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Affordable Shoes for Children Who Wear AFOs – Sneakers, Sandals, and Boots!


Does your child wear ankle-foot orthoses (AFOs) and the only shoes that accommodate the braces are on the higher end? Are you looking for a pair of affordable shoes that are supportive, durable, easy to get on and off, and can accommodate your child’s AFOs at the same time? There are several affordable shoe brands and styles that are suitable for children who wear AFOs, and I am going to help you find them! In this resource, I am going to show you a list of the most affordable shoes for children who wear AFOs.

My Experience Helping Kids Who Wear AFOs – 10 Years of Shoe Fitting Experience

I have been fitting children’s shoes and orthotics for the last 10 years, working for a specialized children’s shoe store that focuses in helping children with foot and leg problems. Many physical and occupational therapists refer children who wear AFOs to the shoe store that I work for to be fitted for the correct types of shoes.


Affordable footwear options are not as limited as you think, but it takes time and experience to understand what shoes work best with AFOs. By the way, I am not here to restrict the type of shoes your child should wear with his/her AFOs. I understand how important it is for children to be able to wear shoes that they like, but at the same time, I feel I have a responsibility to tell you if a shoe is doing more damage than good. You are investing money and time in AFOs so you might as well get the full benefits that the AFOs have to offer.

Affordable Shoes for AFOs – How Much Are You Willing to Pay?

It is a fact that what may be considered “cheap” for one person may be “expensive” for another. In my opinion, a pair of cheap, yet high-quality shoes that can fit AFOs should cost around 40 to 50 dollars. To some parents, this might sound like more money than what they want to pay for their kids’ shoes, but remember, shoes still need to provide good support to your kids’ feet.

It’s important to note that the type of AFO and the child’s specific foot and leg needs will determine the most appropriate shoe style. It may be helpful to consult with a pediatrician or a foot and ankle specialist to determine the best shoe options for your child.

3 Key Features of the Affordable Shoes that I Recommend

When choosing shoes for children who wear ankle-foot orthoses (AFOs), it is important to consider the following factors:

1️⃣ FIT

It is especially important for children’s shoes to fit well, as their feet are still growing and developing. Shoes that are too tight or too loose can cause foot pain and other problems. All of the shoes that I recommend provide round toe-boxes and extra depth to accommodate the AFOs.



Cushioned shoes provide a stable base of support for the AFOs and can help absorb shock and reduce the impact on your child’s joints.



This feature allows parents to easily slide the AFO inside the shoes so they don’t have to struggle every time they have to put on the AFOs.


Affordable Shoe Brands for Children Who Wear AFOs

Some well-known shoe brands that may offer shoes suitable for children wearing AFOs include:

  • Stride Rite
  • New Balance
  • See Kai Run
  • Ikiki
  • Billy

Please note that not all shoes from those shoe brands have the same price points, and some models are capable of accommodating AFOs a lot more effectively than others.

Most Affordable Shoes for Children Who Wear AFOs

I have fitted all of the shoes that I recommend below at the shoe store that I work for, and I can confidently tell you that they work well for most AFOs. With that said, how effective the shoes below will be for your child’s AFOs directly depends on the AFO that your child wears and his or her foot shape.

How to Order the Correct Shoe Size for Your Child’s AFOs

Choosing the correct type of shoes in the correct size is the only way your child will get the full benefits of the AFOs. Most families make the common mistake of ordering their children’s shoes too big, which might end up compromising the child’s stability and defeat the whole purpose of wearing AFOs. I created a free resource that has been helping families from all over the world retrieve what shoe size they should order for their child’s AFOs:

How to Get the Correct Shoe Size for Your Child’s AFOs – Follow These 2 Simple Steps!

Make sure that you can return the shoes that you order online for free. All of the shoes I recommended have links to online retailers that offer free shipping and free returns.

In addition to the shoe styles that I mentioned above, it may also be helpful to check with local specialty shoe stores or orthopedic supply stores, as they may have a wider selection of shoes that are suitable for children with AFOs. It is a good idea to have your child try on several different pairs of shoes and walk around in them before making a purchase to ensure that they are comfortable and supportive for your child.

If you are unsure whether you have a specialized children’s shoe store in your area I suggest that you take a look at the resource below:

The Best Kids’ Shoe Stores in the United States – Where to go for Proper Fittings

Are There Any Other Shoe Options for AFOs?

Yes, there are. The list I provided you with showcases the most affordable shoes that work well with AFOs. With that said, there are other shoes out there that can accommodate AFOs. There might not be as affordable as the ones I recommended above but they will definitely fit the AFOs:

Best Shoes for Kids with AFOs – Stop Buying Bigger Shoes to Accommodate the AFOs!

If you want specific shoe recommendations do not hesitate to contact me and I will show you some alternatives: 


Let me know in the comments section below if you have found a specific affordable shoe style that worked well for your child’s AFOs. I am sure other families will benefit from reading about your findings!


I created this webpage to help parents understand the importance that shoes have in healthy foot development and how they can prevent foot problems in the future.Join the rest of the parents who are taking care of their kids feet and get my guide for free: 10 Mistakes Parents Must Avoid When Buying Shoes for their Kids.

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Shoe Sizing Chart

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