I'm trying to make an external ankle-foot orthotic for myself. Most all of these devices have a foot plate that goes inside the shoe and is uncomfortable as hell after any length of time. I'm trying to make one that attaches to the outside of the shoe.

I'm modeling it after this AFO

But, like I said, I want to mount it to the outside of my shoe instead of having a foot plate. Basically, I want to extend those rods in the photo, and run them down the length of the shoe. Something like this...

The red is the plastic rod

At the moment I'm unsure on how to come up with a solid attachment to the shoe. The rods will generate quite a bit of force on the shoe, so it has to be quite strong. I understand that the soles of athletic shoes are fairly soft and that it may be a non-starter, but I'd like to give it a try.

So, that said, are there any good ways to make this attachment?

  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it borderlines to medical hacks, which are consider off-topic for Lifehacks SE. We don't want to cause any harm with the hacks provided. – holroy Jul 18 '15 at 23:36
  • You can evaluate the question out side of hard and fast rules. Do you honestly think this is going to cause harm? I'm not asking how to hack a pacemaker. – CJ F Jul 20 '15 at 12:17
  • Have you not been medically advised to get this? Do you, or most of us, know how it works and where it is supposed to support your foot? I think not, and would therefore advise against a medical hack. – holroy Jul 20 '15 at 12:44
  • Again, I'm not asking to hack a pacemaker. I have several of these devices and I can assure you that none of them are designed with anything other than minimal function in mind. Take a look at this... ossurproducts.com/ossur-foot-up-drop-foot-brace.htm – CJ F Jul 22 '15 at 13:59
  • And I don't need medical advice to do this. Do you need medical advice to use paper towel to dampen the bleeding on a cut if you don't have a band aid? These devices don't aid in the cure of any ailment. They help people get through their day with a disability. The alternative to drag your foot and trip constantly. My advice is to quit being a self-appointed protector of things you don't know about. – CJ F Jul 22 '15 at 14:07

Be wary of the lack of traction if you attach it to the bottom of the sole. Cut a slit in the heel and slip it under the insole. Secure it using the pull strap and the top eyelets with some lace. Hot-glue might work to keep the bottom in place.

  • I could sand it thin and insert it into the actual sole, but I was hoping to attach it to the outside of the sole, with a rod on each side of the shoe. – CJ F Jul 18 '15 at 2:28

At the moment I'm leaning towards trying out screw-eyes and/or screw hooks. It may not be a long term solution, but should hold the rods well enough that I can work on getting the calf sleeve and rod shape correct.

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