Comfortable and fashionable wide width shoes for orthotics and afos leg braces. CMT

In my post called, ”Not My Grandma’s Orthopedic Shoes”, I talk about the challenge of finding fashion-forward shoes that fit comfortably. You can read it here, Since I wear two leg braces (ankle foot orthotics referred to as afos) due to having a progressive neuromuscular disorder called Charcot Marie Tooth, my fashion blogs and links thus far have been mostly for other leg brace wearers.

Last week I took my sister Stacey shopping to find an outfit for her son’s Bar Mitzvah. Stacey also has CMT Disorder but wears custom orthotics and not leg braces. Although Stacey is considered less ”disabled” than I am, she has a much harder time finding shoes that don’t look like she raided some old lady’s moth ball infused closet. After days of searching in store and online, my sister eventually found a dressy sandal for her event. I will show you her sandal and more in an upcoming “Summer Wedding & Parties” blog I’m working on.

But, for now, I’ve scoured the internet and poured through hundreds of reviews to find the most comfortable and trendiest shoes of the season. I had to pick 16 (no easy feat) because, even though Molly Ringwald has absolutely nothing to do with comfort sandals, I liked the sound of it and couldn’t let it go. If you are here just to see the shoes, then feel free to fast forward past this next part.

BUT, HOW CAN I EVEN WEAR SANDALS WITH ORTHOTICS ?

Disclaimer:

Always speak to your medical professional before changing, altering or removing anything prescribed to you. I am not a doctor and what works for some, may not work, or be advisable for others.

With some creativity, many leg brace and orthotic users can wear open toe shoes and sandals.  Many years ago (when I wore custom plastic braces) I found a company that sold skin color afo liners. I discovered for the first time in years, a way to wear sandals with leg braces and my life changed from that point on.  At the time they were $30 each and could be ordered by mail. Today, patients have to go through their orthotist or podiatrist to order.  You can ask your Provider to them for you. Or, you can try these brace/afo socks by the same Smartknit company . Several reviewers say they are long enough to fold over the top of the brace. This is the best deal as a 3 pack is $50 with Amazon Prime.

Today, with my carbon fiber Allard braces, I don’t need the full leg brace liners in order to wear sandals. In order to make walking with or without socks comfortable, I glue a thin foam shoe insole (like the removable ones in your gym shoes) to the footplate. The same thing can be done with some orthotics.

Of course, custom orthotics are expensive and you may not have multiple pairs. Some orthotic wearers find that they are able to use non-slip ”arch support” sandal inserts like these made by a podiatrist. 

For occasional use, (not for wearing on an all day hike or to a zoo) you may try to gluing down ones designed for high arches like these by Aetrex and Sof Sol: 

    

My daughter Zoe wears custom orthotics for her very high arches.  She found both the Vionic and Naot sandals below, supportive enough to wear on their own without orthotics. 

Check out the sandal and corresponding links attached. There are four pairs with completely removable footbeds for your custom orthotics.  Please send an email or visit us on social media and let me know what does and doesn’t work for you.

1. Vionic Rest Sahara

A supportive and cute strappy leather or suede upper with an open toe. Adjustable buckle closures at toe, vamp, and ankle. It has an orthoheel with a soft microfiber-lined EVA midsole absorbs shock to help reduce stress on feet, ankles, and knees. Currently retails for around $60 on Amazon and discount stores.
Vionic Women’s, Elnora Sandals Pewter Snake 8 M

2. Hush Puppy Chrissie Tassel Sandal

These fun on-trend ankle strap sandals have a memory foam footbed and a rubber sole for traction. I love the blue and black tassels, but they are also available in tan and solid black. Also, they come in standard and wide width sizes and retail for $85 here at Nordstroms.

3. Naot Addie Sandal

The Addie is a feminine sandal with rivet accents & a contrasting underlay. This style features a hook and loop backstrap with additional gore for adjustability & accessibility. Naot’s anatomic cork & latex footbed (removable) is wrapped in a pampering suede and molds to the shape of the foot with wear. It comes in black with silver rivets and a neutral color and retails for $140 here.

4. Comfortiva Eva Wedge

This is a super lightweight sandal with a modern design. It features easy-on-and-off elastic straps, a ”Pillowtop” memory foam insole and lots of cushioning . It comes in wide width sizes and retails for $85 here.

5. Uberknit by Fitflop

The Fitflop Uberknit gladiator-inspired sandal carries the APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association) Seal of Acceptance, for footwear found to promote good foot health. Find the Fitflop Uberknit Sandal in either blue or black at Nordstrom for $80 here.

6. Aetrex Bethany

Street-chic style and comfort merge in a quarter-strap sandal featuring a platform sole and orthopedic footbed. I love the snakeskin-like sole. For new members of the CMTA, Aetrex offers a free pair of shoes (call them for details) You can also find them for $140 here

7. Grasshopper Clover Wedge

Cushioned Comfort T-Strap Sandals features an Ortholite® cushioned footbed, rubber sole, and soft jersey lining. Retails for $40 here at DSW and comes in standard and wide width sizes.

8. Aetrex Quinn

This sandal combines modern style with an athletic shoe vibe. It’s light weight and has a fully adjustable hook and loop straps with a back heel zipper that helps keep the foot secure. Available in Black, Snake and Tangerine, these sandals pair great with your favorite spring outfit! They run $140. You can find them here

9. Naot Begonia

This is a cool vintage inspired sandal with four hook and loop straps &  buckles for complete adjustability. Naot’s removable, anatomic cork and latex footbed is wrapped in suede and molds to the shape of the foot. It features a polyurethane sole which is extremely lightweight. Since the footbed is removable, it can accommodate some custom orthotics and braces. They sell for $170 here

10. Birkenstock Lola

I love the mix of leather and fabric on this sandal. The wraparound leather straps provide extra stability to a classic Birkenstock sandal set upon a slight wedge heel. This comes only in narrow and regular width and retails for $130 here.

11. Alegria Anah

A lightweight and flexible sole enhances the everyday comfort of a strappy  sandal. It has an adjustable hook and loop closure and retails for $90 here. It’s also water resistant.

12. Sofft Mirabelle Sport Sandal

Super cute embroidered sandal with two adjustable velcro straps that allow you to customize the perfect fit. This sandal has a removable footbed for your custom orthotics. They come in black, crème & tan. You can find them here for $110.

13. Alegria Viki Embroidered Sandal

Super cute embroidered sandal with two adjustable velcro straps that allow you to customize the perfect fit. This sandal has a removable footbed for your custom orthotics. They come in black, crème & tan. You can find them here for $110.

14.Drew Angela

This sandal is part of their new ”Barefoot Freedom” line and has a Modern appeal. It’s super comfortable and has removable foot beds for Extra depth. I love the metallic combination but it also comes in neutral and black. It’s currently on sale here for $119.

15. Walking Cradles Pool Flat Sandals

Make a splash with this casual strappy sandal from Walking Cradles! The sturdy rubber sole and low wedge keep you steady on your feet, while a Comfort Cradle footbed offers all day comfort. They’re on sale for $80 here

16. Alegria Verona

This Allegria lightweight sandal is about all-day comfort and adjustability. It’s designed with plenty of plush, memory-foam cushioning and features three adjustable straps and a removable footbed. Get it for $85 here https://amzn.to/2IJBwu5

 

Please let me know if any work for you. I can’t wait to hear what you think. 💜 Lainie

15 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for this list. I currently wear plastic clunky AFOs but am getting new carbon fiber ones in the next 2 weeks. I haven’t worn sandals in years but hope with the new AFOs I can!

  2. I love the idea, but I’m missing something. I am new at this, I have MS….and summer upsets me largely over the shoe issue. I would love some help, may I please contact you directly!?

  3. #8 spoke to me and are now winging their way to me! Thank you as always, Lainie, for your research and insights. I can only imagine how much work went into this post! (PS: It has gotten hot here in Seattle and I am sooo much happier wearing sandals! Plus we are going to Florida a week from now for the NCAAs in rowing (my daughter) and I now prepared for the heat there, too!)

  4. These tips are great! I love your idea. Sandals are very comfortable and you can wear it with every clothes and look beautiful + comfortable. Very nice blog, very creative and informative. So great and simple tips but also very helpful. Thank you! Comfortiva Eva Wedge is my choice 😉 And yours?

  5. Hello, you have very large and beautiful collection of sandals. I like the #7 most. I want to try this, it looks very stylish. Thank you for sharing this amazing collection.

  6. Thanks for these sandal ideas. The link for #16 is to an Alegria sandal, but not the sandal pictured. Would love to know what the sandal pictured #16 is.

  7. Wow, great blog Lainie! My mind was totally blown when I read about Naot’s (removable) cork & latex sole. You see, my mom gave me a pair of Naot sandals about 5 yrs. ago and this WHOLE TIME I didn’t know the sole was removable!! Even today when I took pics of them to reply to your FB video with my afo’s and custom orthotics, I didn’t realize THE FOOTBED WAS REMOVABLE, LOL!! It makes a HUGE difference for me with the extra depth. I just can’t thank you enough for all your hard work on TREND/ABLE. Your positive words and attitude have helped me more than you could ever know. Sending you a Big Hug.

  8. Christine,

    😂😂😂😂 You’re not the only one. I was in Nordstrom & informed the sales person that they were removable. It does make a HUGE difference for me too so I’m happy you now know. Thank you for your continued support & sweet words. 💕❤️

  9. Hi! I have been searching high and low for shoes for my AFO. I found a pair of New Balance I love on Amazon. They are wide. I also found some cute sandles by Alegria. They are the Jenna Gladiators. They do not come in wide. However I am having a local shoe store stretch them for me. I’m praying this will help. They are on Amazon. Hope this helps somebody looking for cute sandles! I’m so glad I found this site it gives me hope that I can wear sandles again! Take care.

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