Choosing the Correct Walking Shoes for Seniors to Protect Feet and Ankles
Walking regularly helps everyone, especially seniors, maintain a healthy weight, keep their strength, and improve or maintain their balance. Walking can also help in the management or prevention of serious illnesses, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis. Health benefits aside, going for a walk is fun when taken with family or friends!
Your walk could be ruined by a sneaky culprit: the wrong pair of shoes. How many times have you ended up walking farther in a day than you anticipated and ended up with aching feet? Plan ahead and gear up with appropriate footwear to avoid an uncomfortable end.
Choosing a walking shoe can seem confusing, but it’s easy once you know what features you actually need. Shoes that are designed specifically for walking are ideal, which excludes clogs, sandals, flip flops, and Crocs (which tend to be hard on your heels). Walking shoes are stiffer and less flexible than running shoes, so if you do both activities you will need separate shoes. Plan to spend more on walking shoes than you might on every day shoes, you don’t need to break the bank, but invest in a high quality pair for the best results.
Over time you lose protective tissue in your feet. To combat this effect of aging, you need a shoe with a thick, supportive sole. This can reduce irritation or the occurrence of painful heel spurs caused by your heel pressing harder against the floor. Your feet also change size, even as an adult, so before purchasing shoes make sure to measure your feet. Keep in mind that sizes vary a bit by brand, so go with what fits and not what the shoe size says!
Lastly, check out your old shoes to see where they are the most worn to determine what special features you may like in your new shoe. If your shoe is mostly worn on the inside edge you have low arches or flat feet; these are prone to overpronation (rolling inward). Look for a shoe with a motion-control feature. If your shoes are more worn on the outside edge, that indicates high arches, which can cause your feet to underpronate or supinate (roll outward). You will benefit from a cushioned sole shoe with a soft midsole. If your shoes are evenly worn, then you have a neutral arch and will be best served by a stability shoe with a good mix of cushioning and support.
The weather is warm and the sun is shining. Now that you know how to properly gear up, where are you walking?
For help with safe, fun exercises, consult an elderly care Richmond VA professional, then check with your doctor. Our friendly, helpful staff are well-trained and knowledgeable, give us a call today: (804) 368-3200.