Gannon’s Braces

One item in this photo (I went on a bit of haul today) cost $1,800. Can you guess which one?

If you guessed Gannon’s braces (SMOs) you’re right. Granted we already met our deductible 15 times over this year and we didn’t pay a penny out of pocket, but can you believe these little plastic things cost that much?

Gannon had a well child check, caught up on vaccines, and then we headed to Waterloo to pick up his new accessories. Gannon needs to wear these braces to correct a hind foot valgus. This is an example of an X-ray of someone else on the internet but it helps you see what we are working to correct, essentially his ankles roll in. This is common in EDS (Ehlers Danlos syndrome). Think joint weakness.

One thing I was not prepared for was how difficult it would be to find shoes that fit the orthotics. Gannon is a size 6 or so in toddler shoes (he doesn’t really wear shoes honestly, physical therapy says it is good for his feet).

We got him fitted and bought some fancy Nike sandals in May and he has maybe worn them 5 times and every time he rips them off and 90% of the rest of the time, I have no idea where they are. It is a constant battle to find Gannon and Carver’s shoes. Well, we’d better start paying way closer attention to wear those darn shoes are.

So when we got told Gannon would need SMOs, they told me that he *might* need a size bigger in shoe and that *maybe* going up one size would be enough. They also recommended these zip-ease Nike shoes that I went and bought on Zappos in Gannon’s current size.

Long story short, I spent 2 hours between Scheels, Shoe Department and Target trying to find shoes to fit these $1,800 chunks. The only thing that will *barely* fit are SIZE NINE! From 5.5 to a size nine is a huge jump. The length of the SMO’s measure at an 8 but the width and the height of the shoe are out of this world. If I can get his foot in, the Velcro doesn’t fasten or the tongue sticks out way too far.

So these shoes all technically *work* but they are WAY too long and I think Gannon will trip in them. So the search will continue. Honestly, the crocs fit the best so far. She said it is less about the actual shoe because even if they aren’t supportive the orthotic does the supporting. I’ll probably return most of these once I do some more drinking and testing and research on the best SMO shoes. They need like an elastic closure or tongue because that’s where it is so so bulky.

Oh and BTW Gannon will need new orthotics and new shoes every 6 months to a year so this looks like it will be a CONSTANT battle 🙁

Gannon and Carver were so so patient with me as we sat in the stores trying to squeeze Gannon into all of these shoes. Carver was doing so well until I heard a THUD. I have no idea what happened. I turned around and carver was bawling. He had fallen off of the shoe bench and landed right on his head. He was okay after a hug and some snuggles but the thud must have been heard round the store because within minutes the OWNER OF SCHEELS was taking my name and number and asking if we wanted an ice pack – I was like dude, I’m not gonna sue you because my kid fell down. He was very very kind though. It all turned out okay.

I’ve been vlogging a lot this week so look for that coming in the next two weeks or so.

I have so much I want to blog about but no time to blog! I haven’t even been working that much but the boys are BUSY BUSY BUSY! It’s easier to grab my phone and vlog than to occupy them for 20 minutes to BLOG.

Thanks for reading guys!


  1. Lorna
    July 24, 2020 / 12:50 pm

    Just a note: for tie shoes you may be able to use elastic shoe ties designed to make your walking shoes (aka: tennies ) into slip-ons. Great also for people who have difficulty tying shoes. My orthotics work great in my shoes and the laces give me support.

  2. Sally
    July 24, 2020 / 1:20 pm

    Can Gannon just wear the braces without shoes? They look like glorified (expensive) sandals.

  3. Sally
    July 24, 2020 / 1:30 pm

    I guess that won’t work because he needs the shoe to fill up the space. Ugh. Have you talked to any therapists who work with children wearing these? They would have better knowledge about how they should fit and what shoes to get. Gosh, it sounds to me like the brace isn’t the correct size for Gannon. But really, what do I know? That is just how it seems to me.

  4. Kim LeMere
    July 24, 2020 / 1:33 pm

    I’m glad you were able to find something to work with his braces, but gosh that is a lot of moola for something that he will quickly outgrow.

  5. Brenda Ehlers
    July 24, 2020 / 2:26 pm

    My grandson had those for over a year and yes getting a shoe to fit over them is hard. My husband has this issue, so does my daughter and one of her sons. Playing certain sports can be a little more concerning(in baseball my husband had his ankle wrapped all the time for more stability) but my daughter and husband who never had the braces really haven’t had too many problems as adults. BTW our last name is Ehlers.

  6. Elle
    July 24, 2020 / 3:41 pm

    Well poo, why can’t 1 thing be easy for you to accomplish for dear Mr Gannon? ;-(

    I had to look up vlogging-yup, the thought that formed in my head was correct!

    Happy Friday and have a blast with those boys 🙂

  7. Fran Edwards
    July 24, 2020 / 6:45 pm

    I wear a brace on my right foot. I agree that not wearing shoes is easiest of all. I have roomy shoes to fit the brace into. I wouldn’t worry about the size number increase as much as finding the correct size that works. I suggest modifying a canvas tennis shoe
    ( longer laces / added velcro) to ease the brace into. Wide widths are helpful. Good luck with the shoe hunting!

  8. sewhappy
    July 24, 2020 / 10:46 pm

    I can relate. I have inserts for myself and had to go up one size. I agree your therapist should give you more guidance on the type of shoes to buy. Would a foot MD be helpful? Or at least for reference for the type of sneakers. Thinking out loud. Have a good weekend.

  9. Kara
    July 24, 2020 / 11:43 pm

    Ahhhh, another YouTuber is born! I love a good talking vlog. While Gannon is growing so fast and much, it would be nice to just be able to (at least in the summer) hot glue or 3M double stick tape some soles to the braces. He probably doesn’t need the uppers until winter (at least) and it would be so much cooler for him. Have a GREAT weekend!!!!

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