Many children with disabilities will require some type of foot bracing. There are several options, but one of the most popular is the AFO, which stands for Ankle Foot Orthotic. Big and bulky, finding shoes that fit over them can be a pain.
Charlie’s first AFO shoes were from the company Hatchbacks. Hatchbacks are shoes designed specifically to go over AFOs. They come with a down-loadable sizing chart to guarantee fit. They also come with a steep price tag and are on the heavy side.
When Charlie first began using a gait trainer, he had a lot of trouble picking up his feet and the PT thought maybe his shoes were slowing him down. I headed out to get something lighter and the therapists kept asking me where I had gotten those great shoes! I thought I’d share my trick with you. There are two things you should know about this video: one, I forgot to say that your shoes should be at least 4 sizes larger than your child’s usual shoe. Less than this might still fit the AFO, but it may be hard to lace or velcro. Second, I am slouching horribly in this chair. My husband assured me that I looked “relaxed,” but I think “sloppy” is a better term. Oh well. Don’t judge me too harshly–it took me three tries to get through this without laughing hysterically.
Other places that sell shoes that fit over orthotics:
Keeping Pace–limited choices, but they do have boots.
Piedro footware carries shoes that have the orthosis built in.Not too sure what the PT would say about that, but might be good for occasions where you’re not sure if you need orthotics or not, but want to have options.
Would love to hear from you guys about tips for buying shoes that fit over orthotics. No need to tell me to sit up straight and not slouch–the video speaks for itself on that one!