A Good Pair of Shoes Is Important to My Husband With Hemophilia
Recently, my husband, Jared, and I stumbled upon a local shoemakers’ trade bazaar at the city hall. We just moved to a new home in a brand-new city at the start of the year, and Marikina just so happens to be the “Shoe Capital of the Philippines“!
One thing that got us excited about moving here was the prospect of being close to local shoemakers. Marikina has a long and colorful history of shoemaking. Today, it is known for shoes that are surprisingly durable, even when compared with other well-known international brands. I own a pair of Marikina-made sandals, and they’ve lasted for six years of rain and shine, wear and tear. I’ve never had to repair them, and they’re still going strong.
Jared loves shoes. He brands himself as a simple guy and doesn’t desire many material things, yet he admits that a shiny new pair of shoes is his biggest temptation. Every time we go to a mall, he never fails to check out the footwear department in case his favorite brands have new designs in stock. He feasts his eyes on rows of shiny leather and takes a few pairs for a quick spin. Ironically, he almost never buys anything.
Despite being the ultimate leather shoe freak, Jared has worn the same pair of dress shoes for the past five years. He says they’re just too comfortable on his feet. He’s found several well-made pairs of shoes — some very expensive — but so few match the comfort level of his present go-to shoes.
Comfort is one of Jared’s main considerations in picking out suitable footwear. He has severe hemophilia B, so he gets frequent bleeds in joints that experience wear and tear. Because his right ankle is his target joint, he has developed synovitis in that region. Whenever his synovitis flares up, movement in his foot becomes severely restricted. He is also unable to walk long distances without experiencing painful swelling. If the swelling persists, it could lead to a serious bleeding episode, which in turn worsens his synovitis. And so the cycle repeats itself.
With adequate ankle support, the risk of injuring an ankle is much lower. Jared must be careful to pick out shoes that are not too stiff around the ankle, but still support the joint so it doesn’t overextend.
For this reason, boots are one of his favorite shoe types. Their raised tops act like ankle support pads, which provide slight restriction and cushioning to his sensitive ankle joints.
Dress shoes can be more challenging to pick out, because their lower cuts often mean less ankle support. If the shoes aren’t well-made, their sides could be too stiff and sharp. Too much stiffness isn’t a good thing, either, as this would force his ankles to flex at an unnatural angle.
Luckily, Jared managed to find a good pair of shoes at the bazaar. He tells me it’s the most comfortable pair of shoes he’s ever worn — with cushioned insoles, sturdy yet supple leather, and a timeless but youthful design.
When I looked up the shoemaker that made them, I learned that the small company has been around for several decades, supplying footwear to the national military and to various service professions. I tried some of their shoes myself, and now I can better understand Jared’s process of picking out footwear.
Now we can’t wait to buy new shoes for both of us!
Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.