShoeFinder: Have more questions? Go here
National Odd Shoe Exchange (N.O.S.E)
The National Odd Shoe Exchange (N.O.S.E.) is a nonprofit association that assists people who have feet of two different sizes, or are an amputee and need only one shoe. They ship new, quality footwear to children, adults and seniors across the United States and Canada from their distribution center in Arizona.
- To receive shoes: Send a brief letter concisely stating your sizes and restrictions. Be sure to include your address. Look for address in resources section below.
- If you wish to donate shoes: Donations of all sizes are appreciated. The N.O.S.E. proudly accepts financial contributions from corporations, small businesses, and individuals.
- Donations in-kind include footwear (shoes, boots, socks, inserts, laces), office supplies, packaging supplies, promotional items, warehouse equipment and office equipment.
- Footwear items must be new, unworn and undamaged. They accept matched pairs, mismatched pairs, singles and bulk footwear items. All styles and sizes are needed.
- Please send donations to the address listed in the resources section below.
- What sizes? All sizes (kids, adults, etc.)
- Mismatched sized shoes? Yes
- Single shoes? Yes
Resources for N.O.S.E:
- Address: The National Odd Shoe Exchange
P.O. Box 1120
Chandler, AZ 85244-1120
- Phone: 480/892-3484
- Website: http://www.oddshoe.org/
Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe Program
If you have athletic shoes that are too worn-out to donate, Nike developed the Reuse-A-Shoe program in the 1990s to collect old, worn-out athletic shoes for recycling. The idea is to transform the recycled shoes, along with pre-consumer shoe waste, into Nike Grind – a material used to create athletic and playground surfaces and more. Industry-leading sports and playground surfacing companies use Nike Grind to manufacture high-performance athletic surfaces such as tennis and basketball courts, running tracks, athletic fields and playgrounds. Additionally, Nike has discovered innovative uses for Nike Grind in various footwear and apparel products.
You can drop off athletic shoes of any brand for recycling. To recycle your shoes through the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe program, bring up to 10 pairs of shoes to any Reuse-A-Shoe collection location, which can be found at most Nike and Converse retail stores.
NOTE: Nike cannot accept sandals, flip-flops, dress shoes, or boots. They also can’t accept shoes containing metal such as cleats or spikes.
- Reuse-A-Shoe Program: Frequently Asked Questions
Well, that’s what I’ve learned so far. Do you have other retailers or resources you use? Please share them with me!