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Disability Bitch hates shoes

16th September 2009

Readers, I've had a bad week and I'm going to cut to the chase. I HATE SHOES. Seriously. Yes, I know I'm ignoring several major disability based stories to bring you this news but, honestly, I can't think of anything else right now. I've just walked into town and back and now I'm sitting in my house with my feet on the coffee table, having thrown my agonising shoes to one side. I may never put them on again.
red high heels
After three decades of pounding around in the sweaty leather monstrosities, I'm convinced that shoes are a conspiracy against me personally, and probably most other crips with lower limb impairments. When you march the streets with the unique walking style that I have, you really come to understand the limits of modern footwear. Let's face it, if disabled people had run the world from the beginning, shoes just wouldn't exist. We would've come up with a different system; everyone would've evolved to be barefoot and carried round in sedan chairs, or something. Shoes, they just don't work.

For a start, there's only two styles of shoe in the world I can wear without experiencing massive discomfort - and I know many of you have the same problems. Shopping for a new pair is the spiritual equivalent of having my teeth pulled one by one, without anaesthetic, and with a small but thirsty leech attached to each of my internal organs. But leaving that aside, there's a lack of imagination in contemporary shoe design. Shoemakers - are they still called cobblers, or do cobblers only exist in fairy tales? - have excelled themselves in recent years, designing weird skyscraper constructions for Posh Spice, shoes with lights in them to entertain small children and shoes with retractable wheels in the sole so ten year olds can skid round shopping centres at top speed, scaring the wits out of wobbly cripples.

Before I go any further I should point out that it looks as if Posh's choice of eccentric footwear has contributed to her development of bunions, or so it's rumoured. Women are often advised that wearing narrow high heels can contribute to this condition. So I like to think that high heels, which I love, are an elegant way of saying "please make me disabled". Poshy, you're a disability role model. You don't care about prejudice and inaccessibility, do you love? 'Imperfect / I'm perfect' and all that? God luv ya.

My challenge to the cobblers of the world today, is to make shoes that are a little more practical. I want to know what the point of having shoes with flashing lights in them is, and though I've had several near death experiences when faced with the wheelie shoes, I do feel those designers were working more along the right lines.

Wheel shoes wouldn't work for me: I'd lose my balance and fall over even more frequently than I already do. But one day, perhaps when my painkillers are doing a particularly good job, I may attempt to use them in conjunction with my walking stick. A kind of punting action would be in order. I might end up gliding elegantly down the street like a swan across an expanse of water. Or I might just land on my arse. But in principle the WheelShoe(TM) is a good idea for disabled people.
robber blades
What we have, readers, is a wheelchair in a shoe - did I need to spell it out? It's a prototype mobility aid. Imagine how good it would be for part-time wheelchair users - people who walk some of the time and wheel the rest of it - if they could press a button and find themselves on wheels, rather than having to faff round with folding and unfolding chairs and finding somewhere to store them when they're not needed.

The idea of wheels in shoes is brilliant, it's just not been developed to its most radical conclusion. What they really need is an engine. I don't just want a wheelchair in my shoes, I want an electric wheelchair.

You only need to look out of your window to understand that it would work. Readers, I'm talking milk floats. There are fewer and fewer floats around these days because people don't want dairy products left on their doorstep anymore. It's all about organic vegetables now. But milk floats are great: small, environmentally-friendly electric cars.
milk float
I want milk float technology in my shoes. I don't suppose anyone has ever said that sentence before so it's a first for Ouch! Soon, I'll be powering around the streets like an elite athlete training for a marathon. Or like a milkman, anyway. But that's more smoothly than usual. Cobblers, are you reading this? Do something for me for once.


I've been checking out some of Heather's most recent footwear. You can see how high her heels are. It's led me to the conclusion that if milk float shoes fail me, the only solution is for me to chop off my own legs and replace them with artificial ones just like our gooooregous Hev.


I've been so busy massaging my poor, beleagured tootsies this week, I've barely logged into Facebook. If you'd like to share your own revolutionary ideas for cripple-friendly footwear, become my friend here and join in the discussion.

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