No matter what age you are, you need to have a good pair of supportive shoes on your feet. As you get older, your feet begin to change, making the need for a solid pair of shoes even more important.
As we age we lose fat protection in the bottoms of our feet. This causes the heel to press more firmly against the floor. When this happens your feet can become more tired and irritated. A good pair of shoes can lessen this discomfort. Without the proper shoe, a minor irritation can result in a heel spur and other problems.
Benefits of a Good Pair of Shoes
Besides being comfortable, a good pair of shoes has many other benefits for you and your feet.
- Reduces injuries and falls. As we get older, we tend to lose our balance, leading to injuries and falls. A sturdy pair of shoes can help us feel more grounded, thus reducing the number of injuries and falls. Our feet can also change in shape as we age leading to problems like flat feet and other issues due to weak muscles. These changes in the feet can also leave seniors feeling imbalanced and make them more prone to falls.
- Keeps us active. If you’re wearing a good pair of shoes that is comfortable and supporting your feet, you’re more likely to move around. When we keep moving we are helping to improve our heart health as well as prevent other medical issues like obesity and diabetes. Investing in a good pair of shoes is good for your health!
- Weak feet lead to other problems. When you don’t have a solid pair of shoes, your feet can become weak, leading other body parts to overcompensate for what the feet are not doing. Back problems and knee problems are common issues that can result from wearing inadequate shoes. When you wear shoes that are good for your feet, your whole body reaps the benefits.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Pair of Senior Shoes
While the appearance of a shoe may be the first thing we think about, sometimes you need to take safety and strength before you think about the look. This is not to say that there aren’t plenty of sturdy shoes that also look great. But, that’s not always the case. Here are some things to consider before taking out your wallet.
- Wait until the afternoon to buy shoes. While you might want to hit the stores when they first open, waiting until the afternoon is actually better for your feet. Your feet naturally expand throughout the day, giving you a better fit when you’re trying on shoes in the afternoon opposed to going first thing in the morning.
- Walk around to see if the shoe fits. The shoe may feel great sitting down but it may be a different story once you stand up. Is there enough room in the balls of the feet? Do you slip out of the shoe? Is it too tight? By walking around you’ll be able to answer these questions and find a pair of shoes that fits you well.
- Examine the soles. Turn the shoes over and look at the soles. Is there enough cushioning to protect from sharp objects? Do the soles cushion against impact?
What to Look for in Shoes for Seniors
When you’re shopping for shoes for yourself or helping a family member who is a senior citizen, you should look for the following features in a pair of shoes:
- Non-slip sole. The sole must firmly grip the surface no matter if it’s wet or dry. The soles should be light and shock-absorbent for a softer impact on the heels and ankles.
- Shoe material should be breathable. If the material is tight and constricts the foot it will not be comfortable to walk on nor will it be practical.
- High-back. If there is ample support in the back it will support the ankle as well.
- Flat or low heel. Heels should be less than one inch tall. If they’re any taller you could end up twisting your ankle.
- Wide-mouth. A wide opening for the foot is especially good if your foot tends to swell. The wider mouths are roomier and much more comfortable.
- No laces. If balance is an issue or if you have trouble bending down, then it’s probably a better idea to go with no laces. A better choice may be velcro. Velcro shoes are easy to get on and off and won’t usually come undone.
- Soft & padded shoes. If shoes are soft and padded they’ll fit well and offer extra protection against irritation and friction that can cause blisters.
Senior Shoe Options
While everyone’s feet are different and everyone likes different types of shoes, there are some shoes that the majority seems to favor. Here’s a look at some favorite shoes for seniors:
- Propet Women’s W3851 Wash and Wear Slip-On– This one is a favorite because it’s easy to get on and off. It also has a durable sole that truly grips when you walk. To top it off, these shoes also look nice!
- New Balance 577 Leather Hook and Loop– The Abzorb heel helps to prevent shocks as people walk and go about their business. The shoe also provides cushioning and is durable. It comes in several colors so you’re sure to find something that suits you.
- Hush Puppies Gil Slip-On– The synthetic sole on this shoe provides a good support for the foot and ankle. The hook and loop closure also makes these easy to get on and off. They’re also made of a lightweight material for added comfort.
- Propet Men’s Life Walker Strap Sneaker– For active seniors, these are a great choice because they have a padded collar and tongue for extra comfort as well as dual heel counters for extra heel support. There are also two velcro straps which makes it easier for the shoes to stay on while adding support.
When you find a pair of shoes that fits you right and has all the features you’re looking for, it may not be a bad idea to buy two pairs. This allows you to have an extra one when your current pair wears out. You never know when a certain style may get discontinued! Happy shopping!