Are my child’s Surestep SMOs too small?

by Aculbertson

“Are my child’s Surestep SMOs too small?”

If you’ve ever asked that question, you’re not alone. Unlike with clothes and shoes, it can be a guessing game as to when it’s time for a new pair.

That’s because our design is different. Most traditional SMOs feature a footplate that extends beyond the toes. But with Surestep, those piggies wiggle free. This allows for more natural movements.

Typically, SMOs last between nine and 12 months. But growth spurts can come at any time.

If you’re unsure whether it’s time to graduate on to a new pair, here are three things to consider:



For the ideal fit, the footplate should stop just behind two specific points on your child’s foot:

  • The ball of the foot on the big toe side
  • The beginning of the toes on the pinky side

This length provides the right amount of support without taking away your child’s ability to learn how to walk, run, and jump.

If the knuckle of the pinky toe (called the fifth metatarsal head) is completely in front of the plastic edge, your child may need a new pair.



Your child’s feet get wider through the instep. We call this circumference the girth of the foot. If the brace gets tight in this area, an orthotist may be able to make adjustments to accommodate. If the instep continues to grow, the orthotist may provide special pads to tuck underneath the plastic. This will help alleviate the tightness and allow for a couple more months of growth.



If your child complains about pain, blisters, or discomfort, be sure to check the length of the shoes as well as the SMOs. Also, keep an eye out for red spots. If they don’t go away after 30 minutes, schedule an evaluation with your orthotist.

And don’t forget to pull the SMO straps snug every time. Tight braces are effective braces.

What Should I Do If They Are Too Small?

If your little one’s SMOs are too small, that doesn’t mean they can’t be worn anymore. But be sure to call your orthotist. The sooner you get braces that fit properly, the better.

How to donate your old orthotics