How to fit a leg brace to an orthopaedic shoe

Updated July 20, 2017

Many people suffer from leg problems that require them to wear leg braces. Drop foot, leg trauma, Post Polio Syndrome, stroke, and ankle sprains can all require the wearing of leg braces. One of the biggest problems with wearing leg braces is finding an appropriate-fitting orthopaedic shoe and fitting the brace into that shoe. Some insights into fitting the shoe and integrating the brace can greatly increase comfort and make wearing a brace much easier and safer.

Measure both of your feet while standing without the brace on, and remember the largest measurement in length and width. It is not necessary to have the brace on to measure your foot because orthopaedic shoes come in large widths and depths.

Select an orthopaedic shoe from the largest size you measured from the previous step, plus one width size and a half-length size larger. This extra width size and half-length size will accommodate the brace.

Remove the insert that is provided with the orthopaedic shoe. Do this only for the shoe that you will be fitting the leg brace into. You will need to keep the shoe insert in the other shoe for balance and for that shoe to fit appropriately.

Using a shoehorn, slip the brace into the shoe by spreading the vamp (top of shoe) and laces out to make room. Guide the brace in and push down on the knee until the brace is seated at the heel of the shoe.

Tie or Velcro the shoe closed and walk around to make certain that the leg brace is secure in the shoe and that no "hot spots" or irritation occurs. If any irritation occurs, reposition the brace and inspect the shoe.


If prolonged redness or irritation occurs, contact your physician or health-care provider.

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About the Author

Based in the Pacific Northwest, Rob Holzman has been writing outdoor articles since 1997. He recently published the first comprehensive rock climbing guidebook for Pennsylvania and has fiction work published in the "Pacific Northwest Inlander". Holzman has also appeared on FOX television and has been an outdoor consultant for the Discovery Channel.