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7 Best Shoes for AFO Braces for Adults (Review)

Written by GrigorinaLoa
Last Updated :
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What are the best shoes for AFO braces for adults?

That’s an excellent question because the right pair of shoes can make your daily life easier when you have to wear an AFO brace for an extended period of time.

Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place for help in finding the best shoes for AFO braces.

Just keep reading.

READ MORE: What Does a Foot Brace Do?

Table of Contents

Top Shoes for AFO Braces at a Glance

This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Don’t have time? Here is a quick comparison of our favorites!

Preview
Editor's Choice
Dr. Comfort Winner-X Men Sneakers Athletic Shoes w/Gel Inserts-Therapeutic Diabetic Mens Running Shoes
Best for Everyday Wear
BILLY Footwear Sneaker Lo White/Gum 9.5
Best for Women
New Balance Women's Made in US 990 V5 Sneaker
Best for Wide Feet
Propét Womens TravelActiv Sneakers Casual Shoes Casual - Beige
Top Benefit
The shoes are made from 100% leather for maximum comfort, durability, and support.
You can remove the insoles to create extra space for your AFO.
Very durable and easy to put on/put off
The sneakers are water and stain-resistant, so they're easy to maintain.
Editor's Choice
Preview
Dr. Comfort Winner-X Men Sneakers Athletic Shoes w/Gel Inserts-Therapeutic Diabetic Mens Running Shoes
Top Benefit
The shoes are made from 100% leather for maximum comfort, durability, and support.
Check Latest Price
Best for Everyday Wear
Preview
BILLY Footwear Sneaker Lo White/Gum 9.5
Top Benefit
You can remove the insoles to create extra space for your AFO.
Check Latest Price
Best for Women
Preview
New Balance Women's Made in US 990 V5 Sneaker
Top Benefit
Very durable and easy to put on/put off
Check Latest Price
Best for Wide Feet
Preview
Propét Womens TravelActiv Sneakers Casual Shoes Casual - Beige
Top Benefit
The sneakers are water and stain-resistant, so they're easy to maintain.
Check Latest Price

7 Best Shoes for AFO Braces for Adults With Reviews

Ankle foot orthoses are vital for correcting gait, reducing spasticity, and supporting weak muscles in people with neurological conditions like foot drop or children with cerebral palsy.

However, most AFOs are solid and made of hard plastic, making it difficult to walk around, especially if you have the wrong type of shoes for an ankle brace.  

A study on adaptive casual shoes for AFO‘s users also points out, “Difficulty finding shoes that fit with AFOs is a key reason that users report non-use.”(1) 

Fortunately, there are plenty of shoes for AFO braces for adults, which will make walking easier and pain-free. Are you ready to see them?

#1 Winner: Dr. Comfort Winner – X Men’s Therapeutic Diabetic Extra Depth Shoe

shoes for AFO Braces

Dr. Comfort has the best shoes for AFOs, thanks to their unique design, durability, and well-made closure system.

Features & Attributes

  • These diabetic shoes are made from leather and are available in two colors – black and white.
  • Removable insole

Measurements

  • Available in sizes from 7 to 15, including wide and X-wide models

Benefits & Drawbacks of Dr. Comfort’s shoes

BenefitsDrawbacks
Dr. Comfort’s shoes are 1/4-inch deeper than standard shoes, so you can fit your ankle-foot orthosis inside without any problems.Not the best padding inside
The extra depth design is also great for people with large/ swollen feet or another foot condition.No size chart is available
The shoes are made from 100% leather for maximum comfort, durability, and support. They won’t fall apart in a couple of seasons.
Easy to adjust the fit, thanks to the hook and loop fasteners
The removable insoles and the wide toe box accommodate the best foot drop brace.
The breathable leather uppers keep your foot dry and cool, even when you’re wearing an AFO.
Easy to put on/put off, thanks to the hook and loop velcro closure

How it Compares to Others

  • A greater difference in depth, compared to other specialized shoes
  • Unique tongue design for wide-open access to the shoe
  • Larger toe box than standard models
  • Velcro straps instead of laces

How it’s Evolved Over Time

  • Dr. Comfort has a rich product line of men’s and women’s shoes for people with foot issues, so they constantly improve their designs for maximum client satisfaction.
  • Their therapeutic shoes are available in different depths – medium, wide, and X-wide.

Expert Tips

Since the shoes are leather, you should clean them with a damp cloth to avoid damaging the leather.

Dr. Comfort Winner-X Men Sneakers Athletic Shoes w/Gel Inserts-Therapeutic Diabetic Mens Running Shoes
  • MEN’S ATHLETIC SHOE - Full-grain leather sneaker built ¼ inch deeper for enhanced support.
  • DOUBLE CONTACT CLOSURE - Two hook and loop fasteners ensures comfort, support, and a great fit.
  • LEATHER UPPERS - Breathable material to regulate heat and and keep feet cool and dry.
  • REMOVABLE INSOLES - Footbeds can be removed to accommodate your own orthotics.
  • PROTECTIVE TOE BOX - Protective toe box provides extra protection from toe stubbing.

If you’re wondering whether an ankle brace could help alleviate foot arthritis pain, this video provides valuable insights and advice from healthcare professionals to help you make an informed decision:

#2 Best for Women: New Balance Women’s Made in Us 990v5 Sneaker

shoes for AFO Braces

New Balance has a wide selection of footwear, suitable for people with AFOs, and its elegant style is perfect for multiple occasions.

Features & Attributes

  • These New Balance shoes are available in four color combinations.
  • Upper mesh body with a rubber sole

Size

  • Available in sizes from 5 to 13, including extra wide and extra narrow

Benefits & Drawbacks of New Balance Women’s Made in Us 990v5 Sneaker

BenefitsDrawbacks
These supportive shoes boast an ENCAP midsole, which cushions the foot and provides excellent support, no matter how long you have to wear your AFO.  Laces can be a bit tricky for people who can’t bend down.
Very durable and easy to put on/put off
Available in a wide range of sizes so that you can get the correct shoe size for you.
The durable rubber outsole ensures proper traction on different surfaces, while the deconstructed heel offers plenty of support when you’re walking or running.
The upper mesh body ensures your foot won’t get too hot and sweaty while you’re wearing the orthosis.

How it Compares to Others

  • Available in more sizes than other shoe brands
  • Made in the USA/UK

How it’s Evolved Over Time

  • Improved design for extra cushioning and support
  • New cushioning insert and ENCAP midsole
  • More color options

Expert Tips

  • There’s a difference in size and colors, depending on whether you purchase the UK-made or USA-made shoes for AFOs.
  • Check this video for more information about New Balance’s sneakers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0pSB5Qn19g
New Balance Women's Made in US 990 V5 Sneaker
  • Heritage Style: The 990v5 is an iconic sneaker, built with a pigskin and mesh upper in a classic running silhouette designed to look amazing anywhere from morning run to runway
  • Supportive Fit: Venture on, wherever the day takes you, with the New Balance 990v5 lifestyle shoe. An ENCAP midsole combines lightweight foam with a durable polyurethane rim to deliver all-day support
  • Helps Protect Ankles: Designed for all-day comfort, these everyday running shoes from New Balance also include dual-density collar foam that offers support and comfort for your ankles
  • Built to Last: These New Balance everyday shoes are designed with a durable blown rubber outsole that stands up to daily wear and helps provide comfort in every step
  • Made in the USA: Manufactured in the US for over 75 years and representing a limited portion of US sales, New Balance MADE is a premium collection that contains a domestic value of 70% or greater

Check out this video on how to put on an ankle brace correctly:

#3 Best for Everyday Wear: Billy Footwear Sneakers

shoes for AFO Braces

If you’re looking for the best shoes for AFOs for adults for daily use, Billy Footwear won’t disappoint with its elegant design, durability, and cushioning.

Features & Attributes

  • These sneakers are available in two colors – white and black.
  • Faux leather with a rubber outsole
  • Adjustable laces

Size

  • Available in sizes from 9 to 11

Benefits & Drawbacks of Billy Footwear Sneakers

BenefitsDrawbacks
The zipper design allows you to open and fold the upper part of the shoe so that you can fit your foot inside with no problem, even if you’re wearing an AFO. These shoes with zippers aren’t available in a wide size
According to customers ‘ reviews, Billy’s shoes have great arch support and padding.Size runs small, according to some buyers
The laces and zipper are easy to work, even with weak or shaking hands.
Since they’re made from durable materials, the soles won’t wear down in a couple of months.You can remove the insoles to create extra space for your AFO.

How it Compares to Others

  • Unique zipper design for quick and easy application
  • Relatively cheaper, compared to other shoes for AFOs for adults
  • Available in a limited range of sizes

How it’s Evolved Over Time

  • Improved low sneaker design, compared to other shoes for AFO braces from Billy Footwear.

Expert Tips

Billy Footwear has excellent shoes for AFOs for children in various colors and styles, so check them out if you AFO shoes for kids. 

#4 Best for Wide Feet: Propet Women’s Travelactiv Fashion Sneaker

shoes for AFO Braces

Propet has a well-deserved reputation when it comes to women’s shoes, so it’s no surprise their Fashion Sneaker makes the list of the best shoes for AFOs for adults.

Features & Attributes

  • Available in 13 colors
  • Scotchguard technology
  • A removable footbed

Size

  • Available in size from 5 to 12, including Wide, X-wide, and XX-wide

Benefits & Drawbacks of Propet Women’s Travelactiv Fashion Sneaker

BenefitsDrawbacks
Proper Women’s fashion sneakers are among the best AFO shoes because they’re available in wide widths to accommodate custom orthotics. Narrow toe box
One of the most comfortable shoes, according to customers’ reviews.Size chart is off, according to some customers
The sneakers are light and have a firm heel with adequate cushioning for additional stability.
Thanks to the breathable mesh uppers, there is no need to worry about sweaty feet.
The sneakers are water and stain-resistant, so they’re easy to maintain.

How it Compares to Others

  • Propet’s shoes for AFO braces are available in a wide range of colors, unlike other AFOs shoes I’ve reviewed.
  • One of the few brands available in XX-wide size

How it’s Evolved Over Time

  • Updated engineered mesh for improved breathability

Expert Tips

  • Check Propet’s other shoe styles if sneakers aren’t up to your liking.

#5 Best for Pain Relief: Orthofeet’s Palisades Athletic Shoe

No products found.

Orthofeed has the best orthopedic shoes for AFOs, arthritis, bunions, flat foot, and other foot issues.

Features & Attributes

  • Available in two colors – grey and black/grey
  • Made from leather

Size

  • Available in sizes from 7 to 14, including wide and extra wide

Benefits & Drawbacks of Orthofeet’s Palisades Athletic Shoe

BenefitsDrawbacks
Available in wide widthsCustomers report some problems with returning the shoes to the manufacturer.
Suitable for various ankle-foot orthoses thanks to the removable insoles, which ensures ample space for custom-made braces.Not as durable as other shoe brands
The multiple cushioning layers can reduce the pain from wearing an AFO, while the stretchable upper part makes it easy to put the shoe on.
Anti-odor foam and fabric to prevent smelly feet
You have a 60-day money-back guarantee to return these shoes for AFO braces if they aren’t the correct type or style for you.

How it Compares to Others

  • The toe box has an extra-depth design
  • Arch support insoles
  • Superior cushioning and lining

How it’s Evolved Over Time

  • Improved material from synthetic to leather

Expert Tips

  • Not machine washable. Clean these stylish shoes with a damp cloth and mild soap.

No products found.

#6 Best for the Elderly: Orthoshoes Women’s Diabetic Elderly Shoes

shoes for AFO Braces

Orthoshoes are a great choice for people with shady hands or seniors who struggle with laces and want comfortable shoes for AFO braces.

Features & Attributes

  • Available in four colors
  • Breathable mesh body

Size

  • Available in sizes from 6 to 9.5

Benefits & Drawbacks of Orthoshoes Women’s Diabetic Elderly Shoes

BenefitsDrawbacks
Great everyday sneakers, suitable for all seasons, thanks to the durable rubber outsoleNot available in wider sizes
An extra-width toe box, which reduces foot pressure
Stretchable mesh and an adjustable strap to accommodate a foot brace for the elderly or swollen feet
Removable cushioned insole
Breathable upper part to keep the feet dry and cool, no matter the season

How it Compares to Others

  • Easier to put on, compared to a lace-up shoe
  • Smaller in size than other brands

How it’s Evolved Over Time

  • Upgraded style, compared to previous releases

Expert Tips

  • Check the manufacturer’s instructions on how to measure your foot to pick the right shoe size for you.

#7 Best Budget-Friendly: Propet Women’s Mary Jane Walker

shoes for AFO Braces

Proper has great shoes for AFO braces, perfect for people on a tight budget.

Features & Attributes

  • These AFO-friendly shoes are made from leather and are available in five colors.
  • EVA footbed and midsole

Size

  • Available in sizes from 5 to 11, including Wide, X-Wide, and XX-Wide

Benefits & Drawbacks of Propet Women’s Mary Jane Walker

BenefitsDrawbacks
Round toe box for extra space Size is off, according to customers’ experience
Good shock absorption propertiesTake a lot of time to break them in
Well-cushioned EVA footbed and midsole for maximum comfort when walking
Excellent arch support, thanks to the internal heel counter
Hook-and-loop strap to adjust the fit when wearing an AFO brace

How it Compares to Others

  • Relatively affordable, compared to other popular brands
  • A variety of widths
  • Single strap closure
  • One of the easiest shoes to put on/off when wearing a brace

How it’s Evolved Over Time

  • Improved heel height from one inch to 1 1/2 inches
  • Less padding than previous models

Expert Tips

  • Clean the shoes with a damp cloth. Don’t machine wash.
Propét Womens Mary Jane Walking Walking Sneakers Athletic Shoes - Black
  • Leather upper
  • Hook and loop closure
  • Removable footbed
  • PU unitsole
  • Medicare approved, A5500 coded

Check: Ankle Sleeve vs Ankle Brace

How to Choose the Best Shoes for AFO Braces for Adults

Shoe shopping can be an exhausting experience when so many shoe styles and brands are on the market.

So, let’s talk about what features you should consider when buying shoes for AFO braces. (2)

#1 Heel Height

The best shoes for AFO braces have a substantial outsole without being too high. So, avoid flat shoes or high heel ones.

#2 Shoe Depth

Always opt for wider shoes. There would be more space to accommodate your AFO brace, and the additional depth prevents the brace from rubbing against the top of the shoe.

#3 Toe Box

Look for shoes with a round toe box. You’ll have more space to move your toes, and the top of the AFO brace won’t poke through the front.

#4 Adjustable Fit

To keep the brace in place, you should choose a type of shoe with adjustable Velcro straps or elastic laces.

#5 Removable Inserts

Look for shoes with removable insoles so that you can get rid of them if there’s not enough space to fit the AFO brace inside.

If you’re a runner, wearing an ankle brace can help prevent injuries and provide added support during your workouts. But it’s important to wear it correctly to get the most benefits. Watch our video on “The Right Way to Wear an Ankle Brace for Running” for expert advice and step-by-step instructions:

Best Shoes for AFO Braces FAQs

What Should I Wear with AFO?

You should wear socks or tights with your AFO. Moreover, you shouldn’t walk around barefoot because AFO braces are slippery, and you can fall. 

Can You Wear Boots with an AFO?

Yes, you can wear boots with an AFO brace. However, the boots should be wide enough and a size or two larger than usual to accommodate your foot orthosis.

Can You Wear Sandals with an AFO?

Yes, you can wear sandals with AFOs orthotics. However, you should ensure the sandals are a good fit to keep the brace in the correct position. 

Conclusion

As a guide on AFOs explains,” You must wear the correct footwear in order for the AFO to work properly.” (3)

So, take your time when you’re shopping for the best shoes for AFO braces, and don’t settle for a pair that doesn’t fit well. 

Moreover, you should know how to put on your AFO brace correctly. Otherwise, you will pick the wrong sized shoes when your brace is too loose or too tight. 

Dr. Comfort Winner-X Men Sneakers Athletic Shoes w/Gel Inserts-Therapeutic Diabetic Mens Running Shoes
  • MEN’S ATHLETIC SHOE - Full-grain leather sneaker built ¼ inch deeper for enhanced support.
  • DOUBLE CONTACT CLOSURE - Two hook and loop fasteners ensures comfort, support, and a great fit.
  • LEATHER UPPERS - Breathable material to regulate heat and and keep feet cool and dry.
  • REMOVABLE INSOLES - Footbeds can be removed to accommodate your own orthotics.
  • PROTECTIVE TOE BOX - Protective toe box provides extra protection from toe stubbing.

Resources

  • 1. (PDF) Adaptive Casual Shoe for Ankle Foot Orthotic Users [Internet]. www.researchgate.net. [cited 2022 Jan 26]. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/348051990_Adaptive_Casual_Shoe_for_Ankle_Foot_Orthotic_Users
  • 2. Tips for Buying Shoes with AFO and SMO Braces [Internet]. Friendly Shoes – The Shoe for All Abilities. 2021 [cited 2022 Jan 26]. Available from: https://friendlyshoes.com/friendly-blog/tips-for-buying-shoes-with-afo-and-smo-braces
  • 3. A guide to your Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO) Orthotic Services [Internet]. Available from: https://www.acecic.co.uk/media/1739/a-guide-to-your-ankle-foot-orthosis.pdf
man with AFO braces

What are your favorite shoes for AFO braces? Let us know below!

About Author

GrigorinaLoa
Grigorina discovered that writing is her vocation early in her school years. Since then, she's taken part in several literary contests. For the past three years, she's also been an ELS teacher, pouring her heart into showing children and adults how important English is for their future. She has a Bachelor's degree in Applied Linguistics, an ESL Teacher's degree, and a Master's degree in Accounting. Follow her on FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM. Read her LATEST POSTS. Learn more about her HERE.

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