If you are reading this, I probably sent you over here to read about a few things that might help with this new transition. 🙂
Here are just some stream-of-consciousness notes I had while thinking this through for my friend, Eabha.
If you wear the ExoSym and would like to contribute some notes, please reach out! This is 100% based on my experience as an ExoSym patient alone–what works for me may not work for all! At any rate, I hope you find this useful.
Wearing the Device:
- It may take your skin a few weeks to adjust to wearing the devices/socks all the time. If anything at all feels “off” with how the fit is, tell Ryan– especially while during your stay at the clinic!
- Use lots of nourishing lotion at night if you need it and let your feet breathe and soak and elevate. I sometimes put aquaphor or cbd oil/ salve on tender or inflamed spots since my ankle takes on so much pressure but your body may react completely differently because our gaits differ.
- Can be worn on bare leg but good to rinse with mild soap and warm water in shower after (feels weird to wear knee section bare legged but I’ve done it, don’t recommend haha)
- Spray down with rubbing alcohol every once in awhile, more frequently if it touches your skin
- Rinse off with fresh water after salt water exposure
- Ask Ryan for a brand of carbon fiber polish to buff out scratches. I think he said you can just get nail polish remover to take off any build up then seal with clear lacquer spray from home depot but double check!
- Your devices are super durable and you don’t need to treat them as extra fragile
- Take your time putting your devices on, making sure the heel of your shoe is secure properly before tying your laces. Play around with your laces, have somehow show you the heel lock if your feet feel loose at the back. Give yourself plenty of time to put them on every morning. Being in a hurry doesn’t work, I’ve tried haha.
Like the device, well fitted, well made, sustainable clothing seem like a better investment than buying thin, mass produced pants & socks all the time because they will get holes in them, they will pill quickly if not quality material… First few months of ExoSym life is expensive but worth every penny.
- With the knee piece, most pants at the thigh through the calf will have to go under your devices so always consider that when buying.
- The more breathable/drifit clothes you can find, the better since you will often wear whatever you have on for 10+ hours a day.
- High waisted skirts/dresses are pretty comfortable (guys, have you tried them??)
- Thicker pant legs should go on outside of ankle strap unless all the material can smoothly fit under without friction or “bunching up.”
- Find a pair of wide water proof “rain” pants that you can slide over your pants/devices when you need to stay dry. Northface, Aasics…. most outdoor stores should have them.
- Leggings are the answer.
- Jeans: go for tighter fit or wider bootleg cut if you can fit over device.
- Lulu Lemon for leggings.
- Gap for leggings/shorts
- Most merino wool socks with a high or mid- length ankle work well.
- Thicker socks tend to fair better than thin because less wear-down but still need to be breathable/cotton or wool.
- Smartwool socks: phd outdoor hiking style. They have lifetime warranty but have yet to fail me.
- Happy Socks are good & fun & cuteeee but more for casual/short timespan wear.
- REI merino wool
- Darn Tough Fox River
- Look for more leather or just a thicker material— you need to think about it constantly rubbing up against carbon fiber and if it doesn’t look like it will last a year long don’t get them.
- A neutral sole works for most, but ask Ryan what type of sole he wants you in. Every foot is different.
- Finding the right fit is frustrating. Don’t be discouraged, just keep trying different brands & widths.
- Dr. Martens- Airwair/Industrial work boot called the Winch NS black. All docs with a non slip sole are your best bet if you can find the right width.
- New balance 990 comes in black, gray, navy at South Sound Running in Tacoma but only black if you are wider than a 4E. Go there if you have time, they will fit you for your device & do split sizes!
- Nike: Air Monarchs.
- Lowa boots, Vasque boots, Keen boots have seemed to work for exosyms
- Uggs might be good house slipper option, make sure heel wedge fits comfortably.
- Minnetonka moccasins are cheaper but might work as a good tester.
Stores for Split Sizing:
- Nordstrom (Not Nordstrom Rack!)
- South Sound Running in Tacoma, WA
- Leki poles for walking.
- Yaktracks for snow/ice walking.
- Longer shoe laces may work better for an easier tie, some brands sell extra long lengths