I Can Make Shoes

What a great idea.  I can make shoes.  I stumbled across this website today and have immediately filed it for future reference.  Finally, a demystifying of the process…

My inability to find well-designed footwear for my swollen feet is a subject I have come back to again and again.  My one attempt at a bespoke solution was a very expensive disaster – a £2000 pair of horrendously well-made shoes that hurt my feet and look like … crap.  I went to a place that does ‘special’ footwear.  Big mistake.  They kept insisting that quality and fit were so much more important than design.  NO, no, no.  Not for me.  I cannot walk.  They need to fit OK, stay on my footplates and LOOK GOOD.  Nope, they just didn’t get that at all.

I ended up with a functional pair of black court shoes.  The only thing about them that I like is the lovely emerald green insole  and, really, that one feature – not worth that kind of cash!  They are built to last forever … how typical is that?  The one pair of shoes I would wish to fall apart absolutely will not.  As a non-standing wheelchair user, I’m never going to wear them out, they really hurt my feet and the damn things will keep sliding off my footplates.  I hate them and have to wear them when I go outside as my only other option is an old pair of felt mules that are nearly worn out.  Hate, hate, hate this.

This weekend, D and I had another stand-off on it ‘cos my feet hurt so much that they kept spasming off my footplates in pain and D had to keep stopping to get my feet back on said footplates.  Neither of us were in our happy place!  I returned home, swearing to find a solution to this.

As, despite my best efforts, I have not found a decent looking ready-to-wear shoe/slipper that seems able to cope with the transition of my not-very-swollen morning feet to my very-swollen evening feet, reading about ‘I Can Make Shoes’ and its’ two founders, Amanda Louisa and Elizabeth Dunn, was a ‘zing’ moment for me.  Maybe I might be able to get a friend, with working hands, to do their courses and design my own shoes or contact them direct for a bespoke pair.  Is that a light on the horizon…?  Or do you have any other ideas of where to go?

Examples of Elizabeth Dunn Shoes


  1. Jim Trevor

    I just found your blog post from 2013 about trying to find shoes that will
    “fit OK, stay on my footplates and LOOK GOOD.” Did you have any luck? I have a family member who is wheelchair bound and her feet are so swollen there are very few shoes she can wear. My wife and I were thinking someone should make shoes that look good and are adjustable. Quality and support are irrelevant. Were you successful?

    1. Elle, StilettoWheels & PlusBlack

      Hi Jim,

      I’m still finding it next to impossible to suggest anywhere that stylish adjustable footwear is available. My own solution has been to wear Halflinger slippers – mule style with a felt upper that has some give – and then to go bespoke with limited success.

      My first bespoke attempt was from a specialist footwear supplier – beautifully made but I hated them: http://www.stilettowheels.co.uk/lifestyle/swlstyleapr08pt3.html and they were a ridiculous price.

      My most recent attempt has been from Maiko Dawson who made me some very lovely bespoke leather and suede mules, with non-slip soles, based on the Halflinger slippers. With Maiko’s mules and my slippers, my footwear is as chic as it gets for the moment – basically black mules peering out from beneath my trousers.

      The other option that I briefly toyed, in desperation, with was a pair of Velcro-type slippers, seen here.

      If you enter ‘shoes’ in the search field of my plusblack blog, you will find other posts on my search for shoes but nothing that worked for me other than as mentioned above.

      My own shoes don’t need to give either great support or functionality, they just need to stay on my feet and footplates and not hurt. From your description, your family member may need more function and a better fit. I can recommend the specialist maker in New Cavendish Street for that but, in 2008, my shoes cost c.£2000. I will say that they look as good as new today and are brilliantly made. Given their longevity, maybe the price is no more than the equivalent of many cheaper pairs over the years but it seemed a lot to me because I hated the shoes.

      I hope this helps a bit and might give you and your wife a few ideas and I can only hope things do improve going forward. Please do let me know if you do have better success than I have in finding something.

      Kindest regards,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.