Finding suitable shoes for AFO splints
What are AFO splints?
An AFO is an ankle foot orthotic that is prescribed by a orthotist, it most commonly is worn by people who have cerebral palsy or a condition that causes foot drop.
A fitted AFO splint is plastic splints which has been made using a cast of your foot. They are made to keep feet and ankles in a good position for standing and walking. An AFO may be worn on one foot or both feet. Also, depending on your range of movement it can have a joint or hinge at the ankle or is be fixed in one position.
What shoes work best?I've previously written about the the emotional impact of wearing AFO splints and how it can be so frustrating when looking for shoes that you like.
The type of shoe:
- Boys/male shoes are sturdy and wider
- Wide fitting shoes
- Trainers can fit the best
- High top shoes can be more supportive
- Avoid anything with a heel
- Shoes that have laces and a zip (allows the shoe to be adjusted more)
- A back high enough to support the splint
- Durable sole
- Take the insoles out
- If you need to buy two pairs some places offer a discount
- Be sure it’s not too tight on the toes
- Use a shoe horn if needed
- Some shoes ‘give’ so will be more comfortable after been worn
- Extra Velcro can be added if it‘s too short
- Loosen the laces all the way to the bottom
Particular brands to look out for:
- Jo‘s Odd Shoes: A Facebook group for people who only need one shoe or buy two pairs in different sizes.
- Billy Footwear: Functional fashion for all, with shoes that unzip to completely open the front of the shoe.
- Sketchers zipped shoes: Some Sketcher shoes have zips which enable them to open up further
- Nike flyEase: Designed by someone with CP, these shoes unzip at the back to fit splints in and require less hand functions to put on.
- M&S adaptive shoes range: They have school shoes and trainers that have a zip and laces to make it easier for those who have reduced motor function or need shoes to be more adjustable.
Do you or your child wear AFO splints? How do you find shoe shopping? Any tips to share? Let us know in the comments below!
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