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


Editor’s Note: This post has been updated and revised for accuracy on April 2022 and reflects an up-to-date selection of shoes that fit AFO braces.

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? I have put together a selection of the best shoes that fit AFO 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 offers support to the foot. AFO braces take a lot of space inside a shoe, but certain shoes have proven to be able to accommodate them better, and I will show you which ones they are shortly.

The most common mistake that I see parents make when buying shoes for their kids who wear AFOs is to simply increase the shoes they normally buy by two or more sizes. You need to look for shoes that provide extra depth instead of getting bigger shoes.

Another common mistake is to fall under the misconception that children don’t need good supportive shoes because the AFO will do all of the work. This is false.  I always explain to parents that the shoes and the orthotics work together in helping children improve their walking gait, stability, and muscle strength. 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.

My Experience Fitting Children’s Shoes and Orthotics

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 the 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 and down the shoes.

Let me prove it to you!

Let’s take a look at the difference in depth between two shoes that are the same length and width. 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)?


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 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.

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 provide to your child’s feet.


Let’s take a look at what benefits a pair of supportive shoes with AFO’s can 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.

For your child to get the full benefits that the shoes and AFOs have to offer, you need to provide your child with the correct shoe size. To do this, you need to know your child’s exact foot size.

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.

How to Retrieve Your Child’s Exact Foot Length and Shape

Start by taking a look at a resource 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 resource 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 Your Kids’ Foot – 2 Simple Steps to Determine Foot Length and Foot Width

In that article I help parents determine their child’s exact foot size and whether the child has narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide feet. I also will be able to tell you whether your child has a high instep or not.


I recommend that your child wears the AFO braces only for an hour or so during 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.

I only write reviews of shoes 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.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best shoes that fit AFO braces. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

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

These shoes are available in medium(M), wide (W), and extra wide (XW) widths. All of these shoes also come with removable insoles.

Unsure About What Shoe Size You Should Order?

AFO braces take extra space inside the shoes, so you should consider getting a whole size larger (3/8 of an inch or 0.8 centimeters) of your child’s foot size.

Do not hesitate to contact me if you are having trouble finding a different pair of shoes to accommodate your child’s braces:


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, durable, wicks perspiration, comes with an anti-microbial fabric and has 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 reduces 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.


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.

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

Let me go over the 5 key features that the shoes I recommended provide:

✅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 Outsole: 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.

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


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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