Shoe Insert Aids in Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO)

Shoe Insert Aids in Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO)


A customer of PGC develops orthotic components and products for functionality and comfort. They were looking for the best-performing material to help with ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) support. AFO devices are used to help maintain proper alignment and improve walking patterns. To help the wearer, they were looking to develop a shoe insert that would be placed inside their AFO device to aid performance and comfort.


Our customer was looking for a material that would be comfortable enough for the end user to walk around in all day while at the same time “hard” enough not to compression set. Along with meeting the desired firmness, the material required an adhesive on the bottom that would allow the device to stick to the sole of the shoe and, at the same time, be easy to adjust as needed.


Samples of hard and soft material were tested at varying thicknesses. Plastic was also tested, but it wasn’t comfortable enough for all-day wear. More delicate materials were tested, but they compressed and lost their shape. Luckily, PGC has a diverse network of suppliers, and quickly found a solution that was soft enough to wear but “hard” enough to endure the long days.


PGC was able to find a solution that checked all the requirements for the insert. As a result, it is now being used successfully by their customer.