Buying shoes when you’re 22 is easy. All that you need to do is find out what Michael Jordan is wearing and do the same thing. It doesn’t matter how comfortable the shoe is or how easily you slip when you’re in the bathroom.
That is the exact type of shoe you want to avoid when you’re a senior. As we get older, our bodies become more demanding and more fragile. Luckily, we also become wiser and learn what’s really important in a shoe.
How easily can we slip a shoe on or off? We don’t want to spend ten minutes bent over as we fight with shoestrings. That’s bad for the back. And does a particular shoe allow for orthotic inserts?
Our doctor recommends them so our shoe needs to allow them. These are only two of the important questions we need to be answered when shopping for shoes.
Best Walking Shoes For Seniors
We’ve taken the guesswork out of the equation. Here are ten walking shoes for seniors that do everything we need them to. They are easy to put on, they stay comfortable throughout the day, and they are designed with safety in mind.
Propet Lifewalker Athletic Walking Shoes
The Propet brand is built entirely around the idea of creating the ideal walking shoe. They may branch out into a few other categories, but it’s their classical walking sneakers that always steal the show.
If finding the best shoe starts with finding the best brand, then this is definitely the starting line. And this particular shoe from Propet is designed with seniors in mind.
The inside of the shoe utilizes an ultra-comfortable OrthoLite insole combined with an additional layer of memory foam. If it were possible to walk on a cloud, then this is what it would feel like. The rest of the shoe is just as noteworthy.
It has an EVA midsole, a padded tongue, and a perforated upper. This all adds up to create a comfortable, breathable, and lightweight shoe.
This is also one of the few walking shoes on the market that has been approved by Medicare. Seniors who suffer from diabetes or other qualifying conditions can seek reimbursement for the purchase of the LifeWalker.
Zeba’s fashionable sneakers are a great choice for seniors because of their patented no-tie system. Instead of dealing with fasteners, they slip right on even from a standing position.
This reduces the chance of you losing your balance because you won’t need to bend over to tie your shoes!
These unique shoes are a great choice for seniors who want to get out for a walk but may have some balance problems – especially when putting their shoes on or taking them off.
These shoes are much easier – and safer – to put on thanks to their patented no-tie fastening system. You simply push your foot into the shoe and they stretch automatically allowing your foot to slip right on.
No bending over or tying required! Plus, they feel secure on the foot which is important for a walking shoe of course.
While being easy to put on, they look like standard tied sneakers. No one will ever know you are wearing no-tie shoes.
Zeba shoes come in lots of patterns and colors so there is surely a design you will love. They are comfortable, supportive, and hold up well to long walks according to the actual users.
Saucony Echelon 7 Athletic Shoes (Men & Women)
They might call this a running shoe, but you can still enjoy all of its benefits despite your pace. This athletic shoe is a surprisingly great choice for seniors who just want to get around the house.
It also happens to look pretty cool so hopefully the grandkids won’t have anything bad to say. You can find the Saucony Echelon 7 available in men’s and women’s as well.
One of the big advantages of this shoe is the wide base. If you’ve had trouble with narrow walking shoes in the past, then the Echelon 7 is the answer to those problems. Unfortunately, if you have a naturally narrow foot, then the wide design may not be to your liking.
This shoe also features a built-in upper mesh, a heel counter, and Tri-Flex outsole. The first two of those features help keep the foot secure as you walk. The outsole improves the flexibility and durability of the shoe.
And since this is a running shoe it is designed with breathability in mind. Overall, it’s comfortable, stylish, and safe.
Orthofeet Avery Island Oxford Walking Shoes
These casual walking shoes for men improve comfort for older feet with a roomy fit that allows your toes to move and reduces pressure on the boney points of the feet. Includes an anatomical orthotic insole and Orthofeet’s Ortho-Cushion(tm) cushioning, ergonomic insole.
Some shoes are just simply good for seniors. Other shoes have more purpose in mind. The Avery from Orthofeet is part of the latter group. It’s good for seniors who want to walk. If you’re just lounging around the house, then you might be able to find something more comfortable.
But if you plan on getting in a little exercise, visiting the family, or going to work (who needs retirement?), then these are an excellent choice.
The Avery uses a special rocker profile. This design feature helps the shoe move and flex naturally with the foot as you are moving. It also reduces the amount of shock from each step that you take.
The result is that you feel natural and comfortable even after walking for long distances. This is enhanced by the lightweight fabric and design of the shoe.
If you’re someone who suffers from arthritis, diabetes, or any other condition that makes walking painful, then you should seriously consider investing in a pair of Avery shoes.
It has a leather upper, a wide toe box, and orthotic support. That’s everything you need to feel great while staying on your feet.
Skechers Go Walk 4 Walking Shoes
Skechers is easily one of the most recognizable shoe brands on the market today. They design and manufacture a huge variety of shoes for a variety of different reasons.
Their “Go Walk” line of shoes is designed exactly for that: walking. It doesn’t matter if you’re 21 or 51, these shoes are going to fit well, they’re going to be comfortable, and they’re going to look sleek.
The Go Walk 4 is available in leather as well as soft suede. If comfort is your primary concern, we’d advise sticking with the suede, though it doesn’t have a huge impact. The bottom of the shoe has a specially designed synthetic outsole with a superior grip.
This is hugely important because it helps ensure you stay on your feet no matter what kind of surface you’re walking on.
Propet Wash And Wear Shoes
This is the first pair of shoes on the list that are specifically designed for women. They also come from Propet and we’ve already mentioned what an excellent brand this is for seniors.
These slip-on shoes maintain the same quality standard as the rest of the brand despite not having any laces or Velcro to keep them firmly attached to the feet.
The slip-on design of these shoes is a big bonus because it means you spend less time bent over trying to tie the shoes. Of course, it also means you need to get the perfect size for you or your foot will shift around while you’re walking.
The W3851 shoe is extremely lightweight and it’s machine washable. It has a nylon collar that can stretch when you’re putting the shoe on and return to its normal size to keep it secure.
It’s an extra layer of protection that will help keep you safe and balanced while walking. The same goes for the non-slip outsole with multiple tread designs for extra traction.
Dr. Comfort Endurance Plus Men's Therapeutic Diabetic Shoe
With a name like Dr. Comfort, you know that they mean business. The Endurance is the men’s shoe while the Spirit is for women. Aside from the name, these shoes are essentially identical.
That’s good news because they feature a great design with plenty of features that are perfect for active seniors.
The first thing you’ll notice is that they don’t look like shoes for seniors. Aside from the Velcro strap, they look just like your average, stylish walking shoe that any of today’s youth would be glad to wear. But don’t let that fool you.
These shoes were definitely designed with senior customers in mind. As a matter of fact, they were specifically designed for seniors who suffer from diabetes.
The main advantages of these shoes are its lightweight design, its breathable mesh, and how firmly it fits. The sizing department did a great job with the Endurance and the Spirit.
You can expect the shoe to fit perfectly if it is the size that you normally wear. That’s an accomplishment that a lot of brands are struggling with these days.
Hush Puppies Gil Lightweight Shoes
Sorry ladies, but this award-winning walking shoe is designed for men only. It has that classical loafer design that we all love. It uses only a single Velcro strap, but it’s extra large and creates a very firm binding.
On the inside is a standard removable insole. It’s decent enough by itself, but you’ll likely want to replace it with a special orthotic insert.
The bottom of the shoe has a series of highly efficient treads and grooves that guarantee you’ll remain standing upright in the worst of conditions.
Finally, a snug upper prevents the ankle from rolling while walking. This is particularly helpful if you suffer from joint pain in the ankles.
The Gil slip-on shoe is very simplistic overall, but it doesn’t need anything fancy to get the job done. All of its features have safety and comfort in mind. What else could you possibly want from a walking shoe for senior men? Let’s save the bells and whistles for the young kids.
New Balance 813 Walking Shoes
Not every shoe needs a fancy name to get the job done. The WW813 may not be catchy, but if you’re a senior, you’re a woman, and you walk around, then it’s a purchase that you should seriously consider.
If this shoe were to have a name that reflected its design, then it would be called the Ultra Padded Walking Shoe because it is stuffed with super-comfortable padding on the tongue, collar, and the heel.
All of that extra padding doesn’t seem to add anything to the weight. The shoe is still very lightweight and very comfortable. Whether you’re walking for ten minutes or an hour straight you won’t be able to tell the difference.
As with most walking shoes for seniors, it abandons the traditional shoestrings for an easy-to-use Velcro strap.
New Balance 577 Athletic Sneakers
This is another shoe that lacks a fancy name but is a smart buy nonetheless. It was manufactured right here in the USA for those of you who like that sort of thing. It’s also one of the few shoes on the market that is frequently recommended by doctors.
It has a hook-and-loop design that makes it easy to slip the shoes on and off as you see fit but keeps them firmly on your feet when you’re on the move.
The ideal customer for a pair of shoes like this is a senior man who still enjoys a bit of physical activity or who spends plenty of time standing up on the job. It has a slightly wider design than average.
This makes them easier to put on but can reduce their reliability if you have particularly narrow feet.
New Balance implemented their patented ABZORB technology to reduce shock impact while on the move. You’ll feel less fatigued after walking for hours or even after enjoy an intense job. Overall, it’s a very high-quality shoe on the inside and out.
It wouldn’t be right to end this list without mentioning something from the great Dr. Scholls. Chances are, you’re already familiar with the name and the brand.
This particular pair of shoes is just one more addition in an ongoing line of excellent products that are often designed specifically for seniors.
This shoe focuses on comfort and durability. It’s thick and somehow flexible at the same time. It has a stacked heel with gel on the inside that is excellent in terms of shock absorption. However, the added height may be uncomfortable for some seniors.
Are Memory Foam Insoles Good For Older Adults’ Feet?
Meredith Chandler, OTR/L, an Occupational Therapist with extensive experience working with seniors, says that memory foam insoles can be a great option for seniors and the elderly who are looking for comfort and better balance.
The right memory foam insoles provide excellent shock absorption, breathability, and good arch and heel support. They should be of good quality and fit comfortably in the shoe.
On the other hand, the wrong memory foam insoles can make shoes feel too tight, make feet hot and sweaty, and increase the risk of an ankle injury.
In conclusion, memory foam insoles can be a great option for seniors and the elderly if they are selected and worn based on individual needs and daily mobility routines.
How Often Should Seniors Replace Their Walking Shoes?
Seniors should replace their walking shoes depending on the signs that they need replacement.
It is recommended that seniors pay attention to signs such as pain in the feet, back, hips, and legs, the shoes becoming a tripping hazard, and if the shoes are doing more harm than good when it comes to fall prevention.
Generally, seniors should replace their walking shoes once every six months. However, this can vary depending on the senior, the shoe, and the type of walking surfaces they tend to tread daily.
It is important that seniors select shoes that fit their unique needs and provide them with long-lasting comfort.
Infographic: Should Seniors Use Memory Foam Insoles in Walking Shoes?
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We’ve looked at ten of the best walking shoes for seniors. Some of these shoes are designed just for seniors, and others happen to fit the bill. We believe you’ll be happy with any of these shoes regardless of style or brand. More importantly, we believe you’ll be safe and comfortable.