Shoe shopping isn’t just for back-to-school kids. Our aging parents experience changes in their stride and their feet and this creates a need for changes in footwear. Often, what we think of as “sturdy, safe shoes” may not be the right shoe for our aging parents and the best shoes for older adults includes a review of their lifestyle and their ability to balance.
Shopping Tips for the Best Shoes for Older Adults:
1. Avoid bulky rubber soles. Although athletic shoes appear sturdy while being lightweight, their bulky soles can be a hazard. Some athletic shoes can have heavy rubber lugs that grab the flooring and carpeting
2. Avoid leather or plastic soles. On the other hand,(or foot), shoe soles that are too slippery can cause seniors to lose their footing on carpet, wood, tile and wet surfaces.
3. Consider walking shoes. Walking shoes tend to be lighter in weight than athletic shoes, and they offer good support, but not the heavy soles and rubber toes that tend to grip the flooring.
4. Tie up shoes are best. Tie up shoes offer the flexibility of loosening the shoe to accommodate swelling while allowing the wearer to tighten for greater support. If arthritis or other health concerns make ties too cumbersome, consider hook-and-loop fasteners or elastic shoe laces.
5. Give flip-flops the boot! Slip-on shoes may be tempting when assisting with dressing. However, loose fitting slip-ons can become tangled and cause a fall. Also, it may be time to clean out the closet and donate those cute heels and wedges.
Shoe shopping can be difficult for caregivers and care recipients. If you know a caregiver or older adult that needs new shoes, consider assisting with a shopping trip or assisting with online shopping from the various online retail outlets. Often seniors tend to wear their shoes until they are “worn out”. However, slick soles and over-run heels can create fall hazards and balance concerns. Encourage your aging parent to purchase new shoes before they “need” new shoes.