For a healthy individual with no physical ailments, it can be easy to walk, jump, run and do your basic everyday tasks. But for someone who has a drop foot, it can be difficult to lift the tip of the feet!
Undoubtedly, this can have a devastating effect on their everyday lives that can also become a permanent disruption in their lives if left untreated. Therefore, if you or someone you know has drop foot, you will first need to find the best course of treatment, regardless of the cause.
Following physiotherapy, using a good AFO (ankle-foot orthosis) brace is the best solution to help correct drop foot. To help make your job easier, we have put together this buyer’s guide that features the top 5 AFO braces in the market today.
Moreover, these products have been chosen based on their fit, comfort, support, and material to give you the best results!
So, without further ado, let’s get started, folks!
What Is An AFO Brace?
A person suffering from a foot drop can often experience weakness, numbness, and paralysis, especially the front of the foot.
Therefore, this is a medical condition that creates problems while walking and makes physical movement more difficult than usual. These people will also find it difficult to go about their day and do their regular tasks.
This immobility starts with mild paralysis, which most people attribute to the kind of numbness you would get after sitting on your feet for long hours. However, if it is ignored for a long time and left undiagnosed, the condition will start to progress and eventually lead to permanent immobility.
But here’s the good news. Your doctor can treat the condition with specific solutions. One of those includes surgery.
Here, the doctor will first understand the cause of the problem. Based on this, they will figure out if nerve surgery can help to rectify the issue. However, the doctor can only use this method if the condition has recently been developed.
If it is long-standing, the doctor might choose a type of surgery that involves fusing the foot’s bones and ankles or one that will transfer an attached muscle and a healthy, well-functioning tendon to a different area of your feet.
However, if you do not wish to go for surgical methods, you can always choose physiotherapy! This might take a long time, but with good practice, you will get more control over your foot’s movements, which will help you perfect your gait.
But the ultimate treatment involves the combined forces of physiotherapy as well as APO braces. Simply put, this plastic splint is a device that helps to keep the ankle and the foot in a stable, well-aligned position. This way, the structure of your foot will be held in its place firmly, which helps to reverse the condition of foot drop.
Besides promoting healing for this medical condition, an APO brace also helps treat and cure other physical ailments.
Who Can Benefit From Using An AFO Brace?
AFO braces are normally used to the drop foot condition. However, as mentioned before, you can also use them to treat other conditions, including neurological and musculoskeletal disorders.
In addition to these, AFO braces can also benefit people who suffer from the following conditions:
- Cerebral palsy
- Foot or ankle injury
- Foot drop
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Spina bifida
Regardless of what caused you to pick up an AFO brace, wearing one can greatly help correct the posture of your foot and ankle and align them in their place in no time! Moreover, it also helps to lower the pain you feel after surgery significantly.
However, the most popular use of AFO braces remains for foot and ankles surgeries as they are ideal for treating and supporting the joints and muscles as they can get very weak after surgery.
The Top 5 Picks For The Best AFO Braces At A Glance
- Best Overall: Push Ortho Ankle Foot Orthosis: This model comes packed with all the right features and also comes with added flexibility to make it easy for you to walk on all types of terrains, even the stairs!
- Best In Features: Insightful Products Step-Smart Drop Foot Brace: If you are looking for an AFO brace that is powerfully packed with all the right features, you can consider opting for this product.
- Best In Design: MARS Ankle Foot Orthosis Support: Suppose you prioritize the design of the AFO brace over everything else. In that case, you will be delighted with this one as it comes with a fantastic anatomic design that can sit perfectly with the curves of your feet!
- Best In Budget: Furlove Soft AFO Foot-up: Undoubtedly, AFO braces can cost you a lot of money. However, if you are shopping on a budget and would like a more affordable brace, this product is the perfect one for you!
- Best In Stability: Orthomen Ankle Foot Orthosis Support: Want something that provides the best of support and stability? Why not opt for this AFO brace! The stunning build of this product also serves to give you the desired level of support to help you walk all day comfortably!
The Top 5 Picks For The Best AFO Braces
Whatever the reason is, losing the ability to walk and do your everyday tasks can be very frustrating.
However, thanks to the special gifts that technology has bestowed upon us, using useful products like AFO braces can be an absolute game-changer.
Therefore, if you have decided to buy a high-quality AFO brace for you or a loved one, you need to do so from the best brands. But before you decide to head out on a shopping spree, make sure you understand the intensity of the condition.
While one person might be able to do their everyday tasks with minimum difficulty, another might be completely paralyzed. Therefore, you need to purchase an AFO brace that matches the person’s unique circumstances.
Lucky for you, this buyer’s guide is here to simplify your job! Not only will you find a detailed review on the best AFO braces, but you will also find a handy buyer’s guide that will help you zero in on the perfect choice for you.
Listed below are the top 5 best bedside commodes that you can find on the virtual market today!
Best Overall: Push Ortho Ankle Foot Orthosis
When you look up this product on Amazon today, one of the first things your eyes would look at is the price. While the Push Ortho Ankle Foot Orthosis does come with a heavy price tag, we can assure you that it is a purchase worth every penny. “How so?” you may ask. Keep reading!
With a price like this, you will automatically expect the APO brace to be made of high-quality materials which can last a long time. And that is exactly what you will get too!
In terms of build and design, the brace itself is very lightweight and does not weigh a lot to keep your foot dragged down to the floor. Instead, it offers a lot of support for the ankle and bones, which will rectify the posture and makes walking safe and easy again.
It also comes with an extremely innovative yet trendy design that helps you regain your natural gait without disrupting your daily routine!
Moreover, it also provides unmatched levels of lateral stability needed to keep your ankles and joints in the right posture all through the day! This way, you will not have to stress about the brace bending or breaking in unnatural ways that can cause damage to your feet.
In terms of fabric and material, this brace is made of latex-free, premium sympress materials that can be washed as and when it is needed. Furthermore, the frame of the brace is reinforced with glass fiber material and a soft, moisture-wicking inner lining that keeps you sweat-free all day!
However, the real selling point of this product is that it can be used with all types of shoes! Be it your favorite pair of fancy sandals or comfy slippers, the design of the Push Ortho AFO brace allows you to comfortably wear any type of shoe.
This way, you will not have to spend a few extra bucks trying to find new shoes that fit the brace!
- It can be used with all types of shoes, making it versatile
- It can be worn in the night as well
- It can be used on all terrains
- The model is soft, lightweight, and extremely comfortable
- It can be machine washed
- It comes with a heavy price point
- It does not have a lot of size options
Best In Features: Insightful Products Step-Smart Drop Foot Brace
If you are someone who has foot drop, you can have a feeling of despair wash over you as you might think that all is lost. However, with Insightful Products Step-Smart Drop Foot Brace, it is no longer an impossible mission to restore your natural gait!
Straight off the bat, we can tell you that resistance is this brace’s strong point.
This highly innovative product packs in all the comfort and functionality you would need from an AFO brace. Moreover, this is a competitive type of brace that is extremely energy efficient, especially for the foot drag condition.
In terms of design, this model comes with a 3/4footplate and a natural toe break to help retain all the feeling and sensation in your toes. This type of flexibility is super important for personalized resistance.
Moreover, it provides the resistance you need when you need it. The moment your heel touches the ground, the brace offers resistance to avoid further injury and damage to your feet.
In addition to this, the model also has fantastic shock-absorption technology for easy movement while wearing the brace. It also comes with the excellent Jacob Joint technology that helps to keep your feet well-balanced and stable at all times.
The brace also features a set of bumpers that offer three more levels of resistance which makes it perfect for people with foot drag to find their comfort spot easily.
In terms of weight, this brace is extremely lightweight and comes in 4 sizes. It is also very easy to slip on, which makes it perfect for those with intense calcaneus trauma and pain.
- Offers unmatched levels of resistance to protect your ankles and feet
- It comes in 4 sizes
- It comes with loads of features
- It is extremely durable and easy to use
- The fit could have been more comfortable
- It cannot fit all types of shoes
Best In Design: MARS Ankle Foot Orthosis Support
The need for medical equipment and supplies has been on a constant rise as more and more products continue being developed. However, one of the most reliable brands that deliver high-quality products, time and time again, is Mars Wellness.
And the same applies to the MARS Ankle Foot Orthosis Support.
This AFO brace features a long 3/4 footplate that allows the user to make easy movements while wearing it. Moreover, it also keeps your toes comfortable and sweat-free throughout the day.
Much like our trophy winner, the MARS Ankle Foot Orthosis Support can also be used with different shoes! All you got to do is trim and cut the thinner side of the footplate and slide it into your favorite pair of shoes.
It also comes with an anatomically smart design that helps to prevent and/or reduce calcaneus irritation and pain. It also helps to compensate for the atrophy by providing optimal lateral stability. Moreover, it also assists with dorsiflexion to help restore your natural gait in no time!
However, the standout feature of this APO brace is that not only does it help to correct your posture, it also helps to give you maximum support to your entire foot, including the ankle area! Furthermore, to avoid blisters and other irritation, the brace also comes with a convenient hook and loop strap, which is padded to keep you comfortable.
Moreover, these braces come in a wide range of sizes that can fit both male and female users.
- It comes with an anatomically smart design
- It offers lateral stability and support to the feet and ankles
- It comes with a convenient hook and loop strap for maximum safety and comfort
- They are available in different sizes for both men and women
- They are not very easy to hide
- It might take a while to get used to it
Best In Budget: Furlove Soft AFO Foot-up
Next up, we have this soft and comfortable AFO brace made by Furlong. If you are looking for a brace to give you maximum movement with comfort and stability, this brace is a must-have for you!
The best part about this brace is that it is a free-size product. This means you will not have to stress about accidentally ordering a brace of the wrong size.
In terms of fabric and material, the ankle wrap of this brace is made of a highly breathable fabric that works well against sweat and gives you maximum comfort. Everything other than the ankle wrap is made of nylon, velvet cloth, plastic sheets, and sponges.
Moreover, you can also wear this brace for a long time without constantly worrying about skin irritation that can make your feet soar and even cause blisters. Thanks to the soft sponge cushioning, the brace is super comfortable and easy to wear.
In addition to this, you can wear Furlove’s brace with slip-on, laced shoes, or can even go barefoot!
It also comes with added features, including adjustable assistive devices to make this product a good fit for the feet.
Other than using this brace for drop foot, you can also use this to treat patients who have dorsiflexion injuries, Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, calf spasm, and more. Furthermore, patients who have recently suffered from a stroke will also benefit from it.
However, what people love about this product is the lifetime guarantee that it comes with!
- It comes in a free-size
- It provides excellent support and stability
- It is made of high-quality materials
- It comes with loads of useful features
- It comes with a lifetime guarantee
- The strap might not work well
Best In Stability: Orthomen Ankle Foot Orthosis Support
Last but not least, we give you the Orthomen Ankle Foot Orthosis Support. If your drop foot is caused by a peroneal nerve injury, or hemiplegia, or a sciatica nerve lesion, you can pick up this APO brace by Orthomen.
However, people who have recently suffered from a stroke and are recovering from it could also benefit from using this particular brace.
The highlight feature of this AFO brace is that it offers the best stability you need to keep your feet firm and straight.
However, other than providing excellent lateral and/or medical support, this brace can also help to enhance the toe clearance. Moreover, it also provides fantastic support to the entire fleet, and not just the ankles. This makes it an exemplary choice for those patients who have to resist spastic muscle tone, which is commonly seen in foot drop patients.
The AFO brace can also be easily adjusted to your leg, thanks to the thin footplate that can be easily trimmed off by using a pair of scissors.
Even after trimming the plate, the thick polyurethane helps to give your legs the firmness and rigidity that you need while you are walking and doing your everyday tasks.
Moreover, it also has convenient padded hook-and-loop straps to help you secure the brace properly in its place.
It is also extremely lightweight, strong, and durable, which makes it last a very long time. It also comes in 4 sizes, but they can all be fit into most types of shoes.
- It can be used for a variety of medical conditions
- It has a versatile design
- It provides a lot of lateral stability to the feet
- It is extremely lightweight
- It keeps the ankle and feet comfortable
- The starting size can be a little too small for the feet
How To Find The Best AFO Brace – A Buying Guide
There are various different reasons as to why a person might choose to wear an AFO Brace. While drop feet are the most common reason why people choose to wear one, it can also greatly help those with any foot or ankle injury, cerebral palsy, stroke, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, and so on.
Whatever the reason be, if you plan on purchasing an AFO brace, here are a few important things that you need to consider while browsing the virtual market.
What Is The Reason For Use?
The first and most important factor that you need to consider while looking for an AFO brace is the reason for your purchase. What do you need it for? Is it to create a layer of safety against a foot injury or an ankle sprain? Do you have sore ankles that need to be rectified, or are you recently recovering from an injury?
There are various types of AFO braces available in the market today, and each of these models comes with a different purpose. Therefore, make sure you clearly understand your reason for use before you hurriedly buy an ankle brace.
What Are The Materials Used?
The next factor you need to consider is the materials of the brace. The materials used to manufacture the brace must be soft, smooth, and extremely breathable.
Moreover, your feet also need to remain warm to keep you comfortable. The fabric also needs to have moisture-wicking properties to keep the inner fabric dry and soft.
However, you will also greatly benefit from a product that can withstand the wear and tear that comes with time. If you purchase an AFO brace that is made of high-quality materials, you can be sure that it will last a long time.
Those manufactured using high-quality materials are expected to last longer.
What Is The Comfort It Offers?
If you plan on wearing an AFO brace, you will also need to make sure that it is a good fit and provides a lot of comfort. Your brace should not be too loose, but it should not be too tight either.
Therefore, make sure you buy a brace that comes with some adjustable straps or elastic material to help you get the right fit around your feet and ankles. This will keep your feet well-protected and comfortable at all times.
What Is The Safety It Offers?
The next major reason for getting a brace is to give a good amount of protection to your feet and ankles. Wearing the wrong size has a good chance of causing more harm than protecting your feet.
To achieve the best level of safety, you will need to customize the ankle brace to meet your needs.
Does The Price Fit Your Budget?
Last but not least, we have the price and budget of the ankle brace.
Keep in mind that the price does not always mirror the quality of the brace. However, an unreasonably expensive product might also not always be of good quality. The same applies for the cheaper products as low price does not always mean it is made of poor quality material.
It is your duty as a buyer to conduct an ample amount of research to help determine the quality of the product if it is priced reasonably.
Your feet and ankles are the main parts of your body that carry the entire weight of your body and give you good balance and stability while you continue to move around.
Hence, you need to find a high-quality product that checks all the above-mentioned requirements. This way, you can get your money’s worth for your product.
FAQs On AFO Braces
When it comes to AFO braces, there are a few concerns that people share. In this section, we will answer some of these questions and help you get a better understanding of ankle braces, and see how they can help you.
Answer: If you or someone you know suffers from the foot drop condition, you will also know that it is caused by certain neurological abnormalities. But, don’t worry! An AFO brace can help you restore your natural gait in no time!
By using this brace, you will be able to easily stabilize your ankle and foot in the right, healthy posture. This way, it will become easier for you to stand and walk the right way.
Answer: The best kind of AFO brace will provide the right support to your ankle and foot. Moreover, it will also be very comfortable to wear and durable to keep your feet smooth without any bruises and blisters.
Answer: Yes, absolutely! If the intensity of the foot drop is very mild and manageable, you can wear your AFO brace even while jogging. This will be strong enough to give you adequate lateral support to your ankle, foot, and leg even while making stressful movements.
Answer: Unfortunately, no. An AFO brace will not help to completely cure the foot drop condition. However, if the case is very mild, you can rectify it by using physiotherapy and an AFO brace.
If you have reached the end of this article, you will be able to easily decide which best AFO brace for foot drop is. Keep in mind that it is extremely important to opt for a product that matches all the requirements mentioned in our little buyer’s guide.
One such ankle brace is the Push Ortho Ankle Foot Orthosis. This brace will help you to walk and stand confidently while providing you the support you need.
What are your thoughts on these AFO braces? Which one would you consider purchasing from this list? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
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