How To Put On Surestep SMOs (A Visual Guide)

by Aculbertson

You’ve got the SMOs.

Now it’s time to make sure you’re putting them on properly.

This visual fitting guide will walk you through step by step. It’s helpful to save this as an occasional refresher or to share with friends and family.

To download a PDF version, click here.

 Step 1

Open the Surestep SMO up from behind and pull it onto your child’s foot.


Step 2

Cup the heel of the SMO with one hand. Then put the thumb of your other hand under the big toe. Gently rotate your child’s foot to the outside.


 Step 3

Next, push the foot back until you feel it make contact with the heel. Put the dorsal pad on top of the foot and close the edges of the SMO over top of the pad.


Step 4

Maintain this position by squeezing the SMO as you fasten the straps. Remember to pull tonight.


Trim Lines

Surestep SMOs aren’t like any other SMOs.

One of the most visually distinct differences is the footplate. Instead of extending beyond the toes, the bottoms of Surestep SMOs are cut back in a specific way. By allowing toes to wiggle free, your child is better able to practice natural movements.

Our standard trim line starts behind the ball of the foot and then swoops up to stop just shy of the pinky toe.

The only problem is this design can make it difficult to determine when the SMOs are too small. For help with that, you can read this previous blog post about sizing.


Keep In Mind

Whether you’re a Surestep beginner or a Surestep pro, here are a few helpful tips and tricks to remember.


Seated Is Best

To make putting them on as easy as possible, have your child sit down and face you. This will give you better vision and keep your little one’s feet relaxed.


Tightness Is Key

Snug isn’t enough. Surestep SMOs must be TIGHT. This creates the compression that gives your child stability. When worn tight enough, you shouldn’t see any blisters or lasting redness. For extra guidance, ask your orthotist to mark the straps at the proper tightness.


Trust The Stickers

Each SMO has a “left” or “right” sticker. Don’t let your instincts mislead you. The stickers are correct. For extra peace of mind, remember that the buckle will be on the outside.


What About Shoes?

There isn’t one perfect shoe that works for everyone. But in general, it’s best to look for extra wide options rather than jumping up multiple shoe sizes. For guidance, check out several different brands we recommend.


Expect Some Redness

A little bit of redness is expected after you take off the SMOs. But what you should not see are blisters or severe redness on your child’s foot. If you do, call your orthotist right away.


Keep Them Clean

You can use mild soap and water to clean the plastic and Velcro straps. Just remember to never submerge the SMOs in water. Isopropyl alcohol works well to clean the foam liners. Afterward, let them air dry.


My family doesn't understand hypotonia. What should I say?