How To Buy Shoes For Kids With Orthotics
I was recently asked what shoe we use for John-Michael that works well with his orthotics. The truth is you could use just about any shoe you’d like to use but we use (based on the recommendation of our physical therapist) New Balance shoes.
Most children with Down Syndrome have low muscle tone inn varying degrees and require support. In John-Michael’s case his was on the more significant side of the spectrum and that’s why orthotics were so important for him. And yes I went with the Star Wars theme (get over it Trekkies).
The most important thing we were told in picking shoes were the traction of the shoe and that means athletic shoes. We get them a size bigger than he needs. So if his feet say he fits a size 6, we buy a size 7 because it’ll almost always have adequate room for the orthotics, especially if you have to use a SMO and an AFO orthotic.
One mistake that I made on John-Michael’s first pair of shoes was not taking out the inner sole of the shoe. It made it near impossible to fit his foot strapped into his orthotics (we call it his gear) into the shoe. Remove the inner sole and you should have no problem with the fit. It’ll be snug but you can get it in there.
Although I’ve never tried them, there was a company that advertised their product as a shoe solution for people who had to wear orthotics called Plae. Now it seems that they’ve got a more traditional approach to their marketing, the style of their products haven’t changed which means they can still be used for our kids. I will say that they are slightly more expensive than New Balance shoes but they have great reviews.
Either way, I believe it’s a personal preference and that any traditional athletic shoe can do the job effectively. And I think we should avoid complicating our lives to much because they are already complicated enough. So go wild, buy Nike, Adidas or Wal-Mart specials and you’ll be fine I assure you and have fun while you decide!