The challenge was to adapt the tricycle pedals so that the client’s feet could be strapped securely. The adaptive sandals ensure that the client’s feet stay in place when being pushed so gets the benefits of the movement, but they also enable him to push forward himself as his strength improves.
The client’s mother had tried strapping his feet to the pedals but it was impractical since the straps would eventually become loose or get entangled with the wheel. There was no commercially available solution on the market that they could find.
The DIY solution found on the web looked ideal because it was very adaptive and easily transferable to another tricycle. Also, the design allows for the foothold to be applied securely without tools and without damaging the tricycle.
I created wooden sandals by cutting out wooden shoe soles from a panel of 10mm scrap plywood. I used the child’s shoe as a reference and made it 10% bigger to future-proof it as the child grows. I then attached wooden bars via carriage bolts and wing nuts to secure the sandals to the pedals.
I then sourced suitable plastic “half cups” to use as heel stoppers. I found an inexpensive polypropylene pencil holder that fit perfectly and used the two ends to create the two heel stoppers.
Finally, I applied velcro straps that would follow the natural curvature of the top of the foot. I made sure that the “hooks” side faced outwards away from the ankle.
The sandals allow natural use of the tricycle to exercise, be outdoors and socialise with other children. The footholds are inconspicuous and can be decorated to be more appealing to children.