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AFO and KAFO Socks – How to get the right size sock

Comfy, seamless socks that don’t bunch or chafe are a must for AFO and KAFO wearers.

Our brace-wearing customers really love the moisture wicking, soft and stretchy AFO and KAFO socks made by SmartKnit, but something we get asked frequently is how to choose the right size?

So here’s a very quick guide to sock-sizing success with AFO and KAFO socks!

 

How to measure for AFO & KAFO socks

The only way to get it right is to measure the wearer’s leg using a tape measure.

Tip: If you don’t have a tape measure, you can use a piece of string or yarn, and then hold it up against a ruler afterwards.

Start at the tip of the toe and go all the way along the top of the foot, and up the leg until you reach the top of the ankle or knee brace like this:

AFO KAFO sock measurement guide

 

This will be the key measurement you need to use when selecting your AFO or KAFO sock size.

A few points to remember:

  • Make sure you measure along the top of the foot – the socks are very stretchy so they’ll stretch around the heel with no problems.
  • Our easy sizing guides will help you to find the correct sock based on this measurement
  • The measurements in the size chart are for the unstretched length of the sock – they are very stretchy so there is some leeway.
  • The socks look very small when new – TRY THEM ON before returning

AFO and KAFO socks are available in child and adult sizes so you’re almost certain to find something to fit!

Whilst the sizing guide is pretty accurate, not everyone has the same size legs so sometimes you may need a size bigger or smaller if you have particularly wide or slim legs.

But don’t worry, if you try the socks on and find they are too small, you can send them back to exchange for the correct size.

 

Where to buy your AFO & KAFO socks

You can find our range of child and adult AFO and KAFO socks here at the Sensory Smart Store.

We’ve also got seamless Big Toe socks and clever AFO Liners if you fancy getting your toes out on holiday!

Any questions, just give us a shout – we’re always here to help (except perhaps in the middle of the night…)

We can ship almost anywhere in the world, and we have a great returns policy so you can order with confidence today!

 

SmartKnit Kids Absolutely Seamless Socks – FAQs

Finding seamless socks for a sensitive child is a tricky business, especially when you need specific colours and styles for school uniform.

We’ve listed the most Frequently Asked Questions about these clever socks to help you find your perfect pair!

 

Q. Do SmartKnit Kids Absolutely Seamless socks have any seams?

A. No, they are completely seamless. There is no top hem, no heel pocket, no toe seam and it’s shaped like a tube. The sock is spun a bit like how a caterpillar spins a cocoon. The manufacturing technique is called “corespun.”

 

Q. What colours do they come in? I need them for school uniform!

A. Black, White, Navy Blue, Charcoal Grey, Pink, Purple, White and limited edition Peach (Orange).

Smart Knit Kids sock colours available

 

Q. My child usually wears Small size socks from other brands. Should I just order Small?

A. No, check the sizing guide first. Small is very tiny in this range and only really suitable for toddlers age 2-3.

 

Q. What size sock do I need for my child with size 12 feet?

A. That depends how long you want the socks to be. Check out our simple sizing explanation here.

 

Q. How long are these socks? I’m looking for knee highs.

A. These can be worn as a knee high. Check out our simple sizing explanation here to work out which size to order.

 

Q. What is crew length?

A. Crew length is the standard sock length which is approximately half way up your leg, reaching the calf.

 

Q. The fabric seems quite thick, will my child’s feet get sweaty?

A. No, the socks are made from a breathable fabric with wicking properties that helps to keep the skin dry and comfortable. It actually feels quite light to wear!

 

Q. How do I wash these socks?

A. You can wash them with the rest of your laundry in the washing machine at a medium temperature, we suggest 40 degrees. You can also pop them in a warm tumble dryer cycle to dry. This will help them to regain their shape after wearing.

 

Q. I’ve bought some in the right size but they look really small. Should I send them back?

A. Try them on first. These socks do look quite small when unstretched, but they are very stretchy so don’t exchange them until you’ve tried them!

 

Q. I’ve bought two pairs in the same size, but one pair looks bigger than the other. Are they faulty?

A. No, this is quite common and nothing to worry about. Because of the special dying process used when making these, some look slightly bigger or smaller than others when new. They should still stretch to achieve the same fit.

 

Q. Why is one pair of socks a paler colour than the other?

A. Because of the special dying process used, different batches of colour sometimes come out in slightly different hues. It’s something the manufacturer is working on improving, but should not affect the quality of the garment.

 

Q. I’ve bought some SmartKnit Kids socks but my child won’t try them on. What should I do?

A. Don’t panic! Have a read of our top tips and download our free incentive chart. Some kids need some time to get used to the idea of wearing these socks, especially if they’ve had bad experiences in the past, so try not to put any pressure on them and take it slow.

 

Q. Are these socks suitable for kids with Sensory Processing Disorders?

A. Yes, these are the best seamless socks we’ve ever found for SPD, and suit many children who struggle with sensory processing and tactile defensiveness. They usually work well for sensitive kids (although nothing is ever 100% certain!) so we recommend giving them a go.

 

Q. The socks made a funny cracking sound the first time I stretched them out to put on my child. Is this normal?

A. Yes, completely normal, everything is OK, that’s just the dye. They won’t make that sound anymore after a wash or two.

 

Q. Who is Bugsley?

A. Bugsley is the green bug on the SmartKnit Kids logo. There is a collectible Bugsley cut-out in each pack of SmartKnit socks. Collect them all!

Bugsley Smart Knit Kids Logo

 

Q. Why do the tops of the Large, X Large and XX Large socks look funny?

A. That’s the patented “halo top” which was designed by SmartKnit to keep the socks from unravelling, without the need for a hem or a seam. It also makes the fabric roll away from the skin slightly to avoid digging in.

 

Q. My child has bigger feet and size XX Large isn’t quite big enough. What do I do?

A. Take a look at the next range up called Smart Knit Big Kids socks. These are available in bigger and wider sizes for teens.

 

Q. Do you have seamless socks for adults too?

A. Yes. Have a look at the Adult range of socks here.

 

Q. What are they made of?

A. SmartKnit Kids socks are made from a high tech polyester and Lycra blend which helps to keep feet dry and healthy.

 

Q. I ordered the wrong size – how can I return them and get another size?

A. You can download our printable returns form here. Socks can be returned for an exchange, store credit or a refund as along as they haven’t been damaged, worn or washed (trying on is fine.)

 

Q. Why are they so expensive?

A. These socks are unique in the world, and are only manufactured by SmartKnit. We buy direct from the manufacturer, but as they are located in the USA we have to contend with things like the terrible post-Brexit exchange rate, import duty and high shipping costs to get them here. We keep our prices as low as we possibly can and try to offer the best price in the UK for SmartKnit Kids socks.

 

Q. We love the socks but winter is coming. Do SmartKnit make seamless tights too?

A. Not yet, but they are currently being developed and should be ready to go on sale soon! Join our mailing list to make sure you’re notified when they are available to buy.

 

Find your perfect pair of SmartKnit Kids Absolutely Seamless Socks at the Sensory Smart Store today!

SmartKnit Kids socks – How the sizing works

Choosing socks is easy isn’t it? You just look for your shoe size and done, right?

Well actually no, not always…

SmartKnit Kids Absolutely Seamless Socks are really special and they don’t conform to the normal sock sizings that we’re used to, and with good reason – they’re BETTER!

These clever socks come in 5 sizes ranging from Small to XX Large. The picture below shows you what they look like unstretched. Unstretched is the key word here, because they are VERY stretchy!

I’ve included a standard 30cm ruler in the picture to give you the scale.

Smart Knit Kids socks of all sizes

Unlike regular socks, SmartKnit Kids socks are shaped like a tube – there’s no heel pocket (that’s what we call the stiching you usually find around the heel of socks that give them their normal “sock shape.”)

There are two reasons for this – firstly it cuts down on the number of seams, and secondly it means that one size of sock will fit lots of different sized feet!

Yes, that’s right one size of sock will fit lots of different sizes of feet!

How does it work?

Well because the socks are super-stretchy, and there’s no heel pocket, it makes them very versatile.

Essentially, the bigger the sock, the longer it will be on your leg. And the smaller the size of sock, the shorter it becomes.

For example, Helen in our office has ladies size 6.5 feet.

She can wear XX Large as a crew length sock, X Large as an ankle sock or Large as a short trainer sock.

Because there’s no heel pocket and the socks are so very stretchy, the smaller sizes still fit her, they just aren’t as long on her leg.

Clever, huh?

At the other end of the scale, 6 year old Ellie has size 10 feet.

She can wear Large as a crew sock, she can go down one size to Medium as an ankle sock for summer, or she can jump two sizes up to XX Large as a knee high length sock for school.

To demonstrate, here is a Purple Large and a Navy X Large on two of our dummy “stunt feet” which are approximately a size 3-4.

Smart KNit Kids socks - Large and X Large

 

(And don’t worry, that’s NOT a seam down the side of the purple sock, that’s just where it was folded, for some reason it shows up quite a lot on camera!)

So depending on what size shoe your child or teenager is, they may be able to comfortably wear 3 or 4 different sizes of SmartKnit socks!

Just choose the size depending on how long you want the sock to be.

Here is the size chart for these clever socks, which will hopefully make a bit more sense now!

 

Smart Knit Kids socks size chart UK

This chart will tell you which size to pick for a normal CREW LENGTH  (mid calf) fit.

For Ankle length, go DOWN ONE SIZE.

For Knee High length, go UP TWO SIZES.

This guide is approximate, because we know that some kids have very slim or wider feet and legs than others, but it’s pretty accurate most of the time.

If in doubt, order two different sizes of socks to see which one achieves the desired fit, and simply return the ones that aren’t quite right.

Prefer to watch a video? Check out the Smart Knit Kids presenters explaining how the sizing works on YouTube.

And if in doubt, just ask. The Sensory Smart team know everything there is to know about these magical socks!

We are going to be doing a Facebook Live video about these amazing seamless socks very soon, so make sure to Like our Facebook page to be notified when it’s happening!

The Best Quick-Fix for Seams and Labels

One of the questions we get asked the most here at Sensory Smart Store is “How do I make clothes more comfortable for my child?!”

School uniform, specific outfits, costumes and uniforms for clubs, classes and groups can cause real problems for sensitive and sensory kids who just want to fit in and wear the same as everybody else.

Seams, labels, uncomfortable folds and bumps in fabric can all be a nightmare for anyone struggling with a sensory processing disorder.

As a parent you want to help make your child’s clothes at least tolerable, but how?

Well, one of our favourite go-to products for a quick fix is Undercover Tape.

Each pack contains either 15 plaster-sized sticky back strips or three 14cm x 8cm uncut pages that you can cut to the size and shape you need.

How does it work?

Undercover Tape does just what it’s name suggests – it’s a self adhesive product literally covers up the problematic part of the garment and creates a soft and comfy barrier so skin doesn’t get chafed, itched or rubbed.

Here are some great examples of how to use this clever product:

Scratchy label that you can’t cut out? No problem! Stick a piece of undercover tape over the top and cover it up!

 

Undercover Tape covers up uncomfortable seams and labels

 

Itchy seams under the armpits? Pop some undercover tape over the nasty bits and breathe a sigh of relief!

You can use this clever and soft sticky tape to cover up any part of any garment that rubs or causes discomfort.

It’ll even survive up to 5 washes so you won’t have to replace it each time the garment is worn!

Who is it for?

The short answer is EVERYONE! We’ve all experienced clothing with nasty labels or seams that rub or chafe.

We recommend Undercover Tape in particular for kids who struggle with sensitivity to clothing especially seams, labels, lumps and bumps. It’s a real life-saver product that will save tears and tantrums in kids of all ages.

It’s available in plain white or with a variety of fun patterns that kids will love.

But don’t just take our word for it…

You can find Undercover Tape at the Sensory Smart Store – sighs of relief all round!

How to use your Worry Eater

Worry Eaters are much more than just adorable cartoon characters. They might just be the best toys ever invented!

Kids love the bright colours and cool personalities of these fun and cuddly toys, but there is a more serious use for them as well.

Lots of parents have been asking us how to use Worry Eaters to help kids with stress and worry, so here are the basics.

We’re fond of saying that Worry Eaters are a bit like the Tooth Fairy for worries – they make them disappear overnight!

Now, of course we don’t mean that Worry Eaters magically make everything alright (we’re still looking for a magic wand…), but they can help kids to feel a whole lot better about their problems, and give parents the tools to deal with them too.

What you need to do

  1. Get your child to spend a few minutes writing down some words, or drawing a picture of what has been worrying or stressing them out, on a piece of paper. You could make this a daily or weekly bedtime ritual.
  2. Pop the paper into the Worry Eater’s mouth and zip it up.
  3. Tell you child that the Worry Eater has eaten it all up for them.
  4. When your child goes to bed, they can take their Worry Eater to bed with them for cuddles or he can sit on a chair or in the toy box.
  5. In tooth-fairy stye, empty out the Worry Eater’s tummy while your child sleeps

Note: This works best with the plush toys, but can be done with the keyrings too. Worry Eater Keyrings do have a velcro opening at the mouth and a small piece of paper can be put inside.

How it helps your child

– They have been able to “get the worry out” i.e. but writing or drawing it down. It can be very therapeutic just to write or talk about your problems and get it off your chest.

– The worry has “symbolically gone” in the morning which can help them to feel better about it, and start to move on from whatever was upsetting them.

– You get an insight into what is upsetting your child so you can take steps to help remedy the issue, or prevent it in the future. Knowledge is power!

This is just the recommended way to use Worry Eaters. You can come up with your own way of doing it!

We’ve heard of some children who don’t like to write or draw and prefer to whisper their problems into the worry eater’s mouth (while Mum listens of course!) Other kids just like to cuddle them to feel safe from the monsters under the bed.

Please do share your stories and tips with us. How do you use yours?

We’d love to hear about how you use your Worry Eaters with your children, and share your tips with our tribe.

You can find a wide range of Worry Eater toys at the Sensory Smart Store to help your child to beat the worry!

 

5 Top Tips for beating School Anxiety

Going to school is such fun! You get to learn lots of new exciting things, play with other children and discover your talents. It’s such a wonderful time – isn’t it?

Well the sad fact is that for many children, going to school isn’t as much fun as you might think. In fact it can be downright terrifying.

Sensitive kids in particular can find their anxiety levels rising when it’s time to go back to school after the holidays. The shift in routines alone can really just be too much to cope with.

For other kids, it may be a social anxiety or a fear of being judged and not liked by other children or teachers, that in more extreme cases can sometimes be diagnised as school phobia.

The good news is that anxiety isn’t as uncommon as you might think, and there are some highly effective ways to deal with it.

So we’ve compiled our top 5 simple DIY tips for beating anxiety and helping your child to have a  relaxed and happy back-to-school September…

1. Breathe! 

It may sound obvious, but when the anxiety starts to mount, out breathing becomes shallow or we hold our breath. Reminding your child to breathe deeply, from their stomach can really help when anxiety starts to take hold.

This simple breathing exercise recommended by the NHS, is very easy to do and recommends that you breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, and gently pause between breaths to help the body’s fight or flight system calm down and prevent a full blown panic attack.

2. Drink some Cold Water

This deceptively simple technique can really help somebody suffering with a panic attack. The simple act of taking a few sips of cold water (preferably refrigerated) can make your body start to calm down from anxiety. We’re not exactly sure why, but this is a simple and tried and tested technique taught by a local counsellor.

Splashing some cold water on your face can help too – but don’t forcibly do this to your child, let them do it themselves if they want to.

3. Use Lavender Essential Oil blends to calm

Lavender is probably everyone’s favourite essential oil and with very good reason! Inhaling lavender can be very calming and helps with anxiety, stress in the daytime as well as not being able to get to sleep at night.

We really like the Chill essential oil pulse point roller and the Calming Lavender Cream by Pure Peace. Or you could just pop some lavender in your oil burner in the morning before school, or if you’re a bit hippy dippy like us and have a car essential oil diffuser, a few drops in there will make the drive to school fly by!

Lavender is suitable for most people, but please do be careful when using essential oils, and if in doubt get some advice from a qualified aromatherapist.

4. Massage your Head

This is a very easy one to do, and handy (if you’ll pardon the pun) because you don’t need anything but your hands!

Gently massaging the scalp for a few moments can help relieve anxiety and help put your child into a more relaxed and positive mood ready for ther day. This is a great one because kids can learn to do it for themselves and on each other (and on Mum too…ahhh!)

According to a study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience, massage can decrease cortisol levels by as much as 31 percent and increase serotonin by 28 percent, and dopamine by 31 percent.

If you want to get really fancy you could learn a few Indian Head Massage techniques to use at home! We have a super array of easy to use massage tools too.

5. Help your child offload at the end of the day

Talking about your problems and worries can be challenging, especially for kids who may struggle to put their feelings and thoughts into words at the best of times.

Not being able to talk about your feelings doesn’t mean you have nothing to say!

A Worry Eater toy is a really clever way to help your child offload their worries by writing, drawing or making something to represent what is making them anxious.

At bedtime, your child simply puts what they have written, drawn or created into the Worry Eater‘s mouth, zips it up and as if by magic – it’s gone!

Mum and Dad can then empty the Worry Eater‘s tummy out at night so it’s empty in the morning – a bit like the tooth fairy but taking away worries instead of teeth!

This is really handy too, because it will give you an insight into what is worrying your child if they haven’t been able to tell you. And once you know what the problem is, you’ll have a better chance of helping your little one overcome it. A great help for non-verbal children!

 

This is far from an exhaustive list, and there are lots of other things that can help kids with anxiety including exercise, yoga and CBT or Cognitive Bahavioural Therapy.

CBT is easy to learn and gives your child skills that last a lifetime. Have a quick look through the Book section of the Sensory Smart Store for more information and ideas!

So here’s to a worry-free September for you and your little ones, wishing you happy back-to-school times and lots of fun – without the anxiety!

 

Seams or labels – which is worse?

If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter, you will have seen recently that we put up a poll asking for your opinions on seams and labels. We wanted to know which was the biggest bugbear?

Well the answer we got was very much BOTH!

Having said that, seams did have a slight edge because as one of our Facebook followers pointed out, they’re both bad but seams are worse because you can cut labels out.

A really good point – who else is preparing for the new school year by cutting out labels from school uniform? Yep, us too!

But the problem is you can’t always remove them properly, and one slip of the scissors can mean a hole in your daughter’s new school skirt the day before the new term starts…nightmare!

And sometimes just cutting isn’t enough. You have to try to unpick a section of the seam to get it all out and that’s when it gets really messy.

If you’re struggling with making school uniforms comfy for sensitive little ones, then we may be able to help.

After searching high and low, we found something really clever that help with seams AND labels!

It’s called Undercover Tape and we’ll be honest, we don’t know how we lived without it!

This magical tape can be used to cover up scratchy labels, itchy seams and comes in plain white or in super fun patterns to suit the fussiest most discerning kids.

Best of all, it doesn’t come off in the wash!

Brilliant for tights, shirts, school uniforms and casual clothing that doesn’t feel “quite right” this clever tape has a soft surface and covers up the bits that kids (and big kids) don’t like!

Available as a pack of 15 label-sized strips or as 3 large pieces that you can cut to size for a particular garment, this will be your back-to-school best friend!

Also suitable for adults 😉

Find Undercover Tape along with a whole host of seamless and sensory solutions for your kid’s wardrobe at the Sensory Smart Store!

Why wont my child wear socks?

We’ve all been there – the battle to get kids dressed and ready for school in the morning!

With September and the new school term fast approaching, the tension can start to mount for both kids and parents.

Socks and tights in particular seem to cause problems for a lot of children, and as a parent you may find yourself at your wits end in the morning trying to find an elusive lump or bump that your child swears is in their sock, making their life a misery.

Tears and tantrums ensue and you may start to wonder if anyone will notice if they go to school barefoot this morning?

We all know that kids can be a little bit fussy with their clothing (we like to say ‘discerning’) but there may be more to your child’s trauma around wearing socks and tights.

They may be struggling with sensory processing disorder.

Sensory processing disorder affects an estimated 1 in 6 children and is often found alongside autism spectrum disorders too.

The great news is that our founder Mel has already done the research for you and found the most amazing socks to help kids struggling with seams, lumps and bumps in their socks!

Our number one favourites are without a doubt SmartKnitKIDS seamless sensitivity socks. Available in a choice of colours, including the all important school colours, these socks are a life saver for many sensitive children and their parents!

If your little ones really can’t cope with socks, then these are the ones to try.

You can find the full range in our online store, and we ship nearly everywhere in the world!

We’ve also made you a free incentive chart if your child has really had enough of socks, to help them overcome their fear of trying them on and keeping them on.

Get ready to say goodbye to sock nightmares, and have a happy back to school September!

Seamless Socks for Kids

 

 

We’ve updated our Privacy Policy

We have updated our Privacy Policy in line with the new EU regulations called GDPR which come into force on 25th May 2018.

If you fancy a read, it’s now available on our website here:

Privacy Policy

It doesn’t make for particularly scintillating reading, and frankly if you make it to the end you deserve a medal!

Any questions, just drop us a line at sales@sensorysmart.co.uk.

 

 

How to pick the right size socks – A Guide to SmartKnit Kids Seamless Socks

Something we get asked a lot about our Absolutely Seamless Socks is how to pick the correct size.

It might sound obvious – but these seamless socks are a little bit special…

These clever socks made by SmartKnit don’t have a defined heel or “heel pocket” that you normally see on a pair of socks. Instead, they’re shaped like a tube.

Why, you might ask? Well that’s one less seam for starters!

It also allows the socks to be worn at different lenths by different sized children, making them super-versatile and long lasting!

Here are the lovely kid presenters Blake & Eva to explain how it works:

Here is the size chart you’ll need for UK and European sizings – the one shown in the video is US sizes.

Remember that sizes are approximate, and can vary a little depending on your child’s leg size, but as a general rule this is a pretty good guide!

Ankle Crew (Mid Calf) Knee-High
Toddler to UK Infant Shoe 3/Euro 20  Small  Medium
UK Child Shoe 3 to 7/Euro 19-24  Small  Medium  Large
UK Child Shoe 7 to 11/Euro 24-30  Medium  Large  XLarge
UK Shoe 12 to 3/Euro 31-36  Large  XLarge  XXLarge
UK Shoe 4 to 7/Euro 37-40  XLarge  XLarge  XXLarge
UK Shoe 8 Plus/Euro 41+  XXLarge  XXLarge

You can find the whole range of SmartKnitKIDS Absolutely Seamless Socks for kids in our online shop here.

Here’s to comfy tootsies!