I may have mentioned before that I've been using an AFO on my right leg since last
September. I've found it to be very helpful and not uncomfortable. I never leave the house without wearing it. I do take it off when I get home, which helps to stretch out the calf.
Mine is not hinged at the ankle. It is constructed of white milky looking plastic. There is a ball on the heel and the portion under the foot goes up to the ball of my foot. The front is basically open. The back is curved around my calf. It extends up to a few inches below the knee and is secured with a velcro strap across the front at the top.
I don't think the bilateral braces should cause a "Frankenstein" kind of walking feeling.
The AFO gives a lot of support, even to the back of the calf, and actually improves the gait. It imparts a sense of security, at least for me.
One of my concerns at the outset was the type of shoe into which the AFO would fit.
I didn't want to be in a position to wear tennis shoes or big clodhopper looking things with my business suits. ("Vanity, thy name is woman.") Happily, I've found several flat shoes that work and don't look too bad with dresses or skirts.
They come in black and brown, are very light, and stay on the foot really well, even with the AFO. I bought them in wide instead of medium, just in case the brace took up
too much room, and they're perfect.
Perhaps this find will help someone else.