BioMechanically, the Step-Smart design is more energy efficient than the competitive designs. It’s more desirable than the stiff design, since it allows for good plantarflexion at heel strike. It’s more desirable than the flexible designs, since it is preloaded. The benefit of a preload on the system is critical to shock absorption. Also, the Dorsi Flexion assist joints allows the best clearance at swing phase.
With drop foot, however, it is not desirable to have a design with free plantarflexion. Naturally, our bodies control the deceleration at heel strike with an eccentric contraction of the dorsiflexors. This combined with a slight flexion moment at the knee is what creates the best shock absorption. With other flexible solutions, there is too much plantarflexion at heel strike causing foot slap. The result is trauma and pain to the calcaneous.
The reason that the Step-Smart design is superior to the others is that it provides resistance to plantarflexion the instant the heel hits the ground. Some other designs need to be plantarflexed before the resistance is high enough to be effective. By then it is too late. The shock of hitting the ground has already damaged the foot and ankle. The new Step-Smart provides a pre-load that controls deceleration at contact. The Step-Smart drop foot brace has come closest to providing the right amount of deceleration (dictated by pre-load). It is appreciated and considered the best drop foot brace by the medical community because patients feel better during ambulation. This AFO comes with all parts necessary to function properly. Included with each brace: 3 sets of compression components (variety pack), 1 calf strap, 1 I strap, 1 velcro set. Top cover and replacement parts are extra.
RETURN POLICY for USA customers only: If you are unsatisfied with the Step-Smart brace for any reason, it can be returned for a full refund provided it is returned and postmarked within 7 days of receipt and with all its original parts in like new condition. Exchanges are also under the same terms as above. To be clear, we do not accept returns from International customers.