Best shoes for foot drop etc

I’m having a nightmare finding shoes that don’t trip me up. I try to find ones with a smooth bottom so I slide rather than scuff the toe. I’ve been trying to find a specialist shoe for foot drop, I’m sure the right design would help me massively. A turned-up toe would stop me tripping I think.

I’m tempted by rocker sole shoes but they all have non-slip soles. Also I don’t know if I can walk with that heel-toe action any more. I use a FES and it’s a massive effort to get my foot to lift and place it in front. It’s easier to swing it out to the side but that just hurts my hip on the opposite side.

Has anyone found any shoes that help with walking?

I tend to wear boots to support my ankles. I also have some ankle splints from my local physiotherapy department to use with trainers.

Hope this Helps

hi perky

those rocker soled trainers sorted my drop foot out so i’d get a pair even if you only wear them for an hour a day.

what does your physio recommend?

with your FES the physio will give vital advice.

carole x

Sounds like your FES needs ‘tweaking’ - and l find the best shoes for me are Clarks Wave - they have a rocker type sole that helps with forward movement. Clarks online are great - no P&P and free returns. l have several pairs - in different colours.

Nice trainers and some casuals with a 'Mary JAne type strap across.

I’ve sanded down ‘sticky’ soled shoes before so they slide rather than grip the floor. It works very well with plimsoles etc - probably not so good on shoes with a deep tread. Otherwise, I find the best are Ecco, they don’t rock as such but many of their styles do tip up more at the toes.

While wearing suitable shoes clearly helps, I don’t think it is going to be the whole answer. A fes will only lift the foot and if you need to swing the leg out to the side for ground clearance, it suggests there is a problem lifting the leg. Strengthening your hip flexors and working on core strength should help, but your best bet is to spend some time with a decent physio, who will be able to improve your gait and advise an exercise routine to follow.

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Thank you all! My physio/fes lady hasn’t given me any advice re shoes but I am due to see her next week so I will bring it up.

I used to have some of those wave shoes but got rid of them because they didn’t have a slippy sole (that was before I got the fes). I think I will try them again in store.

I don’t think I need any ankle support, it’s just an issue with my toes really. My toes claw and the ends of them hurt if my shoes are too hard. Honestly, it’s a minefield :frowning:

Sorry cross posted with you Whammel. I have been given exercises, like lifting my knee in different poses, but some are so hard to do that I tend to ‘leave it to later’. But I do some of them every day. I need to speak to my physio about this too and get some exercises I can actually do; I don’t think they realise how dispiriting it is to be given exercises that you can’t begin to do.

There was mention of me getting a second fes for my thigh to lift the knee - I had forgotten about that. Hopefully this might come about at my forthcoming appointment too!

Thanks again everyone.

I have decided I need a day out to try on lots of shoes. I want to try some of those rocker soles (thanks pigpen!) and Skechers do them at a reasonable price, and they look better than MBTs.

I will report back. :slight_smile:

i suffer with drop foot like many others on here so on speaking to my neuro about this i was given a device, its a little battery box that you tuck in your sock and its got a couple of wires with pads you stick to your leg and a pressure pad that sits under the sole of my trainers, when i lift my foot it sends a mild shock to my leg that makes all the front of my foot point up so you dont end up dragging your foot and falling over it, i use this device and wear a pair of the north face walking shoes that are light but strong and sturdy

I found that Sketchers are very good for walking. This is because they are so light it makes it easier for you to lift your foot. When I was in America last year I got 3 pairs as the cost for them over there is so reasonable compared to UK prices. The guy in the shop recommended Sketchers as he is on his feet all day and they are light and comfortable.

Jon P

I agree I wear Sketchers as I have problems with feet due to MS, and as they are light they help me no end. It is difficult to find right shoes though.

I’ve suffered from drop foot for 10 years or so. The physio tried a FES on me a few times. It didn’t help. What did help was a SAFO (Google it to find out more) which I’ve used for 8 years or so. The SAFO is a light weight silicone foot-ankle brace fastened with 3 Velcro straps which keeps your foot at the correct angle to the leg. I also wear very light shoes with not a lot of sole. A heavy shoe and/or a shoe with chunky sole drastically increases my chances of stumbling so both of these types were binned and are no longer bought.

hope you find the right solution for you.

I’ve got a SAFO as well as FES, they do work well, but if you need help to lift the knee as well, it’s not as good. And as for finding shoes to wear with a SAFO! It’s a nightmare (especially for a woman), one foot is massively bigger than the other. I use my SAFO for the (rare) times I can get into a swimming pool / hydrotherapy pool. It’s brilliant for that.


i sometime wear an insole in my left shoe to balance the fact that the SAFO is in my right leg and shoe. Or sometimes just having the laces a wee bit looser in my right shoe is enough. Buying shoes can be a bit hit or miss but I always make sure that the shoes are right for me and my SAFO (could be title of a song) before I buy.



The reason l am such a fan of Clarks Wave - [they have a rocker action to the sole] and with the online service - you get the chance to’ try on in the comfort of your own home’. And also see if any orthotics you use will also fit. l also have a SAFO - and l have been lucky that it fits in most shoes - but not knee-high boots. And you can order several pairs to see what you like. And they do half sizes and different widths. Can’t beat - trying shoes on at home - in your bedroom - move about in them - which is something l would find difficult in a shoe shop.

When looking at shoes - look for a pair that has a toe that turns up. This means they are unlikely to catch or drag. l can’t wear flat shoes- l like a bit of a ‘wedge’ - if they are flat they make me feel as if l am tipping backwards.

It could be that you are going about this the wrong way (or the wrong order).

Like whammel says, best to see a decent physio. It was a physio at my local MS Therapy centre who first measured the length of my legs. It was an orthotist who then measured them very precisely, and after saying that the right leg was 10mm shorter than the left, produced a wedge as a temporary measure. So I now have a pair of half insoles that take care of my flat feet, one being thicker to counteract the shorter leg, and the other having the heel switch for the FES embedded in it (means it is always in the right place. Now I can think about shoes.

Just to complicate things, my right foot is half a size smaller than the left. So, I have to get shoes that will take the orthotic insole - think wide fitting - and worry about the right foot later.

So, get the drop foot sorted (FES if possible, but SAFO if it is not too bad) and then start thinking shoes. The FES means wires and electrodes on your leg, and that means trousers most of the time, and that starts to dictate the choice of footware. If you need anything wider than EE, that means a specialist shoe firm (most of whom do mail order and home trial). A good shoe shop (if you can find one) will measure your feet, help you with putting the shoes on, and then let you walk round in each pair.

Properly set up, the FES should turn your toe out before lifting it up (I quote the experts at Odstock) but if this is not happening (or not enough) you need to get it sorted (or do it yourself by moving the electrodes in very small steps, and testing). If you still have a problem after this, get your leg length checked - accurately. Then you can start thinking about shoes.


FYI - there’s an AFO made by the Finn company Ossur called “Foot Up” specifically made for drop foot. It uses a fixture that fits under the laces of any oxford-style shoe or laced sneaker and clicks into velcro wrap that is around your lower leg.

I buy the fixtures and leave them in many of my shoes and the Foot Up system helps me tremendously. I really dislike the AFOs that use a hard plate that fits underneath your foot. Feels too unnatural to me.

You can find the Foot Up on Ossur’s website or Amazon.

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I have a drop foot on 1 foot from a surgery to my knee. And my issue is my shoes get a worn out spot on the heal of that shoe most likely by 5 wears of the shoes. Happened in 3 to my dr Scholl s and new balance sandals. Happened to my crocs( i feel like a dutch boy on a dutch paint can trying to wear those but they are very comfortable but wear out so fast. That effects my gait and balance and stability too. Any solutions?

A physiotherapist in the local hospital a few years ago, recommended that I should see an orthotist. I did and she recommended that I had my shoes adapted which I also did, it was the best thing I did! The adaptation consisted of a wedge under the inner sole at the heel of my shoe, my walking is much better than i used to be. The first time I had my shoes adapted wedges were put in at the toe and the heel, a few years on and it’s been changed to just the heel. The orthotist checked how I was walking every year, once a year.

It is worth thinking about having your walking assessed by an orthotist if you can.