Shoe recommendations for braces?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-15-2003
Shoe recommendations for braces?
11
Wed, 05-28-2008 - 7:51pm

Hello again!

My daughter wears Sure Steps (SMOs) and I'm having a hard time finding a lightweight shoe that fits easily over them. She's 15 months old and her foot is only 4 1/2" long (with the brace). I wanted to get a pair of Hatchback shoes since they are designed for SMOs and AFOs but the smallest they start is for feet that are 5 1/8" long.

Right now she is wearing low-top Converse shoes over them...I like them because they're lightweight canvas so her feet don't get too incredibly hot....but they are so hard to get on and off and I wish I could find something easy, especially since she needs to wear them all the time now and I hate it being a struggle.

Anyone have anything that works for them? Her PT said no crocs....the shoes have to have ankle support...

TIA!!
Nicole

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2006
Wed, 05-28-2008 - 8:21pm

Hi there Nicole,

Your DD is a sweety-pie!

Actually you wrote this before I had the chance to, and I was thinking about this all day!
My Devon (2 yrs. old) wears AFOs and just about NOTHING fits over them and I get so discouraged at the lack of choice of cute footwear for her. I mean, I should just come out and design some myself!!!???

I was at Payless and tried on just about every pair on Sun. Nothing, except sneakers. We already have a pair from Hatchbacks and they are great to get on and off, but heavy and too much for the summer.

We were at Stride-Rite's today and I could only find 1 pair that would fit, and its not the best fit but at least the whole foot (AFO and all) gets into the front of the shoe.

Like I mentioned, Hatchbacks are great. The quality is unbeatable. But, they are heavy. Devon isn't walking yet so they are a bit too much to lug around.
They may work for other kids?

Mary

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2005
Wed, 05-28-2008 - 10:59pm

We didn't use suresteps, but we used custom-made molded inserts to keep Megan from pronating. We were told to just use sneakers with the highest profile we could find. Those are usually the uglier ones - not the cute skechers type. Then get a size larger, then take out the padded insole, so that there's even more room from botton to top.


When she needed even more ankle support, we found lace up ankle boots. Those were a pain, and hard to find, but I think they did help.


And yea, the kind of sneakers we used usually are more hot than I'd like. Megan's socks would be wet when we'd take them off. :-(


This summer finally, I don't see Megan's ankles pronating. She's been wearing these cute pink skechers almost every day, and I'm loving it. Hopefully Zoe will outgrow the need for the smo's!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2008
Thu, 05-29-2008 - 8:22am

Hi Nicole, We never had luck with Payless or Target either. The only place I could find shoes to fit Anna was StrideRite. We are lucky enough to have a SR outlet near us and we bought the "Ally" style pink velcro boot (http://tinyurl.com/6q3lko). Even with XW, and a size up, you must take out the inner sole/liner or they will not fit. And, they just barely close. But, they were cheap and are cute. They are a size 5.5XW and are well worn (Anna mostly army-crawled in them so the sides are pretty marked up) but you are welcome to them if you'd like to try them, just send me an email. Anna's AFOs are around a size 4.5, if that helps.

Anna wears molded AFOs which go up her calf, so her ankles are supported and we are allowed to wear Crocs. However, like your daughter, Anna has little feet and even the smallest Crocs are really too big. If you (or anyone else) is looking for really tiny "crocs" we found ours at Walgreens last week for $8!

And, lastly, no matter what shoe we've tried, we always struggle to get them on! Oh well!

good luck,
Heather, mom to Anna 26 months, hypotonia/idiopathic GDD

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-15-2003
Sat, 05-31-2008 - 11:03am

Thank you so much for your replies! I am just sitting here smiling...I'm glad I'm not the only one who wants CUTE shoes for my daughter, lol!! Sometimes I feel goofy for worrying about if her shoes are "cute enough" but, well...that's one of the joys of having a girl, especially, right? (meanwhile I'm sitting here in my $5 Old Navy flip-flops)

Mary, I'm so glad you mentioned that the Hatchbacks are very heavy and not good for summer. We live in Central TX and it has already been in the 90s the past couple weeks and will be up to 100 all summer, so that is very important. Because of what you said, I decided to hold off on trying a pair until fall (which is better because Zoe's feet should be bigger by then anyway and fit better). BTW which Stride Rites did you find that fit, if you don't mind me asking?

Carol, I've noticed it definitely helps to take out the insole. And we are right there with you on the wet foot thing. Even when we stay inside our air conditioned home, Zoe always has wet socks when I take her shoes off...I can only imagine how hot it gets to have socks, plastic, and thick shoes on all at once. That is great that Megan doesn't pronate anymore!!

Heather, I'm excited that you found some shoes with velcro that fit! That's part of what makes the Converse such a pain for me, is having to tie them up and double knot them with what tiny bit of shoelace is left, right around the time Zoe is getting impatient and wanting to go back to playing. Right now she fits a Stride Rite 4.5 W, so Anna's shoes would still be too big for her, but I really appreciate the offer, that is so kind of you. I'll be on the look out for those in the store just so we can at least try them on.

Yesterday we hit the mall and wound up buying these:
http://www.nike.com/index.jhtml#l=nikestore,grid,_pdp,cid-1/gid-143038/pid-166907,_grid,f-10004+12001+11003&re=US&co=US&la=EN

I had to take out the insole and they still sit a little low, so I'm a little concerned, but Zoe seemed to walk okay in them. They also look a little funny since the velcro on the brace sits above the shoe...I don't know, I have a feeling the PT might not approve of these. =/ The thing I liked though is that they are velcro and the band is stretchy, so that makes them much easier to put on, plus they are very lightweight so I'm hoping that will help. Otherwise if anyone has any other suggestions, I'm always on the lookout and would love to hear it.

Lucky for us, Zoe loves wearing her SMOs and if I don't have them on her, she'll actually bring one to me, which is amazing to me. It's neat that she feels so much better in them and knows it. Hopefully that will last for as long as she has to wear them!

Thanks again!
Nicole

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2008
Thu, 06-05-2008 - 4:35pm

Wow, I really like those mary janes. Let me know how they work out and if your pt approves.

H

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-15-2003
Fri, 06-06-2008 - 12:23am

Well....I had to put them away for now. Argh! I think the only problem is that they are a half size too big. They are a 5 medium. They don't come in wide but were plenty wide enough with the braces. But we noticed they kept slipping off somehow as Zoe was trying to walk, and making her unhappy. So, I put them away and am really hoping they'll fit better once her feet grow, because they are so easy to put on and so nice and lightweight.

I bought them at Dillard's, I didn't check for a store locator on the Nike website but it may be worth it to try them out at a store!

I just ordered a pair of Stride Rites...if those work, I will be sure and post! =)

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-15-2003
Wed, 06-11-2008 - 11:40am
Hi again,

I just thought I'd post that the new Stride Rites I got for Zoe are working! yay!! And they seem to be on sale on quite a few sites right now, even on the Stride Rite site. Here is what they look like:

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They are a size 4.5 W. They fit easily over her braces and it's nice that they are cute too. =) The ONLY problem is that sometimes she likes to sit and un-velcro them. But I am very happy and am going to order one size bigger for when she grows out of them.
Here's a link if anyone wants to check them out:
http://www.striderite.com/shopping/product/detailmain.jsp?itemID=1424&itemType=PRODUCT&iMainCat=232&iSubCat=310&iProductID=1424&sColor=492

Nicole
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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2008
Wed, 06-11-2008 - 9:16pm

hi everyone this has been an interesting post for me...my ds was just recommended for sure steps by the dev ped yesterday.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-15-2003
Thu, 06-12-2008 - 8:05pm

Hello! In answer to your question about if they always have to wear shoes with them, unfortunately the answer is yes. When I was first told about the braces, I pictured Zoe running around in them with no socks or shoes but quickly learned that doing that would ruin her feet and the braces. So they always have to be worn with socks and shoes, which makes for very hot feet!

FWIW, I have one pair of shoes that are for outside use, and her others I only let her wear indoors. That keeps dirt off our floors and helps when she goes to therapy or Gymboree class, since usually kids are required to take their shoes off to play on the equipment but she has to keep hers on. It just makes things easier instead of always having to clean her shoes--and then I don't get so many dirty looks from the other Gymboree moms. :P

Let us know if you find anything great out there! Good luck!
nicole

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2004
Fri, 06-20-2008 - 7:52pm
We have a guy who specializes in fitting shoes for kids with AFOs.
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