July 2021 Mall Walker Newsletter
- July 3, 2021
Feet change shape as we age. Generally with aging, the foot’s arch drops and the foot widens. Sadly, what fit comfortably when we were younger may be uncomfortable and unsafe for older feet.
An improperly fitted shoe can cause foot problems at any age, but for seniors it brings bigger health and safety concerns. Pain and instability can result in falls, sprains, fractures and ongoing pain, even when not wearing the ill-fitting shoes. However, properly fitted shoes can actually help lessen issues such as arthritis, bunions, hammertoes, heel pain and plantar fasciitis.
To be safe, shoes should have a well-fitted toe box that allows for toe and ball-of-foot comfort and a broad heel and low heel height to reduce the risk of balance issues and falls. Shoes should also provide a snug fit―unlikely to slip off, hamper mobility and gait, or cause a trip. In one study, rigid insoles, rather than soft insoles, improved posture.
Although no ideal shoe design, model or brand was identified, research found that shoes properly fitted to foot length and the width at the ball of the foot improved gait. The take-away? Find a shoe that feels comfortable and stable for you…and your health.