Finding Supportive Footwear for Older Adults

May 17, 2017 • • proper foot wear

When shopping for shoes with your older loved ones, there are many considerations for finding footwear that is right for them. Comfort and fit are obvious factors, but other features of the shoes will help to keep them mobile and stable. Shoes that do not have good structural support can cause foot problems and falls, which can be devastating for seniors.

Consider the following features when buying shoes for seniors:

Comfort and Fit

The best way to buy shoes for seniors is to have them try the shoes on. If they cannot come with you, it may be best to buy a few and return the one(s) that do not fit well. All feet are different, so what may fit for some people will be too tight or too lose for others. Also, feet can often swell during the day, so the best time to get measured and try shoes on is in the afternoon.

Outer Soles

The types of outer soles needed for safety depends on where the shoes will be used. For carpets with high pile, you’ll need little or no tread on the bottom as it can trip up seniors. Meanwhile, on hardwood floors, tiles, or outdoors, they’ll need outer soles with tread/grip so that they can prevent slipping on wet floors or tripping on uneven ground.


The toebox should allow for wiggling toes to prevent jamming toes, ingrown toenails, or constricting widths that can cause friction issues and bone deformities.

Midsole and Arch Support

The midsole, including the portion under the balls of feet and where the arch should be need good cushioning to support the feet. The cushion will help to absorb impact from walking, which can cause ankle, knee, or hip pain. Without the proper support in the midfoot, the feet may have to strain to stabilize, causing pain or soreness.

Heel Cups

Heel cups in the inner sole should stabilize the heels. The shape will provide stability and cushioning while walking.

For many, feet can change a lot in shape and size as the years pass. Seniors with foot deformities can even require special orthotic inserts or orthotic shoes. To find appropriate shoes, make an appointment today at Alamitos-Seal Beach Podiatry Group. One of our board-certified podiatrists, Dr. Douglas H. Richie, Dr. Jeremy L. Cook, Dr. Faye E. Izadi can assess your loved ones’ feet at either of our Seal Beach, CA and Los Alamitos, CA offices in Orange County.

Request an Appointment

Fill out the form below to reach Alamitos – Seal Beach Podiatry Group, or call Los Alamitos: (562) 203-6151 or Seal Beach: (562) 242-1559 for immediate assistance.

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