Trimming back the distal trim lines – getting a flexible and easy toe-off.

April 19, 2024

Adjusting the distal trim lines is an important part of initial fitting. To ensure a flexible toe shelf that allows for better toe-off and protects the plastic from cracking, it’s recommended to trim back the medial and lateral trim lines to just proximal of the sulcus and just distal of the met heads.

The best way to measure where the distal trim lines should terminate is through observation. With the patient wearing their brace, have them bend their foot at the sulcus to observe where the plastic buckles. Using this as a guide, mark the plastic for trimming. The goal is to trim the plastic just proximal of its bending point.

Trimming the plastic is simple! With a heat gun, warm the plastic where you wish to trim until it is just slightly glossy. Then a hook knife or heavy scissors can make short work of easily cutting through the softened plastic. For trimming back foam or soft containment, bandage scissors can be used with no heating required. It’s recommended to sand the area to ensure the plastic edge remains smooth and be sure not to leave any sharp corners on the dorsal flaps.

When trimmed appropriately, the met heads should be able to bend without straining or cracking the plastic. This will both help with toe-off while the brace is worn and will help your braces last through plenty of wear and use!

For visual guides on trimming for a proper flexible fit, head over to and search for ‘distal’ in our search bar, or you can visit our YouTube page. If you have any questions about adjustments during initial fitting or toe shelf flexibility, please reach out to our customer support team at or call 800.848.7332, Monday – Friday 7 AM – 2:30 PM PST. Our team is always happy to help with any questions or concerns you may have or to offer coaching for adjustments or brace specifications when ordering.