Skip to main content

Adaptive Clothing: Adapted Clothes Information and Suppliers

  • Published: 2015-03-25 (Revised/Updated 2018-01-11) : Author: Disabled World : Contact:
  • Synopsis: Information on adaptive clothing designed for people with disabilities and seniors, includes list of best stores that sell adapted clothes online.

Quote: "Adaptive clothing should benefit the wearer both physically and psychologically, quality clothing often makes us feel good about ourselves, promoting a sense of wellbeing."

Main Document

What is Adaptive Clothing?

Adaptive clothing are garments designed with medical function in mind for post-surgery patients, the disabled, elderly, rehabilitation patients, special needs children and adults, people with arthritis, stroke victims etc. Adapted clothes provide easy access to body parts without removing the entire garment, and make it easier to change or remove clothing.

Adaptive clothing, or adapted clothes, are defined as clothing, garments and footwear specially designed for people with physical disabilities, the elderly, the infirm and post surgery patients who may have difficulty dressing themselves due to an inability to manipulate closures, such as buttons and zippers, or due to a lack of a full range of motion required for self dressing eg. arthritis sufferers, quadriplegics and paraplegics. Adapted clothing also makes dressing and undressing patients easier for caregivers, nurses, and hospice staff, and provide nonrestrictive comfort to the wearer.

There are many styles and medical purposes for disabled clothing - mostly garments with zippers that provide access to parts of the body that would otherwise require the clothes to be removed entirely. With adaptive clothing, a disabled or elderly patient can retain dignity, can provide some level of self-care, and experience the added comfort of quicker access to medical appliances and needs for both them and for a nurse or physician.

Who Wears Adaptive Clothing?

Over fifty-five million people in the United States have some kind of disability, some of them with challenges requiring a high level of care by others. Most people in any walk of life know someone who has a disability, and many of these disabilities can make even simple tasks like getting dressed very difficult. Medical adaptive clothes are useful for those with limited mobility (temporary or permanent) and medical conditions including: the elderly, the disabled, post-surgery needs, nursing homes, special needs, joint therapy, incontinence, fitness needs, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, stroke victims, arthritis victims, and others.

What to Look For

Orthopedic Shoes - Adaptive/Adapted Footwear

Woman wearing comfortable adaptive clothes
About This Image: Woman wearing comfortable adaptive clothes
Orthopedic shoes are specially-designed footwear to relieve discomfort associated with many foot and ankle disorders, such as blisters, bunions, calluses and corns, hammer toes, plantar fasciitis, or heel spurs. They may also be worn by individuals with diabetes or people with unequal leg length. These shoes typically have a low heel, tend to be wide with a particularly wide toe box, and have a firm heel to provide extra support. Some may also have a removable insole, or orthotic, to provide extra arch support.

The most commonly prescribed external therapeutic shoe modification are Rocker profiles, used to afford pressure relief for the plantar surface of the foot, to limit the need for sagittal plane motion in the joints of the foot, and to alter gait kinetics and kinematics in proximal joints.

Diabetic shoes and socks, also referred to as extra depth, therapeutic shoes or Sugar Shoes, are specially designed shoes, or shoe inserts, intended to reduce the risk of skin breakdown in diabetics with co-existing foot disease. The diabetic shoes and custom-molded inserts work together as a preventative system to help diabetics avoid foot injuries and improve mobility. Socks for people with diabetes are usually designed to be form-fitting and seamless in order to eliminate any potential sources of irritation. The socks might have fibers with some anti-microbial or anti-fungal properties, yet for the most part their main purpose is to not make foot issues related to diabetes any worse.

In the United States, diabetic shoes can be covered by Medicare. Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers the furnishing and fitting of either one pair of custom-molded shoes and inserts or one pair of extra-depth shoes each calendar year. Medicare also covers 2 additional pairs of inserts each calendar year for custom-molded shoes and 3 pairs of inserts each calendar year for extra-depth shoes. Medicare will cover shoe modifications instead of inserts. (

Purchasing Online or Overseas?

For those wishing to buy cheaper adaptive clothing - or even standard shoes and clothes items - from China, Japan, Mexico etc. be sure to study our Male and Female Clothes Size Conversion Charts before ordering, as international standards regarding clothing sizes vary from country to country.

Best Online Stores to Purchase Adaptive Clothing

Listed below are some of the better trusted stores that sell a large variety of adaptive clothing both online, and in bricks and mortar shops, they also provide product shipping and delivery right to your door.

United States


Adaptive Clothing Tax - Adaptive clothing in Quebec is exempt from federal and provincial tax when prescribed by a physician.

Europe & U.K.


Down Syndrome Clothing

Clothing for Amputees


Designing and Making Adaptive Clothing at Home



• Have your say! Add your comment or discuss this article on our FaceBook Page.

Similar Topics

1 : Tetra Nation Tackles Barriers to Accessibility : Matthew Wild.
2 : Sonic Alert Day and Time Clock Helps Memory Loss Patients Know What Day It Is : Harris Communications, Inc..
3 : Researching Ways to Assist Drivers with Autism : University of Virginia Health System.
4 : University of Michigan Engineering Students Creating Technology for Blind Teen : University of Michigan.
5 : Controlling Robotic Arm with Brain Power : University of Minnesota.
From our Assistive Technology section - Full List (53 Items)

Submit disability news, coming events, as well as assistive technology product news and reviews.

Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.

Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.

List of awareness ribbon colors and their meaning. Also see our calendar of awareness dates.

Blood Pressure Chart - What should your blood pressure be, and information on blood group types/compatibility.

1 : 20 New Episodes of Letters to Lynette with Dr. Lynette Louise to Air on The Autism Channel in 2018
2 : Turnstone Center Designated as Official Paralympic Training Site by US Olympic Committee
3 : Help Your Child in School by Adding Language to The Math
4 : 50% of Retirees Saw Little or No COLA Increase in Net 2018 Social Security Benefits
5 : Turnstone Endeavor Games Concludes with National Records Broken
6 : Spinning in Circles and Learning From Myself by Tsara Shelton
7 : St. Louis HELP Medical Equipment Donation Drive Generates Record-Breaking Results
8 : People Who Snore Suffer from Palate Nerve and Muscle Damage

Disclaimer: This site does not employ and is not overseen by medical professionals. Content on Disabled World is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. See our Terms of Service for more information.

Reporting Errors: Disabled World is an independent website, your assistance in reporting outdated or inaccurate information is appreciated. If you find an error please let us know.

© 2004 - 2018 Disabled World™