The Step-Smart Brace by Insightful Products

Ernie’s Step-Smart Brace Experience

Ernie’s Step-Smart Drop Foot Brace Experience

Ernie Step-Smart

Meet Ernie!

Ernie was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis  in 2000, which caused his drop foot to develop. Since then, Ernie has done tireless research on drop foot braces and devices to find one to best suit his needs.

Two devices that Ernie has employed are the Hip Flexion Assist Device (HFAD) and Flop Stop. With the HFAD, Ernie finds that he is locking his leg up and hiking his hip in order for his foot to clear the ground. Because his gait is affected, Ernie experiences pain and discomfort in his legs and back. The Flop Stop provides easier foot clearance, and is more discreet, but this device put an uncomfortable amount of pressure on Ernie’s Achilles. His creative solution for a more comfortable fit, was to make a custom piece that cupped around and protected the back of his ankle.

In all of his research and trials, Ernie still had not found a brace that provided the necessary support and lift to better assist and control his pace and gait while walking on steeper downward slopes. Still feeling dissatisfied with the Drop Foot braces and devices that he had tried so far, Ernie continued to search the web for solutions.

Ernie rediscovered Insightful Products and our Step-Smart Brace for Drop Foot. In earlier research, he had come across the Step-Smart brace but at that time decided to try a different AFO . He explained that he had reservations regarding the shorter foot plate on our Step-Smart brace, as all the other braces he had seen had full length foot plates. After reading more about the Step-Smart Brace and watching many of the testimonials of other Step-Smart users, Ernie decided to try one for himself.

Earlier this past summer, we had the pleasure of welcoming Ernie to our our headquarters, in Scarborough, Maine, for a consultation with Ian Engleman, CPO, inventor of the Step-Smart Brace and founder and owner of Insightful Products! Ernie drove up from Rhode Island o learn more about the Step-Smart and see if it would suit his drop foot needs.

After learning about the other devices he had tried, it was finally time to get Ernie in a Step-Smart Brace for Drop Foot!

Within minutes, it was thrilling to see the difference the Step-Smart made: Ernie found that his gait was already normalizing and he had the lift and support in his foot and ankle to allow for better heel strike. With a more normalized gait and better control of his dropping foot, enabled by the Step-Smart, Ernie found that his knee and leg pain was immediately reduced. With more stability in each step, Ernie took on the steep embankment outside our facility and not only walked up, but back down again unassisted and with confidence and control.

Watch the video below to below to watch Ernie’s Experience!



If you are interested in visiting us for an in-person consultation, please be sure to contact our offices at 207-885-0414 to schedule an appointment!

Understanding if a brace is appropriate for you can feel intimidating. Insightful Products has many resources to help you learn more about the Step-Smart Brace for Drop Foot:

Read more on our BLOG

Watch more videos on our YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Join the conversation on FACEBOOK

CONTACT US directly with your questions!

Drop Foot Solution


2 thoughts on “Ernie’s Step-Smart Brace Experience”

  1. Hi Ian,
    I just saw the blog you made of me. GREAT WORK. I did not realize how dorky I looked using the HIP FLEXATION ASSIST DEVISE. It was good to remember what I did and how I felt the day I first tried the STEP SMART. For the most part everything is working wonderful for me. Once in dogs age nothing works well for me. It is usually because I have over exerted myself or the pain will not go away. I also change shoes or put different DR. SHOLES in my shoes. Last month walking around Minneapolis I was having a lot of trouble with my let leg and knee. That night I put more lift in my right leg. After that everything was fine. Simple fix.
    I will tell my Doctors and PTs to look at the blog.
    A month or so ago I had a light green T shirt made up that says
    Doing this helped ingrain the correct name for my brace. I reverse things all the time.
    When I am wearing the shirt people often asks what it means. I explain it and demonstrate.
    I will now lead people to the blog to show them how it all started for me.
    I have been demonstrating my STEP SMART to my MS group. They are pleased that everything is working for me. They all want to try it for next to nothing. I explained the 7 day guarantee. I tell that what I have gotten is worth every penny plus more for the end results. They have seen me demo items that cost $29.00 FLOP STOP (they complained about that price too even when I had extra they could try) up to 8,000 For the Bioness L300 and 8 devices in between. I know I get twice as much for my disability than most of them. But I always look at the big picture.
    Have a great day,

    1. Hi Ernie
      Sorry for the delay in replying to you here. I will make sure Ian sees your message.

      Your Blog post has proven quite popular- and we are so happy the brace continues to help you.
      Keep being so positive and speaking our praises! We really appreciate it!
      Insightful Products

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