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How to Find the Right Shoes for Aging Adults

An older adult tries on two different sneakers.

• One in every three aging adults experiences foot pain, stiffness, or aching feet. This usually comes down to ill-fitting footwear.
• Wearing the right pair of shoes can help relieve pain and discomfort, and it goes a long way in preventing falls.
• When buying shoes for aging adults, look for velcro straps, non-slip soles, and good arch support.
• Some aging adults may need more than the average footwear available at local stores. This is where orthopedic shoes or custom orthotics may help.

Dancing ‘til midnight. Running around after your kids. Walking through wet sand on the beach. Your feet have supported you through it all!

When you were younger, you might not have paid much attention to the shoes you wore and how supportive they were. After all, you were busy making lasting memories. But, investing in proper footwear becomes more important as we age.

Not only can the right shoes prevent aches, pains, and discomfort, but they also go a long way to preventing falls that could lead to injuries.

This is why the simple act of picking out a pair of shoes has a newfound significance in our golden years.

In this article, we discuss how to choose the right footwear so that you are comfortable, pain-free, and can continue making beautiful memories as an aging adult.

The Problem with Wearing the Wrong Shoes

According to Health in Aging (HIN), one-third of aging adults experience foot pain, stiffness, or aching feet, which we know can be rather unpleasant. 

Interestingly, wearing ill-fitting shoes is the main cause of these problems. Some of the most common foot issues aging adults may experience include:

Arthritis: Swelling and joint inflammation can lead to stiff and painful feet.

Bunions: An enlarged bone — usually on the big toe — can cause toes to pull toward each other, resulting in discomfort and changing the shape of the foot.

Plantar fasciitis: This is inflammation of the tissue that connects the heel to the base of the toes on the bottom of the foot. This can lead to a lot of discomfort.

Heel pain: From spurs to tendonitis, heel pain can stem from various causes and can make walking around unpleasant.

Diabetes-related complications: Diabetics may experience foot problems such as nerve damage or poor circulation. This can result in painful ulcers on the foot.

We understand that foot pain and discomfort can get in the way of moving around freely and staying active. HIN says this can lead to unwanted weight gain, weakness, and even decreased heart function.

Plus, if you wear unsupportive or impractical shoes, it increases the chances of you tripping and falling — which we’re sure you’d want to avoid at all costs.

So, if you want to stay healthy, avoid achy feet, and prevent falls, wearing the right shoe can make all the difference.

How to Choose the Best Shoes for Aging Adults

Our feet are a complex part of our bodies, with 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 120 muscles. This makes selecting shoes a little more complicated than simply choosing a pair that looks nice.

Whether you’re looking for the best walking shoes to enjoy the great outdoors, or casual shoes to wear around the house, here are our top tips for finding the perfect pair:

Ample toe room

The shoes you choose should fit your foot snuggly to keep you safe. But there’s one place where there should be a little wiggle room: the toe area.

A wide toe box allows your toes to spread out comfortably and is especially helpful if you struggle with bunions.

Choosing shoes with a spacious toe box means you’ll be comfortable all day long, regardless of what you’re up to.

Velcro straps

It can be challenging for some of us to wear a lace-up shoe — plus, laces make nasty trip hazards. Bending over to tie up your laces may not be something you’re able to achieve — and that’s perfectly okay!

This is where shoes with velcro straps are particularly useful. Velcro shoes will hold your feet tightly in place and don’t take much effort to fasten.

A Good Velcro Alternative

If you aren’t able to reach down to tighten velcro straps, you may want to consider slip-on shoes that don’t require any bending over. 

Another option is shoes with elastic laces, which stay in place and don’t need to be tied each time you wear them.


Another important thing to consider when choosing a pair of shoes is their durability. You’ll want to find shoes that support all-day wear but don’t disintegrate after a mere few months.

To get your money’s worth, look for features like a durable rubber outsole and fabrics that feel sturdy and high-quality. This way, you won’t have to replace your footwear often.

Arch support

When you’re picking out shoes, it’s really important to find ones that are supportive enough. Good arch support goes a long way to relieving back and foot pain. 

An elderly man and woman smile as they walk togther on a trail.

It can also reduce your chances of developing injuries or muscle problems, especially when you’re active.


The weight of the shoes you buy is also something to consider. Heavier shoes can put a strain on your feet and make it more difficult to maintain your balance while wearing them.

A lightweight shoe makes it easier and safer to move around. Not to mention lightweight shoes are usually super comfortable, too!

Heel height

Your new pair of shoes should have a sturdy and firm heel to prevent slipping which could lead to falls. The last thing you want is for the heel of your shoe to wear down after a few walks.

Look for low-heeled shoes, especially if you struggle with chronic foot or leg pain. A low heel puts less pressure on your feet, legs, and back and it’s usually more comfortable.


Flexible shoes are a must if you’re looking for comfort and quality. Our feet naturally swell during the day, and a flexible shoe can adapt to this while still providing support.

But, if you have weaker ankles or balance problems, it might be a better idea to choose shoes that are sturdier and less flexible.


Your golden years are the time in our lives for complete comfort. So, while it’s important to select well-made, supportive shoes, you also want a comfortable option.

When looking for these comfortable shoes, choose shoes made from breathable mesh, as this accommodates sweaty feet when you’re out and about. 

A cushioned footbed can also make your shoes more snug —plus, they provide extra support. 


As you age, it’s important to do whatever you can to lower your chances of falling. This is why it’s essential to think carefully about the soles of the shoes you buy.

Rubber soles are generally the best option as they provide good grip even in wetter conditions or on uneven terrain. This means you can do all your favorite things without worrying about your safety.

A rubber sole gives you a firm foundation, and it acts as shock absorption for your feet, putting them under less pressure.

If you can find shoes with slip-resistant soles, even better!


Shoes with a padded collar can help to prevent you from getting blisters, especially on longer walks or hikes. It can also prevent any chaffing and keep your ankles secure. 

If you have any ankle problems or previous foot injuries, padding is a great choice.

Who Should Wear Orthopedic Shoes? 

The shoes at your local sporting goods store might not be the best option for you. This is especially true if you have a foot or leg condition that makes it difficult for you to walk and maintain your balance.

A woman has an orthotics consultation with a professional.

If this is the case, orthopedic shoes may be more suitable for you. You can even have custom orthotics made that perfectly conform to your specific foot shape.

Pair Your New Shoes with LogicMark for Ultimate Safety

Finding the right pair of shoes isn’t the only way to ensure you’re safe throughout your golden years. Investing in a medical alert device from LogicMark can enhance your safety and give you and your aging loved one peace of mind.

Our intelligent devices are designed to get you help when you need it. At the touch of a button, you can contact emergency services, your caregiver, or your loved ones.

Shop for a medical alert device that suits your needs on our website so that you and your family can continue making special memories.


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