Q. A recently deceased relative left a number of shoes that she never wore in life. Can they be used or given to the needy?
A. On question 1780 we wrote; “Rabi Yehuda HaChosid writes on his Tzavaha (See Sefer Chasidim 454) not to wear the shoes of a deceased, and also not to donate them to others. Although Igrois Moishe (Y.D 3: 123) quotes that there are those who assert that it applies only to shoes made from an animal or a human that perished from a possible contagious disease, however, the minhag is to abstain from all.
There are Poskim that maintain that it only applies to the shoes that were worn at the time of death (Atzei Halebanon Y.D 46, Yalkut Yosef Avelus p. 385) or at the time the niftar was already ill. (Sheilas Shmuel 74, Mishmeres Sholom 60). Others maintain that it applies only to shoes worn during the thirty days prior to the death (Gesher Hachaim 1 p. ).
See Chashukei Chemed (Yebamos 104a) in regards to pidyon or the redeeming of these shoes as well as donating them to the needy, while the dying patient is still alive.
Mishpetei Uziel (9: 45) permits wearing shoes that were not used by the deceased.
Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is that one should follow the minhag and tradition of his family or community.”
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as revised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit’a