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 SandalsI’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…..
Click on each shoe below to shop & look for more sandals at the end of this post
1. THE DELRAY
A perfect blend of style and comfort, these cute shoes come in a wide & extra wide width and have adjustable hook-and-loop straps. They are lightweight and will likely work with many styles of afos and orthotics.
2. THE STARDUST
The Stardust is a sandal designed for the woman on the go! Lycra fabric straps fit to adjust at the vamp and the ankle using hidden hook and loop closures which will keep your afos from slipping. An antimicrobial sueded fabric sock and lining are super soft and moisture wicking, keeping your feet nice and dry. Sporty and stylish, the Stardust is sure to be a summertime favorite sandal!
3. THE JUPITER
An on trend under wide width espadrille sandal that will fit many styles of afos. The flatform sole gives you extra height without having to sacrifice comfort or balance.
4. THE VERBANA
Jazz up your favorite spring outfit with the Verbena wedge sandal by Naot! This style features a fully padded upper and contrasting ankle strap. It has a faux buckle hook & loop closure & a completely removable anatomic cork & latex footbed making it a great shoe for Afo wearers.
5. THE CARYN
Liven up your look with the Naturalizer Caryn flatform sandal featuring crisscross straps and a shiny man-made upper. Heeled sandal boast an ankle strap with adjustable buckle closure. This sandal comes in a wide width & is available in several colors.
6. THE REBECCA
Enjoy a casual day out while keeping your feet at ease wearing the Dromedaris Rebecca Platform Sandal. This sandal features a comfortable, removable, microfiber-covered footbed that offers arch support and can be easily replaced with afos or orthotics. The onSteam® lining keeps your feet dry while offering antibacterial and antimicrobial comfort.
7. THE JESSICA
This leather upper with 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.
8. THE TAVIE
Asymmetrical straps and a low, nearly flat wedge add appeal to the Tavie versatile sandal styled with an adjustable ankle strap. The sandal comes in a wide width and will work for afo wearers wanting a flat sandle with ankle support.
9. THE NEV
A gored strap gives a personalized fit for these cute leather-upper sandals crafted in Italy by Bella Vita. Pack them easily for your adventures, or slip them on for a day on the town. They are available in an extra wide width & will be a go to for anyone needing a nearly flat shoe.
10. THE LILY
Make room in your closet for this breezy sport sandal with an elasticated ankle strap. It is available in a wide width & has a patent pending contoured insole board and built in heel cup.
11. THE ZANZIBAR
One of my favorite brands! Strap yourself in sophisticated style with this cute & comfy sandal by Revere Shoes. The Zanzibar are the perfect orthopedic shoes for women looking for a sophisticated sandal. Three subtle hook-and-loop closures provide ultimate adjustability, while crisscrossing straps across the forefoot add visual interest. They feature a completely removable insole and include extra strapping for afo wearers needing additional width. For more Revere Shoes, check out my post on them here. These are my favorite shoes for afo wearers as the entire footbed is removable & they come with amazing extras like additional matching strapping for those needing additional width. Use this coupon or click on the photo above for 15% off at checkout.
12. THE LONDON
Another great everyday sandal that’s as flat as you can get. The London sandal from ASOS is a wide width size that will fit many styles of Orthosis.
13. THE ALDER AMAL
Flaunt a sleek, modern profile wearing the Earth Alder Amal Active Sandal. This eco-friendly sandal features the Powerpath footbed that ensures energy in every step. The 4 hook-and-loop straps provide a secure and adjustable fit, while the reinforced arch support offers all-day comfort. Although not available in a wide width, the adjustable Velcro straps will work for some afo wearers.
14. THE SAYLIE MOON
Sporty with a modern twist, these comfort-right-out-of-the-box Clarks sandals deliver cushioned comfort with adjustable closures for a customized, lightweight fit. They are available in wide widths.
15. THE TARA
Woven straps add signature texture and sporty vibes to this carefree, everyday sandal by Berne Mev. The shoe is extremely stretchy but runs small, so definitely size up.
16. THE FARRAH
Flaunt a laid-back style wearing the Propet Farrah Strappy Sandal. The cushioning cork and rubber insole provides comfortable walking, while the 4 hook-and-loop straps offer an adjustable fit. They are available in several colors and come in an extra wide width, making them an ideal sandal for harder to fit orthosis.