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What options are there for someone with different sized feet?

My 26-year old son has feet of 2 different sizes due to a birth defect. Are you aware of any hiking shoe brand that will sell shoes of two different sizes as a "pair"? Perhaps because a large corporation can absorb that loss for a brand-loyal customer? Or can REI  do such a thing? 

Thanks for looking into this,



5 Replies

@greg2 thanks so much for reaching out with this question! At this time, we do not sell two different sizes of new shoes as a pair, however we found a few resources that may be helpful:

We appreciate your suggestion for REI to offer different sized shoes as a pair and will pass it along for consideration.

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

What is REIs justification for not offering split sizes?

None of these are great options. LL Bean no longer sells split sizes, Zappos and Nordstrom (and Brooks) are great for running shoes but literally only have 2-3 options combined for hiking. Relying on trying to find two pairs of shoes, that happen to be in both of the right size (width and length- device users need a wider shoe) at garage sales is also extremely time consuming and a massive barrier to entry for people who use all kinds of assistive devices (from prosthetics to AFOs). That same demographic of people also usually need to be picky about the shoes they need to provide the right support (they often need something midrise and can't just wear trail runners or the likes) AND they have to purchase shoes twice as often as devices cause a lot of wear and tear. Purchasing two pairs and not using the second pair is also, frankly, wasteful. A huge challenge for transitioning to an assistive device is trying to find split size footwear. REI really should step up and be a leader for helping those with disabilities access the outdoors. 



Thank you for taking the time to provide this sentiment to us regarding the need for splitting sizes in footwear. We appreciate the information and will pass this feedback along to our team for future consideration.

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Thinking out loud...

I see a sponsorship opportunity. Two-size feet person buys 2 sets of shoes, keeping the fitting shoes and is offered a coupon for half off for donating the mismatched shoes to those in need. Plenty of folks with one leg would benefit, and maybe a needy and lucky person might find their mismatch. Just need the right cooperating partner.

Okay team, have at it. Solvable. Do it for Wounded Warriors and someone else will be expanding the program, pronto. 

@REI-JohnJ @REI-JenK 

I completely agree! I have to buy two sizes, one for my device foot and one for my regular. To top it off, womens shoes are not made wide enough for my device foot (I need a mens wide which would be a womens extra wide that doesnt really exist) and mens shoes are not made short enough for my regular foot (I need a womens 8 wide aka a mens regular 6.5) -- this is part of the reason why Zappos single shoe doesn't work for me, they don't have any womens wide options.

Some companies (Nordstrom) allow you to return the mismatched pair of shoes. Others (Brooks) will sell you split sizes. Companies can work split sizes or single shoes into their manufacturing/business models, most just choose not to, and there is a MASSIVE need in the hiking/work boot industry. 

I personally would be happy just to get my second pair at the companies cost or even 50% off. I just shelled out $450 on Vasque St. Elias for hiking boots at REI literally yesterday (mens 8 wide and a womens 8.5). I now have 2 shoes I will never use in my closet. I would love to donate them to the National Odd Shoe Exchange -- but that would cost me even more money to ship to them on top of the $450 I already spent. It is incredibly frustrating, and I know there is a massive community out there dealing with the same  or similar issue.