Where to buy shoes when your feet are two different sizes

Buying shoes when your feet are two different sizesOne 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.

  1. 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).
  2. Buying in store: You can buy a split size pair in store with the help of a sales associate.
  3. 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.
  4. What sizes? This policy is available for both kids and adult sizes.
  5. What if I only need one shoe? Nordstrom offers a limited selection on single shoes for purchase. See link below.

Resource Links for Nordstrom:


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.

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. What sizes? Men’s & Women’s sizes.

Resources for Birkenstock:


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.

  1. 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. 
  2. Order by phone only: LLBean customer service confirmed you must call 1 (800) 441-5713 to order split sizes.
  3. Order online? No – ordering online not available.
  4. Sizes available? Website lists everything from infant to adult.

Resources for LLBean:


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.

Shoe Exchange:
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:


Shoe Exchange:
OddShoeFinder.com

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:


Shoe Exchange:
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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. What sizes? All sizes (kids, adults, etc.)
  4. Mismatched sized shoes? Yes
  5. 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
  • Websitehttp://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.

Resources:


Well, that’s what I’ve learned so far. Do you have other retailers or resources you use? Please share them with me!

 

 

 

25 comments:

  1. Thank you I will have to try this. My daughter is now 20 and it’s almost impossible to find shoes. I can’t seem to find a shoe wide enough, and when I do she hates them and refuses to wear her braces.
    I have had good luck with sketchers, but again she’s been in the same shoe for 3 years.
    Anybody have an older child, that have found some that work?
    We’ve done everything from converse to the special ones you order online.

  2. Thanks for mentioning Odd Shoe Finder. We’re working really hard to expand our membership and our data base of shoes, which will help everyone. We really appreciate the plug.

    I wanted to let readers know we’ve just introduced a “Premium Membership” option on our site which allows users to post more photos and a few other extra features. For most people the site still remains free.

    If any readers of Ability Hacker would like free Premium Membership (normally a modest $4.95), plus $2 free credit, then simply join up as a free member, and send a PM to ‘Admin’ with the message “ABILITY HACKER” in the subject line and we’ll upgrade you.

    Offer is valid for the first 10 readers who sign up before 31 July 2016. (If you’re reading this after that date, sign up for free anyway, contact us and we’ll see what we can do).

    Register here: https://search.oddshoefinder.com/register

  3. Thank you for this info. I have to wear a AFO on my left foor that requires a size 10. My right foor is a size 81/2. I only have one pair of shoes that I can wear with this brace, and they are both size 10. The right shoe looks terrible, because it is too big, and has completely lost its shape. I really need to find a place I can get 2 sizes. This info is very helpful!!

  4. Also, the department store Von Maur (vonmaur.com) sell you a pair with two different sizes for no charge for the second pair. They are great.

  5. Hello! Just wanted to say thank you for writing this post. I’m a 42 yo woman with a birth defect that caused muscle atrophy in the left side of my body which is also shorter. I’ve been limping around in ill-fitting shoes my whole life until two years ago when I decided to spend the money to always buy to different sizes of shoes. I do periodic internet searches looking for companies selling odd shoes AND small enough to fit my left foot. You’ve included some places I didn’t know about. My dream is to find a “sole mate” who likes cute comfortable shoes and has shoe sizes opposite me. I know she’s out there! Great blog!

  6. so encouraging to hear that other people go thru similar struggles with footwear. I am a 28yr old girl who loves shoes! Unfortunately due to being born with a club foot i have a size 3 left foot & size 6 right foot. For many childhood years i wore national health footwear with calipers but once all medical treatment had finished (early teens) i had the fun of buying my own shoes. Clarks do a “odd shoe service” where you pay 1.5 for an odd pair of shoes. (ie. cost £30 – you pay £45) They do this for most womens styles and upto any size difference.
    Another amazing store is Shoes of Prey, although they have just withdrawn their “odd size” service for the time being. Worth checking out their website!!
    As Melissa says, im also waiting to find the one person out there who has opposite shoes to me :)
    ATB to shoelovers :)

    1. I was also born club foot. My left foot is a 5 and my right is a 7.5. The struggle to buy shoes is literally depressing.

    2. Same situation here. I haves shopped at Nordstrom for years but in recent years their selection of running and hiking shoes is becoming quite depressing. (7 1/2 and 10 1/2)

  7. I’m so glad this came up in Google!! Due to many surgeries on my right foot, it is now a full size smaller than my left. The bottom is really beat up and I travel with all kinds of professional bandaging supplies. I have neuropathy so can’t even feel when I get a sore and have already lost one toe. I am extra careful. Will now resort to Nordies, and I’ve heard that Burches in Eugene “track town” OR (where I live) accommodates all those who need atheletic shoes and more. At 65 it’s about time I got it straight. Thanks.

  8. It’s so relieving to find out about stores that offer odd size shoes for the price of one! I was 3YO when I was involved in a lawn mower accident which left me with a decent amputation to my left foot. I wear a 6.5 on my L foot and an 8.5 on my R foot. I’m now 34 and can’t imagine the thousands of dollars spent on shoes never mind the other set that was wasted in the trash. So appreciative of this information.

    1. Wow my son was in lawn mower accident also when he was 3 and his aunt sent me this link because he has two different size feet so to them r constructing his foot where it was cut off at.
      He is now 12 and will be happy when I read this to him sometimes he feels he is the only kid like this.

  9. I am 37 , because of a birth defect (Diastematomyelia)
    , I wear a left child’s 3 and a right 1. Von Maur will spilt the shoes and sell them as one pair. Sometimes Dillard’s will sometimes give a discount (30-40%) on each pair. The dept. manager can choose to do so. I have found the same with Payless shoes. Those are my main go tos.

  10. This is so awesome! Thank you so much! And thank you to all that have replied with their personal shoe issues! My son was born with a Lt club foot and is 1.5 size difference from Rt foot. Shoes have been such a challenge!! Especially since he goes through them so fast! I usually would spend hours at stores trying to get two pairs that match and having to buy both pairs. I am also guilty of being in a pinch and switched the sizes in the box myself 😳
    But I’m tired of having to find cheap shoes I can afford two pairs. If anyone needs good shoes, it’s those that have feet issues yet it’s made so difficult! I finally bit the bullet and spent a hefty amount of money at Nordstrom for a pair of sneakers, shoes and winter boots. It was fabulous to be able to just pay for one pair!!!! And returning the other was so easy! It comes with the posting slip so I just sent the other pairs back in the same box. This article is great! About 3-4 yrs ago I searched for on line options but hadn’t found much of anything! I didn’t even know it was called “spit size shoes”!
    My son still will need a third surgery at some point but his foot and the casts to his hip or the braces of ALL types never kept him from being the most active little boy I know!!! He amazes me all the time! Good luck to you all in your shoe journeys! 😊

  11. I wear a 10 on my right foot and a size 8 on my left foot.
    I cannot wear sandals or open toes as I have a birth defect on my left foot and have no toes.
    I would love to find someone I can trade shoes.
    I just spent over 400 on 4 boxes of shoes with 2 boxes I will have to throw away unless I find a sole mate.
    Thanks

  12. Great article. I love services that help people solve a problem. (ankle issues and I had a hard time finding a shoe that would accomodate my brace. If anyone in here needs them feels free to use my store.

  13. Just wanted to let you know that I chatted with Nordstrom online today and the information about ordering online is no longer accurate. You must go in the store if you want the split size discount. So disappointing. I hate explaining. Just want to buy shoes like everyone else!

  14. I called ll bean today to make an order and was informed this program has ended (possibly only temporarily) due to a new computer system. He couldn’t tell me when it would start again.

  15. I also called llbean two days ago and they would do it, but I didn’t order. So today I called to order and they would not do it. Can’t believe it!

    1. I got as far as telling him what shoes in what sizes before he came back on the line to tell me he couldn’t do it, very disappointing.

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