Has your physical or occupational therapist recommended that your child wears a pair of braces with his/her shoes? Do you need a pair of good, supportive shoes to fit your kids’ leg braces?
Do you know what a brace is? A brace is usually made of plastic and is worn on the lower leg and foot to support the ankles and hold the foot and ankle in the correct position in order to allow the child to walk and run straighter.
If you have been struggling with your child and taking him/her to almost every children’s shoe store trying to find shoes that fit the braces and can’t seem to find a single pair that works, this article is perfect for you.
The shoes and the braces work together to help your child walk and run straighter, which means that if you get a pair of good, supportive braces but you don’t get the correct type of shoes, your child won’t get any of the benefits that the braces have to offer.
Moreover, I am an expert when it comes to fitting shoes and orthotics since I have worked at a specialized children’s shoe store for 10 years. We specialize in children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fitting as well.
The reasons why your child might need a pair of leg braces are the following:
- Your child might be flat footed.
- Your child might have low muscle tone.
- Your child might have rolled ankles.
- Your child might be toe walking.
- Your child might be experiencing foot and leg pain.
When children are flat footed, have low muscle tone, rolled ankles, or are toe walking, they are putting more pressure in parts of their body where they are not supposed to, and so this leads to foot and leg pain.
If the braces are fitted with the correct type of shoes, your children will walk and run straighter, and the pain will be greatly reduced or fully eliminated.
Once I was done fitting children with braces and shoes, I would always take them outside in the hall, where I carefully watched them walk and evaluated whether the shoes and the orthotics were truly making a difference in the way they walked.
In my opinion, 90% of the time we will notice a difference right away, while the rest of the time the child just needed some extra time to adjust to how the braces and the new shoes felt.
Do not get stressed out if it takes your child a couple of days to adjust to the braces and shoes. It’s not easy to maneuver with the brace, there is a learning curve, but if this period lasts for more than a few days, make sure that the shoes are fitted properly and that they are not causing blisters or bruises in your child’s feet.
The shoes that you buy for your child and that have a brace must also come with SHOELACES instead of velcro closure, since they will be more SUPPORTIVE and DEEP. You can still provide your child with velcro closure shoes but it won’t be as beneficial to their feet and legs.
In this article I will describe the best shoes that fit braces and that will allow your child to walk and run straighter. But first let’s take a look at what features must the shoes provide.
Shoes that Fit Braces – What Features Must they Provide?
In order for your child to get the full benefits of the braces and the shoes, there are certain features that the shoes must have:
- The shoes must come with SHOLEACES: This type of closure will not only secure the braces and prevent them from coming up your child’s shoes, but they will provide more SUPPORT (they will hug your kids’ feet better), and they will also provide more STABILITY (the shoes will be tighter making your child feel more stable).
- The shoes must be SUPPORTIVE: This will minimize the impact that your child’s feet and legs take every time they come in contact with the ground. Supportive shoes will also hold the brace in place.
- The shoes must be DEEP: This feature will allow the brace to sit deeply inside the shoe and prevent giving your child the impression that his or her feet are coming out of the shoe. Deep shoes make a tremendous difference in the way braces and orthotics in general fit inside the shoes.
If we find a shoe that provides all of those features, the braces will fit perfectly, and you will notice a difference in the way your child walks and runs right away.
It’s important to keep in mind that shoelaces must be comfortably tight. If the shoelaces are not tied properly you will be defeating the whole purpose of the shoes and the braces.
There is a particular way to tie shoes with orthotics or braces that will lock your kids’ ankles and prevent them from moving up and down. You can learn about that shoe tying method in an article I wrote named:
Now that you know what features the shoes must provide, let’s take a look at a selection of the best shoes that fit braces.
The Best Shoes that Fit Braces – Keep your Kids’ Feet Healthy!
I only review shoes that I have fitted before, since that is the only way for me to know how the shoes actually FIT, and how well made the shoes are.
Here you can find a selection of the best shoes that fit braces:
All of these shoe styles fit “true to size”, which means that you need to go a half a size longer of the size that your child measures in the shoe measuring scale in order to allow space for the feet to grow. However, since you will be fitting a brace inside the shoes, you will have to get a whole size longer of the size that your child measures in the shoe measuring scale to accommodate for the brace and allow for growing room.
Braces take a lot of space inside the shoes, but the goal is to be able to fit the braces inside the shoes without getting the shoes too long.
Important TIP: Make sure you remove the inner sole of the shoe before you fit the braces inside the shoes.
Do you have a toddler that needs leg braces? There is a particular shoe style that has proven to be the most effective one for toddlers who needs braces.
This shoe style is supportive, but lightweight and flexible at the same time. It provides excellent support and it comes with a substantial sole to hold the brace in place. This is the most popular shoe style that I have fitted for toddlers who wear leg braces.
I always recommend parents to take their kids’ to be fitted for shoes and braces at their local children’s shoe store that they TRUST. However, I have been contacted by several parents who don’t have a place to take their kids’ to be fitted for shoes and must purchase their kids’ shoes online.
If you are one of those parents take a look at an article I wrote where I describe the most effective ways to find out your child’s shoe size:
Now that you know which are the best shoes that fit braces and how to make sure your child is wearing the correct shoe size, you are ready to make a better decision by being more informed.
In addition I want to help you find a pair of socks that will be comfortable for your child when wearing his or her braces. The shoes and the socks work together in keeping your kids’ feet healthy.
Kids’ Socks for Braces – Keep your Child Comfortable!
There are certain types of socks that will work better for a child that wears braces. They will cushion their feet and legs better than regular socks.
The type of socks that I have fitted for children that wear braces are soft, wicks perspiration, come with an anti-microbial fabric and have a heel free design that ensures a perfect fit.
Parents love these socks for their children because they eliminate irritating indentions, and they reduce slippage on the legs.
Remember that socks play an important role in keeping your kids’ feet healthy, since they act as a barrier between your kids’ feet and the shoes.
Here you can find a selection of the best socks for children who wear braces with their shoes:
Do you have a kid’s shoe store near your area that you can take your children to be properly fitted for shoes? Parents contact me on a daily basis to ask me if I can recommend them a good kids ‘shoe store near their area. If you happen to have one, kindly let us know in the comments section below so we can all benefit from your experience!