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

This post was previously published and has been updated to include current information, styles, and shopping links related to stylish orthotic sandals. There are affiliate links in this post that offer a small commission. These links do not affect the price or you in any way.

16 Sandals

I’ve scoured the internet and poured through hundreds of reviews to find the most comfortable and trendiest sandals for afo braces and orthotics. I had to pick 16.  No easy feat!  Even though Molly Ringwald has absolutely nothing to do with comfortable sandals for orthotics, I like the sound of 16 Sandals/Candles.  Just had to use it for the title of this post. Note:  If you’re here just for the shoes, this would be a good time to hit the fast forward button.

So, if you randomly found this website by Googling “orthopedic sandals” or “shoes to wear with leg braces”, then you’re probably well aware of the challenge of finding stylish shoes that fit over afos and orthotics.  They don’t really exist!  At least in a purposeful way! This is where Trend-ABLE comes in.  Like Jake Ryan in 16 Candles (kind of a stretch I know, but I needed to tie it in somewhere) tries to save the day, Trend-ABLE is here to save you from painful hours of discomfort this summer. We’ve got you covered with shoes and what to wear at this summer’s BBQ so you can feel and look your best!

Although you will not find trendy shoes made exclusively for leg brace wearers, many of today’s trendy shoe styles actually work well with afos or orthotics. If you want to wear comfortable sandals that don’t look like they just came out of an old lady’s mothball infused closet, then read on.

If sandals are not your thing, check out my post about shoes to wear with leg braces to see other fashionable and afo/orthotic friendly shoe trends and styles that may work better for you.

Big Disclaimer:  Always speak to your medical professional before changing, altering or removing anything prescribed to you. I am not a doctor and my recommendations are not based on anything other than my own personal opinion. In other words, please don’t sue me…

Also, If you have no clue who I am and want to know more about me and my disability, here’s where you’ll find my story.

But, How Do You Wear Sandals With AFOs/Orthotics?

This is the question I get asked repeatedly in private messages on both the Trend-Able Facebook and Instagram pages. The answer depends on the type and style of orthosis you wear. In my 20+ years as an afo wearer, I’ve worn many different types of leg braces. I depend on afos to walk and need to wear them whenever I leave my house.

Despite moderate to severe neuropathy, I now wear lightweight and low profile carbon fiber afos like the ones pictured above; I’m currently interchanging between both the Allard & Kinetic Research brands of orthosis.

With a little creativity and perseverance, many leg brace and orthotic users can wear open toe shoes and sandals.

Years ago when I used to wear the custom molded, hard plastic type of afos, I thought my sandal days were over. I would get depressed when the weather warmed up each spring. If you can relate, you’ll appreciate my post with tips for getting out of a spring self-pity rut if you have a disability and wear afos.

But after two miserable hot summers in sneakers, I found a company that sold beige/nude afo liners that fit custom plastic braces. Hello, orthotic sandals!  This discovery gave me a new sense of freedom & changed my life for the better.  At the time (this was more than 10 years ago) they were $30 each and could be ordered by anyone. Today, patients have to go through their orthotist or podiatrist to order them. Here is the link to the Company, Knit-Rite.

Bonus tip: After buying those afo liners for years, I eventually found smart knit type fabric on my own and had a seamstress make similar afo liner socks for me to wear with sandals. Also, the same company does sell leg brace/afo socks to the public which you can buy here. They get rave reviews from afo wearers for use with everyday shoes and boots.

Today, with my carbon fiber 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. If there are other areas on the afo that rub against your skin, make sure to tell your orthotist as it may be possible to pad those areas as well. The same thing can be done with some orthotics.

What About Orthotic Sandals?

Of course, custom orthotics are expensive and you may not have multiple pairs. Some orthotic sandals wearers find that they are able to use non-slip ”arch support” inserts like these for use on occasion (not advisable for trips to the zoo or other long walking days).

To prevent orthotics from moving around in your shoes, you can use double sided velcro tabs.

 Bring On The 16 Sandals

What follows are my picks (not in any order) of the cutest afo and orthotic friendly sandals this season. Click on the shoe image itself to see pricing and to purchase from the retailer. Remember, every disability and person is different. What works for me, may or may not work for you. As one of the t-shirts In the Trend-Able Shop says, “If you can’t go right, go left.” The point is to keep  trying. Now onto the shoes…..

1.Easy Spirit Kenzie

A perfect blend of style and comfort, these cute shoes come in a wide width and have adjustable hook-and-loop straps. They are lightweight and will likely work with many styles of afos and orthotics.

2.Soul Bohemia

This sandal is available in three colors and comes in both regular and wide width. Since there are no adjustable front straps, this shoe works best with orthotics and low profile afos.

3.Walking Cradles Pasha

Another cute sandal that will work for many types of afos and orthotics. They are available in both regular, wide and extra wide widths and have adjustable hook and loop straps. I love the metallic colors in this style as well as the all black with a crock embossed leather.

4.Aetrex Bethany

Bethany is a comfortable shoe for women that can be worn all day. The fully adjustable hook and loop strap provide flexibility for any foot width, while the addition of a bunion pocket adds extra comfort where you need it most. The insole is also removable so this can fit many orthosis.

5.Alegria Playa

The Alegria are one of my favorites this season. They are cute, comfy and even water resistant. They come in a medium width but the adjustable Velcro straps allow them to be worn with some orthosis.

6.Naot Amadora

The highly supportive Amadora Sandal from Naot features a wrapped cork and latex footbed, adjustable hook and loop back strap for custom fit, and a lightweight design that is perfect for daily wear and travel. This sandal runs wide and also has a removable footbed (just lift it out). Another sandal that will work with many types of orthosis.

7.The Averie Comfortview

This is adorable and inexpensive sandal is available in an extra wide width. I bought them & ordered my regular size in a double wide. I find them to be super comfortable. Since my orthosis does the work, I do not need the most expensive shoe with high quality arch support. This faux leather shoe has ridges on the bottom for extra slip resistance and ankle support.

8.David Tate Supurb

A great flat sandal that’s available in black as well as the on trend snakeskin fabric. It has two hook-and-loop straps for the perfect fit and is available in double wide. Another sandal that will fit many orthosis.

9.Cloudstepper Arla

The Cloudstepper by Clarks is a super lightweight sporty sandal with a feminine twist. These sandals have crisscross straps for a foot-friendly hug and cushioned insoles to soften every step. Plus, they have an adjustable ankle strap. This sandal comes in a medium width, but the soft fabric is very stretchy. This sandal is recommended for low profile orthosis and orthotics.

10. Cobb Hill Hollywood

Summer styling meets comfort in the women’s Rockport Cobb Hill Hollywood sandal. The wide ankle strap helps secure the foot in place, while the contoured EVA footbed cushions and supports to deliver superior comfort. The subtle two-inch wedge heel adds the height you crave without compromising the comfort you need. This sandal is best with orthotics and low profile afos.

11. YUU Indy Strap Sandal

It’s hard to believe this awesome sandal with its rich laser cut design is as inexpensive as it is. Available in a wide width with a zipper on back, this is another favorite flat sandal with ankle support. Best for low profile orthosis and orthotics.

12. Sesto Saree

This is a gorgeous sandal with super soft Italian leather. It has a perforated distressed metallic suede upper with silver nail head detail plus a microfiber footbed and adjustable strap with hook & loop closure. The textured rubber bottom and 1-1/4 inch cork wedge heel with metallic wedge inlay is an added bonus. It is available in a wide width and best for low profile orthosis. I love this one!

13. Earth Connie

Another shoe that feels like you’re walking on a cloud! This clever style brings new comfort to the classic slide by adding a wide, stretchy strap. Available in regular and wide width.

14. Comfortview Peyton

This stylish shoe will become your go-to for every occasion! Pair with work pants for a comfortable, classic style or a fashionable dress for a chic night out. Available in double wide, this sandal has a back zip entry and recommended for slim profile orthosis.

15. Therafit Jessica

The leather uppers and fully adjustable straps make the Jessica a new all-time favorite. The stretch elastic bands complete the perfect look for your Spring and Summer outfit. Therafit’s contoured footbed, superior arch support, and deep heel-cups will stabilize and support your foot. This brand is designed for people with arch pain, heel pain, plantar fasciitis, pronation and other foot pain symptoms.

16. Helena SAS

An on trend best-seller sandal Huarache, Helena contains all the SAS fit features you love and adds a fashionable accent for a pop of class. The genuine leather upper is topped by a diamond bling pattern that is sure to turn heads, while the supersoft microsuede lining and straps keep the foot in place. This sandal is available in a double wide width and will work with many types of orthosis.

28 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!

    • Most people wear the clunky old fashion kind. The last time I went and had another AFO made the guy who was making mine told me almost anyone with drop foot/club foot has to wear the original AFO – also many people who have to wear AFO’s have other things with their feet and open toe sandals are a no go- show me 16 flat comfortable closed toes and that would be something – currently I found 3.

      • Hi Amy,

        Thanks for writing. I’m not sure why as you say “most people with drop foot have to wear the original Afo?” In my opinion, this is ridiculous as bracing styles & materials have evolved in the last few decades and their are slternatives that are lighter & better. I have a progressive condition and started out in the original kind myself. I think possibly part of it is money (they get more for those custom plastic kind) and the fact that people just need a 1 week certificate to fit braces these days. I actually learned that my own “orthotist” isn’t an actual orthotist recently. I hope the 3 pairs work for you. Also check out “Cosy Feet” as they have many styles that should work.

  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!)

    • These David Tate (#8) sandals do work very well with several types of braces. I have trouble seeing how some of the other styles without a closed back work? I’ve tried a few and I guess they work but I feel the closed back sandal is more secure. I wish they made cuter, dressier options! Luckily, this particular sandal (snakeskin pattern) has served me very well when paired with a navy jumpsuit (another tip I got from this site) for a wedding and an engagement party. I also think they’ll look cute with white jeans.

      • Hi Dara,

        Thanks so very much for your input. I love those versatile David Tate one’s too!. You know what works for you & what you feel comfortable with best. These are only Afo friendly suggestions 😀. Some people find an open back to work & feel secure when there is an ankle strap or tie as seen in several pairs. I would love to help you find dressier options that work for you. Feel free to send me an email. Btw – The snakeskin would look really great with white jeans & I’m sooo glad the jumpsuit worked. 💜💜

  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.

  10. Lainie,
    You are so cleaver to find these for us! I have carbon fiber afos now but an interested in the “thin foam liner” you glue in yourself. Where do you get them?

    Thanks again & again,
    Cyndi

    • Hi Cyndi,

      I used a thin foam one like the ones you find in gym shoes or any shoes that you buy. The kind you remove from shoes put on the footplate to cushion your feet. I can send you a photo through messenger .xo

  11. Does #8-David Tate Supurb- come in any other color than black and white? I have to have the closed heels so my orthotics don’t slip out…

    How do I place an order?

    • Hi Patricia,
      If you click on the photo itself, it will take you directly to the Retailer😀. I believe it came in several colors. Have you ever tried putting something in the heel so it doesn’t slip? Feel free to reach out to me .

  12. Lainie,
    I love the shoe suggestions “16 Sandals”, I am a shoe person, and love sandals as we live in Florida during the winter and Vermont in summer.
    I have written a few times but this time I’m feeling very out of it…I can’t seem to understand your directions for wearing some of the shoes mentioned above. I love the Alegria, and Earth Connie shoes.
    I wear Allard braces, Blue Rocker for walking and golf, but most of the time I wear my Ypsilon with Naot sandals. Here’s what I don’t get about above shoes, for the most part, many shoes do not have removable soles, but you are able to wear these shoes. After you glue a thin layer over your brace plate, you place over inside shoe orthotic, but does your weight alone once you put your foot into shoe, does it keep the brace from moving??
    Be patient with me I older and my 77 year mind is not as sharp, but I want to continue learn!!! Thanks so much Sandy

    • Hi Sandy,

      Thanks for reading, commenting , & being a loyal follower 😀. I’m glad you asked the questions as I want it to be clear for you.

      First, once you have the insole glued to the metal footplate, the brace should not move around. That hack is primarily for people who wear custom orthotics (not braces) that they need to take in & out of shoes. Your braces shouldn’t slide in the two pairs you like but they may or may not be wide enough depending on your foot. The Earth come in wide (don’t get regular) and the Aetrex run wide…I suggest ordering 1/2 size larger in both since not extra wide. Let me know how it goes! 😀

  13. I just found your website and I feel that it is the most realistic to me. I too am a social worker out in VA, but I work in medical social work. I have been wearing AFOs since the begining of time, as I have spina Bifida and am a mobile walker. I am in the original hard plastic kind. I had lower leg atrophy when I was younger so the leg I wear a brace on is smaller/thinner then my other leg. I actually wear only one orthotic and am able to wear the same size and width as the other shoe. I’m not sure if I could ” upgrade” into another type of orthotic, but I will definitely be looking into that. Nevertheless, my question is how would you suggest I could make flat, closed toe, cute shoes (work casual) without laces or straps keep my orthotic in the shoe. I have tried the double sided velcro ( maybe I’d did it wrong), but it didnt seem to work effectively in making me feel secure with my foot staying in my shoe. Any suggestions are welcomed. I have figured out how to make saddles and boots work with some adjustments, but the flats that is the true struggle. Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Nadine,

      Thanks so much for writing & for the nice words. So, are you referring to your orthotic slipping around in the shoe? If yes, the double sided tape or Velcro should work. Make sure to use double sided sticky velcro. I would also buy flat closed shoes with straps like maryjanes or have a shoe peddler attach velcro across the shoe to hold your foot in. I have a new post in two weeks with tons of fall shoes that will likely work but feel free to email me directly at info@trend-able.com. If you have any other questions . Thanks , Lainie

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