The 10 Best AFO Braces For Foot Drop

by Sucharita Mishra
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Foot drop is a medical condition in which people may experience weakness and paralysis in the front part of their foot. The condition causes difficulty while walking. However, thanks to technology, there is a device that can resolve the problem. It is the AFO brace.

In this post, we have discussed AFO braces. We have also listed the top braces available on the market. Choose wisely. The braces can help bring your life back to normalcy.

Products
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Core Products FootFlexor AFO Foot Drop Brace
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Tenbon Ankle Support AFO Brace
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Furlove AFO Brace
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Push Ortho AFO Brace
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Step-Smart Drop AFO Brace
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Orthomen Ankle AFO Brace
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Mars Wellness AFO Brace
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AliMed Swedish AFO Brace
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Ossur AFO Leaf Spring Foot Brace
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BraceAbility Soft AFO 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.

The 10 Best AFO Braces For Foot Drop

1. 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

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2.

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

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3. 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

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4. 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

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5. 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

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6. 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.

Specifications

  • Weight – 5 ounces

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Fits easily into any footwear
  • Durable

Cons

  • Could be flimsy

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7. 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

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8. 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

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9. 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

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10. BraceAbility Soft AFO Brace

The BraceAbility Soft AFO Brace is clinically proven to manage pain, discomfort, and cramps caused by post stroke foot drop, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, diabetic neuropathy, muscular dystrophy, etc. It is ideal for both right or left foot with or without a sock.

It is convenient and has interchangeable inserts. The inserts allow the brace to be worn with a laced shoe, slip-on shoe, or sandal. You can also wear it barefoot. It has a low profile, and its open heel design enhances breathability. It has an easily adjustable buckle strap that has customized dorsiflexion control. The brace holds the foot upright while you are walking and running. This prevents the foot from dragging across the floor and promotes a natural gait.

Specifications

  • Weight – 2.4 ounces

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Open heel design enhances breathability
  • Promotes natural gait

Cons

  • Not durable

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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.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ 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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Sucharita Mishra

Sucharita Mishra has a Master’s degree in Biotechnology and specializes in writing on Health and Wellness. She has worked on determining various heavy metals present in green tea for her Master’s dissertation at CSIR- CFTRI, Mysuru. After completing her degree, Sucharita decided to pursue her passion for writing. She is addicted to all things black and aspires to become a bat one day.
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