Parents with children who wear special orthotics can relate to the dreaded task of putting on their child’s shoes. From placing orthotics properly on your child’s foot, to making sure their foot is far enough in the shoe for appropriate fit, the typical task of putting on shoes becomes a work out!
Due to the structure and limited flexibility of certain orthotics, many parents have difficulty finding shoes that are not only are easy to get on, but also fit their child properly. Imagine back-to-school shopping: You take your child to pick out new shoes, they find a pair they love, try them on, but due to the orthotic, you cannot get your child’s foot into the shoe quite right. Rather than upsetting them, you buy the shoe 2 to 3 sizes larger than their original size resulting in increased room at the toe.
Now picture this scenario: you go to the orthotist and they offer a brand provided by their company– typically a bulky looking sneaker. These shoes are great and much easier than the typical sneaker when coupling with orthotics, but due to their rigid fit and increased stability, they can be challenging for children to walk, run and play in.
So, where can you turn?
Over the years I have been introduced to several shoe brands that work with orthotics. Here are some of my favorite shoes that not only accommodate orthotics, but are also stylish and easy to put on.
Shop Billy Footwear
These affordable, shoes zip around the entire top of the shoe allowing easy foot placement without having to worry about getting the AFOs over the heel of the shoe. They come in various styles that allow your child to find a shoe that matches their personality. Billy Footwear shoes are great for all ages, especially teens and pre-teens, who like to keep up with latest style trends. You can find these online and use their sizing chart to help determine the best size for your child
Shop Nike Flyease
These athletic shoes come in various styles from a basic tennis shoe to basketball footwear. The zipper along the heel allows the foot to easily slide into the shoe. The shoes range in sizes from infant to adult and vary in pricing.
Shop Ikiki Shoes
These adorable shoes are great for infants and toddlers just learning to walk. They offer a on/off squeaker that helps to promote proper stepping pattern. Ikiki shoes come in various character styles and are comparable in price to everyday footwear. They can be customized in sizing for those that need two different sized shoes due to orthotics only on one foot.
Shop Plae Shoes
The Plae shoes over sizing from toddler to adults in basic shoe to boot and sandal styles. They have a customizable option to create a shoe that is individualized to your child’s style. Another advantage of this shoe is many styles are waterproof so you do not have to worry about wet toes. The velcro tabs and flexibility of the shoes make putting them on over orthotics a little easier. Check out the adult pairs for yourself and you can match your child!
Shop Hatchback Shoes
Hatchbacks offer velcroed heel that allow the foot to easily slip into the shoe. These shoes offer more stability than other shoes for those that are more unsteady on their feet. They offer limited styles in sizes for toddler to young adult/youth. A sizing chart is available to allow proper measurement of AFOs to find the right fit for your child.
Shop Butler Footwear
For those who have to battle the rainy and snowy weather, Butler brand offers a waterproof footwear for toddlers through youth sizes. Originally designed as an overshoe, this brand works great as a standard shoe for children who wear orthotics. These shoes use fan technology in the front of the shoe to allow easy slide in of the foot making them orthotic friendly. The shoes come in standard and orthotic sizes in fun and bright colors.
Converse Chuck Taylor Easy Slip Shoes
Shop Converse Easy Slip
These shoes offer velcro and zippers on the side to allow a larger foot opening to slide your foot in easily while wearing orthotics. They come in a high top style to allow more stability at the ankle.