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Best Shoes for Weak Ankles: Ankle Support Shoes for the Elderly

Summary (TL;DR):

Unfortunately, as we age, our ankles get weaker. Or, you might have ankle pain from one of several medical conditions. The right shoes can make all the difference. Here are the best shoes for weak or painful ankles.

Here are my Top Picks:

Income Disclosure: So that you know, I may earn a small advertising fee (at no extra cost to you) if you shop through links on this page. If you choose not to use them, I hope you find the information helpful!

Seniors and elderly people tend to have pain in their ankles, or weak joints in general due to a number of complications like arthritis, neuropathy, and more. However, these conditions don’t have to affect the way you live your everyday life.

There are plenty of shoes that support your ankles out there that can help you live an active, healthy lifestyle while dealing with problem weak ankles. Here’s how to find the best ones for you.

Reviews of Ankle Supporting Shoes

Here are my detailed reviews of the best shoes for ankle support.

Propet Tour Walker is a women’s leather sneaker that comes in many colors. Among the most popular ones there are black, taupe, and a white-blue combination.

Thanks to the high-density EVA midsoles, this shoe provides excellent stability. The shoes are flexible and soft. With time, they tend to take the shape of the wearer’s feet.

The rubber sole provides a great amount of traction on both dry and wet surfaces. These shoes are available in sizes from 5 to 12 and in a wide range of widths. Women with wide feet will have good chances to find their perfect fit.

The generous padding offers comfort, but the area around the tongue and ankles is a bit thinner, and therefore less soft. This shouldn’t be a deal breaker, though, as the shoes are comfortable enough to support your feet throughout the whole day.

The two Velcro straps make these shoes a great choice for seniors to put on and remove without problems. Although the soles provide an excellent grip, they are a little hard and noisy. This could be an issue when walking in quiet areas.

Although they are considered diabetic walking shoes, there’s no reason why healthy women wouldn’t wear them. In fact, these shoes are a good choice for all those who want comfortable footwear that doesn’t make them stand out from the crowd.


Features

  • 60-DAY WEAR TEST! Test our boots for up to 60 days, and if you are not completely satisfied return them for a full refund. FREE SHIPPING AND RETURNS. See for yourself why Orthofeet is regarded by millions as the World's Most Comfortable and stylish ORTHOPEDIC boots. Try RISK FREE: Walk COMFORTABLE and PAIN FREE or Your MONEY BACK!
  • PLANTAR FASCIITIS? HEEL PAIN? FOOT PAIN? Orthofeet orthotic boots offer the BEST ORTHOPEDIC FOOTWEAR solution. Lightweight ERGONOMIC SOLE with AIR CUSHIONING along with premium ORTHOTIC INSOLES that feature ANATOMICAL ARCH SUPPORT and multiple CUSHIONING layers provide soft, PILLOW-LIKE SUPPORT that works wonders to improve COMFORT and EASE PAIN on the FOOT and HEEL, all the way up your KNEES, HIPS and LOWER BACK caused by flat feet, overpronation, arthritis, neuropathy and diabetes.
  • EXTENDED WIDTHS - These SUPER COMFORTABLE men’s boots are available in Medium, Wide and Extra Wide widths, offering a PERFECT, CUSTOMIZED FIT
  • DIABETES? ARTHRITIS? NEUROPATHY? Soft, pliable uppers with SEAM-FREE FABRIC LINING and extra foam padding, provide SUPERIOR COMFORT and protection for SENSITIVE FEET, offering the best solution for men’s diabetic boots, men’s arthritis boots and men’s boots for neuropathy. Certified by Medicare and qualified therapeutic boots under code A5500 of the Diabetic Shoe Bill.
  • Excellent solution for BUNIONS and HAMMER TOES: A wide TOE BOX offers a comfortable, non-binding fit, and eases pressure on bunions, hammer toes and sensitive feet. ORTHOTIC FRIENDLY: Extra depth design with removable insoles (¼” thick in the forefoot area) provides ample space for custom made orthotics. The UNIQUE COMFORT FEATURES help alleviate stress on the joints, enhance stability and add spring to your step to improve mobility.

The Orthofeet Glacier Gorge men’s diabetic boot is biomechanically engineered with advance therapeutic qualities to provide comfort and protection for diabetic and arthritic feet. It comes with unique features to offer a great walking experience to seniors and other diabetic patients. If you are looking for unsurpassed comfort in footwear and at the same time want to protect your feet, there isn’t a better choice than the Orthofeet Glacier Gorge diabetic boots. This article provides a comprehensive review of the Orthofeet Glacier Gorge Depth men’s diabetic boots.

This product is ideal for seniors and other patients who are suffering from a variety of foot conditions including diabetic feet, arthritis, plantar fasciitis, heel pain, ankle pain, Morton’s neuroma, corns, bunions, flat feet, hammer toes, and back pain. The boots are lightweight and provide a host of other features to guarantee the optimal comfort and safety of your feet at all times. Here are some of the salient features and the pros of the product.

The Pros

  • The extra-depth design with the soft and non-binding leather upper eases the pressure on your foot. It provides an ideal fit with the freedom for toe movement. You can easily take the shoe on and off.
  • The lightweight cushioning sole with proprietary Ergonomic-Stride design softens your step and helps to propel the foot forward with ease.
  • The seam-free and soft lining with extra foam padding provide great support and comfort to the foot. It safeguards the foot at all times.
  • The Ortho-Cushion System helps enhance your stability and ease pressure on the joints. It absorbs shock and protects your feet at all times.

The Cons

  • A few customers have complained the tongue does not fit properly.
  • Sometimes, the metal ring holding the Velcro strap doesn’t handle the load well when tightening the shoe.

The Orthofeet Glacier Gorge men’s boots are ideal for seniors who are suffering from foot conditions and want to protect their feet.


Features

  • Medicare/HCPCS code A5500 diabetic shoe
  • Size 5E is same as XX and size 3E is same as X
  • Padded collar and tongue with single strap closure

The Scandia lineup of shoes features a classic design that is in alignment with the design philosophy of Propet. Most importantly, the Scandia Strap is handcrafted by Propet, to ensure that every single pair of shoes meets the company’s stringent standards when it comes to quality. Therefore, you can fully expect these shoes to be able to stand the test of time and serve you faithfully by providing you with very stable and comfortable shoes.

The Propet Scandia Strap features a very comfortable and durable design. The upper is made out of mesh lining and full grain leather. The removable footbed features a Poliyou air insole.

The shoe also features a firm heel counter, along with a collar and padded tongue with a single strap. The Propet Scandia Strap comes with a polyurethane sole that provides maximum durability, outstanding traction, and outstanding shock absorption.

The above average ease of use, exceptional stability, outstanding durability, amole tractions, and comfortable fit make the Propet Scandia lineup of shoes the best footwear option for senior citizens. These shoes were designed to protect the feet and be functional at the same time. This allows you to stand for long periods of time or walk for many miles without your feet getting tired.

One potential drawback is the bland style of these shoes. From a stylistic standpoint, the Propet Scandia is one of the least stylish shoes that are available in the market.

If ease of use, durability, traction, and comfort are your most important considerations when buying footwear, then these are the best shoes to buy. Senior citizens will greatly benefit from owning these shoes due to the combination of the numerous features and advantages that they provide.


Features

  • A comfort sandal that you can wear confidently all day long.
  • Open-toe walking shoe features a full grain leather or nubuck upper.
  • Dual hook-and-loop straps for an adjustable fit.
  • Removable cushioned footbed.
  • Leather lining. Closed heel. Durable polyurethane outsole offers traction for a sure step. Logo on strap closest to ankle. Imported. Measurements: Weight: 9 oz Product measurements were taken using size 6.5, width XX (4E). Please note that measurements may vary by size. Weight of footwear is based on a single item, not a pair.

Propet sandals have become just as popular with spring breakers as they are with seniors. This is because they manage to be stylish while offering flexibility, comfort, and support. That’s very clear when you take a look at the Propet Women’s pedic walker sandal. Its stylish design resembles something between a shoe and a sandal. And it happens to enjoy the important features of both styles. That means the full support of a shoe with the flexibility and breathability of a sandal.

Do you plan on spending plenty of time outdoors this summer? Maybe you’ll be walking by the beach or enjoying a stroll down the boulevard. Summer is the perfect time to get outdoors and get to moving. It doesn’t matter if you’re a teenager or you’re 65, you’re going to want a comfortable pair of walking sandals. The right pair of walking sandals will help your feet stay cool under the sun while also supporting your heel, keeping you comfortable, and helping you look good. These pedic walking sandals from Propet does all of that.

On the inside are a padded collar, a molded and contoured rubber insole, and an internal heel counter. The insole is designed specifically with metatarsal and arch support. It also has moisture and odor absorbing technology built in. But what if you have your own insoles that were recommended by a doctor? You can easily remove these and replace them with whatever orthotic inserts you prefer.

The closed back with dual hook-and-loop straps makes slipping this sandal on particularly easy. You wouldn’t guess that just from looking at it because it features a more closed-off designed compared to other sandal styles such as the fisherman sandal. Nonetheless, the straps are very easy to work with and provide a very firm fit for various foot widths.

This Propet’s Women’s Pedic walking sandal is perfect for anyone who wants to get outdoors this summer and stay comfortable. If you’re a senior with your own specific orthotics, then you’ll love the removable insole that can easily be replaced. Otherwise, you’ll simply enjoy the standard orthotic insole with moisture control and arch support. Overall, these are high-quality sandals with a unique design that’s hard not to like.


Features

  • CLASSIC STYLE: Sporty and simple open toe three strap river sandal with versatile styling to wear almost anywhere
  • COMFORT: Fully padded breathable Memory Foam sock lining with athletic mesh designed to absorb the impact of each step and provide cushioning for all day comfort
  • PERFECT FIT: Adjustable hook and loop Velcro strap closures assure a personal and secure fit. Available in medium width and wide widths
  • OUTSOLE: Soft and flexible longwearing rubber outsole ideal for leisure wear activities
  • VALUE: Nunn Bush is highly regarded as a premier footwear brand by providing the best value and style in fine men's footwear since 1912

Nunn Bush has specialized in manufacturing men’s shoes since 1912. Their company was first launched in Milwaukee and 100 years later they are still in the same place and working towards the same goals. Their shoes are designed specifically for men for various occasions, age ranges, and purposes. They state that their mission is to create footwear that combines superior comfort with understandable style. So far, they are doing a pretty good job of achieving that mission.

Nunn Bush has several lines of shoes and sandals that are pretty popular, but the Nunn Bush Men’s Rio Grande sandal represents one of their best values. It is a surprisingly affordable sandal, yet it’s made from high-quality materials, includes all of the features of a high-end sandal, and it looks great while doing it.

In terms of appearance, it features an open-toe design with three straps. The third strap is located in the back of the sandal. The design makes this a great choice for nearly any occasion. If you plan on spending time outdoors this summer, then you’ll want to have this sandal with you.

It’s not just the classic appearance that makes this such a great investment. As it is a river sandal, it has a rubber outsole with strong traction and grip. It’s not exactly waterproof, but it’s perfect for when you’re walking near the water and you don’t want to slip. That traction and grip also make it a great shoe for seniors who could get seriously hurt if they were to slip and fall.

The footbed is made with an open cell foam compound. The footbed is capable of safely absorbing the pressure from every step; whether you’re walking or running. Combine that with the shock absorption provided by the rubber sole and you’ve got yourself a great sandal for staying active. It can help greatly reduce foot pain as well as pain in the hips and lower back.

The Nunn Bush Rio Grande is a men’s sandal for all occasions. Are you a senior who needs a sandal with traction and support? Do you plan on spending a lot of time this summer outdoors? Do you need a sandal to wear by the pool? Or do you just need a sandal that will keep you comfortable while exercising? If you said yes to any of these, then the Rio Grande is for you.


Features

  • Rocker profile
  • Padded collar and tongue. Built in contoured heel stabilizer with dual strap velcro closure
  • Adjustable hook-and-loop closure
  • Removable cushioned orthotic
  • EVA midsole with durable arch support

Propet has made a mission out of offering comfortable walking shoes since 1985. Thanks to their qualities, their shoes have quickly become the top choice of many seniors suffering from hip, ankle, and foot pain.

The Propet Lifewalker has been created to suit athletic seniors who enjoy brisk walks and various sports. Comfortable and breathable, this shoes offers excellent support, thanks to its replaceable orthotic insert, EVA midsole, and built-in heel stabilizer.

It is also available in a shoe lace tie version and a velcro closure option.

Seniors who suffer from diabetes will find this shoe extremely beneficial. In fact, the Lifewalker line is Medicare approved as part of the Therapeutic Shoe Bill. Diabetes sufferers need exercise to manage their condition. This means they are affordable even on a shoestring budget.

The EVA midsole and the robust heel counter offer great support and traction. The shock absorbent midsole reduces the impact of the ground on your foot while walking. The heel counter offers great flexibility of movement, as well as reliable traction.

According to some users, Propet Lifewalker is less durable than expected. If you exercise for long periods of time on daily basis, you may have to replace your shoes every six months. Nonetheless, most users are so happy with this shoe that they replace it with a similar one. Generally speaking, this shoe is a very good walking shoe for seniors or for diabetes and foot pain sufferers. A good pair of Propet Lifewalker is exactly what they need to start walking.


Propet USA manufactures an excellent lineup of walking shoes, and the Propet Stability Walker is no exception. Its thick rubber sole and 100 percent leather design provide maximum stability while being comfortable to wear.. That makes them the ideal option for seniors who want to walk more and enjoy the outdoors.

These shoes have been intentionally designed to be wide in the foot’s ball area and toward the toes, they are more narrow. This increases the stability of the shoe when they are worn and walked in.

To increase the comfort of the shoe, a heel pad has been added along with a PU insole featuring cushioned ridges. The insole is especially beneficial for individuals who have flat feet. However, the insole can also be removed very easily if you would prefer to use different ones.

The stability and comfort of the Propet Stability Walker also can benefit individuals suffering from knee or ankle pain. For example, for someone who has undergone knee surgery recently, the walking shoe will make it a lot safer and easier to walk in.

There are very few flaws or drawbacks to the Propet Stability Walker. A heavy emphasis is placed on ankle function, but it is not the most stylish shoes in the world. The women’s version of the shoe is not very feminine. Also, some users have complained that the soles wore through after just a couple of months of exercising in them on a regular basis.

Overall, the Stability Walker from Propet is an excellent option for seniors who are suffering from knee pain or want to exercise on a more regular basis. However, for those who are physically active every day, these shoes might not hold up as well as they would like.


Buying Guide

As we get older it is important to stay active. Regular walking can help to maintain your cardiovascular health and also keep your legs strong. Walking, however, can put stress on our feet, knees and ankles. Ankle instability is a common complain of many seniors as well.

So, it is important that the shoes we wear provide adequate support. Many people have wide feet and weak ankles, and need to choose their shoes carefully to ensure that they provide enough support to their joints.

How to Choose the Perfect Shoe for Weak Ankles

It is a good idea to get your feet measured properly before you buy shoes, and to try the shoe on and make sure that it is comfortable. Contrary to popular belief, shoes should not need ‘broken in’. If a shoe feels too loose, or too tight, or if it is chafing against your skin or restricting blood flow, then it is not a good fit for you.

Even shoes that are designed for good ankle support should feel snug, not restrictive. The shoe should support your ankle, but not feel tight. Your foot should be able to flex as normal, and you should feel that you are able to balance properly and make small adjustments as you move.

Features of a Shoe that Provides Good Ankle Support

When you are shopping for a shoe that provides good support, there are a few things that you should look out for:

  • Robust, non-slip soles: A good shoe will have a sole that is designed to flex with your foot, and provide a good grip on any surface.
  • Good cushioning: Even slippers should have some cushioning in them to support your feet and reduce the impact and stress on your joints when you are walking.
  • Roomy toe box. A wide toe box gives your toes a little wiggle room. This is very important for seniors with bunions or hammertoe. The extra space reduces rubbing and the associated pain.
  • A high, padded backstrap: Avoid low-back clogs or backless shoes, sandals and flip flops. These provide no support for your ankles and make it difficult to maintain a good gait while you are walking.
  • Low heels: Rocker-soled shoes and high-heeled shoes are difficult to walk in, especially for people who already have stiff or damaged ankles or low muscle tone. A flat heel is a much better choice.
  • Velcro fasteners: Many seniors struggle to tie shoelaces tightly, and find that buckles are a little fiddly too (as well as not necessarily having enough adjustment options to provide snug support for the foot). A good shoe will have velcro straps that are easy to use and offer precise adjustment options so that the wearer always enjoys the best support for their feet.
  • The right length and width: Good footwear fits both lengthways and widthways. A shoe that is too big can cause just as many problems as one that is too tight since it will adversely affect your gait and potentially lead to hip and back problems.

Those with weak ankles should look for a more boot-style form of footwear with a padded heel and ankle area. Choose a flexible and breathable material that will not chafe and that allows some airflow to the foot as well. There are many brands out there that offer shoes and boots of this style, even with designs for diabetics or those who suffer from edema and need a much bigger, wider fit than average.

Talk to a Podiatrist

If you are suffering from a medical condition which means that your feet need extra care, talk to your podiatrist before you purchase any new style of shoe to find out what they think would be the best for you. Many ‘fashionable’ shoes are bad for your feet, and even younger people with healthy feet would do well to avoid pointed toes, high heels, and strapless backs.

Products such as the ‘barefoot’ shoe are not suitable for those who need arch support. The best shoe for you will depend on your gait, whether you have high or low arches, whether your feet tend to pronate or not, and even your weight and whether you have bad hips or knees.

The above advice can give you some idea of what you should be looking for in a shoe that will give you ankle support, but only someone who can examine your feet in person will be able to tell you what shoes are best for you.


Summary and Final Recommendations

THerapist stretching a painful ankle
Sometimes, exercises and stretching can help reduce ankle pain.

Many seniors experience weakness in the ankles that requires special shoes for ankle support. This extra support is important to reducing the chance of a fall or injury.

Look for a shoe that comes higher up on the ankles and wrap around the ankle. The weaker the ankle is, the higher the support might need to be. Also, soft softs under the heel that contain air or gel provide some give and make the shoe more comfortable to wear.

So, what do you think is the best shoe for ankle support? Do you have a favorite shoe that has worked for you? Please share your opinions in the comments below. OH! I’d appreciate a share on social media if you found this article helpful. 

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About Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

Assistive Technology Professional, Custom Wheelchair Specialist, Medical Equipment Guru, Dad and Grandfather | I am a lucky dad to four awesome daughters and grandfather to three pretty terrific grandkids. When not working as a custom wheelchair specialist at a regional home medical equipment company, I enjoy early morning runs and occasional kayak trips. I am also a self-admitted nerd who loves anything from the 1980's.

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