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Shoes that Fit AFO Braces – The Most Supportive and Deeper Children’s Shoes!

Afo Braces For Kids

Do you have a child that has been diagnosed with flat feet, overpronation, or low muscle tone? Has your physical or occupational therapist recommended that your child wears a pair of AFO braces and you are having a hard time finding shoes that can accommodate the braces?

AFO stands for an “Ankle Foot Orthotic” and it is a special brace that serves the purpose of controlling the motion of the ankle joint and also offer support to the foot. AFO braces take a look of space inside a shoe, but there are certain shoe styles that have proven to be able to accommodate them better, and I will show you which ones they are shortly.

I always explain to parents that the shoes and the orthotics work together in helping children walk and run straighter. This means that you can get a very supportive AFO brace, but if the shoes are not fitting properly, your child won’t get any of the benefits that the braces have to offer.

I am an expert when it comes to shoe fitting as I have worked at a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years, where we specialize in children with foot and leg problems, as well as in regular shoe fittings.

I have noticed that they key to properly fit a pair of AFO braces in kids’ shoes is to find shoes that  provide these 3 important features:

✅ Extra Depth

✅ Rounder Toe-Box

✅ Wider Opening

For example, the deeper the shoe is, the deeper the brace will fit inside the shoes. A shoe that provides extra depth helps prevent the top part of your kids’ feet (instep) from rubbing against the top part of the shoe, and it will also prevent your kids’ heels from moving up an down the shoes.

Let me prove this to you…

Let’s take a look at the two pictures below showing the difference between a deep pair of shoes versus one that is not. In the Nike shoe style (black and red) we can see how the orthotic is raised up and not fitting deep enough, and in the New Balance shoe style (blue and black) the orthotic is fitting deeply inside the shoe.

Nike Shoes With Orthotics

New Balance Shoes With Orthotics

In the image below, there is an orthotic fitted inside the shoes for better visualization purposes. Do you notice how the orthotic is fitting much deeper inside the New Balance shoe (image on the right) compared to the Asics shoe (image on the left)?

deep-shoes-for-kids

I always recommend parents to provide their kids with shoes that come with shoelaces instead of Velcro closure, especially if you need to fit a pair of AFO braces.

The main reason for this is that shoelaces provide better support and stability to your kids’ feet, and while most parents prefer to provide their kids with Velcro closure shoes, a pair of shoelaces will make a big difference in helping your child walk and run straighter. Shoelaces also help secure your kids’ heels against the back of the shoes, preventing them from moving up and down.

You should definitely consider taking that extra time and provide your child with a pair of shoelaces so your child can get the full benefits that the orthotics have to offer.

While I always recommend parents to take their children to their local children’s shoe store to be properly fitted for shoes, I have been helping parents find their kids’ shoes online for the last 5 years as most children’s shoe stores have been closing down.

Some of the most popular questions parents ask about their children’s AFO braces are:

  • Where can I buy shoes to fit my child’s AFO braces?
  • What’s the best shoe style to fit AFO braces?
  • Do I have to purchase two different shoe sizes?

I will provide you with an answer for each question, but before I show you a selection of the best shoes that fit AFO braces, let’s first take a look at what features these shoes will provide to your child’s feet.

shoes-for-kids-with-cerebral-palsy

Shoes that Fit AFO Braces – The 5 Most Important Features!

Let me expand on the 5 key features that your kids’ shoes must provide in order be able to accommodate the AFO:

✅Extra Depth: We went over this feature already.

✅Round Toe-Box: Shoes with rounder toe-boxes help prevent the brace from poking a hole in the front of the shoes.

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

✅ Substantial Sole: This feature helps cushion your kids’ feet and minimize the impact that your kids’ feet and legs take when they become in contact with the ground. A substantial sole will also hold the AFO brace in place.

✅Firm Heel Counter: The heel counter is the back part of the shoe that provides ankle support. This feature will cushion and protect your kids’ ankles and provide lateral stability and ankle support. If you are not sure where the heel counter of the shoe is located, please take a look at the picture below for clarification:

shoe-with-firm-heel-counter

If we find a shoe that provides all of those features, the AFO braces will fit perfectly inside your kids’ shoes. Let’s take a look at what benefits a pair of supportive shoes with AFO’s will provide for your child:

✅ Help correctly develop your kids’ feet, ankles and joints.

✅ Help your kids walk and run straighter and improve their posture.

✅ Prevent your kids from toe walking.

✅ Minimize the impact on your kids’ feet and legs when they are playing high intense activities.

✅ Help maintain balance.

✅ Reduce muscle strain and fatigue.

While a pair of AFO braces will provide all of those features to your child, there is something I want you to keep in mind: It doesn’t matter how many features a particular shoe style provides, if the shoes are not fitted properly, your child won’t get any of the benefits that the shoes have to offer.

I always recommend parents to take their children to be properly fitted for shoes at their local kids’ shoe store, the issue is that most stores have been closing down and parents don’t have a place to take their kids to be properly fitted for shoes.

Start by taking a look at a map I created where I describe the best children’s shoe stores by state. Please go to the link below.

The Best Kids’ Shoe Stores – Where To Go For Proper Fittings

If after looking at that map you still can’t seem to find a good fitting kids’ shoe store in your area, then take a look at an article I wrote where I describe the simplest, yet most effective way to figure out your child’s foot size from home:

How To Measure Kids Shoe Size From Home – In Less Than 30 Seconds!

Shoe Size Foot Length

Now that you know what features a good shoe must provide for your child’s feet and how to make sure that your child is wearing the correct shoe size, I will provide you with a selection of the best shoes that fit AFO braces.

Please keep in mind that I only write reviews of shoe styles that I have fitted before, so I can personally assess how well-made they are, the amount of support that they provide, and how well they fit.

 

The Best Shoes that Fit AFO Braces  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Below you can find a selection of the best shoes that fit AFO braces. All of these shoes provide the features that I mentioned above and come with a removable insole. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

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Shoes can fit short, long, narrow, or wide, and depending on how they fit you will need to adjust the size that you get for your child. In order to allow for growing room, I highly recommend that parents order this shoe style a half a size larger than the size their children’s feet measure. This translates to 0.3 inches or 0.7 centimeters of space between your child’s longest toe and the end of the shoes. However, because AFO braces take so much space inside the shoe, you should consider getting a whole size larger (0.6 inches or 1 centimeter).

If you have a baby who is just starting to walk  or a toddler that needs a pair of AFO braces, there is one particular shoe style that I have fitted before and has proven to work the best  for children who wear AFO braces.  You can find that shoe style below:

High TopHigh TopHigh TopHigh TopHigh TopHigh Top

In order to allow for growing room, I highly recommend that parents order this shoe style a half a size larger than the size their children’s feet measure. This translates to 0.3 inches or 0.7 centimeters of space between your child’s longest toe and the end of the shoes. However, because AFO braces take so much space inside the shoe, you should consider getting a whole size larger (0.6 inches or 1 centimeter).

The Best AFO Socks – Seamless and Breathable!

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

Why do I recommend this particular sock style for kids that wear AFO’s?

This type of sock is made with super soft materials and a design that includes a non-binding Halo Top, which eliminates irritating indentions, as well as reducing slippage on the legs.

If you have been looking for the perfect pair of socks for your child to wear with his or her AFO braces then you have found them right here. Please refresh your browser if you can’t see the recommendations.


Now that you know which are the best shoes and socks for AFO braces you are ready to make a better and more informed decision.

Please keep in mind that I recommend that your child wears the AFO braces only for an hour or so the first week. Each day try to keep them on a little longer until your child is ready to wear them around 75% of the day.

Have you found a particular pair of shoes that has worked well in accommodating your child’s foot brace? Please share your findings below so other parents can benefit from your experiences.

STOP BUYING THE WRONG PAIR OF SHOES FOR YOUR CHILDREN.LETS START TAKING CARE OF THEIR FEET!

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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