Why does wearing the right shoes matter? As people age, their bones and muscles weaken and their hand and eye coordination become diminished. These factors can contribute to a senior losing their balance and falling with the possibility of serious injury.
Wearing the right shoes can play an important role in helping seniors to reduce the risk of falls.
Appropriate shoes are essential to helping seniors maintain balance, stability, and coordination.
In most cases, the right shoes will have a non-slip sole to maintain contact with the ground. They may also be fitted with a good orthopedic insert. These inserts offer ergonomic support to the feet and ankle without being uncomfortable.
Guidelines to consider when purchasing shoes for seniors:
- Look for shoes that have Non-slip and Shock Absorbent Soles
- The sole must firmly grip the surface, even in wet, slippery conditions.
- A rugged, rough bottom will provide the right amount of grip while walking.
- Soles should offer shock-absorption and be light. This provides a softer impact on the ankles and the heals.
- Shoes must be Comfortable to Wear
- Shoes must not increase or bring pain to the feet or lower legs
- The shoe materials should allow the feet to breathe; thus, reducing irritation or itching due to heat.
- Toe Width
- Seniors should wear broader shoes which allow better stability.
- Shoes with a wider and boxy front will offer more comfortability; this gives the toes enough wiggle space in the front without feeling cramped up.
- Wide mouthed shoes help seniors to put on and to take off their shoes more easily. They are especially helpful for people who experience swelling of the feet and or restricted mobility. Wide-mouthed shoes are also roomier and more comfortable than regular shoes.
- Laces vs No Laces
- Many seniors have difficulty bending over to tie their shoelaces. This could also create a loss of balance. Untied or loose shoelaces can also cause seniors to trip unexpectedly. A better option is Velcro closure shoes. These are easy to open and close. They can be put on and taken off with minimal energy. Most importantly, they eliminate the need for bending!
Remember, when shopping for the best shoes for seniors to prevent falls, there are a variety of factors to consider.
First, you want to find shoes that support the feet and provide enough room for swelling. Second, the shoe should be adaptable to adjust its fit throughout the day. Finally, it is important to find shoes that are easy to take on and off and shoes that will remain securely fastened. Shoes that are securely fastened and not requiring lacing up will significantly reduce the number of times senior bends over and potentially falls.
Some good options to consider are Hush Puppies, Sketchers, Dr. Scholl’s, and Propet.
For more information about picking the right shoes, check out AARP.