Have you been looking for a functional, comfortable, and yet fashionable shoes for your child to wear with an ankle-foot orthoses (AFO)? While shopping, are you constantly challenged to fit your children’s AFOs over stylish shoes?
Finding stylish shoes that accommodate all the extra space that an AFO takes can be a frustrating and time-consuming experience, especially if you don’t know what shoe styles to look for.
An AFO is a brace which is usually made of plastic, worn on the lower leg and foot to support the ankle. An AFO will help correct your child’s overall posture or other biomechanical problems with the foot by holding the foot and ankle in the correct position.
Most off-the-shelf shoes are not created for children who need to wear AFOs. Parents feel heartbroken when they see the disappointment on their kids’ face when not a single pair of the fashionable and cute shoes that they want to wear are able to accommodate the shape of the AFOs.
Usually children who wear AFOs end up wearing basic sneakers with not much excitement, since parents are not able to find anything on trend or that are fun for children. This is life and most agree that there could be worse problems. However, this doesn’t need to be the case anymore.
Children who need specialty shoes also want to be as fashionable as their peers. The shoes that fit your kids AFOs don’t have to be unattractive or clunky. There is a particular shoe company that offers contemporary fashion and stylish shoes as well as well-engineered design.
There is a small selection of functional shoes that will work with your kids’ AFOs, but the selection gets even smaller when it comes to finding a pair of stylish shoes. What I mean by stylish is a pair of Mary Jane shoes, moccasin boots, dress shoes, and leather sneakers.
The good news is that there is a particular shoe brand that manufactures fashion shoes that are specifically designed to work with your kids’ AFOs, and I will put together a selection of their best styles shortly.
Since I have been fitting children’s shoes and orthotics for the last 10 years at a premier children’s shoe store specializing in children with foot and leg problems, also providing regular shoe fittings, I will be able to help in you in this shoe quest.
We carry some of the most supportive children’s shoes and orthotics. I will share with you my perspective on the best shoe brand that manufacturers stylish shoes that are able to acommodate AFOs.
I have noticed that many parents who are new to AFOs wear have the same questions and concerns. Moreover, they have the same worries and frustrations, but I will share with you what I have learned over all my years of professional shoe fitting.
I get contacted by parents on a daily basis who are frustrated about not being able to find an alternative other than their kid’s everyday sneakers for their kids to wear with their AFOs. As you know parents always have their child’s best interest at heart and also want their children to be happy and have fun.
Several parents have explained to me how for little girls, cute boots and shoes are such a big thing and how they never thought that shoe shopping would be such an emotionally charged (and usually tear-driven) event.
After writing an article about the best functional shoes for leg braces, parents started asking me if there are stylish shoes that will fit over their kids AFOs.
The stylish shoes that can accommodate an AFO are made by the shoe company Gracious May. This company provides children with customized footwear that does not compromise style. Their shoes are fully customized to fit your kids’ measurements, meaning that they are able to accommodate any type of orthotic out there from AFO, KAFO, DAFO, and SMO braces.
In order to accommodate an AFO, your kids’ shoes require a wider opening to easily slide the foot in with the AFO on. Also, the shoe should have extra depth to accommodate for the additional room taken up by the AFO.
One of the most common mistakes parents make is to buy their children longer shoes in order to accommodate the AFOs. This usually leads to compromising their child’s stability, making them more prone to falling down and hurting themselves, and defeating the whole purpose of wearing an AFO. Another common mistake parents make is to assume that a shoe that is labeled as “extra wide” will automatically fit the AFO.
There are 3 key features that your kids’ shoes must provide in order to accommodate your child’s AFO.
✅ Depth: This feature will allow the AFO to fit deeply inside the shoes and prevent the top part of your kids’ feet from rubbing against the top part of the shoes. She’s that provide extra depth will also prevent giving your children the impression that their feet are coming out of the shoes as they walk.
✅ Round Toe-Box: This feature will prevent the AFO from poking a hole in the front of the shoes.
✅ Wider Opening: This feature will prevent you from shoving your child’s foot in the shoes every time you have to put your kids’ shoes on.
If you don’t provide your child with shoes that provide these three important features, it would only be weeks or a month before the child would wear holes in the shoe.
Parents are always complaining about how hard it is to find boots to fit over their kids AFOs.There is a large selection of kids’ boots, but finding a pair that fit well with AFOs can be a challenge. Boots for AFOs are hard to find, and these are some of the key features the boots must provide in order to accommodate your child’s AFOs:
✅ Wide-opening features such as a side or rear zipper (like the one shown in the image above)
✅ Round toe-box
✅ Removable insole
I will show you the best boots for AFOs in addition to Mary Janes, dress shoes, and casual sneakers.
It can be extremely time-consuming to find shoes that accommodate AFOs. Gracious May has made it easy for parents to find shoes that can easily accommodate their children’s AFOs.
Gracious May is the most effective and proven shoe company that provides customized footwear without compromising style.
Now that you know what features these shoes styles will provide, you are ready to take a look at the best stylish shoes for AFO braces.
The Best Stylish Shoes for 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.
Here you can find a selection of the best stylish shoes for AFO braces. By clicking on any of the images you will redirected to the website where you will be able to see a larger selection of shoes.
The myth that cute shoes for a child who wear AFOs are hard to come by has been dispelled.
You can find a wider selection by clicking on the link below:
Most parents who have children who need to wear AFOs can agree that shopping for their kids’ shoes has never been easy, and most of them dread going into the stores to find shoes. I have heard many stores of how parents would travel from store to store, maneuvering their physically challenged child, looking for a pair of shoes that would fit the braces.
Please note that fashion shoes are not meant to be worn as everyday shoes. Your children should wear everyday supportive shoes with their AFOs for most of the day and wear their fashion shoes for no more than 4 to 5 hours a day.
The Best Socks to Wear with AFO Braces ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Socks also play a key role in keeping your child’s feet healthy. While some kids may be able to wear any type of socks underneath their AFOs, others may find short socks with seams to be uncomfortable. The seams may rub and cause irritation, while short socks may allow plastic and strapping to rub against bare skin.
It’s important for the socks to be soft and cover the length of the brace in order to provide protection, comfort, and accommodate your child’s AFO toe straps.
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 have a heel free design that ensures a perfect fit.
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.
I have put together a selection of the best socks to wear with AFO braces. Please refresh your browser if you can’t see the recommendations.
These socks are thick enough to prevent your children from getting blisters or red spots from their AFOs. They work much better than traditional socks.
If worn in the correct type of shoes, AFOs can greatly enhance your children’s function, by helping them stand or walk, and may also help prevent foot and ankle deformities.
Children who AFO braces shouldn’t feel excluded because they are limited to a single type of athletic shoe. It is important for children with disabilities to be able to wear shoes that they like and allow them to simply be kids.
Now you know which are the most fashionable shoes to accommodate your child’s AFOs and the best socks to keep your child’s feet healthy.
Have you tried any of the stylish shoes made by Gracious May before? Is there another shoe brand that has worked well in accommodating your child’s AFOs? Please share your experiences below so other parents can benefit from your experiences.