A couple of months ago I saw some images going around Facebook of these incredible shoes and boots from Billy Footwear that used a zipper around the shoe instead of the classic lace up. The design was to make the shoe user-friendly for individuals that need to wear braces on their feet.

Being Ladybug wears AFO braces on each foot, I knew I needed to check these shoes from Billy Footwear out. Putting on shoes over braces is quite difficult and I was intrigued by the idea of being able to zip boots & shoes on, creating a much easier time when getting dressed.

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This post contains affiliate links where if you choose to make a purchase through the links provided I will earn a small commission at no additional charge to you. My opinions are my own regarding this pair of shoes and not influenced by Billy Footwear or any other shoe brand. For full disclosure, see my marketing page.

Mixed Reviews of Billy Footwear

However, upon reading reviews about the fit, styles, wear, and size considerations from customers on Amazon, the verdict was mixed. Some found the shoes worked great and were quite easy with AFOs, and some said that they didn’t work at all.

The Cons

Currently, they don’t come in wide width footbed and often this is a requirement for AFOs. However, one review mentioned that Billy Footwear will be coming out with a wide foot option for their shoes in 2020. Hurray for kids with braces!

The best option for kids with braces is the shoes with classic laces (so you can loosen the shoes), and you’ll also need to remove the insole from the footbed to make it fit, which leads to a less cushioned fit.

Finally, some styles tend to wear quite quickly on the soles.

The Pros

Most reviews that addressed styles and fashion really loved the varied options of sneakers and boots to help them feel confident and fashionable in their foot wear.
Putting on shoes can be quite tricky for folks with braces, but with Billy Footwear customers figured it out quickly. The positive reviews were quite passionate, and several folks were really over the moon about this shoe brand!
Despite the mixed reviews, I decided to purchase a pair of shoes and give them a try. I was curious to see if there was a measurable difference between this brand and others we’ve tried. I ordered the pair of sneakers with the classic laces and I believe this was the key to our success with Billy Footwear and AFOs.

Our Success With Billy Footwear

Even though they don’t function in the classic sense of shoe laces, this was the pair we ordered. I believe this was the key to our success with the fit of Billy Footwear and Ladybug’s AFOs. Because we ordered the pair of sneakers with shoe laces, we were able to make the tops of the shoes wider – creating an almost easy time putting them on.
We also found that we needed to remove the insole from the shoe footbed for the shoes to fit. But, they do fit, and we are happy with the purchase!

Excited For An Easy Shoe

Ladybug has been wearing AFOs since she was a baby. This is by far the easiest (and most fashionable) shoe we have found on the market to get on and off her feet. I am very satisfied with her classic lace shoes from Billy Footwear and don’t think I’ll ever go back to a different style!