When was the last time you bought new shoes? When was the last time you threw out shoes that were old and worn out? We often keep shoes long past the point where we should have retired them. Of course, other factors such as our age also play a role in the health of our feet, including our risk factors for developing certain conditions and also our footcare needs. Our feet have different needs and require different care as we get older. Here’s how to choose the appropriate shoes for all stages of life:
How Your Feet Change Over the Years
As we age, our feet will change shape and size, which can also predispose them to certain problems. This also means that your foot needs will change, particularly concerning footwear. Here’s how your feet will change:
- Loss of fat pads
- Dry, cracked skin
- The development or worsening of certain deformities such as hammertoes or bunions
- Widening or lengthening of the feet
- Loss of bone density (which can increase your risk for fracture)
- Changes in gait due to certain conditions such as neuropathy or arthritis
- Diabetic-related foot problems
- Issues with balance
Everyday Footwear for Aging Feet
You must look for shoes that provide proper cushioning and supportive insoles so that your feet can tackle the day-to-day activities. If you have foot problems or issues with gait, then you’ll want to turn to a podiatrist for an evaluation. Together, you can decide the proper footwear and whether prescription orthotics can also provide your feet with additional support and cushioning that footwear alone can’t.
You should turn to a specialty shoe store where they can analyze your gait, properly measure your feet, and determine whether the shoes you’re getting may require additional modifications including orthotics. For example, some shoes and brands adjust to foot swelling throughout the day, while others provide enough space to place orthotics.
There are also certain types of shoes that aging feet should avoid. Those include:
- Any shoes with pointed toes
- Shoes with heels over 2 inches
- Shoes that aren’t non-slip
- Sandals or flip-flops
- Shoes that don’t have a firm sole (including your slippers)
- Old, worn shoes (that simply need to be tossed)
- Shoes with rocker soles (particularly if you have gait problems)
If you are having trouble finding the right shoes to fit your needs, or if you are interested in learning more about custom orthotics and how it could provide additional support for your feet, turn to your podiatrist today for the care your feet deserve.