Growing old is a blessing unlike any other, but it comes with its fair share of challenges. Who would think putting on and taking off shoes would become one of them?
But, for many older adults, balance problems, weakness, and swelling can lead to difficulty with what was once a basic task.
So, I wrote this guide to teach you all you need to know about slip-on shoes for seniors and the elderly. I’ll show you some specific models that I recommend too.
Top 8 Slip-On Shoes that Are Easy to Wear for Seniors
Here are some shoes that are very easy for seniors to slip on and off without having to deal with shoelaces or multiple hooks and loop straps.
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!
Zeba Shoes are specifically designed to be easy to put on while also being extremely comfortable to wear. They slide on as easy as your favorite pair of slippers! The secret is in the heel which expands and opens up as you press your foot into the shoe.
Plus they have lots of great-looking styles and I like that they look like regular athletic shoes. Once you get them on, no one will know that you are wearing special shoes!
This shoe is a great choice for senior and elderly folks who want a “normal-looking” athletic shoe for walking but have trouble with balance and bending over.
They can put them on themselves without having to ask for assistance! Many people will even be able to do this from a standing position.
The Taos Zipward features a sturdy zipper on the side which makes it easy to put on and take off. It also has several many fall reduction features without looking like “old people” shoes.
These sporty, casual shoes have no shoe strings or hook and loop (aka Velcro) straps to fool with. Simply slide your foot into the shoe and pull the zipper closed – it’s that simple. Of course, this makes them easy to remove too!
Plus, the shoe is very comfortable due to the removable Taos Curves & Pods® footbed which offers both metatarsal and arch support. Also, the heel collar is nicely padded adding to the comfort.
One caution though: if foot swelling or edema is a problem, these shoes don’t stretch much because of the leather uppers. The closure isn’t adjustable either.
The outsoles are non-slip and made of flexible and durable rubber. They are also thinner and lightweight which helps people sense better where their feet are in space (called proprioception).
Actually, the entire shoe is lightweight so even elderly people with weakness or shuffling shouldn’t have any problems lifting them off the ground.
3. Orthofeet Edgewater/Joelle Walking Shoes
Orthofeet is a company that specializes in footwear for older adults and anyone with problem feet. The best part? Their shoes look like everyday sneakers and casual shoes. They offer several styles that are easy to put on and take off, including the Edgewater and Joelle lines.
Orthofeet is a shoe manufacturer that designs shoes and footwear, especially for people with problem feet. This includes age-related foot problems that affect seniors and the elderly.
These shoes are diverse in both style and purpose. They can be worn around the house or for playing simple sports such as tennis.
The slip-resistant outsole is made of rubber making movement much safer and secure. Plus, they slip right on by stretching the mouth and sliding your foot in.
The shoe comes with a soft, comfortable lining that reduces friction on the feet while also wicking away moisture and heat. This means less sweat and odor!
The shoe comes in wide, medium, and small widths to suit all leg and foot sizes. So, it’s a really good option for seniors with edema problems. These sizes combined with the cushioning foam help reduce pain in seniors with arthritis in their feet too.
Nobody understands the value of a shoe with a wide toe box more than a senior with bunions. Luckily this shoe is a perfect solution. The roomy toe box gives room for large toes to fit comfortably. Seniors with bunions do not have to be limited to open shoes anymore.
4. Isotoner Zenz Slip-On Slipper Shoes for Men & Women
These lightweight slipper shoes are a great choice for everyday use. They are both soft and supportive and easy to care for – just throw them in the machine for a quick wash when needed!
The Zenz line of easy-to-put-on slipper shoes is from Isotoner – a brand that you probably already know and trust. The shoes have no laces or straps to mess with!
Instead, they use an elastic band that allows the mouth of the shoe to open up wider when you are putting them on.
Older folks will also love that these shoes are extremely lightweight too. This is an important feature for people who may have a shuffling gait or leg pain and weakness. These shoes will be much easier to walk in than a heavy pair of leather dress shoes.
Of course, shoes have to be comfortable or they will just stay in the back up of the closet. These shoes use a super soft foam covered by a plush fabric for the inside liner plus a “better than memory foam” insole. The outer sole is non-slip rubber for improved safety when walking too.
You can wear these slip-on shoes inside and out. If they get dirty, just throw them in the washing machine on cool and let them air dry. How’s that for low maintenance too?
These shoes do tend to run a bit small. So, if you have swelling and want them to be really easy to slip on, I’d go up a size!
5. SKECHERS Performance Go Walk Evolution Ultra-Impeccable Shoes
This lightweight walking shoe slips on easily thanks to the stretchy mouth fabric and elastic band. The Go Walk series comes in more than 9 colors and a wide array of size ranges. A thick rubber sole gives the wearer a firm foundation upon which to walk. Easy to slip on and off while sitting or standing.
These are highly recommended shoes for seniors, primarily because of being lightweight. The upper part is made from a breathable padded mesh material. The shoe is seamless, offering perfect cushioning for the legs. It is an ideal shoe for seniors who enjoy taking walks.
They are light and easy to slip on making the shoe senior-friendly because they take less time and effort to wear. The mouth of the shoe stretched open with minimal pressure thanks to the flexible mesh fabric and the elastic band.
The flexible midsole cushioning is what makes this shoe so comfortable and easy to wear overall. The 5GEN sole cushions and comforts tired older feet making the shoes very comfortable to wear even for long periods of time.
The shoe’s foot bed has a bamboo lining that helps control embarrassing foot odor. This is particularly helpful if you are a senior whose feet sweat a lot. Most of the time, people with sweaty feet are encouraged to only wear open shoes. Luckily, this is a closed shoe that will suit you well.
6. Propet Wash And Wear Shoes
The Propet Wash and Wear Sneakers have no laces or straps to deal with and also feature a nice, stretchy opening that accommodates swelling and edema. You’ll also love that they can be machine washed!
Propet is known for making shoes that especially meet the needs of seniors. This shoe is a great choice for senior women and men looking for easy-to-wear footwear. They are also very light and soft, offering great comfort for outdoor walks or indoor activities.
The 100% leather uppers mean the shoe is long-lasting and high quality. So, it’s not going to wear out quickly.
You’ll also like that the shoe is easy to maintain. This is because you can throw it in the machine when it needs cleaning up. This makes it low-maintenance for both seniors and their caregivers.
This is a casual, lightweight shoe with an adjustable fastener to address swelling. The insoles feature a unique technology that absorbs shock and reduces pain. Supportive and grippy outsoles reduce slips and falls and provide a steady step.
These sharp dress shoes are a great choice for senior men looking for a comfortable dress shoe that is also easy to slip on and off.
The large hook and loop strap make it easy to tighten or loosen the grip as needed throughout the day. The firm uppers support the foot and prevent it from slipping.
The slip-resistant sole reduces the chance of a slip and fall while supporting the foot and legs. The low heel is another safety feature that could help prevent falls in senior men who prefer dress shoes.
The removable insole can be replaced with another orthotic of your preference.
8. New Balance 813 Walking Shoes for Men and Women
Elderly men and women looking for traditional athletic shoes that are comfortable and sturdy should look no further. With ample padding on the shoe collar and heel, this pair is perfect for seniors who still love to exercise. They will even remain comfortable for long walks.
The long hook and loop straps allow you to easily adjust the fit and feel of the shoe by making the rip tighter or looser. The straps offer extra support at the ankle area, making them a perfect shoe for seniors with balance problems.
These shoes are effortless to slip on because of their wide mouth. Yet, the mouth is also firm enough to offer the needed traction and comfort.
This shoe is also designed to keep the foot stable with a roll bar system that stabilizes the back of the foot. This helps to improve posture in the long run by offering plenty of support.
Of course, comfort is important too. This shoe is thoroughly cushioned exceptionally on the inside. This makes it comfortable even during exercise. The cushioning also prevents the toes from getting hurt if the foot hits a hard object.
Top 3 Reasons Why a Senior Needs a Shoe that is Easy to Slip-On
1. Health Complications
Most seniors cannot wear regular shoes due to chronic ailments. For example, the majority of seniors with diabetic problems experience foot swelling. This means that they have to wear flexible shoes that do not worsen the swelling.
I have a specific guide to shoes for elderly people with swollen feet you can read for more info.
2. Back Pain
With constant back pain, it is imperative that the elderly wear shoes that are easy to slip on. These do not call for constant bending which saves seniors from back discomfort.
Bending for too long to tie a shoelace, only worsens back pain. Research has actually shown that 30-70% of all elderly people have back problems.
3. Callouses and Feet Deformations
These are hardened patches of skin on the feet. Such patches develop because of repeated friction over time. Other seniors also suffer from foot deformations.
Some of these include bony bumps protruding from the base of the big toe. Such issues necessitate shoes that are easy to slip on.
General Features of Easy to Slip-On Shoes
Here are some important features for you to consider when shopping for footwear that is easy to put on and take off.
1. A Non-Slip Sole
For older adults, always insist on a shoe with a non-slip sole. Usually made of rubber, these soles grip surfaces better and reduces the chance of a slip and fall.
2. Lace-Free Closures
Shoes with laces are difficult for some older adults to put on. Most require bending over too! Seniors with balance problems should never risk bending over to tie their shoes.
Shoes with laces can also be annoying. Laces keep untying themselves, and that can cause an older loved one to slip and fall. This is something that must be avoided, especially by seniors. Therefore, a shoe without lace closures is the best choice for elderly folks.
Some existing shoes can be modified by adding no tie lace systems for shoes.
3. A Big Mouth!
When choosing a closed shoe for an elderly person, look for ones with wide, stretchy mouths. Not only are they easier to put on, but they are also more comfortable.
Shoes that have a wide mouth are also suitable for swelling legs. Seniors with arthritis and diabetes tend to prefer shoes with a wide mouth as well.
4. Made from Flexible Materials
For a shoe to be comfortable to slip on, the material it’s made from should be flexible – especially the uppers and around the mouth of the shoe.
Look for shoes that are made of mesh or nylon. Plus, most flexible materials are more comfortable and breathable for sweaty feet.
5. Low-Heeled Shoes
Even though high heels look good on many, they are not the ideal shoes for most seniors. They are also quite hard to put on, especially if the heels are too high. Low-heeled shoes are both easier to put on and more comfortable to wear. You will be less likely to fall too!
6. Easy Strap/Hook and Loop Closure
Another common feature is straps that are easy to close. Some seniors prefer shoes with straps. However, there are straps whose design is complicated and hard to open and close. An ideal shoe for seniors should have firm but straightforward straps making them easy to wear.
Should Seniors Wear Shoes in the House?
According to Meredith Chandler, OTR/L, there are several pros to wearing shoes indoors for seniors. They protect the feet from injury and infection and provide comfort, traction, and warmth.
However, there are also some potential cons, such as the increased risk of bringing mud and debris into the home, tripping on shoes with too much traction, swelling of the feet, and increased risk of fungal infections.
Regarding whether seniors should wear shoes indoors, her research suggests that wearing some form of footwear is beneficial to decrease the risk of falls, but specific criteria need to be met.
If seniors don’t want to wear shoes in their own homes, non-slip socks are available as an alternative.
When selecting shoes for indoor use, seniors and their loved ones should consider the types of surfaces they primarily walk over in their homes and match shoes to their needs and physical capacities.
Shoes should have a certain level of traction for slick floors, fit comfortably, provide arch support, have a wide heel, and have good ankle, heel, and toe support.
Tips for wearing shoes inside include selecting indoor footwear only and keeping outdoor/community-use shoes outside, being mindful of changes in flooring, taking breaks and elevating feet, and removing all throw rugs.
Shoes that are easy to put on are important for seniors who want to remain as independent as long as possible. They can also critically affect a senior’s overall safety.
Falling over while putting on shoes or bending over to tie them is both dangerous and embarrassing. Of course, you’ll want to ensure that the slip-on shoes stay on and aren’t so loose that they fall off.
So, if you (or a senior you love) have trouble putting your shoes on or taking them off, I hope one of these choices will solve that problem for you!