Double-Amputee Snowboarder Amy Purdy on the Shoe Brand She Can’t Live Without

Amy Purdy knows how to extract the good out of a challenging situation.

After suffering a severe bout of bacterial meningitis at 19 years old that caused doctors to amputate both of her legs below the knees, Purdy became an author, actress, motivational speaker and one of the top ranked Paralympic snowboarders in the world.

Among her accomplishments are a stint on the 2014 season of ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars,” where she was the show’s runner up; a “New York Times” best selling book, “On My Own Two Feet;” and two medals (a bronze and a silver) at the Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea in March. (She also won a bronze medal at the 2014 Paralympic Games.)

And last night Purdy may have added another achievement to her mantle: Convincing Camuto Group CEO Alex Del Cielo to never discontinue her favorite line of shoes.

“Vince Camuto is my favorite shoe brand ever — I came here just to tell them to never [stop making] these shoes,” Purdy told FN on the red carpet at the 40th AAFA American Image Awards in New York City. “Having two prosthetic legs — they’re the only shoes that really work for me. The heel height is perfect. I love the different styles they come out with every season — they’re strappy.”

Amy Purdy paralympics
Paralympian and motivational speaker Amy Purdy.
CREDIT: Courtesy

Purdy sported Vince Camuto “Eliaz” gladiator dress sandals in black at the event, which honored a handful of fashion’s who’s who including Camuto Group, which was dubbed Company of the Year.

“Having prosthetic feet — our feet don’t really look normal and they don’t really look real so it’s hard to wear an open-toe sandal,” Purdy added. “But I find that these shoes are very flattering for my feet. I buy them up every season. It’s the same heel height but they do different designs on the straps — they’re in every color. I buy them ahead of time because I get worried that some day they’ll discontinue them.”

vince camuto sandal
Vince Camuto’s “Eliaz” gladiator dress sandal.
CREDIT: Bloomingdale's

So what’s a girl to do when she finds herself in the same room as the man who runs the company that produces her life-changing sandal?

“When I walked in [tonight] I met [Camuto Group president Alex Del Cielo] and I said ‘you have to promise me, you won’t discontinue these shoes,’” Purdy said. “And he said ‘just because of you, we’ll never discontinue these shoes.’”

Achievement unlocked.

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