Angela Rockwood, a C4 quadriplegic, is a self-proclaimed “Paralyzed Diva”. She often gets asked the question, “How do you wear heels on wheels?” Angela shares a video demonstrating how she wears five different types of heels/shoes while sitting in her wheelchair.
The first type of shoe Angela demonstrates how to wear is a basic flat. She admits that she does not usually wear this type of shoe because flats make her feet swell because of the high arches in her feet.
Angela suggests covering the footplate of your wheelchair with grip tape. “(Grip tape) keeps your foot from not slipping all over the place, so you definitely need the texture.” If you do not have grip tape, duct tape is another option.
Angela has her boyfriend show how to use duct tape to secure your shoes to the footplate of the wheelchair. You will need two pieces of tape (one for each shoe). Fold each piece over itself creating what Angela refers to as a ‘Wonder Woman Cuff’. Make sure to fold the cuffs with the sticky side pointing outward. Stick the cuff on the bottom of the shoe at the base of the foot. If any of the tape shows your piece of tape is too big. Put your foot on the footplate and push down gently making sure your foot sticks to the footplate.
“The wedge platform is the most easiest thing to wear in a wheelchair because they are very sturdy and stable, they don’t wobble, and you don’t get that broken barbie doll ankle look,” says Angela. She recommends the wedge heel for anyone who is just beginning to wear heels post-injury. As her boyfriend helps her put on the wedges, Angela states your ankles will be wobbly until you get both pairs of shoes on so they can support each other.
The next shoe Angela demonstrates how to wear is what she calls the basic boot. The heel of the boot she wears is about 3 inches. She says any boot that goes to the top of the ankle helps with ankle support.
To get the boot on, Angela’s boyfriend opens the boot and places her foot in holding on to the back of the boot and pulling it up. He then zips the side of the shoe. Angela says to make sure you do not twist your ankles in the process of getting the shoe on.
For Angela, boots are the easiest to wear while sitting in her chair because they give her the most support. However, she does make sure that her foot strap is directly behind her ankles so that the heel of the shoe does not go off the back of the footplate because that position can be painful.
Platform Heels (Pumps)
Angela’s boyfriend helps slide her feet into platform heels. Angela advises to again watch your ankles and then especially your toes as the shoe is being put on. She states, “If you can’t feel your feet your body still feels pain.” Therefore, if your shoes are too tight on your foot your body may spasm more causing it to be more difficult to balance your feet on the footplate. To fix this problem Angela suggests buying your heels in a bigger size.
The last pair of heels Angela demonstrates how to wear are a little bit more dressy. She loves the fact that these heels have a rubber sole on the bottom. Angela”s boyfriend assist her with getting them on, fixes her strap behind her heels, and she’s good to go!
Keep in mind Angela’s tips can be interchangeable with every style of heel and/or shoe!
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