Already have an account?
Get back to the

This Adaptive Shoe Line Is Life-Changing for Kids With Special Needs

First For Women has affiliate partnerships. We receive compensation when you click on a link and make a purchase. Learn more!

When Nicole Goodwin-Hulbert, mother to a daughter with special needs, shared a Facebook post about a trip to Nordstrom, it went viral — and it’s easy to see why it got so much attention.

“Special needs moms: I’m so excited about these shoes I just found [my daughter] Laura at Nordstrom,” Hulbert wrote about the adaptive shoe brand BILLY Shoes. “They are ‘Billy’ brand. Where have these been all my life?! Unbelievably easy to get on over braces! She got the lavender and the gray high tops. So cute too!”  

Founded in the wake of a 1996 accident that left co-founder Billy Price paralyzed from the chest down, the idea for BILLY Shoes originally came about as a solution to Price’s struggle to find stylish, adaptable shoes after his fall. He saw the need for a shoe that’s adaptable, easy to put on, and nice to look at, so he teamed up with fellow co-founder Darin Donaldson to create the brand, and design shoes that “embody universal design, meaning they both appeal to and work for everyone.”

How do BILLY Adaptive Shoes work? 

At first glance, these may look like any other pair of stylish sneakers, but there’s one glaring difference: the zipper. BILLY Shoes’ zippers start from the top of the shoe (near the tongue) and wrap around the toe to the other side. What that means for you? A shoe that completely opens up, allowing children to simply place their foot on the bed of the shoe — no fidgeting or stuffing. Then, with just a quick zip, your child’s foot can be completely covered and secured. Easy-peasy! 

While this simple design is great for parents dressing kids of all needs with ease, what they can do for a child’s self-esteem is even more impressive. In fact, various reviews for these shoes are filled with mothers reveling in their children’s new-found confidence levels. 

One mother even remarked, “These shoes are perfect for my little one with AFO’s (ankle-foot orthosis, or braces), he is even able to put them on himself. I love the look of self accomplishment he has with being able to put them on himself! So very thankful for this product!” That sense of belonging is what makes these shoes such a life-changing investment. 

BILLY Shoes Adaptive Shoes for Kids

(Photo Credit: BILLY Shoes)

Want to pick up a pair for a child in your life? Starting at just $45, you can choose from three different styles, the Classic Lace High Tops, the Classic Lace Low Tops, and the Classic Low Tops, at a variety of stores, including the BILLY Shoes website, Nordstrom, Amazon, and Zappos

Where to buy: $45-$55, Zappos

See more of our best product recommendations.

More From First

16 Best Sensory Toys for Kids That’ll Ignite Their Senses

13 Monthly Subscription Boxes Your Child Will Love as Much as You Do

10 Best Weighted Blankets Every Member of Your Family Will Love

Use left and right arrow keys to navigate between menu items. Use right arrow key to move into submenus. Use escape to exit the menu. Use up and down arrow keys to explore. Use left arrow key to move back to the parent list.