My daughter has one leg shorter than the other. She wants pretty shoes but we are limited to certain types (closed toe, for example) that can be built up by shoemaker. Is there any other option? Doing without the lift isn't possible.

Traditionally, shoes are built up to accommodate the longer leg. As you say, this limits the type of shoe that women can wear because it has to be able to support the higher lift. However, there is a way to adjust the shoes so that they are changed, cut down, to accommodate the shorter leg, instead.

Researchers describe the procedure as follows:

Find a pair of shoes with a thick sole. They were very popular in the 1970s and are coming back again. They're not quite platform shoes, but they are thicker. Make sure the sole is a type of material that can be cut, rubber is the most common. Brace the shoe in a vice at the toe after you have protected the toe with a covering, so it doesn't get scratched up. Mark how low you want the shoe to be, drawing a line along the sole of the shoe. Using a serrated knife, cut the rest of the sole off. You'll have to remove the shoe from the vice after you get half way down.

Once you're done, rinse off the debris and, using a Dremel tool, you can engrave ridges like the other shoe, to provide traction.

This technique can be done on any shoe with the right sole, including sandals and open toes.

Reference: 

Eric W. Tan and Simon C. Mears. Cut to fit: a simple solution for fashionable shoe lift. In Current Orthopaedic Practice. January/February 2010. Vol. 21. No. 1. Pp. 94 to 95.

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