As an individual reaches their mid-60’s, like the rest of the body, age has its effects on feet. Physiological and structural changes such as thinning of muscle tissue, poor blood circulation, loss of sensation, flattening of arches, curling of toes, cause imbalance. Foot conditions like bunions and claw toes cause foot pain, and create pressure spots. Health conditions like arthritis and (especially) diabetes have an adverse effect on one’s feet, particularly for the elderly.
Surveys reveal that people who experienced a fall were mainly because of being troubled by foot pain, and that 30% of seniors experience foot pain because of the above-mentioned health conditions.
The statistics are quite worrying for the elderly who have already had a fall, as the chances of falling again is doubled. More than one out of four senior people fall each year, resulting in 3 million older people being rushed to emergency departments for fall related injuries. Falls not only cause serious bruises and cuts, but also result in hip fractures, traumatic brain or head injuries, and broken bones.
As the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure, and selecting good footwear can not only prevent one from falling, but also help in relieving foot pain and aid foot health conditions, which may be otherwise caused by the use of improper shoes.
In this article we have put together a list of the best shoes to prevent falls in the elderly, considering important features like comfort and fit, cushioning and support, traction and slip resistance.
Best Shoes for Elderly Women to Prevent Falls
Best Shoes for Elderly Men to Prevent Falls
What to Look for in Shoes to Prevent Falls
Shoes for the elderly must include the following features to prevent the chances of falling;
Slip resistant flexible soles safeguard against slipping and sliding and provide traction and grip on both dry and especially wet surfaces. Grooves and tread specially designed in the right location of the outsole to eliminate grass, mud or water is a crucial feature to have to prevent one from having a serious fall and injury.
Velcro straps come with (single or) twin hook and loop straps which provides for the convenience of putting on and taking off shoes. They are a good feature to have for the right fit, as they can be effortlessly adjusted to fasten the shoes on your feet, especially if you have swollen feet.
Lace up or buckle shoes are also fine if you don’t have flexibility issues or need constant adjustment to get comfortable in case of swollen feet.
Having all round sturdy yet comfortable support for your feet, at the toes, and arch area is also vital. If supplementary arch support is needed there are quite a few shoes which offer removable insoles which can be substituted with biomechanically designed orthotic or proprioceptive insoles. Good cushioning and padding at the collar, apart from the outsole being thin and firm, yet flexible, offering good shock absorption and traction is important.
Low heel height is a must for less pressure on the ankles and feet tendons, ligaments and muscles, as well as for comfort, better grip and balance.
A lot of the shoes intended for seniors today come with distinct cushioning and beveled pads in the heels to avoid sliding, as the heel typically takes a lot of weight, since it is the initial point of contact with the ground when one walks.
Having a fall for an elderly person is very serious as this can result in injuries which require hospitalization, such as hip fractures and broken bones. This can leave a senior immobilized for months together which no one really wants. Our article above includes some of the best brands and products that can provide you with the right footwear which will prevent you from slipping, sliding or falling, and the features you should shortlist in your new pair of fall prevention shoes for seniors.