Are Vans Shoes Appropriate for Kids Who Wear AFOs?

Do you have an older child who wears AFOs and has been asking you for a trendy shoe such as Vans? Maybe you saw a pair of Vans shoes that you like at an affordable price and are wondering whether they might work for your child’s AFOs? I have been fitting children’s shoes for many years (over a decade of experience), and at the shoe store where I work, we help hundreds of children who wear AFOs find the correct pair of shoes. I am confident that I will be able to help your child as well!

Vans Shoes for AFOs – What Does Your Medical Professional Recommend?

Some families are told by their doctors which specific shoes they should get for their child’s AFOs. However, most families are not told and have no clue what shoes to get and end up wasting a lot of time and money having to return the shoes back and forth.

In my experience, children can wear Vans shoes with their AFOs but this directly depends on what specific brace your child wears and what specific shoe style your child likes as each style of Van’s fits differently.

Does It Matter If You Get a High-Top or Mid-Top?

Not really. Some parents assume that high-top shoes are more supportive than regular shoes. However high-top shoes don’t necessarily provide better support or stability compared to mid-top shoes.

Are Vans Better Than Converse?

Between these two shoe brands, I prefer Vans as they tend to have sturdier outsoles and they hold up a lot better compared to Converse shoes.

The Best Vans Shoes for Children Who Wear AFOs

The list I have put together below are the Vans shoes I have tried at the shoe store where I work and have worked well for different types of AFOs. Disclosure: Some links in this post may be affiliate links and we may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) when you click our links and make purchases.

Don’t forget to remove the original insoles of the Vans shoes before placing the AFOs inside the shoes.

Read This If You Got a Pair of Vans Shoes with Laces

If you end up getting a pair of Vans shoes with laces just put them on without laces (just for the first time), lace them while on and they will stretch out so you won’t have to do that again. This is an awesome trick that a lot of families have found really helpful.

How to Figure Out Exactly What Shoe Size to Order for Your Child’s AFOs?

I understand that most families don’t have a specialized children’s shoe store in their area where they can take their children to be properly fitted for shoes. If you identify with this, you should take advantage of a free resource I created where I help families figure out exactly what shoe size they should order to accommodate their child’s AFOs.

The most common mistake that I see families make is to buy shoes that are overly large for the AFOs. Shoes that are bigger than a whole size and a half (half an inch or 1.3 centimeters) will compromise your child’s stability and defeat one of the main purposes of the AFOs: to improve the child’s stability.

Are Vans Slip-On Shoes an Option As Well?

No kind of slip-on shoe works well with AFOs. Slip-on shoes don’t provide any type of support or stability, and they also don’t have the depth needed for the AFOs to fit inside the shoes.

What Are My Top Shoe Recommendations for Children Who Wear AFOs?

Getting the correct type of shoe for your child’s AFOs is extremely important to enhance your child’s function and increase comfort. If you don’t fit your child’s AFOs in the correct type of shoes, your child won’t get any of the benefits that the AFOs have to offer. 

Over the years I have been lucky to help hundreds of children find the perfect pair of shoes with their AFOs. I have tried many different shoe styles and shoe brands. Based on my shoe fitting experience, I created a different resource that will show you a list of deep and adaptable shoes for AFOs.

I also created an additional resource in case you are wondering which socks work best with AFOs.

Get in Touch for a Personalized Suggestion

Without a doubt, children’s shoe needs can vary depending on their age, activity level, and any specific foot conditions they may have. The type of AFO that your child wears also has a direct impact on which shoes might work best. Do not hesitate to contact me and I will show you some alternatives: fittingchildrensshoes@gmail.com

Let me know in the comments section below if you have found a specific pair of Vans shoes that worked well for your child’s AFOs. I am sure other families will benefit from learning about your experiences.