We all buy shoes straight off the shelf, yet our feet are all different shapes and sizes. So how do you know if your shoe is right for you, particularly as you get older when you are at a higher risk of a fall-related injury?
According to our 2017 Healthy Feet Survey, 89 per cent of Australians haven’t had their foot professionally measured in the past 12 months, meaning they may not be wearing appropriate footwear for their feet and wearing unsafe footwear was a serious factor contributing to falls among people aged 65 and over.
When it comes to finding the right shoe for seniors, whose feet can change shape and also lose some feeling, here is what you need to be looking for in order to avoid unsafe footwear:
- A wide, shock absorbent and non-slip sole
- A firm, flat heel
- An enclosed heel and forefoot
- A firm and comfortable fit
What should seniors be avoiding?
- Slippers – slippers usually have smooth soles and are poorly fitting, making you slip and shuffle. If you can’t avoid slippers, choose ones that are firm over your heel and have a non-slip sole.
- Heels, thongs or open-toed sandals – you should generally avoid footwear that doesn’t have secure fastenings to prevent your feet from slipping and falling out.
In addition to experiencing muscle weakness, foot posture, nerve sensation and balance and gait changes as we age, many elderly Australians also present foot conditions such as toe deformities or bunions.
It is always good practice to get your feet measured properly as they may have changed since your last fitting. A podiatrist can determine the right shoe for you to ensure there are no hurdles when it comes to mobility.