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Billy Footwear review

These zip-on shoes are a dream for the disabled

Promotional shot of a sneaker by Billy Footwear. Credit: Billy Footwear

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  1. Billy Footwear Women's Billy Sneakers

Imagine this: it's Christmas, the baking is done, and the gifts are under the tree. You have one person left on your list, the fashionista of your family, who is in a wheelchair. What do you get her? The answer is simple: Billy Footwear, adaptive shoes that zip.

Since childhood, I've always had difficulty finding shoes to fit my short, wide feet and gnarled toes. My shoes usually looked like clown shoes, too big for my feet. One day my sister saw Billy Footwear mentioned on a "Mummy and Me" online group. Another mom had found them for her son who has Cerebral Palsy. If you have a disability or dexterity issue and tying on shoes is difficult, Billy Footwear is the solution for looking stylish and feeling comfortable.

About Billy Footwear

Darin Donaldson and Billy Price invented Billy Footwear after Price became a quadriplegic after falling from a third-story window. Their company's goal was to mix fashion and function in a pair of shoes that Billy could put on himself despite his injury.

Billy Footwear makes innovative products that blend fashion, comfort, and style. They have 238 distinct patterns and colors with several different types of footwear for men, women and children.

These shoes are easy to get on and off with the pull of an around-the-shoe zipper. When you unzip them the top folds over, so you don't have to worry about undoing the mostly-cosmetic laces. Instead, you simply lift your foot off the shoe.

There's a sizing chart that works for all types of feet and orthopedics, plus the Billy Footwear website is easy to use and has a simple layout. In addition, they have speedy shipping and a great return policy.

What I like

A sneaker by Billy Footwear with an open zipper.
Credit: Reviewed / Christopher Groux

Easy zip!

I have limited use of my hands and rely on a caregiver to dress me, and my caregivers love these shoes because of how easy it is to zip them up. There's a lot to like about Billy Footwear. Here are a few of the positives.

The website is user-friendly with a good return policy

The Billy Footwear website is easy to use with a simple layout that’s responsive, intuitive, and eye-catching. It can answer all of your questions with the click of a mouse. Furthermore, shipping is fast. It takes 4-10 days for orders to ship, including a generous 100% money-back refund policy if the product is returned within 30 days in its original packaging.

They're easy to put on

My care aides are amazed at the ease and flexibility of the shoes and say they've never seen a zipper that goes all the way around before. The shoes are comfortable and won't fall off because of the zipper. You can put these on in a hot minute.

Billy Footwear made these shoes with comfort and style in mind.

They're custom-measured to fit orthopedics or feet

The sizing chart provided on their website is unique, asking you to measure your foot by tracing the bottom, top, and width of your foot or the orthopedic insert device to get the precise measurement you need. The laces are also fully functional, so you can tie, loosen, or remove them for washing if desired.

They’re not little kid shoes

These shoes make me feel more confident, put together, and like I've got my own sense of style. I like that that they don't look orthopedic or medical, even though you can put orthopedics in them. The colors are vibrant, and the patterns are unique and innovative. Billy Footwear products come in various styles that mirror traditional shoes.

Total convenience

Billy Footwear has an online store that enables customers to shop from their computer or mobile device, which is a big plus. They're also in Nordstroms, so you can pick them up in a brick-and-mortar store if you prefer.

What I don't like

A fully open zipper sneaker by Billy Footwear.
Credit: Reviewed / Christopher Groux

A steep price to pay for such amazing shoes?

That said, this stylish functionality comes with a few downsides. For example, Billy Footwear is a little expensive for my budget, costing $65-100 depending on style, and the material isn't very breathable. But, despite these shortcomings, Billy Footwear scores an "A" for awesome in my book.

The price is higher than other shoes

The price is slightly higher than my budget allows, but my shoes don't wear out because I don't weight-bear. By simply changing the insoles to freshen up the shoe, I have had them for five years. You pay for the quality and durability, given that I've never had a zipper break. My present collection includes three pairs of "high-tops," one classic red, one gray, and one with a checkerboard pattern. I also have a pair of faux leather boots for winter wear.

The material isn't really all that breathable

The material in my shoes isn't very breathable. So, if you have sweaty feet, you might need to change the soles. I’ve had to change the soles once in five years.

Should you buy Billy Footwear?


If it wasn't for Billy Footwear, I'd still be stuck in the Kids' shoe aisle pondering which shoes to buy and tearing out my hair over sizing that never felt quite right. Who knew what a zipper could do? Pardon the pun, but I have to run.

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

  1. Billy Footwear Women's Billy Sneakers

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