How to Choose Shoes for the Elderly?

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Be careful while selecting shoes for older adults because they are at high risk of falls and foot diseases. Here’s how to choose shoes for the elderly in a succinct guide.

As people get older, they experience many changes in their bodies, especially their feet. Older adults’ shoe size changes along with transformation; changing their shoes is necessary to avoid sufferable events. According to a study, the majority of older adults experience falls due to having the wrong shoes. 

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Older adults wear the wrong shoes because they endure pain, which makes them not feel any difference in their shoe size. People’s foot problems also get combined with their chronic diseases such as vascular disease, obesity, and diabetes. This condition results in a person using the wrong shoes that lower their quality of life.

Finding the proper footwear for elderly people is essential as it can reduce the risk of falls to an extent. You can receive helpful information about choosing the correct shoes for elderly people on this page.

What Is the Ideal Footwear for Seniors To Prevent Falls?

Shoe manufacturers produce a lot of footwear for different purposes, but all footwear is not meant for elderly people. Selecting shoes for older adults with balance problems is crucial because the right shoe can prevent falls. 

Shoes for Balance Problems

To improve your balance, you should look for the shoe’s heel collar, height, size, and sole’s hardness. A harder sole might make balance more difficult. 

Right Shoe Size

The feet of older adults tend to get longer, wider, and flatter. This transformation changes the size of your shoes; therefore, the right size for shoes that fit correctly is essential.  

Avoid Heels

You should avoid wearing shoes with high heels; it affects your balance and walking patterns. It places your body mass on your hip joints, balls of your feet, and knees, which increases the risk of falling down. 

Usually, senior women experience more balls of feet pain than men, and it is because they wear high heels more often without considering their safety. Instead, wear low heels shoes like slippers that distribute your bodyweight equally. It helps prevent occurring pain in the ball of the foot and toes.

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Slip Resistant

You should wear shoes with slip-resistant soles that provide the most contact with the floor. You can try canvas or athletic sneakers as the ideal footwear. Use shoes with a toe box in an oval or rounded shape because it prevents toe pain and keeps your fingertip comfortable inside a shoe. 

What Are Some Most Common Foot Problems for Seniors?

Many reasons can increase the risk of foot problems in seniors. Wearing the wrong shoes for any work can cause foot problems and other abnormalities, including:


Diabetes can disrupt blood circulation, especially in your feet, and without proper circulation, the sensing ability of your feet becomes weak. It also takes more time to heal an injury due to diabetes. People with diabetic conditions also develop ulcers on the surface of their feet.


This condition occurs in a person when there is a growth of bone or misalignment of bone at the bottom of the big toe. Seniors may feel the swelling and a turning of their big toe toward the tiny toes, which causes them to experience pain in the foot.


Arthritis is a painful condition in which older adults joint pain and swollen feet. Gout and rheumatoid arthritis in older adults can also lead to foot deformities, making seniors feel pain on each step they take. Arthritis can also affect the overall health of seniors.

Heel Pain

Some seniors suffer from chronic heel pain, but they don’t pay any attention to it. Thinking of heel pain as a mere inconvenience can lead to more significant disadvantages. However, if you have heel pain, you should be concerned because it affects seniors’ ability to perform simple activities like walking. 

Heel pain can become your permanent struggle for walking. You should get treatment for heel inflammation as it can be caused by an overly arched foot or flat feet.

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Corns and Calluses

Many older adults develop extra skin on their soles. The excess skin occurs due to the friction from rubbing the skin against poorly fitting shoes. Corns and Calluses occur in people because of moisture and oil loss in their foot’s bottom skin or heel.  


In this foot deformity condition, the toe joints of a person start curling up or under. This condition is quite painful for seniors as it can cause their joints to dislocate permanently.  

Problems with Toenails

Older adults may suffer from toenail fungus or other toenails problems. Toenails problem can be painful for older adults as it becomes more painful when wearing poorly fitted shoes.


Due to poor shoes, many older adults experience insufficient cushioning on their feet’ bottoms. Older adults have thinner protective skin layers in their feet than others, and it can increase your risk of developing severe foot problems such as neuromas and Metatarsalgia.

How Do You Find the Right Shoes for Your Feet?

Knowing the suitable material for your footwear can help you buy the right shoes for you and your senior loved one.


When you go out to purchase a shoe, look for sturdy and not too flexible midsoles of the shoe. A sturdy midsole provides better stability than a flexible one. 

Avoid using flexible shoes that bend too easily because these shoes have a greater risk of falling and twisting the ankle or foot. Luckily, sturdy soles with good tread are slip-resistant and help prevent you from tripping.  

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Older people often wear the wrong size; try determining the correct shoe size every time you buy new shoes. Check the boots whether they fit correctly. 

Avoid selecting shoes that are too big because they can cause your foot to slide or slip within a shoe and lead to loss of balance. You should also check if the shoe is too tight because it can increase foot pain and other foot-related problems. Try walking with your new shoes before you purchase to determine their fitness.


The weight of the shoes is essential as it decides how easily you will be able to walk with those shoes. Older adults find it’s challenging to walk in heavy shoes, and a lightweight foot tends to have more stability. Try using lightweight shoes with low heels to prevent seniors from falling. 

Closed heels

You can also try closed-heel shoes as they have more stability. People who wear open-heel shoes often slide their feet in the shoes causing them to lose balance and trip. Closed heels also protect your feet from an outside injury such as hitting on foot by sharp objects.

No laces

Shoes with no laces are great to help seniors with arthritis or other people with bending issues. With no need to fasten laces, seniors can avoid bending. Therefore, look for shoes with no laces.


Shoes with extra depth help seniors walk more comfortably and avoid falling and tripping. Experts recommend these shoes as it provides extra room for your toes through a wider toe box.

Sole material and design

When you are finding ideal shoes, taking into consideration the fabric of the sole helps you find an excellent pair of shoes. Remember, if the sole of the shoe is too smooth, it can cause you to slip or stumble more often. 

Avoid shoes that have more tread grabs at the bottom. The material used in shoe manufacturing must be slip-resistant material, and the design should be appropriate to provide maximum contact with the ground. 

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Low heels

Experts advise people to avoid wearing shoes with high heels as it is terrible for their balance and posture. You should only invest in low heel shoes to reduce your fall risk.

Wide Mouth

Shoes that have wide openings are easier to slip on. Seniors with medical conditions in the foot should use shoes that are easy to slip their feet into.

Orthopedic insoles

You can also use contoured orthotic insoles as they offer anatomical arch support and alleviate pressure and stress on the bottom of your foot.

Why Are Crocs Good for Your Feet?

Many professionals at clinics wear crocs to avoid back pain and foot pain from constant standing. Older adults should also use these shoes for optimal health benefits. The benefits of using crocs are numerous; it helps seniors walk properly and keep them active. These shoes help aid balance and alignment for seniors. 

These shoes keep the muscles in your feet from becoming weak, and they also keep your walking activity comfortable. Many seniors use workouts to stay active; using regular shoes may not protect their feet, affecting their exercise and movement.

Experts advise wearing an adaptive pair of walking shoes to improve your overall quality of living. Wearing non-comfortable shoes makes you feel pain and affects your outlook and mood.

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Wrap Up

Choosing a well-fitting shoe can help lower the many health risks in an older person, with the help of a proper method to check shoes as your requirement. Finding an appropriate shoe for your feet can aid in lowering the falls risk. 

Many factors help in selecting the correct footwear for older adults. You can also take suggestions on shoes from your healthcare provider, physician, or foot health education.  

We hope you found the information regarding shoe selection for elderly users. Please share your own tips and suggestions with us in the comments section. And if you found the content to your liking, please share it with others on your social media platforms.