Propping Up Comfort: 6 Best Shoes for Drop Foot

Medical information provided by Josh White DPM  /  Written by OrthoFeet Team on October 10, 2023 Blog Home

Walking is a fundamental part of our daily lives, but for people grappling with foot drop, this seemingly simple task can become an arduous challenge. 

The silver lining lies in the power of quality, lightweight and well fitting shoes. These footwear solutions offer essential support, enabling the foot to adopt a more natural walking position. 

To help you find the right shoes, we’ve put together a list of our top 8 foot drop shoes that can allow you to regain your mobility and confidence.

What are the best shoes for drop foot?

Best drop foot shoes (sneakers) for walking 

Women’s Kita | Men’s Yari

Kita Black

Why you’ll love it

  • Sneakers that redefine the way you put on footwear
  • Improved stability with slip resistant soles



  • 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 - blue, gray, black/white, black/black, rose, white | Yari - blue, white, gray, black


The unique feature: hands free convenience

What sets the Yari and Kita sneakers apart is their ingenious hands free feature. No more dealing with the hassle of traditional lace tying and generally using your hands to put on and take off your shoes.

Utilizing a hidden spring mechanism at the back of the shoe, the sneakers redefine the way you put on footwear. Simply slip your foot in, and experience the delightful embrace of the shoe as it gently contours to your foot with a reassuring bounce.

The outsole: dependable traction

For individuals with foot drop, maintaining balance and stability is paramount. The Yari and Kita sneakers excel in this aspect with their slip resistant outsoles. 

Whether you're navigating slick surfaces or traversing dry linoleum, these sneakers have your back, allowing you to focus on your daily activities with confidence and poise.

The upper: tailored fit and aerated comfort

The stretch knit upper of these sneakers is akin to a tailor for your feet. It guarantees a perfect fit that hugs your unique foot shape with cozy comfort and unwavering support. 

What's more, the breathable material ensures your feet remain fresh and cool, even during long and seemingly endless days. No more sweaty feet, unpleasant odors, or concerns about infections.

The interior: enhanced shock absorption 

Equipped with professionally cushioned and ergonomic removable orthotic insoles with anatomical arch support, the Kita and Yari work to absorb shock with every step, reducing impact on the feet and legs.

The ergonomic soles are also constructed with a mild rocker design and minimal heel-to-toe drop, to make walking easier and taking the strain off the forefoot.

In addition, with extra depth, wider widths and removable footbed, these sneakers can accommodate AFOs or other devices for foot drop. 


Best sandals for drop foot

Women’s Laguna

Laguna Gray

Why you’ll love it

  • Can easily accommodate AFOs
  • Breathable and lightweight



  • Sizes: 5-12
  • Widths: Standard (B) - Extra Wide (2E) 
  • Upper materials: stretch knit
  • Available colors: blue, peach, gray


The unique feature: accommodates AFOs

The women's Laguna sandals can easily be worn with braces or AFOs, making them an excellent choice for individuals with foot drop. The sandals' closed toe and stretchable design ensures compatibility with these devices, and the fabric conforms to the specific shape of your foot, providing a custom made feel. 

The upper: breathable and adjustable

The sandals offer several ways to adjust the fit, including a bungee cord across the instep and a strap along the heel.

In addition, the sandals' wide toe box accommodates various forefoot conditions, while the rubber outsole with advanced grip ensures superior stability. 

The knit fabric is exceptionally breathable and lightweight, making these sandals ideal for hot weather.

The interior: enhancing foot alignment

The sandals' interior features an orthotic insole and ergonomic sole. The orthotic insole provides anatomical arch support, enhancing foot alignment. It is also removable, allowing for custom orthotic inserts if needed. 

The sole design evenly transfers forces from the heel to the toe, making walking easier, while the seamfree interior is gentle against bare skin, ensuring maximum comfort.

The outsole: alleviates pressure

The ergonomic sole of the Laguna sandals is designed to alleviate pressure on the heel and feet. 

Extra padding in the heel area offers a soft, cushioned feel with minimal impact, while the rubber outsole provides extra grip and stability, ensuring you can walk more confidently.


Men’s Clearwater


Why you’ll love it

  • Fasten and unfasten from either side of the sandal
  • Wide enough to fit AFOs or other devices



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

The uniqueness: stylish and practical

The men's Clearwater sandals have the ability to accommodate AFOs and other devices commonly used by individuals with drop foot. This accommodation ensures that these sandals are not only stylish, but also practical for those with specific orthotic needs.

The upper: non-binding fit, smart strap

The sandals feature a closed toe fisherman style that keeps your feet and toes fully protected. This design is excellent for transitional seasons, allowing you to wear them comfortably with or without socks. 

Thanks to the two-way strap, you can fasten and unfasten the sandals from the inside or outside, making it easier to put them on and take them off, especially for people facing mobility issues.

In addition, the soft leather upper provides a non-binding fit, preventing pressure on your feet.

The outsole: improved stability

Designed with a rubber outsole, these sandals offer advanced grip, enhancing stability and reducing the risk of slips or falls.

The interior: fully padded

Every part of the sandal offers a fully padded interior, which is gentle on the skin and eliminates rubbing and irritation, ensuring comfort during extended wear.


Best boots for drop foot

Women’s Delta| Men’s Hunter

Hunter Olive

Why you’ll love it

  • Why you’ll love it

  • Full, well padded ankle support
  • Heavy with orthopedic features, extra light on your feet



  • Sizes: women 5-12 | men 7-14
  • Widths: women Standard (B) - Extra Wide (2E) | men Standard (D) - Extra Wide (4E)
  • Upper materials: leather and synthetic
  • Available colors: Delta - olive, blue | Hunter - olive, brown, black

The unique feature: improved gait and support

Surprisingly, despite their lightweight construction, the women’s Delta and men’s Hunter boots come equipped with a long list of orthopedic features, like:

  • Anatomical arch support that helps realign your foot and entire body posture, ensuring a more natural and stable gait.
  • Supportive cushioning in the sole, which adds spring to your step while minimizing discomfort, thus reducing the effort required with each stride.
  • A minimal heel drop, which reduces the need for excessive dorsiflexion (lifting the front of the foot) during walking, making it easier to maintain a natural and balanced gait. 
  • A mild rocker bottom sole that further contributes to an improved walking experience, making each step feel more effortless.

The outsole: traction and stability

The Delta and Hunter are not just designed for comfort, but also outdoor functionality. The rubber lug outsole provides exceptional traction and stability, making them suitable for a wide range of activities and perfect for people looking for a more stable shoe.

The upper: waterproof and well padded

Crafted with soft, waterproof or water resistant uppers (Delta’s black version is waterproof; Hunter’s olive and brown versions are water resistant and the black is waterproof), these boots keep your feet dry even when faced with challenging terrains or wet conditions. 

The interior: irritation free comfort

On the inside, the Hunter and Delta boots feature an entirely seamless construction that offers a soft and irritation free contact with the skin. 

In addition, the boots pay special attention to comfort with a well padded heel collar that offers extra cushioning for the sensitive heel and ankle areas. This padding ensures that every step is not only dry, but also comfortable and well supported.

Paired with the wide last design and extra depth, these boots provide a pressure free fit for your feet, accommodating various foot conditions and AFOs with ease.




What is foot drop?

Foot drop, also referred to as drop foot, is not a disease; rather, it is a symptom of an underlying neurological, muscular, or anatomical issue.

This condition makes it difficult to properly lift the front part of the foot during each step, resulting in a foot that hangs and toes that drag on the ground, causing instability and discomfort.

Navigating stairs, uneven terrain, or curbs becomes an uphill battle for those dealing with foot drop. Many resort to lifting their legs higher to compensate, an energy draining effort to prevent the foot from dragging. Yet, the consequences go beyond fatigue, potentially leading to issues like lower back pain and balance problems.

This walking pattern, known as "steppage gait", typically causes the foot to slap down onto the floor with each step. Some people with foot drop may also experience numbness on the top of the foot and toes.

Foot drop can affect one foot (unilateral) or both feet (bilateral), depending on the underlying cause.

This condition is typically caused by weakness or paralysis of the muscles responsible for lifting the front part of the foot. Some common causes of foot drop include:

  • Compression or damage to the peroneal nerve in the leg, which controls the muscles involved in foot elevation. This can happen due to diabetes, injuries or surgical procedures, such as hip replacement surgery.
  • Conditions like muscular dystrophy, which progressively weakens muscles, and neurological disorders, such as polio or Charcot Marie Tooth disease.
  • Conditions affecting the spinal cord or brain, including stroke, multiple sclerosis, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), can also result in foot drop. 

What shoes are good for foot drop?

To address the unique needs of people with foot drop, here are some considerations to guide your choice of shoes.

  • Adequate space for AFO or braces 
  • If you are using an AFO device or a brace designed for foot drop, your footwear must have enough space to accommodate them.

    In such cases, look for shoes with extra depth, sufficient toe space and removable insoles to comfortably house these supportive devices.

  • Arch and fascia support
  • Look for shoes that provide robust support for the arch and fascia ligament. Especially for people with foot drop and without AFOs or orthotics, built-in arch support is essential. This feature is also essential for other purposes, for example when you’re looking for shoes for fallen arches, flat feet, plantar fasciitis and more. Proper arch support helps maintain foot alignment when making contact with the ground, promoting proper foot alignment, reducing strain on weakened muscles and improving stability during walking. 

  • Stability and shock absorption 
  • Foot drop shoes should be able to provide good stability to mitigate pain points associated with this condition. Effective shock absorption is crucial, especially when walking on uneven surfaces or rough terrain. A sturdy sole provides protection and ensures proper grip, enhancing overall stability.

  • Lightweight design 
  • Given the added challenge of foot drop, a lighter shoe can significantly ease the walking experience, especially when fatigue sets in. Lightweight footwear reduces the feeling of dragging and makes lifting the feet less taxing. 

  • Mild rocker design 
  • Shoes featuring a mild rocker mechanism can greatly benefit individuals with foot drop. This design shifts the load from the forefoot to the midfoot and rearfoot, reducing the effort required to lift the foot. The toe turning up slightly, instead of being completely flat, helps with walking when neurosensory perception is limited.

  •  Adjustable fit 
  • Look for shoes that allow adjustability, such as adjustable straps. These straps help secure the foot in the shoe, preventing slipping and offering a more stable sensation while walking. Adjustable straps allow for a customized fit, adapting to individual needs.

  • Comfort and breathability
  • Prioritize comfort and breathability in your footwear choice. Shoes that offer breathable uppers prevent excessive sweating, reducing discomfort during extended wear.

    In addition, ankle support can be helpful, minimizing risk of falls and ankle sprains.