Aging is inevitable. We all get older and there isn’t anything we can do about it but accept it and pay attention to the changes happening in our body. Aging takes its toll on all parts of the body, including the feet. In addition, to wear, there are certain physiological changes that’ll affect how your tendons, bones, and joints function. Given all this, it’s a wonder that our feet don’t launch a full-scale rebellion.
But they sometimes do, especially as we age. Foot pain in seniors is a common issue and it is even found to be associated with a 62% increased risk of falls. Another study found that one in four adults over the age of 45 suffer from foot pain and it is somewhat disabling in about two-thirds of those cases. As we get older, our tendons and muscle lose elasticity and this can contribute to foot pain.
It is essential to make the health of your foot a top priority in the old age because healthy feet are a catalyst to a healthy lifestyle and mobility. Your feet provide you support and if they are aching, you will struggle to carry out your day-to-day chores.
The question is, “How do you care for your feet as you get older?” Well, you can start by getting the right pair of shoes. Ill-fitting shoes are a major cause of foot problems. Wearing the proper shoes will allow your feet to relax and provide the necessary support to your body weight. There are different types of shoes available in the market for seniors. Due to a plethora of choices, choosing one that is right for you can be hard. To help you out, we have compiled a list of best shoes for the elderly. Before we talk about these shoes, let us discuss some important things that you should know about senior shoes.
How to Choose the Right Pair of Elderly Shoes?
When buying a pair of shoes for the elderly, there are some important features to look for. These include:
· Protective Interior with Proper Cushioning
Shoes should feature a protective interior lining that isn’t too tight. The interior should also be soft and padded with foam. The upper of the shoes should preferably be stretchable so that you can walk comfortably.
· Low Heels
When shopping for a pair of senior shoes, don’t become a slave to fashion. A shoe with a high heel isn’t the best choice as it’ll increase your chances of falling or twisting an ankle. So look for shoes with a flat or low heel so that you don’t end up falling or hurting yourself.
Shoes for the elderly should be lightweight. If they are too heavy, your feet might hurt after walking or just by keeping the shoes on.
Always select shoes with a thick sole and good arch support. If you have a foot condition like plantar fasciitis, look for shoes that offer additional room for soft inserts. Avoid backless walking shoes because even though they are comfortable, they don’t offer support around the ankle and the back of the foot.
Walking shoes with poor outsole won’t be able to protect your foot from small rocks with sharp edges or penetrating objects like small nails. So make that the outsole is made from a tough material.
Another important thing you should consider is the ability of shoes to grip the ground. Good traction is important to stabilize your steps and to propel yourself forward. Manufacturers use effective groove patterns to provide traction as they help the shoes grip the ground firmly.
Look for deep groove patterns that extend to the edges of the outsole. Grooves in the sole won’t be effective in wet or slippery conditions if they don’t extend to the edges. Reason being, they won’t be able to disperse water away from your shoes. When water doesn’t have space to escape, it’ll accumulate under your feet, reducing the friction between your shoe and the floor. Thus, you will be more likely to slip if you wear a pair of shoes whose grooves don’t extend to the edges.
The outsole pattern varies by manufacturer, but it doesn’t matter a lot as long as the grooves are deep and extend to the edges of the outsole.
Flexibility mainly deals with absorbing shock. The best shoes for elderly feature flexible soles and uppers. Flexibility is important, but it should not come at the cost of support. A shoe should provide a good balance of support and flexibility.
Breathable mesh is most commonly used to make flexible uppers. Other materials like canvas, neoprene, and fabric are flexible too, but they aren’t too breathable and can feel stuffy and hot. Most shoes for the seniors focus on being firm and supportive, but the elderly need some flexibility too. This is why supportive overlays are usually combined with flexible mesh materials to give people the best of both worlds. This allows the shoe to bend and flex with the foot naturally. It also provides good support to the foot without being unforgiving and hard.
Outsoles for cushioning and support are made with synthetic materials or rubber. These materials can be thick and firm and tend to offer good traction even on highly polished or slippery surfaces.
The Agony of the Foot as We Get Older
There are some important things that you should know about your aging feet. We have discussed them briefly here:
Obesity can Increase the Risk of Foot Pain
A study found that as people’s BMI or body mass index increases to obesity, so do their odds of suffering from foot pain in the old age. This holds true for both men and women. Due to the excess weight, the foot struggles to handle the load that is being put on it.
Loss of Fat can Increase the Likelihood of Foot Pain
We are born with a specific amount of fat under our foot, especially under the balls and heels, which helps with shock absorption. This fat can atrophy as we age. Getting cortisone injections and overtraining can aggravate the loss of fat padding in the feet. When this happens, you might complain that it feels like you are walking on marbles or hard rocks, which may lead to flattening of your feet and pain. Moreover, losing the fat padding can make you leave you more vulnerable to bruised bones, balance problems, and stress fractures as you get older.
Since transplanting the fat from one part of the body to another isn’t possible, the only thing you can do is supplement the fat padding with external cushioning – by wearing a shoe that offers extra cushioning or has ample room for external cushioning. You can also use put gel pads or insoles in your shoes if you need extra padding.
Comprised Blood Flow can Cause Foot Pain or Worsen It
Various factors may affect the blood flow to your feet, including smoking and whether you have diabetes or blood clots. Diminished blood flow can cause foot pain and also make tissue and wound healing a problem. That’s why you should tell your doctor if you feel any tingling or numbness in your feet.
Different Foot Ailments Become Common with Age
Fungal infections, hammertoes, bunions, calluses, and corns can occur at any time in life. However, certain foot ailments are more commonly experienced in the old age. These include posterior tibial tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, big toe arthritis, and Achilles tendinitis. Swelling and pain in the foot warrant a visit to a doctor.
Foot pain in the elderly may be dismissed due to tired feet and age, but sometimes there is an underlying cause of pain that can be treated. This is why it is best to get yourself checked if you experience foot pain in the old age.
Read Also: Best Slip-Resistant Shoes for Women
Our Top 3 Choice
Best Overall Choice: Hush Puppies Men’s Gil Slip-On Shoe
Premium Product: Orthofeet Avery Island
Best Value: Propét Men’s LifeWalker Strap Walking Shoe
Best Shoes for Elderly
The Brisk Light Weight Dual Strap features padded insole with supportive gel to absorb shock while providing stability. Flexible and thick outsole with a stacked heel might worry some seniors, but it fits within the parameters so you should be okay with it.
Laces can be annoying, especially when you have back problems. Fortunately, this shoe from Dr. Scholl’s features double Velcro closure to make it easier for you to put them on. The Dr. Scholl’s Men’s Brisk Light Weight Dual Strap Sneaker is available in a number of sizes and widths, so it might work well if you have aching and swollen feet. The uppers of these shoes are made with faux and leather, which makes them easier to clean. However, durability can be an issue since genuine leather isn’t used.
Even though you might not be looking for a stylish pair of shoes to wear at an old age, you are likely to appreciate these fashion-inspired sneakers. They aren’t just good looking but also offer great support and versatility. The memory foam cool fit should reduce foot fatigue, while air-pillow gel insoles will keep your feet comfortable.
Pros of the Dr. Scholl’s Men’s Brisk Light Weight Dual Strap Sneaker
- Extremely lightweight
- Double Velcro closure for easy wear
- Aegis Microbe Shield odor control
- Dri-Lex moisture-wicking lining
Cons of the Dr. Scholl’s Men’s Brisk Light Weight Dual Strap Sneaker
- The tongue is too short
- Not the most durable offering
The Skechers Men’s Afterburn M. Fit Strike has plenty of features that qualify them as one of the best walking shoes for the elderly. The padded collar and tongue make the shoes comfortable while synthetic leather uppers ensure durability. Moreover, the rubber traction sole should provide high levels of traction, even on slick surfaces.
Breathable mesh lining and memory foam insoles should keep your feet comfortable. The Skechers Men’s Afterburn M. Fit Strike-on shoes are also lightweight, which makes them an option worth considering. One problem with these shoes is that they have a high heel. This can pose a problem for seniors as they might lose balance. If the high heel is a deal-breaker for you, it would be best to look elsewhere.
Pros of the Skechers Men’s Afterburn M. Fit Strike-on
- Breathable mesh lining
- Memory foam insole
- Padded collar and tongue
Cons of the Skechers Men’s Afterburn M. Fit Strike-on
- Not the most durable shoes
- Extended heel height
If you are looking for a comfortable pair of shoes that you can wear to walk every day, the Hush Puppies Men’s Gil Slip-On Shoe can be a good option. These shoes are made from 100% leather and incorporate a synthetic sole to offer you the support you need while walking. Since the Hush Puppies Men’s Gil Slip-On Shoe is made with ultra-light Zero-G material, it is extremely lightweight and might not make you feel tired even if you keep it on for hours.
It also features shock-absorbing EVA footbed with cell mesh cover and gives you additional room to insert your own custom orthotics. The Gil Slip-On Shoe is comprised of either pull-up or full-grain leather and built to withstand the most rugged conditions. Since it is available in a wide range of sizes and widths, you might be able to find the perfect fit.
The Hush Puppies Men’s Gil Slip-On Shoe isn’t only comfortable, they also look great and should complement any clothing. One of the most commendable features of these shoes is the 1.25-inches heel height. Another thing we like about the Gil Slip-On Shoe is that the outsole is made from a slip-resistant material and features long tread grooves, so you’ll be less likely to fall from slipping.
There isn’t much to dislike about this shoe, which is why we believe that it is the best overall choice among the shoes for the elderly.
Pros of the Hush Puppies Men’s Gil Slip-On Shoe
- Easy to adjust thanks to Velcro strapping
- Extremely lightweight
- Removable EVA footbed
- Comfortable and durable
Cons of the Hush Puppies Men’s Gil Slip-On Shoe
- Some people might not like the style
The Orthofeet Avery Island is a good option for people with sensitive feet or elderly who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, neuropathy, plantar fasciitis, and diabetes. The uppers are made from leather while it features a rubber outsole that maintains natural foot motion while reducing shock. The Ortho-Cushioning System, together with air-cushioning and lightweight sole adds to your comfort and helps soften each step.
The Avery Island may help people with arch, back, knee, heel, and foot pain. They come with several comfort features that might help reduce your pain. These shoes are engineered to enhance stability and reduce stress on your joints. Positive reviews from the majority of customers show that they are effective in reducing pain. If you suffer from knee, heel, foot, back or arch pain, the Orthofeet Avery Island should be on your shortlist.
Pros of the Orthofeet Avery Island
- Leather upper
- Good arch support
- Rubber outsole
- Wide toe box
- Extended widths are available
Cons of the Orthofeet Avery Island
- Not stylish
Reebok is focused on athletes but also makes some high-quality walking shoes. The Skyscape Harmony from the company gets a strong rating from customers and it is easy to why. This shoe has plenty of features that make it a good option for older ladies. It’s a sneaker with a padded footbed and foam padded upper and comes with a rubber outsole that’s made to be durable and long-lasting.
The Reebok Women’s Skyscape Harmony Walking Shoe is quite unique and very stylish. So you could consider getting a pair if you are one of those ladies who want to maintain their class as they age. The uppers are made from an ultra-soft stretch material and surround the foot in form-fitting comfort. Since leather isn’t used, one might think that these shoes aren’t long-lasting. However, this isn’t the case. The Reebok Harmony Walking shoes are quite durable and should last a long time even with regular use.
Slip-on construction of the Harmony Walking Shoes makes them easy to use. The distinct SkySpring architecture of this pair might offer you all-day comfort while providing adequate support. The heel of these shoes is only 1-inches so you’ll be less likely to fall from losing your balance. The Harmony Walking Shoes also feature PU footbed and EVA midsole for added comfort.
Pros of the Reebok Women’s Skyscape Harmony Walking Shoe
- Rubber outsole
- Heel only measures 1”
- PU footbed and EVA midsole
Cons of Reebok Women’s Skyscape Harmony Walking Shoe
- Can be hard to find the right size
The Propét Men’s LifeWalkers are designed for seniors who love walking and don’t want to give up on this activity due to old age. These shoes boast a brushed nylon lining with a heel stabilizer to help you keep moving and stay on your feet. OrthoLite insole of the shoe with memory foam top layer should keep your feet comfortable even on longer walks.
One of the things we like about the Propét Men’s LifeWalkers Strap Walking Shoes is that they are Medicare-approved for people suffering from diabetes. Another commendable feature of these shoes is that they sport removable footbeds, so you can replace them with your own specialized orthotics.
Dual heel counters with a comfortable padded collar and tongue would make walking easier for you. Lightweight EVA midsoles with Arch-Bridge might help control pronation – a problem associated with old age. Perforated leather uppers of the Propét Men’s LifeWalkers add breathability while a fully padded lining surrounds your feet for a comfortable fit.
These shoes would help reduce foot and leg fatigue while providing good shock absorption for a secure walking experience. One complaint of customers about these shoes is that they aren’t very durable. Apart from that, these are a solid option for any senior looking for a comfortable walking shoe.
Pros of the Propét Men’s LifeWalker Strap Walking Shoe
- High traction even on slick surfaces
- Hook-and-loop closure
- Built-in heel stabilizer
Cons of the Propét Men’s LifeWalker Strap Walking Shoe
- Not very durable
If you haven’t quit walking due to old age and are still as active as ever, the Propét Women’s Tour Walker Strap Sneaker could be an option worth considering. These shoes are made for active senior ladies who enjoy walking in the outdoors. The uppers are made from genuine leather, which is easy to clean, and the shoes feature twin-strap closures to make them easy to use. Cushioned EVA midsole of the Tour Walker should keep you comfortable while walking on the track or road.
Padded collar and tongue add to your comfort and removable footbed allows you to insert your own custom orthotics. This is a very useful feature, especially if you have foot conditions that require extra soft cushioning. Propét Women’s Tour Walker Strap Sneaker is also Medicare-approved for people suffering from diabetes
The features of the Propét Women’s Tour Walker Strap Sneaker make them a good choice for elderly women who want protection and comfort while walking. The only thing you might not like about these shoes is their style. Everything else about the Tour Walker Strap Sneaker is likely to appeal to you.
Pros of the Propét Women’s Tour Walker Strap Sneaker
- Lightweight traction pattern
- Rubber outsole offers high levels of traction
- Durable thanks to 100% leather uppers
- Medicare-approved for people suffering from diabetes
Cons of the Propét Women’s Tour Walker Strap Sneaker
- Not stylish
- May not be suitable for people who need low arch support
If you are looking for a walking sneaker that won’t hurt your feet and your wallet, the Grasshoppers Women’s Stretch Plus Hook-and-Loop Sneaker should be on your shortlist. These American Podiatric Medical Associated- (APMA-) approved sneakers are a good option for walking and other activities. With easy dual hook-and-loop closures, they offer the support you might need to alleviate your joint and knee pain.
Purefit comfort cushion with Ortholite sockliner should give you a good fit while Moisture-wicking and odor control of these shoes will help keep stinky odors at bay. Memory foam should adapt to the size and shape of your feet, ensuring a good, comfortable fit.
The rounded heel of the Grasshoppers Women’s Stretch Plus Hook-and-Loop Sneaker might decrease the impact on your knees while additional padding at collar and heel add to the comfort. The insoles of these shoes can also be removed for an orthotic insert.
One thing to note about these shoes is that their uppers aren’t made from genuine leather, so don’t expect them to last long.
Pros of the Grasshoppers Women’s Stretch Plus Hook-and-Loop Sneaker
- Removable insoles
- Purefit comfort-cushioned arch
- Good looks
Cons of the Grasshoppers Women’s Stretch Plus Hook-and-Loop Sneaker
- Less durable
New Balance primarily designs shoes for serious athletes who mean business. However, this shoe is more focused on seniors who want high-quality footwear for walking and other leisure activities. With designed patented implications, you might find these shoes a better fit than other similar models.
The uppers are made from genuine leather, so you can expect great durability from the New Balance Men’s Hook-and-Loop walking shoe. You might not have to worry about replacing them anytime soon as they are long-lasting. It can be a pretty decent option for people with a high instep or wide feet and since these shoes feature hook-and-loop closure, they are easy to put on and off.
The heels of the New Balance Men’s MW557 Hook-and-Loop Walking Shoe incorporate ABZORB technology to protect your feet from shocks as you traverse the track on a morning jog. One thing we don’t like about these shoes is that the footbed isn’t removable. This can be an issue for people who want extra support and comfort with their own orthotics.
Pros of the New Balance Men’s MW557 Hook-and-Loop Walking
- Hook-and-look closure makes them easy to use
- Made from 100% leather
- ABZORB technology protects feet from shocks
Cons of the New Balance Men’s MW557 Hook-and-Loop Walking
- Insoles aren’t removable
If you want to buy comfortable slip-on footwear without breaking a bank, the Skechers Performance Women’s Go Walk Slip-On Walking Shoe is a good option to consider. Slip-on shoes are extremely simple to use as they eliminate the inconvenience of dealing with shoelaces and Velcro which can be very annoying. Response mechanisms of these shoes are impressive, so you should be able to traverse on a number of surfaces with good traction.
With its distinct Goimpulse sensors, you’ll get constant feedback as you walk through the terrain. The inside of the shoe is lined with an OrthoLite insole with anti-microbial properties to prevent odor. Lightweight fabric construction will propel you forward instead of weighing you down.
The Skechers Performance Women’s Go Walk Slip-On Walking Shoe also incorporates RESALYTE cushioning. This lightweight compound should offer you protection from impacts with each step, without compromising on responsiveness.
One thing to note about these shoes is that they don’t fit well for elderly with narrow feet. Moreover, some pairs come with hard plastic soles instead of rubber. In this case, traction can be an issue, especially when walking on polished surfaces.
Pros of the Skechers Performance Women’s Go Walk Slip-On Walking Shoe
- Highly responsive
- Reinforced tee box
- Durable canvas upper
Cons of the Skechers Performance Women’s Go Walk Slip-On Walking Shoe
- Soles wear out fast
- Don’t fit well on narrow feet
The Go Walk 3 Slip-On Walking Shoe is another popular model from Skechers and it has received positive reviews from the majority of customers. These shoes are made from genuine mesh, which increases airflow and makes them breathable. The insole is lined with memory foam to offer you a comfortable experience.
Slip-on design of the Go Walk 3 makes them convenient to use, especially for seniors with back pain. These shoes also incorporate Goga mat insoles which are durable, shock-absorbent, generate good traction and that extend the length of the shoes. The cushioned footbed and fabric trim on these shoes will pamper your feet as you walk outdoors.
The width of the Skechers Go Walk 3 is made a little large, so people with narrow fit might find it a loose fit. Moreover, arch support provided by these shoes isn’t all that great. If these two things aren’t a deal-breaker for you, you could add the Go Walk 3 Slip-On Walking Shoe to your shortlist.
Pros of the Skechers Performance Men’s Go Walk 3 Slip-On Walking Shoe
- Snug fit
- Slip-on design
- Large toe box
Cons of the Pros of the Skechers Performance Men’s Go Walk 3 Slip-On Walking Shoe
- Wears out quickly
- Arch support isn’t great
The Skechers Performance Women’s Go Walk 2 is suitable for all age groups, including baby boomers. These shoes are made from genuine textile, which makes them lightweight. They feature a Resalyte cushioned midsole that offers great shock-absorbing capability.
Moreover, the Skechers Performance Women’s Go Walk 2 comes with an Ortholite anti-microbial sock liner to keep your foot from developing rashes. These shoes also incorporate GOimpulse sensors for a more responsive and fun walking experience. The highly breathable mesh of these shoes is engineered for good foot support.
One downside of the Skechers Performance Women’s Go Walk 2 is that they aren’t too durable. If this isn’t an issue for you, you could consider buying them especially if you want an ultra-comfortable pair of shoes.
Pros of the Skechers Performance Women’s Go Walk 2
- Breathable mesh
- Cushy soles
- Extremely comfortable
- Stretch mesh will give more freedom to your toes
Cons of the Skechers Performance Women’s Go Walk 2
- Not too durable
- A little narrow
At the end of our list, we have the Easy Spirit Women’s Traveltime Mule. This is another great pair of shoes and its comfort factor is especially commendable. The Easy Spire Women’s Traveltime Mule comes with a rubber sole, providing highs levels of traction even on slippery surfaces. This rubber outsole also acts as a cushioning system, reducing the impact on each step.
The inside of these shoes incorporates sock liners with shock-absorbing properties, so you should be comfortable through the duration that you’ll be walking or wearing the shoe. It is available in several different styles, so you might be able to find one that fits your taste.
An easy slip in-and-off design will save you from the hassle of having to deal with Velcro or shoelaces. The upper mesh of the Easy Spire Women’s Traveltime Mule allows for breathability and keeps your feet fresh even during longer walks.
Although these shoes have received exceptional rating from customers, they still don’t cut it for certain users. Reason being, the width of the Easy Spire Women’s Traveltime Mule is narrow, which can be a problem, especially for people with wide feet. Another reason is their durability. If you are okay with these two downsides, you could consider getting yourself a pair of the Easy Spire Women’s Traveltime Mule shoes.
Pros of the Easy Spirit Women’s Traveltime Mule
- Comfortable fit
- Good arch support
- Excellent cushioning
- Highly breathable
- Flexible outsole
Cons of the Easy Spirit Women’s Traveltime Mule
- Deteriorates in quality when used regularly
- Size runs small
Well, that’s all form our list of best shoes for the elderly. We hope you find the information we have provided helpful. Armed with this knowledge about the best senior shoes in the market, you should be able to find a pair that suits your needs and your wallet. But, if you are still having trouble selecting a pair, we’ll make things even easier for you. We mentioned our top picks at the start, so we’ll now let you know why the Hush Puppies Men’s Gil Slip-On Shoe is the best overall choice product, what makes the Orthofeet Avery Island the best premium product and why we believe the Propét Men’s LifeWalker Strap Walking Shoe is the best value offering. You can skip this section if you have already made your decision; otherwise, continue reading.
Best Overall Choice
The Hush Puppies Men’s Gil Slip on shoes is the best overall choice. The reason is that these shoes are comfortable, durable, extremely lightweight, and offer great support. Not only that, but they feature removable footbed, allowing you to replace it with your own specialized orthodontics. The heel of this pair of shoes is 1.25” while the outsole is made from a slip-resistant material and features long tread grooves, preventing the likelihood of slipping and falling.
When it comes to a premium product, the Orthofeet Avery Island stands out. This shoe is especially useful for elderly who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, neuropathy, plantar fasciitis, and diabetes. The uppers are made from leather while the shoes feature a rubber outsole that maintains natural foot motion while reducing shock. The Ortho-Cushioning System, together air-cushioning and lightweight sole adds to your comfort and helps soften each step. If price and laces aren’t a concern for you, the Orthofeet Avery Island is an option worth considering.
If you want a pair of shoes that gives you the best value for money, we recommend the Propét Men’s LifeWalker Strap Walking Shoe. These shoes boast a brushed nylon lining with a heel stabilizer to help you keep moving and stay on your feet. OrthoLite insole of the shoe with memory foam top layer should keep your feet comfortable even on longer walks. This pair is also Medicare-approved for people suffering from diabetes. Propét has cut some corners on the material quality, which is why the shoe isn’t very durable. But at this price range, you might not find a better option than the Propet Men’s LifeWalker Strap Walking Shoe.
Now pick a pair from our list and enjoy walking without being troubled from foot pain. When making your decision, consider the factors we discussed earlier including the weight, interior cushioning, heel length, support provided, protection offered, traction given and the flexibility the pair of shoes offer.
We have provided detailed information on elderly shoes but if you are still finding it hard to select a pair or have any questions to ask from us, feel free to contact us. We’ll be more than happy to assist you in finding a pair of elderly shoes.