Finding comfortable shoes can be a challenge as you get older. Crocs™* may seem like a good option with their loose, foam-like comfort.
Are Crocs actually supportive and stable enough for the elderly?
Unfortunately, Crocs can do more harm than good.
Their loose fit and lack of arch support mean Crocs don’t provide the cushioning and stability you need.
The lightweight foam offers minimal shock absorption, potentially causing joint pain.
And the open back and smooth sole are tripping hazards.
Instead, look for shoes with proper arch support and a snugger fit. Prioritize stability and slip resistance to prevent falls.
Shoes with adjustable closures will accommodate any custom orthotics. With the right footwear, you can stay active and comfortable as you age.
Pros of Crocs
By definition, crocs are made out of a foam-like material called “Croslite,” which is primarily crude oil. Crocs are known for their loose-fitting, airy comfort. Here are a few pros to wearing crocs:
- Easy to slip on with no need to bend down and tie or buckle the shoes
- Loose-fitting for increased comfort and ventilation
- Foamy-like support as opposed to a rigid sole
- These days, you can usually locate crocs for relatively cheap
- Crocs are very lightweight, which is nice for wearers who don’t have the endurance to lift heavy shoes on their feet.
Crocs are most popular among teenagers and young adults. The pros of crocs are relevant for people across the age span. However, this is stretching it for our aging population since the pros can be easily viewed as dangers or cons.
Cons/Dangers of Crocs
Unfortunately, Crocs present some serious issues for seniors. Many podiatrists do not have fantastic reviews of Crocs regarding sufficient foot support, balance, and coordination. Here are a few cons to be aware of:
- The side soles and loose-fitting structure poses a huge tripping hazard for seniors.
- The foam-like material doesn’t actually provide that much arch support, making this an inefficient shoe for walking without pain or foot discomfort.
- The heel is secured by a single strap, which is loose fitting and unreliable, increasing a senior’s risk of tripping and falling.
- Inefficient foot support may cause additional joint pain in the legs, hips, and back.
Should Elderly People Wear Crocs?
Are crocs appropriate for seniors or elderly individuals? It depends on the individual. Here are a few incidences in which it may be appropriate to wear crocs:
- Foot surgery recovery: A patient has been approved to bear weight through their operative foot but can only walk a few feet at a time. In this case, crocs may be appropriate because they can fit well over medical bandages and provide temporary foot support.
- Seniors with foot lymphedema: Seniors or elderly people with fluid in their feet and legs are encouraged to get up and move to increase circulation. However, wearing regular shoes is not usually an option because those typical shoes won’t fit. Crocs, however, can generally slide right over the feet and be worn for short walking distances.
- Seniors taking short trips to the bathroom don’t want to slide all over the slick floor.
- Seniors with restricted mobility who want to visit with loved ones but have their feet covered while out in the community.
Crocs are not the shoe type for you if you’re a senior or elderly person with a more active lifestyle. Look into a shoe that provides your foot with more support and comfort, including custom-fit sandals, sneakers, or tennis shoes.
Summary and Final Recommendations
Crocs are wide-structured, foam-like shoes with a loose fit that provide many people across the age span with long-lasting comfort. However, loose-fitting crocs with limited heel support can also be a tripping hazard for seniors with an active lifestyle.
Although crocs may not be suitable for some seniors, crocs may have their place among the aging population if used with caution and used among those with limited mobility.
This includes seniors who take minimal walking steps throughout the day or can’t find a shoe that fits their feet due to severe deformities or lymphedema.
Consult with your primary physician or a podiatrist if you’ve never worn crocs before and are considering making a purchase. Discuss the benefits and risks to see if crocs fit your lifestyle or put you at risk for falls or injury.
*Crocs™ is a trademark of Crocs, INC. and has no affiliation with Graying With Grace.