How to Find the Best Walking Shoes for Seniors
The Best Walking Shoes for Seniors
We all know the benefits of walking.
- Good for your heart and lungs
- Strengthens legs
- Enhances balance
- Boosts your mood — fresh air and natural endorphins!
- It’s even good for your social life if you walk with a friend or walking clubs
With so much in walking’s favor, especially as we age, it makes sense to take care of your feet by wearing the best walking shoes for seniors.
As we age, we naturally develop more problems with our feet, some of which include:
- Stiffening of joints
- Loss of elasticity in our tendons
- Lowering of arches
- Diminished circulation to extremities
- Loss of padding on our soles
- Thinning or cracking of skin on our feet
It’s all normal, but it can seriously affect our desire to get up and go.
The best way to take care of your feet is to treat them to the best walking shoes you can find. This doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive. And because each person’s feet are unique, most people will disagree on the best walking shoes for them.
Shopping For Good, Comfortable Shoes
The older we get, the more important it is to wear supportive shoes that fit well and are comfortable at all points — from the heel to arch support to toes. The best walking shoes for seniors will also use durable materials like memory foam to provide a good amount of shock absorption and stability for immediate and long-term comfort.
Here’s a 10-point checklist to follow while shopping for the best walking shoes:
1. Start at a speciality store. Look for a shore store dedicated to comfort shoes or one that’s focused on runners. The folks who work in these shops tend to have more knowledge about foot anatomy as well as an understanding of their own inventory.
2. Buy the best fit, not the right size. Feel free to abandon the size number based on how they feel on your feet. Sizes can vary by style, shoe brand, and the country of manufacture.
3. Convenience counts. Make sure you can get them on and off easily. Otherwise, you’re not going to want to wear them.
4. Heel thyself. Make sure your heel is held in place. You’ll find laces or a Velcro fastener will give you a firmer fit than slip-ons.
5. Wiggle your toes. The toebox of the shoes should be roomy enough so that you can wiggle your toes freely — but not so loose that your feet slide around inside.
6. Buy shoes at the end of the day. The longer you're on your feet, the more they swell. Most people's feet are largest at the end of the day, after their daily activities. It's important to fit and buy your shoes then.
7. Bring socks. Try on shoes with a pair of socks or hose you’d normally wear.
8. Do the old finger test. If you can push the tip of your index finger between the tip of your longest toe and the end of the shoes, the shoe length is adequate. About ⅜-inch should do.
9. No squeezing. Make sure the widest part of your feet fits comfortably when standing. Some specialty stores have a device to take an imprint of your foot. Another trick is to stand on a hard surface and have a friend draw the shape of your feet on a piece of paper. Take the paper with you when shopping and make sure the shoes you're considering completely cover the drawing.
10. Put ’em to the test. Before you buy them, put both shoes on and walk around the store. Make sure they fit and feel good.
And Now the “Don’ts.”
In addition to the list above, keep an eye out for these no-no’s while taking care of your feet and shopping for comfortable shoes.
- Avoid plastic or rubber easy-clean uppers, which don’t allow the foot to breath and won’t stretch to accommodate your own foot shape.
- Don't expect shoes to "stretch out." If the shoes feel too tight, don't buy them. With time, your feet may push or stretch shoes to fit, but this can cause foot pain and damage and should be avoided.
- Beware of heel movement. Make sure your heels aren't slipping around or up and down with each step. It’s a recipe for blisters.
- Slippers don’t cure sore feet. Yes, they’re cozy and comfy while lounging around. But once you’re on your feet, slippers usually lack arch support. And they often fit loosely, encouraging you to shuffle rather than letting the joints work as they should.
Why is this such a big deal? Keeping your feet feeling good and healthy can be the difference between a fun-filled active life and discomfort that keeps you immobilized. The more you can do, the happier you’ll be. And it could all start with the right pair of shoes.
We hope this article puts you on the right path to finding the best walking shoes for yourself.
Once you’ve laced up, why not come for a visit at Lake Seminole Square? You’ll see the scenic walking paths along our beautiful lake, and we’ll show you our unique indoor walking trail. No matter the weather, you’ll find a lovely walkable path ready for you to get your steps in. To learn more about our lifestyle and how you can stay fit, visit Lake Seminole Square or contact us here, and we’ll be in touch shortly.