We are counting down 10 EB-friendly footwear options in no particular order; since EB presents itself so differently, we have tried to include lots of options to suit different forms of EB! Thank you to all the community members who shared their experiences to make this possible.
1. Moccasins & Mukluks
This type of shoe comes in many different styles to fit various needs; in general, is very soft with lots of furs and soft suedes. The flats are ideal for warmer climates, while Mukluks can be worn as EB-friendly winter boots or even rain boots since many are waterproof, and it can be a challenge to get EB feet into rubber boots. One company to definably check out is Manitoba Mukluks; they have a range of styles from children to adults and are dedicated to supporting indigenous communities.
2. Sheepskin Birkenstocks
Many Birkenstocks styles can be EB-friendly since they are generally easy to slip on and have great support, but my all-time personal favorite is the shearling sandal and clog. It is lined with a thick layer of sheepskin that makes you feel like you are walking on a cloud. I also find this an ideal shoe if your heel is blistered or healing. They come in both open and closed-toe options and can be found at a variety of stores or on the official Birkenstock website.
3. Sketcher Memory Foam
One of the greatest perks of this shoe is how easy it is to slip on, it is very lightweight and breathable for warmer weather. The community members who seem to recommend this shoe most often have Simplex EB. The memory foam insole gives extra cushion on the bottom of the foot and feels like walking on a cloud! There are many styles of memory foam shoes without heels and can be found on the Sketcher website.
One of the first EB Hacks YouTube videos was on my personal favorite of sketches shoes; click here to check it out!
4. UGG Boots
Sheepskin is one of the most EB-friendly materials, very soft and moisture-wicking. There is a range of styles depending on your EB needs; if boots are difficult for you to put on, they have ankle boots and slipper styles. UGG boots are my personal favorite fall boot with DDEB; one note I would recommend spraying them at the beginning of each season and noting they are not waterproof (not an ideal winter boot if you will be in the snow.)
5. Nike Air
Nike has a few different styles of lightweight running shoes, one of those being the Nike-Air. The material is softer than your typical running shoe, making it easier to slip on and causing less rubbing.
In an EB Hacks Youtube video, I explain why it’s my favorite running shoe!
6. Sleeping Bags for your feet!
The classic plastic shoe now also comes in styles with a fuzzy lining. They are a wider fitting shoe making them ideal if you are wearing bandages. I personally prefer the rubber and find it helpful that they are waterproof shoe options. I tested out the furry option and would recommend sizing up since the fur makes for a snug fit; it is a synthetic material and not as breathable as the Birkenstock sheepskin fur. You can find crocs on their official website or in many gardening shops.
8. Toddler’s first walking shoes
Rubber souled socks are a great option for babies with EB that are learning to walk. They are extremely soft, easy to put on, and seamless. Many companies make similar styles, but the one I personally own for my son is from Etsy.
9. Baby booties
These baby booties are soft and easy to slip on before snapping, so you do not need to pull them over the baby’s heel. This style helps prevent the friction of pulling on a shoe. You can find this model on amazon.
10. Number 10 isn’t shoes at all but SOCKS!
Sometimes wearing the right socks can make all the difference in preventing blistering. Smart Wool socks are made with merino wool and help regulate body temperature. There is a huge selection for different temperatures and to provide additional padding if needed.
This EB Hacks video discusses my favorite Smart Wool hiking sock and how the additional padding helps prevent fewer blisters on long walks.
On an episode of the MiaThrives Podcast, Erin shares her love for SmartWool socks and how they help make her hiking and traveling trips possible!
We hope you have found one of these 10 tips helpful!
However, below are some other suggestions from the EB community that we have not personally tested but wanted to share in case they can be helpful to someone else. These were shared through the EB lounges, Facebook and Instagram; thank you to anyone who added to this list.
- KuruFootWear (We got the highest number of recommendations from this company)
- Puma Ballet Shoe
- LockLace (EB Friendly shoelace option)
- Salmon’s Speedcross
- All Birds
- Cloursteppers by Clarks
- New Balance FuelCell TC
- Cloud 5 Combo
- Buddy Happy
We would love to hear from you if you have tried any of these hacks or have any hacks you would like to share with the EB community!
MiaThrives presents our EB Hacks vlogs. They offer tips and tricks to live your life to the fullest with Epidermolysis Bullosa. Connect with us on our Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube. If you’re new here, click to learn more about our story.