Shoes my 3yo autistic son can't remove - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 01-19-2012, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Can anyone recommend a shoe brand or style that will be difficult for my son, age 3.5, to take off? Robeez stay on better than anything else we've tried, but we live in the Midwest so I need something with a more weather-resistant sole.

His constant removal of his shoes/boots was no big deal in warmer weather, but yesterday I had enough. We have three single shoes with no mates because he takes them off in the car and I swear he must throw them out the door when I'm buckling his little brother. Sometimes I back out of a parking spot and see his sock, shoe or a sippy cup. Sometimes I don't and they're gone. Yesterday he was running around in light snow with only socks on because he had removed his boots. He was perfectly happy, but it was not OK with me. It's just a miracle he kept his socks on.

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#2 of 8 Old 01-19-2012, 11:51 AM
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I'm afraid these won't be warm enough for your weather, but...


We live in Seattle and my son wouldn't wear "real" shoes until he was about 4 (he is 10 now).  Robeez were our go to shoe, but there were problems.  We ended up going with mocassins instead.


I went to the Hanna Andersson outlet and just got several pairs in his size.  They wash fine, so he wore them in the mud/dirt/rain.  He was generally willing to pop rain or snow boots on top of those for more extreme weather.  If you call the outlet, they will tell you what they have in the size you want and will ship them very reasonably (we ended up never paying more than $10 and sometimes less than $5 for a pair).


Good luck!



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#3 of 8 Old 01-19-2012, 08:02 PM
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Have you looked into Keen's ? Some styles go a little higher up the ankle, very weather resistant. A little on the heavy side perhaps, not sure if your son will be o.k. with that.  I catch DS in the process since it's a little more involved to take off. In the grocery store when he sits in the basket, I sometimes will take them off until he starts walking again. Same goes in the car, I take them off and put them back on when we get to the destination. Little bit of a pain....better than flying shoes though:)  And I might add, sometimes he does mind them because they are bit heavy.

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#4 of 8 Old 01-19-2012, 08:33 PM
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I can say that these have worked for us in the past....they go up way higher than the Robeez and you can stuff crocs over them if it is really nasty out... especially the boot crocs to protect in the snow. My friend makes them and they are super sturdy... not really intended for outside in the snow wear but we used them for a few years with my now 6yo who could not walk much in the winter due to JRA and had cold tootsies.


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#5 of 8 Old 01-19-2012, 08:42 PM
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I've worked in special ed aside from having own special needs kiddos. I had one student who flat out refused to keep shoes on at school (grades k-2, this was a long term issue.) His parents bought him hightops (converse style) and those managed to stay on most of the time. The teacher next to me had another little one who wouldn't keep his shoes on either. Problem was when he took them off he would launch them at other little ones heads. She finally resorted to taping them on each day. Not a great way to solve it but it worked and no one went home with waffle marks on their faces.

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#6 of 8 Old 01-20-2012, 08:35 AM
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Keens are definitely worth a try. My youngest brother had to wear corrective shoes as a toddler/preschooler because he had bow legs. They wanted him to wear them as much as possible.  His shoes were lace-up books, like Keens, and he could not get them off.


Hi-tech would also work. Their adult boots are really comfortable.

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#7 of 8 Old 01-24-2012, 05:32 AM
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can't imagine that it would be so simple to get them on, but vibrams have been a godsend for my dd with autism.  she HATED shoes for a long time (i think they probably felt really bad to her), but when we found vibrams this year, she loves them.  i can't get them on her very easily, but she is a whiz at it!!!  good luck- i know it's hard.

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#8 of 8 Old 01-24-2012, 07:31 PM
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The only thing I've been able to keep on DS' feet so far has been Skidders.  The main problem being they're only made for toddlers, not older kids.  Not ideal for snow, since they're basically a sock with an indoor/outdoor sole on them, but better than barefoot.  DS can still get them off with work (it takes a few minutes, rather than the 30 seconds of other shoes), but he tolerates them far longer than any other shoe. 

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