• Your tips for wearing AFOs (ankle-foot-orthosis)

    Posted by Dagmar on July 11, 2023 at 1:01 am

    Some of us pALS wear AFOs to help us walk. I’ve had mine for 10 yrs. – – and I had a learning curve of trial and error before I found a way to be comfortable wearing them.

    For example, I didn’t feel very stable if I slipped them inside tennis shoes. There was too much “cush.” Instead, I found that flat (extra-wide) leather shoes worked better. Then I focused on adding the “cush” via socks and toe pads.

    If you wear AFOs, how are they working for you? Share your tips and/or questions with us.

    Micky replied 4 months, 1 week ago 9 Members · 9 Replies
  • 9 Replies
  • John E Lilly

    July 11, 2023 at 3:07 pm

    I wear 2 AFO’s and have found Billy Shoes are the BEST…they’re easy to put on; come in different colors and styles…best thing about them: they have laces BUT they have zippers! Check’em out online.

  • Sandra Mikush

    July 11, 2023 at 3:09 pm

    I’ve had an AFO for about a year. I started with an off-the-shelf AFO made of hard plastic, and I hated it. It was clumsy and felt less stable than no AFO. With some help from this forum, I switched to a carbon fiber AFO with enough flexibility to walk, hike and play pickleball. I’m slower and more careful these days, but I’m so much happier with this type. I use a Thuasne SpryStep. It fits great in my sneakers and hiking shoes and didn’t even require a larger size. If your PT recommends an AFO, make sure you are clear about what activities are important to you so that you get the right model.

  • Eric Jensen

    July 11, 2023 at 3:17 pm

    Wear them if you want to walk further! They work!

  • JohnW

    July 11, 2023 at 8:00 pm

    Ive had my Aillard carbon fiber for about 4 years now.  My ALS started in lower extremeties particularly the calf and moving up the hamstrings.  Shoes that were recommended were Kiziks but seems that no one has them and you buy them online only. I beleive in trying before buying So we thought of my requirements and just thought we check a sneaker store first.  I found Asics work pretty well as they have removable inner soles and the AFO slips in pretty easily  then you just put the inner sole back in. Works well for me if you still have upper arm or hand strength.  Also i recommend longer shoe laces maybe 72 inches since they are easier to tie.

    Definittely my AFO has extended my walking ability.

  • Lynn Rogers

    July 11, 2023 at 9:00 pm

    I have an AFO for both feet.  I started out with left and in March had to get for my right one ( I’m still having problems getting it fitted just right).   My question is, I still do not feel “stable” with mine and have to use either a Walker/Rollator or hiking sticks.  Does anyone else use assistance with their AFO’s?

  • Beth Gabel

    July 12, 2023 at 8:27 am

    I have for both feet. I use a rollator. It’s better to be safe! It took 3 different pairs of braces til I found the right ones! I’m glad i have them though. I also wear Billy’s shoes. They are awesome! Easy to get on and off. They are inexpensive as far as orthotic shoes go and they are quite stylish!

  • Dagmar

    February 6, 2024 at 11:24 am

    Has anyone tried the new slip-on sneakers (like Sketchers) to wear with AFOs? Or, even to wear without AFOs?

  • Heatherb

    February 6, 2024 at 10:54 pm

    Yes I bought my husband a pair of the Sketchers slip-ins. It would be nice if he could also wear them with the afo but they don’t have removable soles, so that’s out. He wears one afo right now and for some reason it makes his lower leg and ankle very swollen. So depending on where he is going and who he will be with, he just wears the sketchers and uses his cane. They are really convenient and comfortable.

    • Micky

      February 12, 2024 at 1:10 pm

      Hi Heather,

      I saw your message about your husband’s AFO, and I thought to mention that I use my 2 carbon AFO braces with Sketchers slip-on sneakers. It took some effort, but I removed the insides using a screwdriver, and was fitted with both feet for spongy foot inserts. They work like a charm, and I cannot pull up zippers so I fit them inside my loose legged pants that I just pull up. I try to walk every day 1-2 miles – always with my AFO’s. I also use a 1/2” higher shoe size. You can use a full size greater too.

      Good luck!! Mike (Micky)

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