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…..

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.

CLICK ON THE SANDALS BELOW TO SHOP

45 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.

      • I need closed toe sandals/shoes also. Any suggestions. I wear a hard AFO brace from my toes to my knee and have awful bunions / ugly feet. Also need 4E Width due to brace.

    • Thank you for giving me hope that I may be able to get out of my New Balance white tennis shoes. I wear them year round.
      Sincerely,
      Tunya S.

      • Hi Tunya,

        I seriously think Podiatrist’s get some sort of major kickback for keeping Afo wearers in New Balance sneakers 😂. Yes,there are other options & I would love to help! Please reach out via email or our Facebook page if you have any questions. Xo LAinie

  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!?

      • I have foot drop and wear a Walk On Flex carbon fiber AFO that curves upward behind my ankle. When I first get my new AFO, I have them cut a notch in the foot plate right between my big toe and the one next to it. I find t-strap sandals that slide into the notch, but I have to have sandals that have a back strap with a buckle that helps hold the sandal on. Sometimes I use a small rolled piece of duct tape to keep the back of the plate from sliding around, but I like the idea of the sticky back Velcro and will have to try it. A few cons is that the foot plate often rubs into the straps causing them to break, so if you find sandals that work, buy several pair. My foot swells a lot, so the straps can sometimes become too tight if I am on my feet for a bit. My warranty for the brace is void once I have the notch cut in the foot plate, but it is completely worth it to have some normalcy and feel stylish once in awhile. I took a picture hoping I could attach it to this post to show the notch but there was no picture option. I did find a pair of Keen sandals with a slightly closed toe and Velcro ankle straps that I can wear outdoors but are comfy at work too. I have to agree that it is pretty frustrating to find cute shoes and I’m always on the look out, so thank you for your post.

  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.

    • I am new to wearing a AFO for foot drop and was told I couldn’t use it with sandals. I was encouraged by your website and ordered the Naot Amadora Slingback sandal. When it arrived I could not figure out how to remove the footbed. I also checked the Naot sandals I already own but couldn’t see how the foot bed could be removed from them either. (They all have a strap between the big toe and next the next one.) I immediately returned the Amadora sandals, alas. How do you remove the footbed and can it be removed from sandals with a thong toe strap?

      • Hi Eleanor,

        I’m really happy you found the website but bummed that the Sandals didn’t work for you. I just verified on the Naot website (I was worried I made a mistake ) and the footbed on that sandal is removable. All you do is lift it out. Not all styles of Naot have removable footbeds! I do not recommend thong sandals of any kind and you will never see any on the website as people with foot drop tend to have too many toe issues (mine are funky) to make them work without pain. Please reach out anytime directly if you want an opinion on another shoe 😀😀

  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

  14. What a wonderful list – I can’t wait to once again try out a pair of sandals. I’ve been wearing carbon fiber AFO’s for about 12 years now and have never been successful with wearing sandals. Now I know were to look for 1. stylish sandals that come in wide; 2. ones with a front toe strap adjustment (this is usually my biggest issue, and 3. Numbers 1 & 2 plus Velcro. Thanks for all your work on theses sites – they are truly wonderful! BTW, I was misdiagnosed with CMT in my mid 40’s (I’m now 60) and at that time was told there was nothing they could do for me so like you, I adjusted my lifestyle and learned to live with it. Just 2 years ago I was told it was CIDP, not CMT and was tested and sure enough, not CMT! Unfortunately, the immunotherapy that I’ve been receiving is no longer working since it is most effective in the first 2-3 years of diagnosing CIDP – so it goes. At least I’ll be ‘stylin’ in a new pair of comfortable sandals! Thanks so much

    • Michele,

      Thank you for your fabulous comment! I can’t believe you were misdiagnosed with CMT for so long! Your positivity is awesome!! Please please lmk how it goes with those sandals. Did you read this post? Remember to pad the foot plates. You can also pad your front toe ahead of time. https://trend-able.com/7-hacks-for-orthotics- Thanks for the appreciation – its all worth it when I get messages like yours 💜 Lainie

      • Lainie,

        Thank you, thank you, thank you! I received my sandals the other day and absolutely love them! I purchased #1and #7 and wore one pair the first day and the second pair the very next day – what a great feeling. Thanks so much for providing m with the inspiration to once again wear sandals! I even got a pedicure! I haven’t had a reason to get one in so long, what a blast. BTW, I live in southern California so I can now wear sandals for most of the year – guess I have more shopping to do! 🙂 (But I was born in Detroit, “motor city”, MI)

        • Hi Michele,

          This made my night! I’m so glad you love the sandals you ordered & are rocking them with freshly painted toes. 😀😀. I remember well when I first wore sandals with braces. It was such a freeing & awesome feeling. I do think it’s totally unfair that you, a former Detroiter now gets to live in Cali. I’m beyond jealous that you won’t need my boot recommendations 😀. 💜💜Lainie

  15. HI- I’d like to ask what everyone’s solution is to getting a good pedicure when you just cannot stand how sensitive your feet are from neuropathy? I dread it now 🙁

  16. Hi Lainie,

    I have the Allard carbon fiber AFO. Do you have a specific insole or insert you recommend to use with sandals?

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