Tips for choosing and using shoes

What to look for

To ensure your child has the most support in his/her footwear, look for shoes with the following traits:

Trying the shoe on

  • Use a fairly aggressive push to get the brace down into the toe box.
  • If the brace slides into the shoe easily, the shoe may be too large.
  • Find the smallest shoe that can hold the brace. You may have to wiggle and push the brace into the shoe before the heel drops in. This extra work means the shoe will be only slightly longer than normal. If the shoe is too long, your child may trip over the toes.
  • A shoe horn helps get the braced foot into the shoe.

Shopping tips

  • You may want to shop without your child. Take the brace with you and try fitting it into the shoe. You can often buy shoes, take them home for a relaxed fitting session and return or exchange them if needed.
  • Once you find a brand you like, go to that specific brand again for a dependable fit.

To help the fit

Consider slightly altering the shoe, especially in canvas shoes with a sewn, overlapped toe box.

  • Try snipping a few threads that hold the toe box closed around the attached end of the tongue.
  • Look at the shoe as you insert the brace and foot to see where the material stretches as it holds the brace. A minor cut at this point can provide more room.

Only one brace?

If your child wears a brace on only one foot, you and your practitioner can discuss the following options:

  • The brace will slightly increase the length (height) of the leg it's on. To maintain even leg height, put a molded insole into the unbraced foot's shoe. Our HotDog and PattiBob shoe inserts are ideal for this.
  • For a bulkier brace, you may need two differently-sized shoes -- one for the unbraced foot and a larger size for the braced foot.
  • For more room, consider altering the braced foot's toe box (as shown above in the fitting tips).

Shoe recommendations

Orthopedic shoes

These shoe brands are designed specifically to accommodate orthoses:

Other shoe options

Stores that offer a wide shoe selection are often functionally appropriate, stylish, and considerably less expensive.

Possible Brands
Champion, DCs, Dinosoles, Fila, PLAE, Keen, Merrell, New Balance, Peak, Sketchers, Stride Rite, Vans

EMS, Fred Meyer, Kohl's, Payless, JC Penney, REI, Sears, ShopKo, Target, Volume Shoes,