ShoeDini review: Not a joke, but maybe it ought to be

The Product: ShoeDini
The Price: $14.99 plus $6.99 shipping and handling
The Claims: Takes the back-breaking work out of putting on shoes.
Buy-O-Meter Rating: 2 out of 5

ShoeDini is a great name for a shoehorn-on-a-stick that promises to take the back-breaking, soul-sapping work out of putting on shoes.

But it's hard to take ShoeDini's claims seriously. The gadget's ear-splitting infomercial, featuring the grating Gilbert Gottfried, sounds more like parody than pitch.

For the sake of argument, let's agree that some folks can't bend down to slip on their wingtips and could use some mechanical help.

ShoeDini features a 3-foot wand tipped with a plastic shoehorn and built-in clip. Pull open the handle, slip the clip over the heel of your shoe, and slide in your foot.

Sounds easier than it is.

ShoeDini's long handle reaches the shoe, but the clip has trouble latching onto the backs. Even though the product claims to work with every style, I had trouble hooking that sucker onto my 3-inch heels, sling-backs and slip-ons. And once I got the first shoe on, I had to balance stork-like on one foot while I stabbed the other.

ShoeDini claims to help people with limited mobility. I asked a friend disabled by multiple sclerosis to try ShoeDini and see if it made her life easier: It didn't.

My 6-foot-4-inch husband, who has a bad back and hates to bend, had no trouble hooking ShoeDini onto the stiff heel of his loafers. He likes the shoehorn and thinks it's a bargain at $8.95.

Unfortunately, ShoeDini costs $22 when you include shipping and handling.

Bottom line?

ShoeDini makes a great gag gift: The name alone is good for a laugh.

But if putting on shoes is truly a challenge, SIT IN A CHAIR.

Don't stand for ShoeDini, whose reach exceeds its grasp.
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