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Baybreeze 02-15-2008 01:35 PM

Dressy Shoes for an AFO Brace For Interviews
Hi, I noticed someone else asked about dressy shoes for orhtotics, but I didnt want to post my question in their post. I need to wear a rigid plastic AFO brace on one ankle all the time and now am faced after my plant closing of finding a new job. The only shoes I wore at my old job were sneakers (it was an office setting, but extremely casual, which is rare). They were wide sized Nikes and wide sized New Balance and they work well with my brace. However, now i'll have to go on interviews in a suit...but I cant possibly wear my sneakers in a suit. I cant go without the brace either b/c it will cause too much pain. Does any one have any ideas of some dressier looking shoes that might fit my AFO? I also have a problem finding shoes because Im usually a womens 10 wide and not many stores even carry that. I do realize I may end up having to get those orthopedic shoes anyway, but was hoping I could find something that won't stick out like a sore thumb.

janewhite1 02-15-2008 02:41 PM

Re: Dressy Shoes for an AFO Brace For Interviews
You know, New Balance makes plain black leather walking sneakers, fairly discreet, especially if you are wearing pants. For my wedding, I wore a pair of "victorian" boots from Western Wedding Boots, white leather, flat sole, pretty but extremely good for my ankle. I think they came in black, too.

Sensible women's shoes do exist, but not in department stores, and expect to pay at least $100 for them, unless you happen upon thrift store gold.

Baybreeze 02-16-2008 07:28 AM

Re: Dressy Shoes for an AFO Brace For Interviews
Thanks, Jane. I havent seen black New Balance around here, though Ive not looked in many places, so hopefully I can come across some. Looks like a sneaker or some kind of orthopedic shoe is going to be my only options. IT's also hard b/c I also have a big foot LOL. I have to get either womens 10 wide or even an 11. The dept. stores in the mall by me dont even carry 11, figures. Ohh I just thought of Payless, I know they carry bigger sizes, but they wont be comforatable.

janewhite1 02-16-2008 10:59 AM

Re: Dressy Shoes for an AFO Brace For Interviews
I've never had good luck with Payless shoes. They just never seem to have what I'm looking for, and if they do, it turns out to be junk. Footwear is one thing where you really want to pay more, especially if you already have foot problems. (Quality shoes last longer, anyway, so you really aren't paying more in the end.) Most stores will order for you if they don't have your size in stock.

stepbystep89 02-16-2008 07:08 PM

Re: Dressy Shoes for an AFO Brace For Interviews
New Balance owns another company that makes women's dress shoes. Check out Aravan shoes. They are dressy and somewhat stylish. I also wear size 11 and sometimes a 12. You can find them at a New Balance store, even in the big sizes.

Also, Dansko is a great brand, although you will pay at least 100 dollars. If you go to a shoe store that specializes in orthopedic shoes, you may find a better selection than you expect, especially in larger sizes.

I wish you luck! Keep posting, so we know how things turn out.


janewhite1 02-16-2008 08:34 PM

Re: Dressy Shoes for an AFO Brace For Interviews
Did you mean Aravon shoes? Those do look nice. Matter of fact, I think I want a pair.

stepbystep89 02-17-2008 05:16 PM

Re: Dressy Shoes for an AFO Brace For Interviews
[QUOTE=janewhite1;3445037]Did you mean Aravon shoes? Those do look nice. Matter of fact, I think I want a pair.[/QUOTE]

Yes, Aravon is the correct name. They are good. I've had two pairs, and they were both very comfortable.

Right now, I am wearing Dansko. They have a GREAT rocker sole.

Let me know what you think of the Aravons if you end up getting a pair.:)

Baybreeze 02-22-2008 07:35 AM

Re: Dressy Shoes for an AFO Brace For Interviews
Yayy, I found some shoes!!!! They were expensive, but are comfy and they fit very good with my brace!!! I found a shoe store by my local hospital and I went in because a sign outside said Wide Shoes. Turns out that is all they carry for both men and women & they even had my size in most. Plus if I wanted a shoe that wasnt quite my right size, he said he would order it for me. I actually did put an order for a pair that i tried on in brown, but wanted in black. They are dressy shoes and can you believe they even have a little wide heel? And my brace works in them! I also bought a pair of more sneakerish like shoes that close by velcro only, which will help me when I cannot really bend or lift up my legs. I also got another pair of ..get this, dressy ballet-type flats. Another one I just could not believe that fit my brace and my foot & brace do not come out of the back by the heel when I walk. The sneakerish ones are made by Walking Cradles, the ballet flats are made by Munro American. The flats have a completely rubberized sole with lots of grip, so chance of slipping; the shoe is some sort of stiff fabric but it seems to keep my foot & brace in place. This shoe also comes with a pair of latex type insoles that you can put in if need be. I cant remember the name of the ones I put on order, though. And the sales man was extremly helpful to me. He knew right away which shoes might work best with my brace and for support, etc. He also carried Clarks and New Balance and a bunch of other brands. I think i'm going to have to buy shoes there all the time now! I am just happy and relieved that I found some I can wear with a suit or business attire!

Lynn1991NY 02-22-2008 10:35 PM

Re: Dressy Shoes for an AFO Brace For Interviews
This is the EXACT problem I am having! I lost my job and now I am starting to interview. I did wear sneakers for one interview but it was snowing out so I had that excuse. I am going to check out Aravon but the problem is I do not think I can wear any heal. I will check.

Baybreeze 02-23-2008 04:51 AM

Re: Dressy Shoes for an AFO Brace For Interviews
Im sorry that you're in the same boat as me and it's tough finding shoes! My last job I was allowed to wear sneakers, so it was never an issue. I didnt think I could wear anything with any sort of heal either. BUt since I was at the store & the clerk was getting all the shoes for me anyway, I said, I would try them on just for the heck of it. It's a very low heal and it's as wide as the shoe is. It's certainly not any kind of narrow heal. But it does work. And I put on a 1/2 size bigger because with the brace, it has a little tilt to it and it pushes my foot to the front of the shoe. So I wanted to make sure it had more room by the toes. It wasnt the best type of shoe for support, but for limited purposes like interviewing, it was perfect. Ive not seen these Aravon shoes anywhere by me, though so Ive not tried them.

Lynn1991NY 02-23-2008 11:39 PM

Re: Dressy Shoes for an AFO Brace For Interviews
My last job I told them I had to wear sneakers. It was an office job and I barely saw clients so it wasn't an issue. I really had no choice. I got fired basically because of all my surgeries and have been recovering from my last surgery 8 weeks ago. I am now trying to wean myself off the brace but my leg and foot get tired easily.

I used to wear a 8. My new balance that I use with the brace are 8.5 regular in my good foot and 9W in my braced foot. I had to buy 2 pair. :(

I was told a small healed sneaker is good as it gives me a push off and provideds good cushioning. I even had my sneakers fitted with some springy thing in the heal. I tried on shoes today and it won't work right now. I just don't feel comfortable without a brace and I am not buying two pairs of shoes in different sizes that I only will wear a couple of times so I can wear the brace. I might try interviewing without the brace and just walk very slowly. It is just so frustrating.

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