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What are the best shoes for seniors who are prone to falls?
Most of us lose our sense of balance as we grow older. Because of this, our seniors tend to need special footwear to reduce accidental falls.
So what do you need to look for when finding the best shoes for seniors?
Let’s find out.
According to Geriatric Orthopaedic Surgery & Rehabilitation, nearly 80% of elderly patients have foot issues.
And studies have found that inappropriate footwear is one of the underlying leading causes.
As we get older, the feet go through a lot of changes.
So looking for the best geriatric shoes becomes challenging as it varies because of several conditions.
The foot gets wider or longer as the ligaments and tendons lose elasticity and strength.
Ankle and foot swelling occurs because of circulation issues or medication side effects.
Older adults also suffer most from health conditions like arthritis or diabetes.
Arthritis and other neuropathic conditions can change their walking status. They can either slow down their walking speed or may cause a limp.
Diabetes often results in loss of circulation and sensation in the feet.
If the shoes don’t fit properly, they may rub and cause blisters leading to infection and wounds.
Seniors also lose the fat pad cushioning the bottom part of the foot.
As this natural padding is removed, they experience increased discomfort and pain.
Multiple causes have been noted to cause foot problems.
Some common ones that seniors experience include corns (callus), which come from continuous pressure of tight footwear.
Another is bunions which are found near the base of the big toe. They are bony areas pushing the joint to stick outwards.
Fallen arches also become prominent during older age.
The foot arch tendon weakens, allowing the entire foot to contact the ground. And this often leads to knee and back pain.
Shoes with a narrow toe box or high heels can force the toes to bend or flex.
The muscles which allow the toes to straighten become tight and less able to work. And this leads to a condition called hammertoe.
Older adults are also prone to developing plantar fasciitis.
It’s where there is a tissue inflammation along the bottom of the foot that produces heel pain.
Knowing what to look for in a pair of shoes can help our senior loved ones find the ideal pair. Here are some features to look for in their geriatric shoes:
The midsoles of the shoes need to be firm and not too flexible so that seniors can maintain their balance.
Older adults are at risk of falling when their shoes bend too much, due to instability.
Hard, sturdy soles tend to be more slip-resistant than light, flexible shoes.
The shoes must be properly fitted. The senior's foot will slip and slide within the shoe if the shoes are too big.
And this might lead to a fall or loss of balance.
Too-tight shoes can cause foot pain and calluses. It will make it difficult for the elderly to walk.
For added stability, seniors should wear closed-toe shoes.
Open-toed shoes frequently may not fit comfortably enough. It allows the foot to slip inside the shoe, which causes balance issues.
For weak older adults, wearing heavy shoes is a challenge.
They may have difficulty lifting their feet, causing them to shuffle when walking. It can then result in a fall.
A too-smooth sole is slippery, whereas a sole with too much tread pulls at the ground, causing the wearer to stumble.
The soles should ideally be constructed of a slip-resistant material with tread.
Individuals who wear high heels have been shown to strain their toes and balls of the feet.
They also negatively affect posture, balance, and gait.
Therefore, low-heeled shoes are suggested.
There are many shoe types, and each has it's purpose.
Here are a few types of footwear that seniors will want to have.
A nice walking shoe can be the difference between a relaxing afternoon stroll and sore feet.
Senior walking shoes should have a rubber sole. They should also be lightweight and easy to put on.
Walking shoes usually give enough traction for elders.
So look for a thin sole that lets your loved one feel his steps. This will help them step more steadily.
Seniors need comfortable shoes. Lace-up shoes are more adjustable than Velcro or slip-on shoes, but arthritic hands make using traditional laces difficult.
If the senior has limited dexterity, consider shoes with elastic laces that can be tightened to secure the foot.
But also allow seniors to get the shoes on and off quickly.
Over-the-counter orthotics help lower foot pressure and pain. It also impr oves balance.
Sometimes, a senior with diabetes or arthritis may need specific orthotics to put in her shoes. These can be customized for them.
What is worn outside the home should be looked at, but so should what is worn inside.
Seniors who like to wear socks when at home should get pairs with grips on the bottom.
The grips will help them stay on their feet, especially on tile or wood floors.
Seniors who have a history of falls have a higher risk of future falls.
But the proper footwear can help reduce such events.
So here are the best footwear that are comfortable and supportive for aging feet.
*Please note that this is not an affiliate or paid post. I’m just recommending brands that are easily available in the market.
Seniors who still want to keep active and search for the best sneakers for walking can try these pairs.
First is the ultra-soft, high-comfort New Balance walking shoes.
It is very light and has a lot of cushion support. They’re made of durable fabric and have a leather toe vamp.
They also have a soft lining and padded insoles. The outsoles are made of high-quality rubber.
It helps to keep seniors comfortable all day and keep your balance on hard floors.
The Go Walk 4 is one of the best walking shoes for older men. It has a rubber sole that is well-grooved and gives good traction.
A flexible mesh upper and a supportive midsole make these shoes easy to slip on and off.
Seniors can walk in them all day without hurting their feet. And they provide good shock absorption.
Many health problems can make it hard for the elderly to keep their balance.
Fortunately, there are the best shoes to prevent falls.
Skechers manufactures the Equalizer 3.0 Bluegate Loafer for men, which is designed to aid in balance.
The uppers are breathable mesh, while the insole is made of air-cooled memory foam.
The YHOON, also called "sock sneakers," is a good choice.
The slip-on design makes them easy to get to. The upper is made of a breathable, lightweight fly-woven fabric.
And this can easily fit swelling and bunions without putting pressure on them.
The insole is filled with air, while the outsole has traction to help seniors stay on their feet.
The inappropriate shoe can cause long-term damage to joints in people with arthritis.
Shoes for this condition should have strong arch support and extra cushioning.
These Mary Janes are durable and lightweight, with a padded heel cup and adequate arch support.
The slip-resistant sole ensures stability, while the Velcro strap allows for a unique fit.
Soft suede covers the latex and cork insole, which can be removed if you need additional room for orthotics.
This pair has a cushioned collar and airy, soft lining that doesn't put any extra pressure on your pain points.
They have a non-slip rubber sole that has a lot of grooves to help you stay on your feet.
And they provide a lot of shock absorption to protect the joints.
These slippers are very soft and stretchy, making them very comfortable for older women.
They have a Velcro closure that makes it easy to open, slide on, and keep in place.
These shoes support avid walkers with a non-slip sole, high traction, and good shock absorption.
The perforated upper and two Velcro straps allow for quick fit adjustments.
Custom orthotics can be placed in the cushioned insoles.
The Stability X Strap provides outstanding arch support, decreasing strain and tension from high impact exercises.
It uses the Propet's double detachable EVA insoles for maximum comfort. And individuals can either remove one insole or both to fit custom orthotics.
Stability X Strap's streamlined design with mesh top lining enhances circulation in the shoe.
It has a stretchable fabric around the vamp and toe box, allowing for a delicate fit.
The expanded medial heel stabilizer and tempered steel shank provide support.
And the Plus Fitting System® allows for double depth for custom orthotics or arch support insoles.
Choosing the best shoes for seniors to reduce fall chances and promote safer walking is essential.
Our feet change over time and it’s always a good idea to keep them in check.
Have them professionally checked so they can get to know your feet and footwear needs.
That's all for today.
Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!