Semi-Annual Sales

Best Shoes for Cerebral Palsy

By Orthofeet Team / Dec 12, 2023

Stepping into the world with confidence and comfort is a universal desire, and for those navigating life with cerebral palsy (CP), finding the right pair of shoes becomes a crucial part of this journey. 

In this article, we dive beyond the ordinary and into the realm of footwear that can help to empower and support those with Cerebral Palsy.

What shoe features are best for cerebral palsy?

“Cerebral palsy is a chronic neurological condition that affects overall muscle function, posture and movement. Due to the impaired movement and balance, having shoes that provide stability is always recommended,” says podiatrist, Dr. Emily Splichal.

Dr. Splichal emphasizes that “Overall, stability, support and comfort are key features of shoes for those with CP.”

Here are key features that align with her recommendations:

  • Grip and support. High quality grips on the outsole, arch support and flexible uppers.
  • High-quality grips on the outsole, arch support and flexible uppers ensure stability and support.
  • Fastening mechanism. Bungee elastic lacing or Velcro fastening facilitates easy on and off, aligning with the need for convenience in shoe management, especially for individuals with impaired movement.
  • Shoe width and depth. Wider and deeper shoes make foot insertion easier and can accommodate AFOs or foot orthoses more comfortably, providing the necessary space and support.
  • Heel counter stability. 
  • A firm heel counter at the back of the shoe helps prevent the shoe back from collapsing when inserting or removing AFOs, ensuring stability during the process.
  • Forefoot rocker. Shoes with a forefoot rocker, curving upwards at the front, contribute to toe clearance during walking. This design supports natural movement and helps those with cerebral palsy maintain a smoother gait.
  • Sandal design. When choosing sandals, opt for those with a closed back instead of a strap. This design choice enhances support when wearing an AFO or foot orthoses, ensuring optimal comfort and stability in line with Dr. Splichal's emphasis on overall stability.

The best shoes for cerebral palsy 

Best sneakers for cerebral palsy

Women’s Kita | Men’s Yari

Kita Black Black

Why you’ll love it

  • No-hands wear eliminates the need to bend over or use your hands.
  • Stretch-knit uppers accommodate any foot shape and foot orthoses.

Specs

  • Sizes: women 5-12 | men 7-14
  • Widths: women Standard (B) - Extra Wide (2E) | men Standard (D) - Extra Wide (4E)
  • Upper materials: stretch knit
    • Available colors: Kita - black-black, black, blue, gray, rose, white | Yari - blue, white, black, gray

     

    Standout feature

    Engineered with essential features to maximize comfort and convenience, these sneakers are constructed with innovative slip-on technology, meticulously crafted for people with limited mobility or those leading a hectic lifestyle who prefer a quick exit.

    The advanced slip-on technology ensures hands-free wear through a built-in spring at the back that bends to allow the foot in and recoils as soon as the foot is inserted. This effectively eliminates the need for bending down or using hands to put on or take off the shoes, providing a seamless experience.

    Other features

    • The slip-resistant outsole provides advanced grip and excellent stability, ensuring a confident and secure stride.
    • The cushioning sole with a mild rocker design not only improves walking ease, but also adds a spring to your step, enhancing overall mobility.
    • The breathable knitted upper keeps your feet dry and healthy. It’s also stretchable, adapting to the contours of your feet to deliver a customized, pressure-free fit tailored to individual needs, and accommodate foot orthoses. 
    • The premium orthotic insoles with anatomical arch support, conveniently removable, realign the foot and body posture. The addition of the Arch Booster insert enhances support under the arch, providing a customized level of comfort. 
    • The water-repellent uppers simplify maintenance and cleaning, offering practicality in everyday use. 
    • A wide toe box alleviates pressure on the feet, ensuring superior comfort and protection. 
    • The soft, padded fabric interior with no overlays eliminates irritation, making these sneakers perfect for sensitive feet.

     

    Feedback from users

    Kita

    “I have a foot drop, and it’s hard to find shoes that work with my AFO brace. Also, I have big feet, and it’s really hard to find nice women’s shoes in my size (12, sometimes 12.5 with my brace). I also need good support, as I’m not very steady because of my foot drop. These shoes fill the bill! I like to slip them on first thing in the AM, when I’m too stiff to bend down and not ready to put my brace on. They are much more supportive than slippers, and I can go outside in them. They look nice - not like clunky orthopedic shoes and not masculine like men’s shoes. I can also wear them with my brace…”

    Joan Wikler

    Yari

    “Awesome fit and most of all purposeful. I can feel the effects of the product creation and the results are better every day. A wonderful design, absolutely satisfied.”

    Shop Yari

    Best boots for cerebral palsy

    Women’s Siena

    Siena Taupe

    Why you’ll love it

    • Slip-resistant outsoles help maintain stability on any surface.
    • Side zipper creates a wide opening for easy foot insertion. 

    Specs

    • Sizes: women 5-12
    • Widths: Standard (B) - Extra Wide (2E)
    • Upper materials: leather
    • Available colors: taupe, black, brown

     

    Standout feature

    The Siena boots are designed with slip-resistant soles, providing advanced grip and stability on various surfaces. This feature is crucial for people with cerebral palsy, reducing the risk of accidents, especially in slippery conditions. The enhanced traction also ensures a secure and confident stride.

    Other features

    • Designed for practicality, the boots include a side zip and adjustable strap, facilitating easy putting on and taking off and allowing for adjustments in fit.
    • Tailored to accommodate AFOs and various foot orthoses, these boots feature a wide toe box. This design also ensures the alleviation of pressure on sensitive areas, promoting overall comfort and reducing discomfort.
    • The high-quality, removable orthotic insoles incorporated into the boots provide essential anatomical arch support, helping to realign the foot and correct overall body posture, offering added support.
    • The taupe version of the Siena boots is crafted with water-repellent leather uppers, which act as a protective barrier against wetness and moisture. This not only safeguards against potential infections but also ensures a non-binding fit, eliminating constriction or discomfort around the foot.
    • The cushioning sole with a mild rocker design enhances walking ease and adds a spring to every step. This promotes a smoother and more natural gait, catering to the unique mobility needs of people with cerebral palsy.
    • To add a touch of style and extra comfort, the cozy faux fur detailing around the collar and within the boot complements the boots' functionality.

     

    Feedback from users

    “I love my new boots from Orthofeet. I wear these low cut boots inside and out. With the arch support insert and the thicker insole provided they are perfect.”

    Kathy Hogan

    Men’s Glacier Gorge

    Glacier George

    Why you’ll love it

    • The wide opening of the tongue and straps ensures effortless foot entry.
    • Supple leather uppers offer a fit without pressure, adapting to various foot devices.

    Specs

    • Sizes: 7-14
    • Widths: Standard (D) - Extra Wide (4E)
    • Upper materials: leather
      • Available colors: black

       

      Standout feature

      The Glacier Gorge boots redefine convenience with two hook and loop straps, offering not just easy on-off wear but also adjustability for a personalized fit. These straps secure the boots to individual preferences and foot shapes, emphasizing a tailored and comfortable experience.

      In addition, the straps open wide and the tongue fully extends, facilitating effortless foot insertion. The wide opening invites you to step into the boots with ease, eliminating unnecessary pressure or discomfort.

      Other features

      • Shock-dispersing insoles, meticulously crafted to safeguard your every step. Designed to cushion your feet from various angles, these substantial materials offer unparalleled comfort and protection as you walk.
      • Built-in anatomical arch support insoles gently alleviate pressure on the plantar fascia, ensuring a harmonious balance that enhances overall walking comfort, allowing you to navigate the world with more confidence and ease.
      • Soft leather exterior is a testament to durability and timeless elegance. This classic appearance, however, conceals an exceptional pliability that accommodates AFOs or braces seamlessly.
      • Rubber outsole with mild rocker design improves stability by providing enhanced road and surface grip, and propels the foot forward as you walk. 
      • Extra depth from heel to toe, complemented by a wide, round and tall toe box, provides ample room for the toes to spread out naturally and for foot orthoses, ensuring a fit that is both pressure-free and allows for maximum toe movement.

       

      Feedback from users

      “Fantastic! I have worn it daily since receiving it and with my FBO braces on each leg. Most comfortable I own, now I have ordered another style with hopefully the same results.”

      Best hiking shoes for cerebral palsy

      Women’s Alma | Men’s Avalon

      Avalon

      Why you’ll love it

      • Smart heel band secures fit to minimize heel slippage.
      • Rubber lug soles with deep grooves provide exceptional stability.

      Specs

      • Sizes: women 5-12; men 7-14
      • Widths: women Standard (B) - Wide (D) | men Standard (D) - Extra Wide (4E)
      • Upper materials: stretch knit
      • Available colors: Alma - khaki and gray | Avalon - khaki and gray

       

      Standout feature

      A distinctive feature of these hiking shoes is the built-in heel band that wraps around the heel and securely fastens to the laces. This innovative design ensures a customized fit, providing a secure grip that minimizes heel slippage and enhances overall stability during outdoor activities and hikes.

      Other features

      • The cushioning sole of these sneakers, designed with a half-inch heel drop and a mild rocker, works diligently to soften each step. This feature significantly improves walking comfort, reducing the impact on the feet and making movement more manageable without discomfort or pain.
      • Equipped with a waterproof membrane and water-sealed fabric, the Alma and Avalon shoes ensure your feet stay dry and healthy even in wet conditions, allowing worry-free enjoyment of the outdoors without concerns about moisture-related foot issues.
      • The orthotic insoles address foot misalignment and its associated pain and discomfort, extending to the legs and back. The insoles improve overall posture and promote a more natural walking pattern, enhancing stability.
      • The wide toe box provides ample room for your toes to spread out comfortably. This design minimizes pressure on the forefoot, reducing pain and discomfort associated with various foot conditions and leaving enough room for foot orthoses.
      • The rubber lug outsole ensures stability and offers exceptional traction, providing reliable support on various surfaces during hikes or any outdoor activity.

       

      Feedback from users

      Alma

      “I really like these shoes. The arch support is great and the deep treads make me feel safe while walking in sand covered walks. I’m 70 yrs old and while I’m walking in these shoes I’m not thinking about my feet! I highly recommend them. They are a bit on the heavy side, but once on my feet, I don’t notice it.”

      Christine Comstock

      Avalon

      “Nicely constructed shoe, as expected, by Orthofeet. They are the only shoe manufacturer I buy from anymore. They have the most comfortable shoes for my feet and have many varieties to choose from.”

      Best sandals for cerebral palsy

      Women’s Verona

      Verona

      Why you’ll love it

      • Padded heel strap, designed to open wide, ensures easy foot insertion.
      • Elastic bungee cord closure allows for an adjustable fit. 

      Specs

      • Sizes: 5-12
      • Widths: Narrow (A) - Extra Wide (2E)
      • Upper materials: microfiber
      • Available colors: pewter

       

      Standout feature

      For those with foot orthoses, varying instep sizes and the need for easy foot insertion, the Verona sandals feature a quick lace bungee cord and a fully opening, padded heel strap. This allows for a customizable fit, accommodating different foot shapes and sizes. 

      The elastic lace contributes to achieving maximum comfort, catering to those with a narrow heel, wide forefoot, or people requiring additional support, such as those who wear a brace.

      Other features

      • The sandals strike a balance between a shoe and sandal, featuring a closed toe forefoot. This design element supports the forefoot and ensures a smooth and controlled gait, while keeping your feet well-ventilated.
      • Designed with a state-of-the-art orthotic system, the multi-layered soles with air pocket technology not only provide extra cushioning, but also ensure a secure grip, reducing the risk of slips and falls. 
      • The anatomical arch support promotes proper biomechanics, reducing stress on joints like ankles, knees and hips.
      • The wide toe box, extra depth and wide widths ensure ample space for toe movement and a pressure-free fit, while the footbed is removable, allowing you to insert your own custom insoles or foot orthoses.
      • The sandals incorporate a minimal heel-to-toe drop design, facilitating correct biomechanical movement.
      • The forefoot rocker aids in natural foot movement, making each step easier and reducing stress on the muscles and bones, which is especially crucial for people with cerebral palsy.

       

      Feedback from users

      “I have found the shoes to be comfortable. The most important thing for me was being able to put my medical orthotics in the shoes offering better support to my feet. I also liked the color of the shoes as they go well with most clothes.”

      Jacqueline Morgan

      Men’s Clearwater

      Clearwater

      Why you’ll love it

      • Closed toe design provides stability and protects your feet at all times.
      • Multiple closure options allow you to fully customize fit.

      Specs

      • Sizes: 7-14
      • Widths: Standard (D) - Extra Extra Wide (6E) 
      • Upper materials: stretch knit
      • Available colors: brown

       

      Standout feature

      Designed with a two-way strap system across the instep, the Clearwater sandals offer a versatile fastening mechanism. This allows you to fasten and unfasten the sandals from either the inside or outside, making it particularly helpful for those with limited mobility. 

      The bungee cord, instep strap and Velcro strap at the heel provide multiple customizable options, ensuring a secure and adjustable fit.

      Other features

      • The fully cushioned ergonomic soles provide excellent anatomical support, enhancing comfort and helping to alleviate foot, leg and back pain. 
      • The fisherman style with a closed toe ensures full protection for the feet and toes, offering a secure grip for people with mobility challenges. 
      • Your feet will stay constantly ventilated thanks to the cut-outs and breathable stretch-knit upper material.
      • Every part of the sandals features a fully padded interior, ensuring comfort during extended wear. 
      • The non-binding fit of the fisherman-style design prevents pressure on the feet. 
      • The sandals accommodate foot orthoses if needed, providing the necessary width and depth for a comfortable fit.
      • The rubber outsole provides excellent road grip, contributing to enhanced stability on various surfaces.
      • The sandals are padded throughout every part of the interior, ensuring that the padding is gentle on the skin and effectively eliminates rubbing and irritation, guaranteeing lasting comfort.

       

      Feedback from users

      “Excellent quality. The fit and comfort of these is unmatched in my experience. High quality materials and construction and good looking too. Very pleased! Excellent value.”