For several years, my child has worn ankle foot orthotics,otherwise known as AFO’s. Although they clearly provide support in the areas she needs most, I’ve often wondered if they hinder other muscles; a debate I’ve had with her physiotherapist. After talking with several parents of children with cerebral palsy, I realized this is a common concern. Many parents have opted to go outside of the conventional way of thinking, and chose to use orthopedic shoes that provide a brace like support, plus do routine stretching exercises. Only you and your child’s therapist or doctor can decide what is suitable. Below are some of the companies suggested to me for orthopedic shoes or shoes that support AFO’s.


Ablegaitor LLC has a good variety of orthopedic shoes. I was particularly impressed with the selection for little girls. They have nice styles and colors to choose from. Their brace-like support shoes are noted as great for children with cerebral palsy, especially for heel stability. They also are adjustable and have options for inserts for arch, pronation and supination support.


Peidro Therapy Footwear provides good stability for children needing extra support. This is the brand currently used by Ability Camp in their conductive education therapy program. See my previous posts Ability Camp – Conductive Education and Ability Camp – The Journey to Independence. For the distributor in Canada, contact Advanced Orthotic Designs. Inc.


If you are looking for children’s shoes that can be used in conjunction with AFO’s, check out Hatchbacks Footwear. Of course, there are lots of other companies on the net should you decide to explore further. Personally, I’ve always managed to find a good deep running shoe with Velcro straps and removable insoles. It doesn’t provide the same ease of AFO entry into the shoe, but it’s not bad and definitely the cheaper way to go.


If you’re on the fence about the difference between a child using AFO’s and orthopedic shoes, consider trying both. I find it difficult to get a reasonably priced sandal for my daughter that can be used with an AFO. Perhaps an orthopedic sandal is a good summer option rather than sweaty little feet in AFO’s and shoes. Keep in mind many extended health benefit programs many have some coverage for costs. If your child is on the At Home Program Medical Benefits, there may be coverage there also.


I hope this information can minimize another parent’s search. Please let me know if this was helpful.

2 Responses to “Orthopedic and AFO Shoes for Children”

  • Daneil's Nana:

    Daneil my grandson has CP. His PT told us about Hatchbacks 2 years ago and he loves them. he is 8 and says I like my shoes.They look normal.

    • admin:

      Thank you for sharing Daneil’s experience with others. Often our children stand out enough by using different equipment, needing extra support, etc. Though I’ve never been one to conform to the “norm,” this isn’t about me. There are times it’s easier on our children if we can find things or ways that help them fit in. Clearly Daneil is happy with his shoes and has a great point. Since you read my post intended to help others, I’d say Daneil has a great Nana also.
      Thanks again.

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(Wheel-ist-ic) Adj: awareness or acceptance of actual fact, real existence, or truth with relation to inclusion, accessibility and/or persons with disabilities.

Let’s Be Wheelisitic is a blog designed to open communication, share and create change through parenting, awareness, inclusion and advocacy. Over the years people have encouraged me to use my voice and experiences with my daughter to help others with or without disabilities, or parents of children with disabilities. This blog is my way of doing just that. I hope you will find this site enjoyable, educational, helpful, and rewarding.
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Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud. — Dr. Maya Angelou