8 Best Shoes For Kids With AFOs

Our daughter Kinsley has been wearing AFOs, which stands for ankle foot orthotics, for over 8 years. It seems wild to type that out into existence. We've tried a lot of shoes over the last 8 years and have found eight shoes that we would say are the best shoes for kids with AFOs. If your child is new to the world of AFOs I hope you find this post encouraging and supportive to your journey. 

Shoes For Kids With AFOs

Tips for Shoes for Kids with AFOS:

When looking for shoes for kids with AFOs there are a few things to keep in mind when you're on your search. There are many more brands of shoes that will work outside of what I'm sharing with you here. You just need to know what to look for:
  • Look for shoes that have a removable insole. 
  • Go 1-2 sizes up from their regular foot size. Right now Kinsley's foot is a 1Y and we buy a 2Y.
  • Look for shoes that are shaped like a skater shoe rather than a running shoe.
  • Shoes that are marketed as "wide width" won't always work out. 

The Best Shoes for Kids with AFOs:

All the brands that I am about to recommend I have personally purchased and have had success with when purchasing for my daughter on a regular basis. These are brands that I fully trust and have 8 years of experience purchasing. I hope these work as well for you as they have for me.

Shoes For Kids With AFOs

Shoes for AFOS: 

This is a small woman owned business that I love. I went down a rabbit hole several years ago looking for church shoes for Kinsley that didn't look dreadful. This woman has you send the exact measurements of your leg braces and she will HAND MAKE shoes for you. We absolutely loved our shoes when we bought them, and we need to order new ones again. They are amazing quality, and such a great investment. (As of writing this it looks like they only have their fringe boots in stock, I am waiting to hear back if they plan on restocking other styles).

Billy Footwear:

These are the shoes we get most often for Kinsley. The person we get our leg braces from gives a free pair with every set of leg braces, so we've gotten a lot of pairs for free, and we've also purchased a lot ourselves as well. I love that they have so many fun prints to choose from, they look nice, and they hold up really well. We've never purchased a "wide width" from them, and they've always worked out just fine. Last year they had some brown leather boots that we've worn horse riding for the last year, and I'm hoping they release a new similar pair this year. This is also the only brand I've ever seen of actual winter boots for AFOs so if you need some, this is probably your best bet. You can get $5 off your purchase when you use my link.

Target Cat and Jack Shoes:

These shoes I purchased all the time when Kinsley was younger and could fit in them. I have only purchased the exact Cat and Jack shoes that I'm linking to with the double velcro. The insoles remove super easily from these, they come in a lot of fun colors, and they're the cheapest on the list at $10. 

While we're talking about Target, there are Billy shoes at Target, and they're not created equally and I've heard they're horrible. You've been warned. 

Shoes For Kids With AFOs


I have had excellent luck with Converse in the past. I think we have had three pairs total and they have all been a win. Again, I did not have to purchase a wide width. The low cut shoes as opposed to the high top shoes are the ones we've always gone with. If you get laces instead of velcro, this is easiest because you can loosen the laces a lot, slide the foot in, and tie them up with basically no issues. 


In full transparency, I have not purchased Nike's in a long time, but the very first couple pairs of shoes we bought were Nike's and we had good luck with them. We took the insole out, ordered 2 sizes bigger, and they slipped right on. Also a mom in the comments on this post said that she loves Nike's as well. So that's two mom's opinions for one post.

HatchBack Footwear:

This brand reached out to me a few years ago and sent me a pair of their shoes for free to try with Kinsley. We really liked them and wore them until they literally could not be worn anymore. It looks like they're updating their website right now, so I linked to another supplier. They're a great shoe and I recommend them if you can find them. 

Memo Sandals:

As a bonus, Memo sandals are really great for the summer months if you're looking for a sandal for your child to wear. These are highly rated by a lot of parents because they say their kids can wear them without their braces and not have any issues. We tried them, and Kinsley drags her toes when she walks so they got scraped and it wasn't a good fit for us. 

We did purchase these Osh Kosh sandals this summer that Kinsley wore without her leg braces, and they ended up working really well for us. 

These are all my shoe recommendations for kids with AFOs. If there is a brand that you have tried and loved with your kids, I would love to know about them in the comments below! 

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  1. Hi, first off, your daughter is darling. I have a teenager with a rare chromosomal disorder and PVNH ( a neuronal migration disorder). Have you ever tried Hatchbacks shoes? My daughter wore afos/dafos for many years and they were our favorite as they were easier for us and for her to get on and off.

  2. In the event that you need to purchase shoes for your kids online try to shop at rumored stores.Babykleding

  3. My son also wears AFO's due to tibial dysplasia (side affect from NF1), and we also love Nikes! We've also been loving the adaptive shoes from Cat & Jack at Target...most have zippers making it super easy to get the AFO's in and stay put :0

  4. I've heard good things about this company, and they have some cute shoes! (I'm not affiliated) https://billyfootwear.com/

  5. If you have not seen any of the shoes in the Privo line then you are in for a treat when you finally try a pair of these shoes. Not only do the shoes feature amazing workmanship and high-quality materials, but they are also designed with a number of innovations to help keep you as comfortable as possible when wearing them. yz 350