Zappos is taking a major step forward for inclusivity.
The online shoe retailer is now allowing shoppers to buy single shoes instead of pairs, which could make life easier for people who only need one shoe, or who need shoes of different sizes due to a limb difference or other physical difference.
“Over the years Zappos has had many requests from customers about selling single shoes, or shoes of different sizes,” Zappos explained on its website. “This program stems from these requests.”
Single shoes will cost half the price of a pair, and they will be available in certain styles from six popular brands: Billy Footwear, Converse, Kizik New Balance, Nike, Plae and Stride Rite. Shoppers can buy a single shoe, or mix and match sizes and styles to create a custom pair.
The online retailer is selling single shoes for men, women and kids, in sizes ranging from toddler to men’s size 18 and women’s size 13, and widths ranging from narrow to extra-extra wide, according to the Zappos website.
Many people are praising Zappos for the inclusive move.
“Thank you, thank you! My 14yo daughter needs two different sizes due to a neurological issue,” one parent wrote on Instagram. “This is a serious game changer for us.”
“Awesome, my congenital birth defects make it so I am two different shoe sizes. I am thrilled,” another person commented.
Zappos included several models with physical differences in its Single & Different Size Shoe campaign, including Instagram user Jessica Rose, who described her struggles to shop for shoes throughout her life.
“I am so thankful to be a part of the Zappos Adaptive campaign to help launch their Single and Different Size Shoe test program and share my story of growing up with a club foot,” she wrote on Instagram. “I struggled as a child and as an adult to feel normal when there were daily reminders my body wasn’t — in activities able-bodied individuals might take for granted, such as buying a pair of shoes that fit.”
TJ Lee, a disability and accessibility consultant who wears two different shoe sizes, also took part in Zappos’ campaign.
“It's hard enough with lower limb disabilities and that's without adding the orthotics or prosthetics,” he wrote on Instagram. “People within the community have an additional barrier because the orthotics and prosthetics aren't the actual feet size which can be safety and comfort issues.”
Zappos is currently offering single shoes as part of a test program. The company hopes that if there’s a positive response, it can be rolled out permanently and expanded to include more brands and styles.