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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…..
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.