I have had foot drop for about 3 years and have collected several devices marketed to help with foot drop. Why so many in 3 years? Well, my first two were prescribed and caused additional health issues for me. That led me to try and make my own and then explore the over the counter under $100 products. Please, somebody benefit from my experience. I will rate the products I own – my or insurance purchase; using my 0 – 5 Gladiator Shield System.
My requirements are that the device not hurt; fits or easy to adjust; allows me to drive or easily removes for driving; I don’t have to perform shoe surgery/fits easily in shoes; does not cause other health problems; and I can easily find shoes to wear with the device. Sounds like an easy list, but wait.
|AFO/ Brace||Hurt||Fit/ Adjust||Drive||Shoes||Side Effects||Overall|
|Core Products FootFlexor One-size version||Long Wear||Velcro||Yes||Laces: tie or lock||Yes|
|Bioness L300 GO Cuff||Shocks nerves||Velcro & Band Hook||Turn|
|Any or none||Yes|
|Step-Smart||Yes||Velcro & resistance||Yes||Will need to modify shoe||Yes|
|Furlove Soft AFO||No||Velcro||No,|
|iHome/Furlove AFO||Yes||Too big||No||Wide flat||*|
|Swedish Leafspring AFO||Yes||Can be trimmed||No||Wide flat||*|
|Aider Brace Wrap||No||Too Big||*||*||*|
- = Device did not work well enough to reach this test
Core Products FootFlexor This comes with loop clips that can be inserted into shoelace holes/loops. I have an older one size, fits all model. The one size fits all is too big and is why this did not earn 5 shields. I get temporary pressure dents after long use sessions. I am very tempted to purchase a new size small.
Bioness L300 Go Cuff. This performed so well in the demo evaluations! This is worn below the knee and it tells your foot how to lift as you walk. Very cool when it works. You feel the shocks but it takes the work back to a non-drop foot effort. After consistent use the wet pad electrodes version created a severe skin reaction. I am allergic to mold. The old sticky electrode version is too position picky and also creates a skin reaction. I needed a prescription for the cuff and each order of electrodes.
Step-Smart Drop Foot Brace. This was my first device. It has a resistance adjustable hinge for different support levels. This device required performing surgery on each shoe I wore with the brace. It also created noticeable and lasting pressure dents in my leg. While it is on Amazon (May 2020) it was discontinued and is no longer supported by Summer of 2017.
Ossur Foot-Up. It has a velcro strap that wraps around the shoe laces. I found after a while wearing the device the laces became stretched and the pull up weakened. Also, I lost the velcro strap that goes from the shoelaces to the ankle wrap. There are a few similar versions of this brace available.
Furlove Soft AFO It is another one size fits all. I thought maybe I could wear this barefoot, but the bulk of the foot wrap was too much for me.
iHome Drop Foot Brace AFO. Again I fell for the walk barefoot (no shoe) option. The plastic bottom slips on the floor and the foot wrap is bulky and threw me off balance. Again a small was not small enough. It was hard to cut down the foot pad. The straps are way too long. There are versions of this AFO available.
Swedish Leafspring AFO. A very basic, very inexpensive AFO. The strap is stiff and scratchy.
Aider DropFoot Brace This was difficult to put on; did not fit me; and too weak. This picture is of the brace fully open. Your foot goes on the right and the big section wraps around your ankle and leg.