Q: What has your experience been learning as an adult that you have autism?
A: A lot of people do look at me originally and think, “Oh, there’s nothing wrong with you,” which is a whole other conversation in and of itself, but a lot of symptoms and sensitivities are not external. A lot of these things are my brain functioning and how I process things. … And a small thing like the stitching on my clothing or my hair being in my face or I have something on my skin that doesn’t feel right, that can set off my entire day. That’s hard and it can be debilitating at times. … As an adult, I’m incredibly grateful for those external resources such as therapy and coping mechanisms.
Q: How has Kizik supported you with your autism?
A: I love the team here at Kizik. They really took into account everything that I brought to the table, as well as revealing that I do learn a bit differently with autism. … I’m incredibly grateful that they still saw that potential and work around it with me, and I still feel like a valued member of the team. Seeing the transformation of our shoes as well, I now strictly wear Kiziks day to day because the comfortability in my feet can make or break whether or not I get out the door, still, as an adult.
Q: What are some of the benefits you see Kizik provide to those with autism?
A: Being on the marketing side of things, having stories being told to us from parents, colleagues, friends, anybody and everyone essentially sharing somebody they know or their child or their teen or their adult who stepped into their Kiziks for the first time and quite literally had the aha moment of “This feels right, this feels comfortable, and I’m not having a sensitivity issue about it and now I can go about my day” is rewarding in so many ways because I know what that feels like.
Peyton’s pick: Women’s Vegas in Ivory White
Q: How has Kizik made a difference for your son and your family?
A: One of the great things about Kizik for us is that he can’t get dressed, he can't, you know brush his teeth, he can’t use the bathroom on his own, but he sure can put his shoes on, which has been a huge relief for us. … He loves to swing and, of course, you’ve got to put your shoes on to get out there and everything like that, so him being able to put his own shoes on, open the door, go outside, swing, come back in, take his shoes off if he wants, put them back on, has been a huge benefit for us. These shoes are great for everyone, so convenient for everyone, we have great styles and looks for everyone, but it also is a perfect shoe for someone who is disabled like my son is.
Q: What was it like to put on your son’s shoes before he started wearing Kiziks?
A: Before we had Kizik shoes, we had to make sure the shoelaces weren’t tied too tight. He can’t even tell us if the shoelaces are too tight or if there’s a rock in his shoe or anything like that. He can’t do any of that kind of stuff. So we’ve had a couple times when we’ve put shoes on him and there are socks that have been in the shoe and he couldn’t tell us!
Q: What was the transition like when your son first started wearing Kiziks?
A: It was unique for him. He didn’t know what to do exactly at the beginning because usually he’s sitting on the couch and we’re trying desperately to get him to push his foot in to get the shoe on. Then, of course, he’s really anxious because we have to get him dressed the whole time and now he has to get his shoes tied. It took a little bit for him to understand “Oh, I can just push down, put the shoe on, and I’m done.” But after about a week, it became second nature to the point where if we put other shoes on, he probably wouldn’t understand what to do with them at this point.
Fry’s picks: Men's Prague in Black and Dusk Blue
Q: How has Kizik benefited your life?
A: My son Clark is 7 years old and he has autism. He’s pretty high-functioning but he has his routines, the things that he has to do, and he also has ADHD, so he’s kind of everywhere all at once. So with Clark’s autism and ADHD, he’s always on the go, moving from different activities, going from inside to outside. Having young kids on top of having Clark, it can be hard to be everywhere with him. When we did get him some Kiziks, it allowed him to have more independence, more freedom, to do the activities that he enjoyed doing but without having to have a parent or someone to help him at all times.
Q: How do Kiziks compare to other shoes you’ve tried for him?
A: We’ve been coming to the age where Clark would be able to tie his own shoes typically, but with his autism and his delay, that’s been a little difficult for him. We’ve used strap-on shoes and other things but they get beat up pretty quickly, pretty fast with how often he’s in and out of them. Kizik has been amazing because not only does he have the independence to put his shoes on himself, but they’ve stayed just as good as the day we got them.
Q: What does working at Kizik mean to you?
A: I love coming to work at Kizik because I get to work on something that directly has an impact on my own family and I know can make a big difference in any family, especially those with special needs and disabilities.
Tanner’s picks: Kids’ Prague in Black on Black, Kids’ Athens in Deep Sea
Love these shoes!
“Best shoes my autistic daughter has ever had! Comfortable, she loves the colors, and so easy for her to get shoes on with no help.”
- Debbie P.
These help my daughter with her independence!
“My daughter is 11 and has autism and she is so happy to have these shoes that she can put on all by herself! It truly gives her a little bit of independence that she needs at her age!”
- Halli W.
“My teenage son is high functioning autistic and these shoes are such a great find. He’s no good at tying shoes and needs orthotics so these shoes are perfect. No more dorky shoes for unique needs. Slick shoes for my slick kid instead.”
- Megan S.
“Greatest shoe ever! I bought them for my 3-year-old grandson who has autism. These shoes took away the frustration and hassle of getting ready in the morning. They gave him such a sense of independence, a much needed boost for him. I can't say enough. I could go on and on... Thanks, Kizik! I'm glad I found you. I have now ordered 5 pairs.””
- Lucia G.