The Toughest Shoes You've Seen

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Penguin

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I have mentioned before I have a disability. For those who care, it's called spina bifida. To keep it fairly simple, there are varying degrees of severity, and people with my severity of spina bifida are typically confined to a wheelchair. I'm blessed to have about 80% use of my legs, but the result is that I walk on my heels.

My shoes normally last three to six months before the heels are smoothed out or otherwise destroyed, while the remainder of the shoe is left in near-perfect condition. I could have my shoes repaired, true, but that's an expense I can't afford so often given that I'm on a fixed income through government benefits (oh, the joys of being unable to work).

I've been on the hunt for a pair of shoes that might last longer than six months, being able to take the punishment my feet have to offer. If I found such a pair, I would be glad to pay every other year or so to have them repaired, and would go so far as to pay an extensive amount. Wolverine has been recommended to me, and though $800 for a pair of shoes is a month's income for me, I'd save it up and pay it if I was almost certain the shoes would last.

I'm curious whether anyone here has heard of a shoe that might work for me in my situation. I attempted to acquire specially-made shoes through my doctor, but government medical insurance being the fickle beast it is, I don't qualify for insurance help because Uncle Sam has said the shoes are not "medically necessary" in my situation.
 

D.L.Ruth

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Not sure how they would hold up for your situation but I have always liked Merrells. I have been able to regularly get me than a year or so out of them. They are also nowhere near $800 dollars.
 

Penguin

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D.L.Ruth":4il20hzi said:
Not sure how they would hold up for your situation but I have always liked Merrells. I have been able to regularly get me than a year or so out of them. They are also nowhere near $800 dollars.
The shoes on their website are certainly intriguing, and much more affordable, yes. I will add them to my list for consideration. Thank you. I do like some of their styles, especially the Chelsea boot.
 

riff raff

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I have a pair of Justin Roper boots. They have a low heel and best of all, the sole and heel are actually made and can be replaced by any shoe repairman (if you can find one!) I'm lucky and have a Mennonite repairman near me. He's getting up in age, and I worry when he'll retire.
 

huffelpuff

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Just about any quality cowboy boot can be reheeled inexpensively. Low heels are going to be your friend for sure with boots. The best part though is that even if you can't find a repairman you can order the correct leather and rubber parts online and fix it yourself if you are even moderately handy.

Jim

Oh the only draw back is that to replace the sole you'll have to find a repair shop because it requires a super expensive sewing machine to replace that. The heel however just uses glue and nails.
 

Zeno Marx

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Have you contacted Wesco, Nick's, White's, or Limmer? And in Canada, Viberg is another possibility, though they would be the most expensive of them all. I would imagine with the others you're talking more like $600, but I shouldn't even say. I don't know how complicated your pattern would be etc. They all have endless experience with special foot patterns and needs. They all make shoes and are not limited to just boots. I'd also check with Baker's while I was out shopping. They are said to be an incredible wealth of knowledge. All have toll-free numbers and are known for customer service.

https://www.wescoboots.com/builder/default.aspx

https://nicksboots.com/

https://www.whitesboots.com/

http://www.limmerboot.com/

https://www.bakershoe.com/
 

GeoffC

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I can attest to Merrells. The rest of the shoe will fall apart before the sole wears down. Tramped all over Nicaragua with them with zero break-in. Good shoe.
 

D.L.Ruth

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GeoffC":8wmcb3m5 said:
I can attest to Merrells.  The rest of the shoe will fall apart before the sole wears down.  Tramped all over Nicaragua with them with zero break-in.  Good shoe.
Did the Bataan Memorial Death March in a brand new pair with no break in and still no feet issues. That pair ended up lasting me a few years, only got rid of then because they wouldn't fit in my bag on the way back from korea
 

Fazby

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Have you tried having a shoe repairman add cleats to the heels? A discussion with the repairman may result in a solution...
 

Penguin

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Thank you all for the suggestions. I haven't heard of any of the companies suggested, but you can bet I'll be looking into them. I've talked with a few cobblers, though most of them have said the shoes I buy aren't worth repairing (my "go-to" brand at the local Walmart is $20 to $40 a pair). Most have suggested taps, cleats, or other "add-ons" to the shoes to help deter the wear and tear, but again, they've suggested not adding such things to the shoes I get. One said he'd flat-out refuse to do anything to the shoe, because it would amount to "damage" on it, not any kind of boon for it.

That's what's led me on the hunt for a good shoe--one worth repairing. Then I could make additions without concern of the addition tearing the shoe up due to poor quality, and the shoe itself would last the normal wear and tear I put on it.
 
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