I've been wearing an AFO (ankle-foot orthotic) since after the stroke. Essentially, it held my ankle and foot steady while giving my knee support. Lately, it's been irritating the hell out of me, and my rehab doctor has been encouraging me to try and walk without it. So, Mary and I went out the day before yesterday and I got a new pair of shoes (my feet have swollen and I don't seem to be able to get my old size on), and I've been walking in them.
The only thing that concerned me was walking down the stairs. I was concerned that my ankle might not hold up.
So I tried it today. The ankle held up fine.