11 Best AFO Braces For Foot Drop

Written by Aditi Naskar, Diploma In Health & Wellness
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Foot drop, aka drop foot, is a medical condition where the person feels difficulty in lifting the front part of the foot. This condition makes you uncomfortable while walking, and you even may need to drag the front part of your foot. This is when you need the best AFO brace for foot drop.

An AFO brace helps normalize walking patterns. In this article, you can find the 11 best AFO braces that will help you get relief from foot drop. Scroll down to know all about them!

TOP 10 PRODUCTSCheck Price
Best Lightweight Material: Core Products FootFlexor AFO Foot Drop Brace
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Best Value For Money: Tenbon Ankle Support AFO Brace
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Best Breathable Fabric: AZMED Night Splint Adjustable Foot Drop Brace
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Best Durable Material: Furlove AFO Brace
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Best Flexible Design: Push Ortho AFO Brace
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Best For Daily Use: Step-Smart Drop AFO Brace
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Best For Sciatica: Orthomen Ankle AFO Brace
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Best Fit: Mars Wellness AFO Brace
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Best Comfort: AliMed Swedish AFO Brace
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Best Sturdy Material: Ossur AFO Leaf Spring Foot Brace
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What Is An AFO Brace?

AFO is an abbreviation for Ankle Foot Orthosis. The AFO brace is specifically designed to minimize foot and ankle flexion. AFO braces support the front of the foot and joints during activities like walking. They work by limiting the speed at which the foot plantar (the sole of the foot) flexes during walking.

In the following section, we have listed the top 10 AFO braces available online.

11 Best AFO Braces For Foot Drop

1. Best Lightweight Material: Core Products FootFlexor AFO Foot Drop Brace

Core Products FootFlexor AFO Foot Drop Brace

This AFO brace can be an ultimate mobility solution for individuals with foot drop or similar conditions that require dorsiflexion (raising the foot upwards towards the shin) support and/or assistance. It is a functional and comfortable brace. It allows an affected foot to perform naturally while walking.

It is used to help improve gait and increases confidence in one’s walking ability. The product is designed to work with most lace-up shoes and boots. The package includes a FootFlexor wrap, eyelet clips, and a tension cord that helps lift the toe while walking.

Specifications

  • Weight – 4.6 ounces

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Stable

Cons

  • Lack of instructions on how to assemble

2. Best Value For Money: Tenbon Ankle Support AFO Brace

Tenbon Ankle Support AFO Brace

The Tenbon Ankle Support AFO Brace is made of velvet fabric, sponge, plastic sheet, and nylon tape. It has a cushioned ankle wrap. This wrap is made from breathable, 3-layer material that can be worn for longer periods.

The product is used to manage pain and discomfort caused by post-stroke foot drop, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, diabetic neuropathy, muscular dystrophy, etc. It also provides a visible improvement in gait that offers support for drop foot or similar complaints. The brace is convenient and can be worn with a laced shoe, slip-on shoe, and sandals.

Specifications

  • Weight – 1.6 ounces

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Value for money
  • 3-layer material for comfort and extended use
  • One size fits all

Cons

  • Faulty velcro strip

3. Best Breathable Fabric: AZMED Night Splint Adjustable Foot Drop Brace

This adjustable foot brace is made with lightweight cotton and neoprene material. The soft interior prevents skin irritation and chafing, while the open heel design allows airflow and breathability continuously. The brace features a bendable aluminum strap to adjust foot angled at 85-90 degrees angle for utmost comfort.

This brace reduces plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis by providing maximum support and continuous foot stretch to soothe heel spurs and pain. It is suitable for relieving pain caused by foot drop, stress fracture, foot injury. It supports muscle recovery and stabilizes the ankle and feet. It has an adjustable dorsiflexion strap to allow easy foot stretching throughout the night.

Specifications

  • Weight: 3.81 ounces

Pros

  • Bendable aluminum strap
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable material
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Might be difficult to put on

4. Best Durable Material: Furlove AFO Brace

Furlove AFO Brace

The Furlove AFO Brace is made from velvet fabric, sponge, plastic sheet, and nylon tape. It has a cushioned ankle wrap. It is made from breathable, 3-layer material that can be worn for a long period. The sole of the foot brace can be removed during the day and can be used with shoes and shoelaces.

The sole and ankle part of the brace can be connected at night to correct its use and prevent rebound. The foot brace has contact buckles and magic paste closures that allow for easy adjustment. The brace is suitable for people with stroke foot drop, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, muscular dystrophy, neuromuscular weakness, etc.

Specifications

  • Weight – 4.2 ounces

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Durable
  • Sturdy
  • Cushioned ankle strap for added comfort

Cons

  • Faulty velcro and straps

5. Best Flexible Design: Push Ortho AFO Brace

Push Ortho AFO Brace

The Push Ortho AFO Brace has a unique strapping system that allows for an adjustable level of dorsiflexion. This unique strapping system also gives the ability to wear the brace with a wide variety of shoe styles.

It is flexible and gives users added comfort. It improves one’s ability to walk on uneven surfaces and even climb stairs. It has adjustable levels of dorsiflexion assistance for all stages of recovery.

Specifications

  • Weight – 2.2 pounds

Pros

  • Flexible
  • Stable
  • Unique design allows for wearing brace with different shoe styles

Cons

  • Not durable

6. Best For Daily Use: Step-Smart Drop AFO Brace

Step-Smart Drop AFO Brace

The Step-Smart Drop AFO Brace is low-profile, lightweight, and energy efficient. It offers functionality and comfort. It is an articulated brace that maintains ankle action and feeling and flexibility in the toes. It also has shock absorption at heel strike and natural toe breaks.

It has a patented “Jacob Joint” technology that allows one brace type to be used by many alleviating foot drop symptoms. Another added advantage of this brace is that many insurance companies cover this brace under their policy.

Specifications

  • Weight – 10.2 ounces

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Stable
  • Jacob Joint technology allows one brace type for many foot drop symptoms
  • Covered by several insurance company policies

Cons

  • Not durable

7. Best For Sciatica: Orthomen Ankle AFO Brace

Orthomen Ankle AFO Brace

The Orthomen Ankle AFO Brace is durable and lightweight. It gives medial/lateral support for unstable ankles as well as greater rigidity to resist muscle spasms. It fits easily into any footwear. It gives excellent stability.

This foot brace is suitable for people with peroneal nerve injury or sciatica nerve lesions. The brace is made of durable PP material. It is specifically designed for both the left and right feet. Click on the video to know everything about the product.

Specifications

  • Weight – 5 ounces

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Fits easily into any footwear
  • Durable

Cons

  • Could be flimsy

8. Best Fit: Mars Wellness AFO Brace

Mars Wellness AFO Brace

The Mars Wellness AFO Brace provides static dorsiflexion assistance and lateral stability for the entire foot-ankle area. It has an injection molding that allows for a thicker polyethylene. It is vertical and ensures rigidity. The low arch and open heel give the splint a streamlined profile that fits easily into any shoe. A padded hook-and-loop strap secures the brace around the calf.

It is designed to aid foot drop that is related to CVA or nerve palsy or heel cord tightness. The brace supports the foot in a proper position. Its anatomical design also compensates for atrophy and avoids calcaneus irritation. It also provides optimal flexibility of toes.

Specifications

  • Weight – 3.2 ounces

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Value for money
  • Streamlined profile allows the brace to fit in any shoe
  • Optimal flexibility to the toes

Cons

  • May get damaged easily
  • Not durable

9. Best Comfort: AliMed Swedish AFO Brace

AliMed Swedish AFO Brace

The AliMed Swedish AFO Brace is an injection molded polypropylene splint. It provides static dorsiflexion assistance and lateral stability for the entire foot-ankle area. The injection molding allows for a thicker polypropylene on the vertical aspect for better rigidity.

It may also be trimmed with a pair of ordinary scissors to make a thinner footplate. The brace can fit into any shoe, thanks to the low arch and open heel. It also comes with a padded hook-and-strap that secures it around the calf.

Specifications

  • Weight – 4.8 ounces

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comes with a padded hook and strap
  • Can be easily trimmed for comfort

Cons

  • Can get easily damaged
  • Not durable
  • Provides no support/flimsy

10. Best Sturdy Material: Ossur AFO Leaf Spring Foot Brace

Ossur AFO Leaf Spring Foot Brace

The Ossur AFO Leaf Spring Foot Brace is a pre-fabricated polypropylene ankle-foot orthosis. It is designed to support flaccid drop foot. It provides support to the toes and has a thin, flexible foot plate that is easy to trim.

There is no heel in this foot brace, making it more comfortable to wear. It also provides a better fit to shoes. This brace comes in small and medium sizes. It is suitable for people with an average height of 5 feet 8 inches. The brace’s variable thickness also offers strength.

Specifications

  • Weight – 4 ounces

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Sturdy
  • Value for money
  • The absence of a heel makes it more comfortable

Cons

  • No return policy

11. Best For All Kind Of Shoes: Ossur Foot-Up Drop Foot Brace

The Ossur’s Foot-Up Drop Brace provides dynamic support for drop foot, plantar fasciitis, and disorders that require dorsiflexion support. It lifts the toes and keeps the ankle in alignment while supporting the foot.

The plastic inlay fits between the tongue and shoe laces, which remains invisible when worn. The cushioned ankle wrap is designed with a breathable, three-layer material. The adjustable ankle cuff fits comfortably, and the foot-up helps improve your gait. Take a quick look at the video to find out the process of wearing the Ossur Foot Up Drop Foot Base.

Specifications

  • Weight – 3.98 ounces

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Suitable for all kinds of shoes
  • Ideal for daily use
  • Breathable
  • Comfortable wear
  • Includes a plastic shoe inlay

Cons

  • The velcro straps are unstable

These are the top AFO braces available online. Foot drop is a problematic condition. These braces can help you resume your normal life. If you are buying an AFO brace, you need to be aware of certain factors. Not all braces are made alike. While some are better, some may not meet all the requirements. In the following section, we have included a buying guide to help you out.

How To Find The Best AFO Brace – A Buying Guide

1. Style & Design – There are various types of foot drop braces with different styles. The two usual styles are boot braces and lightweight braces. The boot styles are usually bulkier, and the lightweight versions are much lighter as they are made of breathable material. Choose a brace that is suitable for you and will ensure free movement. A lightweight brace is usually preferable as it does not put stress on your legs.

2. Comfort – You should consider a brace that is not too loose or too tight. It must stay in place. A brace must also go well with most types of shoes.

3. Material – The braces available on the market are made from various materials, like nylon, neoprene, foam, and composite plastics. Nylon and neoprene are known for being lightweight and give you more flexibility. The foams offer better comfort. Pick the one that suits your needs.

AFO braces allow those with the foot drop condition to return to normal lives. Depending on the case, the condition could be temporary or permanent. But regardless of the cause, the brace allows for better recovery and quality of living. Understand your requirements after talking to your doctor, and go for a brace that suits you the best.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

The author of this article, Aditi Naskar, has a diploma in health and wellness. She is passionate about providing researched-backed articles to her readers. She went through multiple reviews and user feedback to handpick products that were of high quality. She understands that the best AFO braces minimize ankle and foot flexion. Besides that, the braces also provide great support for drop foot or similar complaints.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a foot drop take to heal?

A foot drop may take up to 6 weeks to heal. However, it may take longer if the injury is severe. Major injuries may cause a permanent foot drop condition.

What shoes are best for treating foot drop?

Shoes that hold the ankle more firmly are good. High top tennis shoes seem to be the ideal choice. Moreover, many orthopedic surgeons and orthotic/prosthetic practitioners recommend cross trainers for the condition.

Does foot drop cause balance problems?

Yes, a foot drop may cause balance problems.

Can I sleep in lightweight braces?

You can sleep in lightweight braces. However, they may not always be comfortable.

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