Are you having a hard time finding a pair of stylish boots to accommodate your child’s AFOs? Do you feel like you try a whole bunch of different boot styles but you always end up empty handed?
Most people who wear AFO agree that the biggest challenge has always been shoes. One of the most frustrating things about having a child that wears AFOs is how hard it is to find shoes that fit.
People truly have no clue what other parents go through to buy something so simple such as shoes for their children that need to wear AFOs until they have to do it themselves.
I have seen parents try several different hacks to make the shoes accommodate the AFOs, such as removing the original soles and the tongue of the shoes. This might work for your child’s regular sneakers, but it won’t work for other type of footwear such as boots or Mary Janes.
As you may know, an AFO is a brace (usually made of plastic) worn on the lower leg and foot to support the ankle, hold the foot and ankle in the correct position and correct foot-drop or other biomechanical problems with the foot.
AFOs can do wonders in improving your child’s feet, legs, knees, hips, and their overall posture, but finding footwear to accommodate the AFOs is another story.
Finding a pair of boots for a child who needs to wear a pair of AFOs can be a frustrating and time-consuming experience if you don’t know what shoe styles to look for. Most boots are just simply not designed with orthotics in mind, meaning that they are not wide or deep enough to accommodate all the extra space that a pair of AFOs take inside the shoes.
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 children with foot and leg pain, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well.
Since I have been fitting orthotics for so long, I am familiar with which shoe brands and which shoe styles among those brands accommodate orthotics better than others.
Families used to bring different boot styles to the store to see if they would work with their child’s AFOs. I tried removing the original insole of the boots and stretching the widest part of the boot, but none of those hacks were successful.
Several parents have told me how they tried short boots, tall boots, cowboy boots, rain boots, duckies, and they all fell flat. Most children’s shoe companies seem to simply not care about children who require special shoes to accommodate their AFOs. It’s cheaper for them to manufacture shoes that come in a standard width to accommodate most foot shapes and save money.
It’s important for your children to be able to wear shoes that express confidence. For some children, this involves wearing shoes that are able to hide the AFO, but I recommend parents to explain their children how the AFO should not hinder self-expression.
Children who wear AFOs want to be as fashionable as their peers. They often struggle with balancing their need to wear fashionable shoes with the clinical need for AFOs. Children lament how having to wear AFOs limit their ability to express themselves through the clothes that they wear.
I have seen parents at the store emphasize to their kids how the AFOs will greatly improve their function, and how that is the most important thing to keep in mind. However, I believe that most parents agree that it should not be this difficult to find shoes that fit!
Fortunately, there is a shoe company out there that understands the struggle that parents and children go through when trying to find stylish shoes to accommodate the AFOs.
Gracious May is the most effective and proven shoe company that manufactures stylish shoes for children who wear AFOs. Their selection of boots is fully customized to fit your child’s feet and AFOs measurements, meaning that will be able to accommodate most type of orthotics out there from AFO, KAGO, DAFO and SMO braces.
One of the most common mistakes parents make when buying boots for their children who wear AFOs is buying boots that are too long in size in order to allow for extra space for the AFO. This will end up compromising your child’s stability and making your child more prone to falling down. Boots that are too long will also allow your child’s feet to move too much inside the boots, and that constant movement and friction between your child’s feet and the shoes might lead to blisters, calluses, and corns.
I have tested these boots in several kids before and they work so well because they are deep, come with a zipper opening on the back, and they are custom made to your child’s measurements.
Before I show you a selection of the best boots for AFO braces, I want to first show you what features these boots will provide.
Stylish Boots for AFOs – The 3 Most Important Features!
I have found that in order for your kids’ boots to be able to accommodate an AFO they need to provide the 3 following features:
✅ Extra Depth: This feature will allow the AFOs to fit deeply inside the boots and prevent the top part of your kids’ feet from rubbing against the top part of the boots.
✅ Round Toe-Box: This feature will prevent the AFO from poking a hole in the front of the shoes and prevent your kids’ toes from rubbing against the side or boots.
✅ Wider Opening: These boots come with a zipper in the back of the boots that will prevent you from having to struggle every time it’s time to put your kids’ boots on. Shoes with wider openings make a huge difference when trying to fit an AFO inside the boots.
Now that you know what features these boots will provide, you are ready to take a look at a selection of the best boots for AFO braces.
The Best Boots for AFO Braces ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Please keep in mind that I only review shoe styles that I have fitted before, since that’s the only way for me to tell how well-made the shoes are, the amount of support that they provide, and how they fit.
Here you can find a selection of the best boots for AFO braces:
Children have an easier time accepting the AFO when they start noticing how the device normalizes their gait, improves their stability and function. This might overcome some of the cosmetic challenges.
Now you won’t have to upsize 2 sizes anymore to have your children wear shoes with their AFOs!
I have been contacted by several families and parents always tell how it breaks their heart when their children ask them about pretty shoes to wear with their dresses. Your child should be able to wear his/her shoes proudly!
Gracious May is fantastic to deal with in many ways. Never hesitate to ask them a question, since they are always trying to help parents find the perfect pair of shoes for their children and make the shopping experience easy instead of stressful.
Gracious May boots are fashionable, functional, and adaptable!
Have you found a particular stylish boot that has worked well in accommodating your child’s AFOs? Please share your findings below so other parents can benefit from your experiences!