BILLYs

Thick sole, wide toe box, big ankle support, and the upper unzips to fold open for easy access and orthotic insertion. What’s not to like about BILLYs?

While this is a good shoe for people with CMT-affected feet or anyone who has trouble getting does on and off, my great custom orthoses from Orthotic Solutions in Edmonton use a lot of vertical space, pushing my foot up into the top of the shoe.

It’s not comofortable but familiar and eventually will ease as the shoes break in. Usually that means some internal give, damage, and maybe eventual ruin of the upper interior of the shoe.

My right toe usually cuts through sneakers (I prefer wide New Balance running/walking shoes) about the time the soles are done, and the interior of my Doc Martens are never pretty up there, but the leather holds longer than the sole and where the shoe is sewn into the sole.

What works really well are TOMS because most of them are so soft and giving. The soles are pretty cushiony too, but some are not wide enough and split apart easily. A big downside with TOMS is they never seem to make the same shoe twice — at least not the ones I’ve liked most. Their designs change a lot.

Maybe there is no ideal shoe for CMT feet, but I’m pretty happy with my TOMS, Docs, and — when I want to be most comfortable — any good running shoes.

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