Information for parents and carers
This leaflet can be made available in other formats including large print, CD and Braille and in languages other than English, upon request.
Your child has been assessed by the Orthotic team and does not/no longer requires Orthotic prescribed specialist footwear, however they still may need an Orthotic device.
This leaflet will provide information about the most suitable footwear for your child through their growth and development to ensure they are appropriately supported.
What type of footwear will offer the most foot and ankle stability and support?
- Footwear with a strong heel counter (back of the shoe)
- Footwear with a strong structured upper
- Footwear with a wide sole and heel
- Footwear with a good lace or Velcro fastening
- Ankle boots or high top trainers will offer more ankle stability
What footwear is suitable to use with Orthotic insoles?
Insoles are designed to be transferred between footwear and should easily fit into most.
Orthotic insoles should be transferred between all your child’s footwear to ensure they are fully supported daily.
When purchasing footwear to use with Orthotic insoles we advise the following:
- Take your child’s insoles to the shoe store to ensure footwear are comfortable with the insoles in place.
- Purchase footwear with a good deep upper to prevent the footwear from slipping.
- Purchase footwear with a removable lining to allow the Orthotic insole to be placed into footwear without causing tightness.
- Purchase footwear with a supportive sole to ensure the Orthotic insoles are stabilised nicely.
What footwear is suitable to purchase if your child has different foot sizes?
If your child’s foot size measures differently on one foot when compared to the other, you may need to consider purchasing split-sized footwear.
Purchasing split-sized footwear can sometimes be difficult but the following stores do offer discounts:
- Charles Clinkard
If your child’s feet become more than 2 sizes different in length, you may need to be referred back to the Orthotic Department to discuss footwear options with an Orthotist.
What footwear is suitable to purchase if your child uses custom DAFOs (Dynamic Ankle Foot Orthosis) or AFOs (Ankle Foot Orthosis)?
If your child has been prescribed an AFO or a DAFO, this may affect the fit of their footwear, as these devices can be a little bulky.
We advise purchasing footwear 1-2 sizes larger than your child’s normal shoe size to accommodate the device comfortably.
We would also advise you to take the AFO or DAFOs to the footwear store when making your purchase to allow different styles and sizes to be tried and to ensure your child is comfortable.
Top tips for over splint (DAFO or AFO) footwear:
- Look for a Velcro fastening show which has a low opening.
- Supermarket footwear are wider fitting allowing easier donning and doffing of splints.
- Online retailers offer splint friendly footwear e.g. Nike, Zappos, Billykids.
- Avoid ankle boots due to the little adjustability over the instep.
- Oversplint shoes will normally be 1-2 sizes bigger than your child’s normal shoe size.
What to do if you notice a change in your child’s walking and/or stability?
If your child’s walking or stability changes or you start to have concerns around increased falling or pain, it is best to monitor their symptoms for approximately 1 month before contacting the Orthotic department for a review.
Change in stability and comfort can be related to growth and this will settle with time.
If your child continues to present with a worsening walking pattern or if your child is complaining of increasing pain of discomfort, a further Orthotic assessment will be required to determine the cause.
How to Contact Orthotic Services
North Tees and Hartlepool Foundation Trust
(Choose “Option4” to get through to the correct team)
Telephone: 01429 522471
PIL Number: PIL1393
Date for review: 28/11/2025
Comments, concerns, compliments or complaints
Patient Experience Team (PET)
We are continually trying to improve the services we provide. We want to know what we’re doing well or if there’s anything which we can improve, that’s why the Patient Experience Team (PET) is here to help. Our Patient Experience Team is here to try to resolve your concerns as quickly as possible. The office is based on the ground floor at the University Hospital of North Tees if you wish to discuss concerns in person. If you would like to contact or request a copy of our PET leaflet, please contact:
Telephone: 01642 624719
Freephone: 0800 092 0084
Monday – Friday –
Out of hours
Out of hours if you wish to speak to a senior member of Trust staff, please contact the hospital switchboard who will bleep the appropriate person.
Telephone: 01642 617617
Data protection and use of patient information
The Trust has developed Data Protection policies in accordance with Data Protection Legislation (UK General Data Protection Regulations and Data Protection Act 2018) and the Freedom of Information Act 2000. All of our staff respect these polices and confidentiality is adhered to at all times. If you require further information on how we process your information please see our Privacy Notices.
Telephone: 01642 383551
This leaflet has been produced in partnership with patients and carers. All patient leaflets are regularly reviewed, and any suggestions you have as to how it may be improved are extremely valuable. Please write to the Clinical Governance team, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospital of North Tees, TS19 8PE or: