Best Mary Jane Shoes for Kids Who Wear AFOs – Stylish and Easy to Get On & Off!

I have been contacted by many parents who feel heartbroken when they see the disappointment on their kids’ faces when not a single pair of the fashionable and cute shoes that they want to wear can accommodate the shape of their ankle-foot orthoses (AFO). I am going to show you a selection of the best Mary Jane shoes for kids who wear AFOs based on my 10 years of shoe fitting experience.

Most off-the-shelf Mary Jane shoes are not created for children who need to wear AFOs. In fact, there is only a small selection of Mary Jane shoes that will be able to accommodate your kids’ AFOs.

What Are AFOs?

An AFO is a brace that is usually made of plastic, and worn on the lower leg and foot to support the ankle. An AFO will help correct your child’s overall posture or other biomechanical problems with the foot by holding the foot and ankle in the correct position. The issue is that finding stylish shoes that accommodate all the extra space that an AFO takes can be a frustrating and time-consuming experience if you don’t know what shoe styles to look for.

Most parents who have children who need to wear AFOs can agree that shopping for their kids’ shoes has never been an easy task, and most of them hate the idea of going into the stores to find shoes. I have heard several stories of many parents who needed to go from store to store looking for a pair of shoes that their children would agree to wear and that would also fit the AFOs.

Pro Tip: If you’re pressed for time and want to jump directly to the selection of the best Mary Jane shoes for kids who wear AFOs, you can click here.

What Shoe Companies Manufacture Mary Jane Shoes for AFOs?

The good news is that there are two shoe companies that manufacture stylish Mary Jane shoes specifically for kids who wear AFOs. Stride Rite and Memo are the only two shoe companies that I have found that manufacture Mary Jane shoes that will actually work with AFOs.

Several parents have told me how for little girls, being able to wear a pair of cute Mary Jane shoes is such a big deal and how they never thought that shoe shopping would be such an emotionally charged (and usually tear-driven) experience.

Stop Buying Bigger Shoes to Accommodate Your Child’s AFOs

One of the most common mistakes I see parents make is to provide their children with longer shoes to accommodate their AFOs. Wearing shoes that are too long will compromise your child’s stability and make your child more prone to developing foot issues. Another common mistake is assuming that a shoe that is labeled extra wide will automatically fit the shape of the AFO.

Before I show you a selection of the best Mary Jane shoes for kids who wear AFOs, I want to first describe what features these Mary Jane shoe styles provide.

There are 3 key features that your kids’ Mary Jane shoes must provide to accommodate an AFO and most parents are not even aware of:

1️⃣ Extra Depth: This feature allows your kids’ AFOs to fit deeply inside your kids’ shoes and prevent the top part of your kids’ feet from rubbing against the top part of the shoes. Shoes that provide extra depth help prevent your child from getting the impression that their feet are coming out of the shoes as they walk.

2️⃣ Rounder Toe-Boxes: This feature helps prevent the AFOs from poking a hole in the front of the shoes.

3️⃣ Wider Opening: This feature helps prevent you from having to shove your child’s foot in the shoes every time you have to put your kids’ shoes on.

4️⃣ Removable Insoles: This feature helps allow extra space when fitting the AFOs inside the shoes.

The Mary Jane shoes that I recommend provide all these 4 important features. Now that you know what features these shoes provide you are ready to take a look at the best Mary Jane shoes for kids who wear AFOs.

Some of the Mary Jane shoes below come equipped with a thermoplastic rigid heel counter with excellent ankle support. 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.

The Best Mary Jane Shoes for Kids Who Wear AFOs

If you feel like your child can benefit from wearing an AFO inside these Mary Jane shoes then you can definitely fit the AFO inside them.

Now you can finally provide your girl with a pair of the fashionable Mary Janes she always wanted!

The Best Socks to Wear with AFO Braces – Soft & Seamless 

There are certain types of socks that are thick enough to prevent your children from getting blisters or red spots from their AFOs. They work much better than traditional socks.

If your child is wearing AFO braces there is a particular type of seamless sock that is soft, durable, wicks perspiration, comes with an anti-microbial fabric and has a heel-free design that ensures a perfect fit.

This type of sock is made with super soft materials and a design that includes a non-binding Halo Top, which eliminates irritating indentions and also reduces slippage on the legs. Below you can find a selection of the best socks to wear with AFO braces:


What Are the Best Sneakers, Sandals, and Boots for Kids Who Wear AFOs?

If you are looking for a different type of shoe to accommodate your child’s AFO such as sandals or boots you are in luck, as I have created several resources for children who wear AFOs.

Do not hesitate to contact me if you are having trouble finding a particular shoe style for your child, it’s highly likely that I have fitted it before, and I will help you find it:

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