Zappos Adaptive's latest offering allows customers of all abilities the opportunity to purchase a single shoe or shoes of different sizes.
Editor's note: We are re-sharing some of the best moments and most important stories of 2020. Although it was a difficult year for nearly all of us, there were also shining moments of light and signs of hope. This was one of them.
As literally everyone else in Cinderella's world can confirm, the shoe doesn't always fit. Fortunately, in this world, Zappos is hoping to do something about that with the launch of its revolutionary new program: The Single & Different Size Shoes Test. Run by Zappos.com, Zappos Adaptive's latest offering allows customers of all abilities the opportunity to purchase a single shoe or shoes of different sizes. According to ABC News, the first-of-its-kind digital "test" which started Tuesday, is aimed at amputees, those with differing foot sizes, and others who have been neglected by the footwear industry until now.
The company, which is owned by online shopping giant Amazon.com Inc., revealed that customers have been asking for new options for years. The requests grew louder with the 2017 launch of its Zappos Adaptive site, a curated shopping experience that offers functional and fashionable products to make getting dressed easier. "The Single and Different Size Shoes Test Program is very close to our hearts – we wanted our community to know that we heard them, and continue to listen and innovate based on their needs and wants," said Dana Zumbo, Business Development Manager, Zappos Adaptive in a statement. "Customer service is our number one goal, and we're endlessly committed to ensuring that everyone feels comfortable and confident in their own shoe or shoes."
According to CNN, Zappos already offers an assortment of shoes for people with disabilities or dexterity issues, including footwear with features like zippers around the front or back for easy access to put on or take off the shoes. "But we've been getting many requests over the years from people asking us if we can also sell them a single shoe or different sized pairs," said Dana Zumbo, business development manager with Zappos Adaptive. As of now, the Single & Different Size Shoes Test is a small-scale effort with about 80 styles and colors available in adult and kids sizes.
The line includes sneakers and slip-ons from six well-known brands: Nike, BILLY Footwear, Converse, PLAE, Stride Rite, and New Balance. The company said that it is buying shoes from the brands in pairs and had to make tweaks to its warehouse to split the pairs when they come in. Once an order is placed for single or mixed-sized shoes, it will be fulfilled from Zappos' existing inventory and specially packaged at its warehouse. "The shoes will be put in a resealable bag and then in a Zappos white box for shipping," said Zumbo. She explained that the Zappos hopes to get the brands to sell it one shoe at a time if the test proves to be successful.
Single shoes will cost less than a pair, with prices ranging from $18.50 to $85. Here's how it works: You choose a design from its lineup of single shoes here, select your desired size and the foot the shoe is for (right or left), and add it to your cart. Now, depending on your personal needs, you can choose to add a second shoe of another size to your cart and the total amount comes up to what it would normally cost you to buy a pair of shoes. You can also add more single shoes of a different design or from different brands to your cart if you're in the mood for a little shopping spree.
For the launch of the new program, Zappos Adaptive partnered with comedian, author, and Para-athlete Josh Sundquist. "I'm so excited about this program. As an amputee, I've never been able to buy a single shoe before, so this is a game-changing moment for amputees and people with disabilities," Sundquist said in a statement. He also posted an Instagram video announcing the launch of the program, which he captioned it as such: People always ask if I get a 50% discount on shoes. The answer up until now has been no, although I do have a friend who’s an amputee on the opposite side that I trade with. I call him my solemate. We shared our first pair—which I happened to have ordered from Zappos—back in 2011. Which is leads us to the subject of this video.
I'M THRILLED TO ANNOUNCE ZAPPOS ADAPTIVE IS NOW SELLING SINGLE SHOES FOR HALF THE PRICE OF THE PAIR! Which also means people with different-sized feet can *finally* buy a pair of different-sized shoes without having to buy two pairs. This program is in a test phase, so please help it succeed. If it does, Zappos Adaptive will add more brands and styles in the future. In fact, tag your favorite shoe brand in the comments to let them know you’d like them to join the program, Sundquist added. And please spread the word to your friends with one foot or different sized feet! Anyway, my solemate Stephen and I will keep swapping pairs, but if there’s a single shoe that only I’m interested in, I can finally buy it for 50% off the price of a pair.