Should Children Wear AFOs with their Soccer Cleats? – Find Out Now!
Parents frequently reach out and ask me if there is a soccer cleat that is capable of accommodating their child’s AFOs. The first thing I do is ask them if their medical professional recommends that their children wear AFOs with their soccer cleats. The reason I ask is that not all children must wear their AFOs when they play sports. In most cases, it depends on the degree of their foot condition.
If your medical professional advises that your child should wear AFOs during their soccer practices and games, I will show you the only soccer cleat style I have found to be deep and wide enough to accommodate AFOs. This cleat is also the only style available in extra wide widths (X-Wide).
I have fitted and tested several different shoe brands and styles at a children’s shoe store that focuses on helping children with “complicated” foot shapes as well as foot problems.
Kindly note that if you are in a rush you can go directly to the selection of the best soccer cleats for AFOs.
Unfortunately, most soccer cleats aren’t built to accommodate orthotics, especially an orthotic device that takes as much room as AFOs. Luckily, there is one specific soccer cleat I have found that has worked for many children who wear AFOs, and hopefully, it will work for your child as well!
Soccer Cleats for AFOs – They Must Provide These 2 Key Features!
1️⃣ Extra Depth
Cleats with extra depth allow the AFOs to fit deeply inside of the shoes which provides a better overall fit and increases comfort. Take a look at the image below for better visualization purposes. Do you notice how the soccer cleat on the right image is deeper compared to the soccer cleat on the left image? These cleats are the same size in length, but as you can see one cleat is a lot deeper than the other. This is a key feature to accommodate an AFO.
2️⃣ Round-Toe Boxes
This feature helps accommodate the AFOs inside of the cleats and prevents the front part of the AFO footplate from destroying the front part of the cleats. Most soccer cleats have narrower and pointier toe-boxes, and it’s really hard to find one that provides a rounded one. Take a look at the image below for better visualization purposes. Both soccer cleats are the same size in length, but do you notice how the cleat on the right has a rounded toe box compared to the cleat on the left?
Are Soccer Cleats Available in Wide or Extra Wide Widths?
The soccer cleat that I recommend is the only style available in extra wide widths. Some families are told that some cleats “run” or “fit” wider than others, but the style that I recommend is actually available in extra wide widths.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best soccer cleats for children who wear AFOs. Disclosure: Some links in this post may be affiliate links and we may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) when you click our links and make purchases.
Best Soccer Cleats for Children Who Wear AFOs
Make sure that you select these cleats in the extra wide width (x-wide) and remove the original insoles of the cleats to allow for extra space for the AFOs.
Keep in mind that how effective these soccer shoes will be for your child’s AFOs directly depends on how much space your child’s AFOs take, as some AFOs are built differently and take more space than others.
Are You Unsure About What Shoe Size You Should Order for the AFOs?
AFOs add more width than length, so if you get wider shoes that provide extra depth you won’t have to size up as much. Allowing children to play soccer in shoes that are too long can compromise their stability and make them more prone to falling.
I created a free resource for families from all over the world that helps them retrieve the exact shoe size they should order to accommodate their child’s AFOs.
Apply this Shoe Lacing Technique!
My coworker who has over 20 years of shoe fitting experience taught me the best way to tie shoes for children who wear orthotics. This shoe lacing technique is really effective because it secures the foot inside the shoes and prevents the AFOs from moving excessively inside the shoes.
Before I forget, I strongly recommend that you provide your child with a pair of well-padded socks to protect the feet and legs from rubbing against the AFOs.
Looking for Other Boot Recommendations? – Get a Personalized Suggestion
As far as soccer cleats are concerned, there are no other cleats that are wider or deeper than the ones I recommended above. However, do not hesitate to contact me if you are looking for a different pair of shoes for your child’s AFOs. You can ask your question in the comment section below or send me an email to:
Have you found a specific soccer cleat that worked well with your child’s AFOs? Let us know in the comment section below so other families can benefit from your experiences.