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What to Look for in a Running Shoe for Seniors

By Maurice

What to Look for in a Running Shoe for Seniors

As we grow older and face health conditions our physiques tend to naturally deteriorate, which also results in our limbs not performing as they used to when we were younger.

In seniors, tissue mass reduces, which makes our joints and limbs less flexible and stiffer, including our feet. This does not give us the confidence to stay physically active and fit.

Hence, we have put together this article to show you what to look for in running shoes for seniors, based on the foot condition you may be facing, as well as including the newest trends, best materials and design, innovation and technology, used in the shoe industry today which cater to running shoes for the elderly. This will give you the confidence to head out for those extended walks or a run, and keep you in that 20% of the adult population that stays physically active and healthy.

Materials and Design to Look for in a Running Shoe

The Shoe Toebox

The shoe toebox should not taper at the ends, which is the case with most shoes. There must be ample room for all your toes, to ensure good blood flow. A good test for this would be to wiggle your toes once you’ve put your shoes on and see if you’ve got enough toe space for all your toes.

Padding and Cushioning

It is extremely important - especially for running shoes for seniors - that your shoes have the right amount of padding and cushioning in the sole, and in the collar of the shoe, as well as for the heel area and support the arc of feet in the midsole. This will ensure the right fit and shock absorption, and give good support to the ankles and Achilles tendon, which will prevent aggravating any foot condition you may have and also reduce heel pain, support your knees and the lower part of your back. The arch should also curve accordingly to the shape of your feet to ensure this support.


When running or going for a brisk walk your feet tend to sweat and get moist, which could also result in odor, and skin abnormalities at your feet and between your toes. To prevent this your senior running shoes must have proper ventilation. This is achieved by selecting the right running shoes with proper mesh material on the upper part of the shoe to ensure that your feet can breathe. Also, a seamless upper is preferred (to avoid blisters), one that will easily hug the top of your feet with comfort.

Size and Fit

It is import to select the perfect size of running shoes to make sure that they are not too tight or too loose, as if they are too tight there will be friction and pressure preventing adequate blood flow to your feet, which can also result in corns and calluses, and if they are too loose you will not have the right kind of support, grip and traction, as it is possible for the shoes to slip while you are running or taking a brisk walk. The shoes must be wide enough and not tapered towards the ends.

Questions to Shortlist Your Perfect Running Shoe

  • What is the running shoe body mesh material made of, to ensure it offers your feet ventilation and are breathable? Are the uppers seamless? Synthetic, polyester, elastine, suede, leather overlay materials are a preference here.
  • Your senior running shoes must be lightweight, but at the same time have a flexible and durable sole with the right grooves for traction and grip, which also ensures longevity. Rubber/and carbon soles are the best bet here.
  •  Do your running shoes have the right kind of padding and cushioning (removable insoles), at the heel, arc area, as well as the forefoot area for wider feet. Does it have good support foam at the tongue and collar of the shoe with adequate cushioning which is wide and thick to support your ankles?
  • Is your step neutral, over-pronated or under-pronated?
  • Over-pronators, have a horizontal arch and their ankles rolls inward when they run. The inner side of the shoes sole will get worn out first and the best shoes to solve this abnormality are running shoes which motion control or stability features. These shoes for seniors are firm and precisely crafted to support in the lessening of this condition.
  • Under-pronators ankles rolls outward when they run, and hence the outer side of the shoes sole will get worn out first. Running shoes that are padded with thicker heels and stretchy midsoles are suitable for this issue.
  • Average runners have a neutral step and a regular arch, shoes will get worn at around the big and middle toes. Stability running shoes are perfect for neutral elderly runners.

Selecting the perfect running shoe is crucial for the elderly, to avoid aggravating an existing foot condition, or to prevent one from happening. Asking yourself the above questions, and selecting running shoes with the above-mentioned features and materials will help you make the right decision, giving you a world of confidence when going for that brisk extended walk or taking a run, ensuring you stay physically active, fit and healthy.

1 thought on “What to Look for in a Running Shoe for Seniors”

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