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In the hopes of creating a "universal design" for people of all abilities, BILLY Footwear recently released a new line of adaptive shoes that are both functional and inclusive, making them great options for kids with special needs. Plus, the mix of high- and low-top sneakers are pretty dang fashionable to boot.
The line of shoes quickly became a hot topic within the special needs community when on Sept. 17, Nicole Goodwin Hulbert shared a post to Facebook of her daughter trying on a few pairs.
"Special needs moms: I'm so excited about these shoes I just found Laura at Nordstrom," she wrote. "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!"
Billy Price, a founder of BILLY footwear, has firsthand experience with the struggle to find adaptable shoes after breaking his neck and becoming paralyzed during a three-story fall back in 1996. Now, his goal is to make comfortable shoes truly accessible to everyone, including little kids. The line caters to toddlers all the way up to "big kids" — up to size 12 in some styles — and every pair unzips all the way around for easier access.
"Smashing fashion with function, BILLY Footwear incorporates zippers that go along the side of the shoes and around the toe, allowing the upper of each shoe to open and fold over completely," reads the BILLY about page. "Thus, the wearer can place his or her foot onto the shoe foot bed unobstructed. Then with a tug on the zipper-pull, the shoe closes and secures over top the user's foot. It's simple. It's easy."
Read through to get a look at some of the awesome designs available in the line.