How to buy shoes for AFOs in less than 15 minutes

How to buy shoes for AFOs in 15 minutesThis past weekend, as I surveyed the 3 pairs of shoes we have to fit over Lily’s AFOs, I felt discouraged. On the plus side, we have 3 pairs of shoes that fit! On the down side, two pairs look REALLY worn. I can literally look through the sole as a window to her AFOs. The third… well, they just seems to make walking more challenging for her. I’ve Shoe Goo-ed the worn through pairs a few times to extend their life. However, I just can’t face doing it again. It’s time. They need to go.

On Monday she wore the lesser of three evils. On Tuesday, she wore them again and I was determined to get her some new shoes that night. The problem: Shopping for shoes to fit over AFOs is dreadfully long. We try on what feels like hundreds of shoes to figure out which ones fit the best. Throw in a tired and cranky 3 year old who has already had a long day… Uugh.

However, on Tuesday afternoon the skies parted, the sun’s rays sparkled across my face, and I got the best series of texts from my husband. Ever.

Husband: “Hey, I’m finished with Jury duty – want me to get Lily?”

Me: “Yes, that would be awesome. Any chance you’re up for taking her shoe shopping?”

Husband: “Never done that before…”

<lots of back and forth with me texting him about how to shop for shoes with her at target, what to watch for, have her walk in them, etc.>

Husband: “Hey, didn’t Nordstrom start carrying that brand that is supposed to be good for AFOs… Plae?”

Me: <blinking> “Do they?”

Husband: “Yeah, I’m pretty sure.”

He took her there. They have very limited selection in her size, but after trying 1 style of shoe in 2 different size and choosing which velcro strap style she wanted, they were done. Isn’t that magical?

I still can’t believe it. They cost $60 but seem much more durable than the pairs we’ve been getting for $20 a pop. And… we can order extra velcro straps for $5 in different designs online to change things up every once in a while. She even walks better in them!

Done and done. Most important … she loves them. They say “POW!” because they give her power. So. Awesome.

Plae Shoes - for over AFOs at Nordstrom


  1. I love go plae shoes for kids (with and without disabilities) and love that you found them in a local store! I think the ability to swap out the velcro tabs with different length and designs is key. We have to order online in our area. I just wish they had adult sizes…..

  2. My friend just told me about your website and I relate so much to your posts. I had been wondering about the Plae shoes and am so happy to hear they worked out! I’m trying to decide between different brands and this helped!

    1. So glad you found me! My daughter did end up figuring out how to wear through the toes, but she is SUPER hard on shoes. I want to try them again as she’s just about grown out of the pair we currently have (we’ve been using Shoe Goo to extend their life). :)

  3. My daughter who is 4 has AFOs and we love the Plae shoes. We order then online and have gotten a variety of straps so that she can customize them. I love how they let her feet breathe.

  4. Ignore my comment on the other post about Plae shoes– it was my first post of yours that I read, and then I started reading back and found this post. Anyway, we’re another happy family with a 4 year old with AFOs and are in love with our Plae shoes.

Leave a Reply