Blog PostJul 17, 2019

A Guide to AFO’s : How to find the Right Shoes for You

Finding the right shoes to fit Ankle Foot Orthotics ( AFOs) can seem like an impossible task. Thankfully, we are here to help. Several months ago, SBA surveyed our community to find the best shoes that work with every kind of AFO on the market. We have organized the results by age groups and included detailed notes on each shoe. If you learn updates for this list, please let us know by contacting our National Resource Center.

Toddler

 

Nike Fly Ease

Works with: Articulated AFO, Solid AFO, Fuzion AFO

Notes: 

    • Entire back of shoe unzips
    • Easy to put on and zip over AFO
    • For narrow feet, buy one size up. For wide feet, consider sizing up 2-3 sizes
    • Sell out quickly, check online frequently

Nike Jordans

Works with: Solid AFO, Knee AFO (KAFO)

  • Notes: They are stable, adjustable, and easy to slip on

Surprize by Stride Rite Tanner Sneakers

Works with: Solid AFO

  • Notes:
    • Take lining out of shoe for an easier fit
    • Remove sole

Vans Mid-Ankle double velcro w/ insert removed

Works with: Solid AFO

  • Notes: Remove sole

New Balance 574

Works with: Solid AFO

IFME Kid’s Playa Venice Elastic Lace Mesh Hook and Loop Fisherman Style Sandal

Works with: Solid AFO

Notes: Breathable and machine washable.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Sneakers

Works with: Solid AFO, Knee AFO ( KAFO)

  • Notes: Get longer laces and pull out the inner padding of the sole

DC Pure V II

Works with: Solid AFO

  • Notes:
    • Snug fit. 
    • Fits great for toddler sizes. 

DaDaWen Baby’s Boy’s Girl’s Breathable Mesh Running Sneakers Sandals Water Shoe

Works with: Solid AFO 

  • Notes:  These are technically water shoes.

Child

New Balance Kids 574

Works with: Solid AFO, Ground Reaction AFO ( GR AFO), Knee AFO ( KAFO)

  • Notes:
    • Remove inserts
    • Many new balance shoes come in wide and extra wide. 
    • The laces can be replaced with snap laces if needed. 

Mt. Emey 3301-L – Children Orthopedic Shoes

Works with: Solid AFO

  • Notes:  They run a little small order wide and size up

New Balance 888- Wide Width

Works with: Ground Reaction AFO (GR AFO), Knee AFO ( KAFO), Solid AFO, Articulated AFO, HKAFO

  • Notes:
    •  Get the wide width
    • Remove sole
    • Wide toe box

Athletic Works Boys’ Lightweight Knit Athletic Shoe

Works with: Articulated AFO, Solid AFO

  • Notes:
    • Take insole out and open laces 
    • One of the few shoes with double Velcro in larger sizes

Skechers Kids’ Spektrix Wide Sneaker Preschool

Works with: Solid AFO

  • Notes:
    • Remove soles
    • Remove insole
    • They have super stretchy elastics and are very lightweight 
    • Size up
    • They’re high top shoes with laces and a zipper on the side.

Keen Kids’ Oakridge Low-y-K Sneaker

Works with: Ground Reaction AFO ( GR AFO)

The North Face Jr Hedgehog Hikers Waterproof

Works with: Solid AFO

  • Notes:  -Rearrange the elastic shoelaces and secure them from a lower set of holes to make fitting easier.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Street High Top Sneaker

Works with: Solid AFO, Articulated AFO, DAFO

  • Notes: 
    • Wider and have flat soles
    • They can be bought with zipper sides that make the shoes go wider so AFO’s fit easier
    • Leave the top lace holes empty

Billy Kids Unisex Classic High Jersey

Works with: Noodle, Carbon Fiber AFO, Solid AFO

  • Notes: 
    • High and low top style in various colors
    •  Zip opening along the seam which allows complete open access from the top. Allows for easy and independent fitting

New Balance 990v4

Works with: Solid AFO

  • Notes: 
    • XXW and XW work well
    •  Very durable
    •  Come in XXwide
    • Go to one of their stores for a free fitting
    • The insoles can be removed

Fila Kid’s Finity 2

Works with: Rear Entry AFO

  • Notes: 
    • Open up wider to fit AFOs
    • Go up a few sizes
    • Remove Insole

Cat and Jack Toddler Girls’ Henley High Top Sneakers

Works with: Solid AFO

New Balance Girls’ Urge V2

Works with: Solid AFO

  • Notes:  Extra wide and remove inserts. We buy about 4 sizes bigger than her normal shoe size without her braces

Teen

 

Nike Flyease

Works with: Knee AFO (KAFO), Solid AFO

  • Notes: 
    • The shoes have a zipper that goes around the back and your foot slips
    • They have them in low and high tops

Nike SF Air Force 1 Mid

Works with: Knee AFO ( KAFO)

  • Notes:
    • Shoe may be a bit big in the toe area 
    • Zipper back helps with putting on

DC Little Kid & Big Kid Pure High Top Skate Shoes

Works with: Ground Reaction AFO ( GR AFO)

Fila Men’s Torranado 4 Low

Works with: Ground Reaction AFO ( GR AFO), Rear Entry AFO

 

Adults

Drew Force V Sneaker ( Men’s)

Works with: Solid AFO

Skechers Women’s D’Lites Biggest Fan Memory Foam Sneaker

Works with: Solid AFO, Knee AFO (KAFO), Rear Entry AFO, Ground Reaction AFO ( GR AFO)

  • Notes: 
    • Wide enough and have enough support
    • Size up
    • Order wide width
    • Take out insole

L.L. Bean Men’s Trail Model 4 Waterproof Hiking Shoes

Works with: Knee AFO (KAFO)

Easy Spirit Women’s Romy Sneaker

Works with: Solid AFO

New Balance WW847V2 Women’s Walking Shoe

Works With: Solid AFO

  • Notes:  The double-wide width works well with AFOs,

Nike Roshe One

Works with: Solid AFO

New Balance 1540v2

Works with: Solid AFO

Clarks Desert Boot Chukka

Works with: Solid AFO, Knee AFO (KAFO)

  • Notes:
    • Extremely easy to put on and remove. 
    • Material is very flexible and feels comfortable, especially when standing upright with the use of crutches. 
    • These shoes may not offer as much support as other styles, but make up for it in comfort and ease of application/removal.

SAS Free Time

Works with: Solid AFO, Knee AFO (KAFO)

  • Notes: You might need a shoehorn to put them on when they are new, but they stretch.

Nike Tanjun Sneaker- Women’s

Works with: Solid AFO

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Lo Sneaker

Works with: Solid AFO, Ground Reaction AFO (GR AFO), Dafo Flexisport

  • Notes:
    • Buy longer shoestrings to cinch them tight
    • Remove soles to accommodate lifts
    • If the insole doesn’t easily come out, take a hairdryer to it to melt the adhesive. Then cover the inside with moleskin, so it’s not sticky.

Wanderlust Boston Boot

Works with: Solid AFO

  • Notes:  These boots can be ordered in double-wide, making them fit over AFOs more easily.

Converse Pro Leather LP Sneaker

Works with: Solid AFO

  • Notes: Goes on easily

Skechers Mariners Pilot (Men’s)

Works with: Solid AFO

  • Notes: 
    •  They are above the ankle, therefore supportive
    •  They have no heel

FoamTreads Physician L ( Ladies Slipper)

  • Notes:  The velcro closures on the top and back of the shoes would accommodate braces

Rocket Dog Women’s Penwell Coast Fabric Railway Cotton Sneaker

Works with: Solid AFO

  • Notes: Come in wide width

Rock & Candy Hettie Combat Boot

Works with: Solid AFO

K-Swiss Big Kid Classic VN Retro Sneaker

Other-Fits All Sizes

LL Bean Men’s Trail Model 4 Waterproof Hiking Shoes

Works with: Knee AFO (KAFO)

New Balance 1540v2

Works with: Solid AFO

FoamTreads Physician L ( Ladies Slipper) 

  • Notes: The velcro closures on the top and back of the shoes would accommodate braces

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