I am a DIYer with ALS. I Need AFOs to counter progressive foot drop and help with walking. After wearing my first one (left foot) for a week or two the discomfort drove me to think about alterations.
In the picture above you see my previously altered left shoe and my new AFO inside my yet to be altered right shoe.
Step 1: Position AFO in Shoe
Place the AFO in the shoe. Make sure that you position it where you believe it will be comfortable. With a pen trace the outside of the AFO support on the the side of the inner shoe.
Step 2: Cut the Shoe
Using the markings as a guide and keeping in mind the features on the outside of the shoe cut the shoe in a "T" shape. Do not make the horizontal cut across the footbed bigger than needed to fit the AFO. If it is too big the AFO will side back and forth while walking.
Step 3: Reinforce Cut Edges
Using a leather awl I stitched all the cut edges to keep the shoe outer material and liners together.
Step 4: Attach Velcro Strap
Using a sewing machine with appropriate needle and thread I attached a section of velcro to one end of a piece of nylon webbing. Using the Leather Awl I attached the other end of the webbing to the front of the shoe opening. behind the shoe opening I used the Leather Awl to attach mating velcro. Be sure to test positioning prior to affixing these pieces.
Step 5: Install the AFO and Go
And work on the other shoes in your closet also....