According to Geriatric Orthopaedic Surgery & Rehabilitation, almost 80 percent of the elderly are undergoing foot problems. As people age, various foot and health conditions are coming to light. For all the years that your feet have carried you, your aging feet are demanding more care. At this point of time in your life, a lot of physiological changes have happened. Your body declines heavy workouts and long runs. However, a comfortable shoe can motivate you to carry on with your daily routine and go for a nice morning walk.
This stage of life is where you should take more consideration of your footwear. You become prone to foot pains, ailments, and joint problems. Orthopedic shoes came to life due to these concerns. But, senior’s shoes don’t have to be the stereotyped shoes that are bulky, old-fashioned, boring footwear. They could be stylish too. You only have to find the right pair for you. In this article, we will cover the common foot problems the elderly are suffering, the features you have to consider when purchasing orthopedic shoes, and the best orthopedic shoe brands for your aging feet.
Common Foot Problems In Older Adults
Due to wear and tear from all the years that your feet have carried you, foot deterioration is inevitable. Bones tend to lose their strength, muscles and ligaments lose their elasticity, and cartilage degenerates. The inherent protection on your feet is diminishing, the fat padding at your feet’s soles is decreasing, and your skin is thinning.
Old age also comes with health conditions like diabetes and arthritis, in which the feet and joints suffer. This situation results in swollen feet, bunions, plantar fasciitis, and more. But the most common problems are listed below.
- Corns or callouses: Because your skin protects you from friction and pressure, layers of thick, hardened skin called corns or callouses develop.
- Bunions: A joint’s deformity that results in bony bumps at the base of the big toe, making the joint stick out.
- Fallen arches: Also known as flat feet, is a condition where tendons no longer stretch out and weaken, causing no arch formation, and the entire feet lay flat on a flat surface. Fallen arches can lead to back and knee pain.
- Hammertoe: An abnormal downward bending of the toes which causes more pressure put on the toes.
- Plantar fasciitis: Causes extreme heel pain in the morning because the tissues along the bottom of the foot are inflamed.
The good news is you can prevent these adversities by wearing the appropriate footwear as you continue to explore the world with the years you have. But if you are experiencing these ailments causing foot pain, you need more protective, cushioning shoes like orthopedic footwear.
Features To Look For In A Shoe For the Elderly
Older people need shoes that make every stride effortless. Shoes that will make the feet work less, promote comfort, and prevents injuries. Here are eight essential things to look for when selecting footwear for the senior.
- Slip-resistant: Slippage is dangerous, especially for the elderly. This could lead to physical injuries, temporary or permanent. They need the help of a shoe for extra stability to prevent falls. However, elders that have conditions like Parkinson’s forces them to have a shuffling gait. They may need smooth soles that are still slip-resistant.
- Lace-free closure: Shoes with velcro closure or slip-on are a great option. Less bending is needed than when you have to tie a lace. Many seniors also prefer this since they fiddle less with lace, and it is easy to wear. But, avoid slippers and other types of shoes that do not secure your feet well and could easily slip off.
- Wide opening: Especially to those feet that quickly swell, a wider hole is better. A shoe that has a tongue is adjustable and can easily slip on any volume of feet. If you wear compression socks, see to it that the shoe has enough space.
- Sufficient padding: A cushioned footwear can take you one mile more. The padding could help your feet, hips, and back relieve pressure as it absorbs shock whenever your feet touch the ground. You may also consider padding at the shoe’s uppers if you are likely to bump your feet on various objects.
- Removable insoles: In case that you will use a customized orthotics or over-the-counter insoles, you will need footwear where you can replace the insoles.
- High back: Shoes that cover your ankle provide stability and encourages proper posture. But, if it doesn’t have adequate padding, your Achilles tendon might be irritated. So you have to choose the right shoe.
- Low Heels: Refrain from wearing a one-and-a-half-inch heeled shoe because this will put your toes and feet’ balls under excessive strain. And super flat footwear may be uncomfortable. Look for a slightly raised shoe that can aid your walking gait and take the tension off your legs and feet.
- Adequate Traction: The shoes need to have a good grip on any surface. Check the outsoles of the footwear for groove patterns. Be sure that it covers the whole outsole and even extends on its edge. These shoes will secure you in a balanced, steady position, even on wet surfaces.
Best Shoe Brands For Elderly
Remember that the best shoe is the one that fits on every curve of your feet. Apart from the features mentioned above, you also have to consider the shoe’s purpose, your specific foot condition, and your own preference. But, you may want to start your search with these recommended orthopedic shoe brands that are good for seniors and older adults having diabetes and arthritis.
From house slippers to walking shoes, you can find a comfortable pair in Propet. First, they have soft, stretchy slippers that will make you not want to remove them anywhere in the house. They are easy to wear due to their extra-large opening. Plus, it comes with a Velcro closure and rubber soles for security. They also have slip-on footwear. Second, the materials that Propet uses are breathable, lightweight, and soft. They even have machine washable house shoes for elderly women.
For avid walkers, Propet designs excellent shock absorption, good traction, and non-slip sole strap sneakers. Their cushioned insoles will make you feel like you are walking on clouds. At the same time, it is also removable to accommodate your customized insoles. You can easily adjust the velcro straps to fit swelling feet.
Drew shoes benefit the seniors undergoing arthritis and diabetes pain. They offer sandals that are double-deep, removable cushioned insoles that suit best for custom orthotics. A flexible rubber sole can absorb an ample amount of shock. You can find this outsole in every Drew-designed shoe.
Drew slip-on also provides excellent padding on the insole as well as on the uppers, tongue, and collar. Lastly, they are durable and lightweight, that you can see yourself wearing them for a long time.
Dr. Comfort is one of the best shoes seniors choose. In particular, the elders love Dr. Comfort walking shoes with hook and loop, velcro straps, leather and mesh uppers, removable Gel insert, and rubber outsoles.
Dr. Comfort designs their walking shoes with excellent arch support and pronation control. The materials used are lightweight. Their designs include a roomy toe box. Every shoe also comes in wider width options to accommodate foot conditions like bunions. Dr. Comfort also markets cool sandals perfect for anyone that has foot deformities like bunions and hammertoes. It is made with sturdy materials, cushioned EVA soles, and comfortable insoles. They are closed-toe sandals but with open slits that make them cool and ventilated.
Brooks offers supportive and comfortable walking shoes with an orthotic footbed and slip-resistant rubber soles. The soles are excellent shock-absorbent that protect your joints from strain. Consider Brooks if you want fully cushioned shoes throughout the uppers and the collar. They also add a breathable lining for additional pressure absorbent on your pain points.
The easy-wearing flats they offer just have the right heel height for the seniors. Their footwear is lightweight, durable, and flexible. The removable insoles that come with the shoes have good arch support and a padded heel cup that perfectly fits your feet’s sole. The outsoles also come with great deals such as slip resistance and flexibility which can definitely stabilize your every step.
Find The Right Pair Of Footwear
There are a variety of shoes you can pick from, but the information above may lead you to the right pair of footwear. When shopping for shoes for the elderly, keep in mind that their feet need the most comfortable and most protective shoes than any other age group. As you consider the things mentioned above, you will definitely come across the one for you.
First thing, check out the Fritzy Feet store. We offer orthopedic shoes perfect for seniors and older adults with any kind of foot condition. Shop now through our website or visit our physical store in Denver, Colorado. You can find a wide range of comfortable shoe brands like Dr. Comfort, Propet, Drew, and many more. We also offer over-the-counter orthotics. You can contact us at 303-343-4444 or firstname.lastname@example.org.