New Kicks for Mr. C

Last week, Caleb finally got his new pair of Cascade DAFOs. DAFO stands for Dynamic Ankle Foot Orthotic (although we simply refer to them as AFOs, orthotics or braces) and Caleb wears them to prevent his feet from pronating (ankles rolled inward) and to prevent him from toe-walking. His new pair are bigger, heavier and the plastic is sturdier. They were custom made for his feet by using casting materials to replicate the shape of his foot. We’ve noticed that his new AFOs took some getting used to because they are a little bulkier than his last pair. He also can’t wear them as long as his old pair since his feet are still getting used to them and we’ve seen some redness on his heels and arch when we take them off. Hopefully he’ll just continue to adapt to this new pair and make more progress using the walker.

Last time in the old pair!

Last time in the old pair!

When we left the therapist’s office after getting the new orthotics I realized that we had to go straight to the shoe store, otherwise Caleb wouldn’t be able to walk around at all. His old pair of shoes weren’t big enough to accommodate the new AFOs so off to the store we went. I didn’t know of the first place to find shoes, so I just went to our local mall. I wandered around Macys…. no kids shoes. As I left that store, I noticed that right next door there was a children’s shoe store. What luck! I didn’t have any expectations that they would be able to find shoes that would fit, but I figured it was a start. The nicest saleslady approached me and I explained that my son just got new AFOs and we need new shoes. Right away, she knew just what to do. She took the AFOs, measured them, asked if we preferred laces or velcro (but hinted that laces would be better for all over tightening, not just the top) and went in the back. Within 2 minutes she came out with the cutest pair of navy blue New Balance sneakers in a size 6.5 Extra Wide. I almost cried when she pulled them out of the box. They were better than anything I was imagining. I didn’t want Caleb to be limited to certain style of shoes made for kids with AFOs. I was just relieved that he had such great options for footwear despite needing an extra wide shoe.

photo 3

New AFOs and sneakers!

The store was called The Children’s Shoe Box (in the Lakeforest Mall) and I highly recommend it for all kids! They are friendly, do a great job of measuring feet and have a wonderful selection!

photo 2

When it came time to put away Caleb’s old gear, I once again got a little emotional. (Who knew new AFOs could make me so verklempt?) I thought of all the miles he’s logged in those little AFOs and how big his feet have grown since we first got them.

Caleb's old AFOs (labelled to avoid confusion with the separate pieces)

Caleb’s old AFOs. Note the frayed velcro and peeling labels. It was definitely time for new ones!

I looked at his shoes, which are probably only 6 months old and they are beyond worn out. You can see at the top where Caleb tends to drag his feet as he walks. These heavily used shoes are a testament to his hard work and the progress he’s made. We are just so proud of him and look forward to putting many more miles on his new pair.

The definition of hard work.

The definition of hard work.


I'm a working mom of three fantastic boys: Caleb, Wyatt and Parker. My husband, Shane, and I live in the Washington DC suburbs where we enjoy playgrounds, pools and never getting to sleep in. This blog is a journal of our day-to-day lives as well as a chronicle of Caleb's progress after a recent spinal surgery to alleviate the effects of his cerebral palsy.

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2 comments on “New Kicks for Mr. C
  1. Jill Goodrich says:

    Hi. I found your blog through the Love That Max Blog. I have a 4 year old with mild spastic Diplegia CP and he wears DAFOs (has since he was 18 months old). Nathaniel was born at 29 weeks and spent 11 weeks in the NICU at Johns Hopkins and he too is followed by a NICU Development Doc and the Ortho Clinic at Kennedy Krieger. We live in Southern MD so KK is a haul but totally worth it for the doctors and service we have received for the last 4 years. I have found that New Balance is one of the only shoes made for kids that I can find in an extra wide with laces – velcro just doesn’t work with Nathaniel’s braces. He used a posterior walker until he was a little over 2 but now walks independently. You can read all about our journey on my blog
    So glad to have found your blog. Its nice to connect with others that are experiencing the same things as we are. And your twin boys are adorable! – Jill

    • Hi Jill! Thanks for reaching out! Pretty cool to connect with other CP families who take their kiddos to KKI! Loved all the pics on your blog… I can’t wait for Caleb to be walking around like that someday 🙂

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