We have reviewed the best shoes for aging feet below. If you are in a hurry, the table below gives a quick snapshot. Or you can scroll down for detailed product reviews.
The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that only about 30 per cent of the elderly aged over 65 years of age are physically active and less than 5 percent of adults undertake at least half an hour of physical activity every day.
This certainly requires a change. More physical activity requires you to have proper footwear, particularly if you are a senior. In this article, we will discuss the different ways in which your feet may change with age and review some of the best types of shoes that you can use as footwear during your activities.
A progressively sedentary lifestyle over the last couple of decades, along with a sub-optimal diet, has increased the likelihood of age-related problems in the elderly. Having said that, even if you are reasonably healthy in your later life, specialized footwear will give you that bit of extra comfort in your years.
How Do Your Feet Change with Age?
The human foot is made of 26 bones and a complicated structure of ligaments, tendons and muscles. As we age, the tendons and ligaments of our feet tend to lose elasticity. This reduces the depth of the arch of our foot and leads to a condition called the flat foot. This is accompanied by pain in the arch of the foot.
Common foot conditions also include shortening of the Achilles’ tendon due to loss of water in the tissue and this also results in a more flat-footed walking or running posture.
Arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis, is increasingly affecting the elderly and can affect your ankle bone and joint, leading to severe pain. These and a few other conditions are quite commonplace in the elderly and will require you to carefully select your footwear to suit your feet and activity needs.
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Types of Shoes for the Elderly
Post-retirement, you have a lot more time to be socially active. Be it a stroll with friends in the neighborhood park or a ladies’ breakfast morning meeting, there are many social activities for the elderly to participate in. And for the aesthetically minded, a particular activity calls for a particular kind of pair of shoes.
Depending on your social and work life, there are a few types of shoes that you may want to have in your wardrobe. If you are still working in a formal environment, you will need comfortable formal shoes – comfortable enough for long use.
If you are fit enough to be playing some sport you will need a comfortable pair of sneakers or running shoes. And if you are socially active, you would need a pair that will be perfect for the dance floor.
What to Look for in Shoes for the Aging Feet?
- Size and Shape: Enough Space for all Toes: Many running shoes, or most shoes for that matter, have tapering ends while the human feet are not tapering, in fact they expand till the toes. Therefore, it is very important that all your toes get enough space at the end of the shoe and are not scrunched up due to lack of space which may lead to reduced blood flow and formation of warts. Moreover, older people often have swollen feet in which case it is all the more important that you buy a shoe with enough space for the forefoot.
- Padding: Your shoes should have ample padding on the heels and sides. Moreover, it should also support the arch of your feet with extra padding to prevent aggravating any conditions which have reduced the elasticity of your feet ligaments, and also lead to likely arrest or prevention of conditions like supination.
- Sole: The sole should be well-padded and be surrounded by comfortable cushioning to give enough support to the achilles’ tendon and ankle bones
- Ventilation: The shoes should have adequate ventilation and you should avoid tying laces too tight to prevent compromised blood flow to the feet while running.
- Ease of tying: The shoe should ideally be a slip-on or have an easy to tighten mechanism like Velcro.
Best Formal Shoes for Elderly Men
Formal shoes, by nature, cannot have a lot of padding. However, they can still be comfortable for the user, provided they are not too stiff or crisp. Below, we have reviewed a few of the best comfortable formal shoes for elderly men.
#1 La Milano Formal Shoes
The formal shoes from La Milano are made of 100 per cent genuine leather and come in 3 different colors – black, dark brown and tan. The shoes are comfortable with ample padding on the sole, on the sock liner and the shoe collar. The shoe is soft and easy to wear as slip-on with elastic on the collar for a better hold on your feet.
The shoes are available in wide and extra wide shape formats which allow for comfortable by the elderly who suffer from swollen feet. Otherwise also, normal feet will have more space for the forefoot with these shoes. The product is equipped with a massaging insole which helps to improve circulation in your feet and keeps the vascular system active even during long periods of sitting, while wearing the shoes.
- Easy to wear slip-on style
- Massaging insole helps keep the circulation going in the feet
- Soft and flexible as well as durable
- Padding under and behind heels make for a comfortable wearing experience
- The shoe may run large for the normal sizes – if you want a close fit you may want to order half a size lower
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#2 Tommy Hilfiger Boat Formal Shoes
The Dathan boat shoe from Tommy Hilfiger is 100 per cent man made and is durable with double reinforced stitches. Each foot size of the shoe is available in a ‘wide’ shaped format as well, which is helpful for the elderly with swollen feet. The forefoot gets enough space in this format. Made of suede leather, the shoes have flat heels and synthetic soles which will last longer.
However, there is not enough grooving on the soles which does not make the shoe suitable for slippery or wet surface. It comes in 6 available colors with a thin sole that helps to maintain the normal shape and bend of the foot.
- Durable with reinforced stitching
- Available in a wide shape format as well – ideal for swollen feet
- Maintains the normal bend of foot with low heel
- Available in 6 colors to match your wardrobe
- Slip on collar does not have elastic – may not firmly hold your feet
- Lack of grip on slippery surfaces
#3 Cole Haan Men’s Formal Shoes
Made of 100 per cent leather, the Cole Haan Men’s Tucker is a good candidate for formal wear for the elderly men. As comfortable as a formal shoe can get, it is quite durable with reinforced double stitching in areas of maximum wear and tear.
The shoe has a good arch support, which is rare in formal shoes, but at the same time very useful for the old age feet due to their flatness. Moreover, there is ample padding on the heel and the sock liner for you to be able to wear them for long days.
The heels are made of rubber with a layer of carbon rubber for more durability and has grooves made on them for better grip on any surface. The shoes are conveniently slip-on type and, at the same time, have elastic bands on the collar to have a good grip on your feet. Available in three colors of black, dark brown and tan, these shoes are easy to maintain and polish.
- Reinforced double stitching for longevity
- Available in 3 colors to match your formal wear style
- Easy to maintain and polish
- Good grip on sole
- Available in shape formats of narrow and wide for each shoe size
- Some users have complained that the shoes are hot to wear – less ventilation
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Best Sports Shoes for Elderly People
If you are looking for sports shoe for the elderly – well, congratulations! You are among the very fit and increasingly smaller group of people who can still be active in their golden years. Below, we have reviewed a few of the best sports shoes for elderly users that, we hope, will help you to arrive at a buying decision.
#1 ASICS Women’s Gel-Venture 5 Shoes
The shoe is made of 100 per cent synthetic mesh fabric for easy ventilation and long-wear comfort.
The gel cushioning system makes for really comfortable activities in these shoes and it effectively absorbs shocks to your body from light jogging or running. The shoes have good padding all around and has good support for the arch of foot.
- Comfortable rubber sole with good arch support
- Can accommodate orthotics or inserts
- Available in 10 different colours and designs
- Good support and padding for the Achilles’ tendon
- Breathable fabric, comfortable to wear for long use
- Thick heels of carbon rubber for durability and good shock adsorption
- Sneaker sizes do not come with the wider forefoot versions
- Prone to slipping on wet and slippery floors
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#2 Skechers Men’s AfterBurn Sports Shoes
The AfterBurn Strike Sports Shoe from renowned sports shoe-maker, Skechers, comes in two colors – black and white – and is made of 100 per cent leather and textile.
The shoe is available in wide and extra wide formats for each size and are suitable for elderly with swollen foot. This is a great sports shoe for the elderly as it is equipped with dual strapping Velcro mechanism which makes it very easy to put on and take off. The synthetic sole has a layer of carbon rubber for longevity.
There is ample padding on the collar, heels and back of heels and good support for the arch of foot for added comfort during long and rough use.
- Good grip on the sole
- Easy Velcro dual strap mechanism instead of lace
- Good padding all around
- Good support for arch of foot
- On the expensive side
#3 New Balance Women’s 928 V3 Shoes
These sneakers are made of leather and textile and are available for a range of customized foot shapes from narrow to ultra-wide.
The sole is made of rubber with an outer layer of carbon rubber for durability. The sneaker comes with a polyurethane insole which is removable for better fitting and comfort customization. If you have a high arch of foot, you may find it difficult to push your feet in with the insole and in that case you may want to take the insole out.
The grooves on the sole, however, are not the deepest ones that can be found in sports shoes and may not grip well on slippery surfaces.
- Reinforced double and triple layer stitching at high stress areas for durability
- Good arch support and ample cushioning on the heel and the Achilles’ tendon
- Durable sole with reinforced layer of carbon rubber
- Ample option of foot sizes and shapes with narrow, wide, extra wide and ultra wide options available for each foot size
- The sneaker does not have much ventilation and your feet may suffer from perspiration from longer use
- Narrow treads on the sole may affect gripping on slippery surfaces
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Best Party Shoes for Elderly Women
Below we have reviewed a few party shoes for elderly women, which should give you comfort for those occasional trysts with the dance floor.
#1 Hush Puppies Women’s Angel II Party Shoes
The short-heeled dress shoes for women are made of 100 per cent synthetic material and come in 12 different colors to match with your wardrobe. The heel is shorter at about an inch which is just the right height to give you that peppy party look and at the same time not become painful for your feet.
The heel is made of synthetic material for better durability. Most of the shoe sizes come with wide and extra wide shape formats, which is helpful for users with broader or swollen feet. The shoe bed is padded for comfort. Additionally, the shoe bed has perforations that allow ventilation and prevent perspiration and embarrassing odors at social gatherings.
However, like most party shoes, the soles of these shoes also do not have grooves or ridges for gripping surfaces. You must be careful while walking on smooth floors like those made of granite, or on wet floors. You may want to invest in anti-slip pads to be affixed at the bottom of the shoe.
Here we have a video featuring Hush Puppies Women’s Angel II Party Shoes.
- Perforations on shoe bed allow for ventilation
- Available in wide and extra-wide formats for better fit
- Comes in 12 different colors to be able to match with your outfit
- The inside has comfortable padding
- No grip on sole, not suitable for very smooth and slippery surfaces
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#2 Soft Style Women’s Party Shoes
The women’s angel II pump shoes from Soft Style are completely made of fabric and come in more than 25 colors and designs to cater to a wide range of tastes.
Apart from the normal foot size, for every size, the shoe comes with formats of narrow, wide and extra wide for a very customized fit for your feet.
The sole is made of rubber with a cap of carbon rubber for durability. The shoes are larger for normal sizes and might run larger for your feet if you order normal size.
The fabric-make of the shoes and the perforations on the shoe bed help in ventilation. The shoes, however, lack in padding on the heel and may not be comfortable for very long use.
- Shimmery feeling on the fabric makes for a good party look
- Breathable fabric and good ventilation to reduce in-shoe perspiration
- Customization options available in every shoe size – narrow, wide and extra wide
- Good value for money
- Heel padding inside the shoe can be improved
#3 Women’s Low Heels Party Shoes
The dress shoes for women from Gucheng are made from stretchable fabric which is good for a cozier fit. The shoes are round toed which offer more space on the front and have a low heel of about an inch. The soles are made of synthetic material for better longevity.
They also have a latex padded insole and padding behind the heel for better comfort, particularly when you will be wearing them for those long evenings.
However, the shoes do not have shape formats of wide or extra wide which would have helped in getting a bit more customized fit for the elderly with non-regular feet shapes or swollen feet. The shoe sizes are true and fits snugly in the front – in case you have a high foot arch you may have trouble in putting your feet in.
- Rounded shoe front offers more space for toes
- Low and durable heel
- Good arch support
- Padding behind the heel helps you to prevent shoe bites
- Stretchable fabric allows for ventilation and a good fit
- Good value for money
- Customizable formats of wide or extra wide not available for shoe sizes – may be a problem for users with wider feet or swollen feet
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It is important to be able to be comfortable in your footwear and comfort should be your primary concern while buying the right footwear for yourself. It is all the more important for you if you are suffering from conditions like scoliosis or foot conditions like a swollen foot or a flattened foot or issues with the Achilles’ tendon.
The idea is not to aggravate your foot condition if you have to wear footwear for long or be on the go for long. Investment in a good pair of shoes always provides you with good returns over the medium term in terms of good feet health.