Did your doctor recommend that you wear an Arizona brace but didn’t specify what specific shoes you should wear? Are you having the hardest time finding a pair of shoes that are wide and deep enough to accommodate your brace? I am going to show you a list of the best women’s shoes for Arizona braces based on my many years of shoe fitting experience.
Finding the right shoes to fit your Arizona braces might seem like an impossible task. I get contacted by many women from all over the world who can’t seem to find a single pair of shoes that work well with their braces.
There are many different reasons why an Arizona brace might be recommended, but the main goal of wearing an Arizona brace is to stabilize the ankle area. The Arizona brace is made from slightly softer materials and it’s not as rigid as an AFO, but it’s not as flexible as a lace-up ankle brace.
For an Arizona brace to do its job properly, it needs to be worn with the right shoes. Finding the right footwear can be a challenge, so I have created this guide for you, to help you understand what to look for to find the best shoes for your Arizona brace.
What Makes the Shoes that I Recommend Ideal for Women with Braces?
1️⃣ Supportive Outsoles: First of all, you can’t wear any shoes with your braces. The shoes must provide a stable base of support for your braces. Take a look at the difference in support between the two shoes below. Do you notice how the shoe on the right has a much thicker and more substantial outsole compared to the shoe on the left?
2️⃣ Extra Depth: This is a really important feature as it allows the AFOs to sit deeply inside of the shoes. This feature helps prevent the top part of your foot from rubbing against the top part of the shoes. The deeper the shoes are, the more comfortable your feet will feel inside the shoes.
3️⃣ Firm Heel Counters: This is the back part of the shoes that provide heel and ankle support. It’s important that the shoe provides stability and control of the heel. A more rigid back also makes it easier for the foot and orthosis to go into the shoe.
You can check if your shoes provide firm heel counters by pressing on the back part of your shoes.
4️⃣ Round Toe-Boxes: This feature helps prevent the front part of your Arizona brace from rubbing against the front or side of the shoes.
Important Tip: Your shoes should have a large tongue that moves far enough out of the way to easily insert an AFO into your shoe.
My Experience Helping Women Find Shoes for their Arizona Braces
Before the pandemic started, I used to work for a specialized shoe store where we helped women with different foot conditions and foot problems. Most of these women brought their orthotics to the store to find shoes that fit. Over the years I became familiar with the best women’s shoes for Arizona braces.
I have spoken with several women who wear Arizona braces, and I have learned how different they all are in their journeys with leg braces. For example, some women can’t wear shoes that don’t lace. Some other women can’t wear shoes that have platforms or heels as their entire foot/balance must be on the same level.
Best Women’s Shoes for Arizona Braces
Below you can find a list of the best women’s shoes for Arizona braces. Remember that all of the shoes below are available in wide (W) and extra wide (XW) widths, so make sure that you choose your shoe width accordingly. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.
What Shoe Size to Order?
Take a look at the description below of the shoes that I recommended to find out what shoe size you should order. Make sure that you don’t get the shoes any bigger than one size up because it can affect your balance and walking. One size up of your current foot size is typically ideal.
Are Any Other Shoe Choices Available?
If you are unsure about which one of these shoes might work best for your braces do not hesitate to contact me at:
If you are looking for a different shoe style such as a Mary Jane shoe or a pair of boots, I suggest that you refer to the articles below:
Shoe Horns Might Save You Time!
Shoe horns are extremely useful for people who wear AFOs as they make it easier to get the shoes on and off and they also help maintain the shape and support of the shoes.
What Socks Work Best for an Arizona Brace?
Are you wondering what socks you should wear with your braces? I created a different resource that describes the best socks for AFOs:
Let me know in the comment section below if you have found a specific pair of shoes that worked well with your Arizona braces.