Adaptive Sports (In Your State!)

Hippotherapy Lessons in PT School

One of my passions is fitness, and it’s how I met my husband (Fire Up Chips). That has definitely rubbed off on our children, who participate in everything from gymnastics to running to drumming to swimming. And as much joy as I get out of watching them participate on the weekends, I feel guilty every second I’m at work, giving everything I have to help other children to have the opportunity to do the same.

Guys, I didn’t realize how many adaptive sports are in each state. I’m super excited. This is NOT a comprehensive list, because, I only had approximately 74 hours to dedicate to this post!

But seriously. Adaptive surfing in Hawaii? Check. Adaptive skiing and rock climbing in Colorado? Check. Scuba Diving? Duh. Whether you live in the area, or are looking for opportunities during your summer vacation, check out all the amazing inclusive activities for each state, adapted for all levels of ability.

I missed something? Comment below if you’ve got some more to add!

Nationwide Programs

Alabama

Alaska

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

  • I didn’t forget you, Delaware, I was just unable to find anything!

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

Orthotic-Friendly Footwear

Wide feet, narrow feet, small feet, big feet – the main challenge is finding shoes that will fit perfectly sort-of-okay over these extra-wide contraptions. I’ve compiled a list of size ranges and recommendations below that seem to fit well for the families I interact with. I, in no way, shape or form, was paid for this article. I wish.

Nike FlyEase

Image Credit: Nike.com

What I like about these:

  • They come in adult sizes! Because kids grow up! (WHAT?!)
  • They’re “cool” (I’m pretty sure I’m past the age where I can be relied upon to categorize this information, but word on the street).
  • They come in every color imaginable.
  • The zipper Velcros over the top and secures the shoe shut, but also works as a nifty zipper pull which is easier to grasp than most zipper pulls. (yay independence!)
  • They come in wide size.
  • Shoe sizes available: Toddler Size 5 – Men’s Size 15!
  • Available at nike.com, Zappos.com

Billy Shoes

Image Credit: Billyfootwear.com

Now, I’ll tell you how excited I was when I first saw these come out. They’re amazing, zipping the entire way and pretty easy for kids to be independent. I will have to convey my disappointment, that although they are on the “affordable” side of adaptive clothing, they don’t seem to stand up to time very well. I’ll recommend these for those non-ambulatory kids and those who do most of their exercise in standers or with assistance. But kids dragging their feet everywhere (independently or otherwise) will be replacing these shoes often. [Insert sad trombone here.]

Sizes Available: Toddler Size 10 – Big Kid 6

Available at: billyfootwear.com, Zappos.com, Nordstrom.com

Converse

Image Credit: Zappos.com

So, I’m super bummed because Converse used to carry these adorable hatch-back style of Velcro shoes that completely opened in the back and allowed you to slide your foot right in. I’m not seeing them anymore on their website. Maybe you can still find those in the outlets. They’re best for the skinny-minny feet!

Sizes Available: Toddler Size 10 – Big Kid 6

Update: Found some hanging out at Zappos.com

Plae

If I’m not mistaken, these shoes were originally made, years ago, for adaptive purposes. Now they’ve grown by leaps and bounds, because, well, they’re awesome.

Photo Credit: plae.co


What I like about them:

  • They’re machine-washable. Yup. Just throw them in, let them air-dry. Voila.
  • They’ve got reinforced toes for all those children (ahem, Isabel) who drag.their.feet.
  • You can buy ($5) extra-long, interchangeable, Velcro straps to accommodate for the extra width of the braces. (Can I get an Amen?!)
  • The entire top opens up to allow you to slip the foot right in.
  • One word: BOOTS!! I personally live in Michigan. Where we are in Winter Hell for approximately 982734 months out of the year. Where there are millions upon millions of snow boots on every shelf starting July 5th. Plae’s boots zip all.the.way.down.
  • They run on the narrow side, but I say give them a shot due to their flexible material.
  • Sizes available: Toddler Size 5 – Men’s Size 13
  • Available at: plae.co, Nordstrom.com, Zappos.com

Hatchbacks

These are the OG for AFOs. They’re super functional and come in some cute styles (mary janes y’all)!

What I like about them:

  • They may be covered by insurance! Ask your orthotist, but insurance will usually pay for one pair per year, if, you know, you don’t have a money tree in the back yard.
  • Sizes Available: Toddler size 5 – Youth Size 6
  • Available at hatchbacksfootwear.com

Yeah, but what about socks?

Photo Credit: Allthingstarget.com

Have you been to Target lately? No? You’re lying. Go into the sock section, there are bins and bins of kid’s knee-high socks with unicorns, astronauts, and Harry Potter to name a few. Check some out here, but go in-store for the most selection! (They’ve also got Caroline Carts at all stores, so it should be a bit easier to go in)!

Questions? Comments? Did I miss your favorites? As always, feel free to start the conversation!