HEYDUDE Shoes for Kids Who Wear AFOs – Are They the Right Fit for Your Child?

AFOs play an essential role in providing support, stability, and improved mobility for a range of conditions affecting your child’s feet and legs. There are many shoe brands and styles out there, and you need to make sure that you provide your child with the correct pair of shoes as they can make all the difference in the effectiveness and comfort of these orthotic devices. I work for a specialized children’s shoe store where we fit children for supportive shoes and orthotics, and one common question I get asked by many families is whether HEYDUDE shoes are a good choice for kids who wear AFOs.

Parents and shoe fitters sometimes share differing views on whether HEYDUDE shoes are compatible with AFOs. Some claim the flexibility and ease of access of these shoes makes them a good match, arguing for their ease of use and adaptability. Others feel that the lack of a structured sole and adequate support renders them less optimal for children wearing AFOs.


HEYDUDE Shoes for Kids Who Wear AFOs: Pros and Cons

✔️ Lightweight: The shoes are known for their lightweight design.

✔️ Stylish: Casual and fashionable styles that are very hard to find for children who wear AFOs.

✔️ Ease of access: This is a non-negotiable feature for many parents.

❌ Not durable: The shoes tend to fall apart too quickly.

❌ Secure closures: The lace-free designs are not really able to securely hold the AFO in place.

The Importance of Shoe Durability

AFOs can cause more strain on shoes, and it’s essential to find supportive and durable shoes that can withstand the extra wear. Durability isn’t just about longevity; it’s about maintaining a consistent level of support over time. GETTING IT RIGHT the first time can save time and expenses in the long run.

The Role of Professional Shoe Fitters for AFO-Specific Recommendations

Finding the perfect shoe for a child wearing an AFO can be a mission filled with trial and error. That’s why getting expert advice from a professional shoe fitter might just be the game-changer you need.

I have fitted this specific shoe brand for families who request a lightweight shoe that is also stylish. While this shoe brand has some styles that are wide and deep enough to accommodate AFOs, the biggest downside is that the shoes tend to fall apart too quickly. Another concern I have is that the shoes are not really able to securely hold the AFO in place. I always explain these two key points to the families who visit the shoe store and then let them decide.

Please note that the goal of your child’s shoes should be to maintain the brace’s function and to ensure your child’s comfort over long periods. It’s important to keep an open mind when it comes to finding shoes for your kids’ AFOs.

HEYDUDE Shoes for Kids Who Wear AFOs – Get a Specific Shoe Recommendation

Without a doubt, children’s shoe needs can vary depending on their age, activity level, and any specific foot conditions they may have. If you would like specific HEYDUDE shoe recommendations please contact me via email with your child’s shoe size and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

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

Sizing is not just about comfort; it’s crucial for the effectiveness of the AFO and for maintaining healthy foot development in kids. A general rule of thumb is to go up one to two sizes to accommodate the brace, but it’s not a foolproof method. In fact, we want to stay as close to your child’s current foot size as possible. The largest size I had to go was two full shoe sizes bigger than the child’s current foot size. I strongly recommend to try to not go this long unless there is no other shoe that fits.

I created a free resource that has been helping families from all over the world determine what shoe size they need to order for their child’s AFOs. Once I get back to you with the shoe size you should order, I suggest that you compare my measurements with the HEYDUDE size chart.

A perfectly fitted shoe can prevent blisters, increase mobility, and make sure that the effectiveness of the AFO isn’t compromised. It’s about much more than just comfort—it’s about ensuring that your child can move as freely and confidently as possible.

Exploring Alternative Shoe Brands for AFO Support

These 4 key features: SUPPORT, STRAPS, WIDTH, and DEPTH— can make a world of difference in AFO compatibility. My go-to shoe brands are New Balance, See Kai Run, and Billy Footwear as they have made a name for themselves in the AFO community. As I list recommendations, I focus on more than just the brand names; I recommend specific styles that make each brand stand out. For example, not all shoes from the brands I mentioned above work well with AFOs, only specific styles.

To summarize, I recommend HEYDUDE shoes as a “fun” or “stylish” option to wear occasionally, but not as the primary shoe for your child’s AFOs. HEYDUDE shoes are often designed with a wider toe box, which can be beneficial for AFO wearers, but they’re not specifically tailored for orthotic devices. So, HEYDUDE shoes might not be the perfect fit for every kid with AFOs.