7 Useful Tips On How To Keep Slip On Shoes From Slipping Off

By: Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

Many seniors use slip-on shoes because of difficulty tying shoelaces. But, how do you make sure their shoes stay on securely? Here are some effective ways to keep slip on shoes from falling off.

Income Disclosure: I recommend products based on my personal experience working with seniors. I may earn a commission on items purchased from links in this guide. Learn More.

Slip-on shoes are one of the most common shoe options for seniors. In fact, for seniors who would otherwise struggle with tying shoe laces, slip on shoes are the best option. Putting on and removing slip on shoes is both easy and convenient.

However, finding the perfect shoe fit for your elderly loved one can be somewhat of a challenge given the physical changes to their feet that normally accompany old age. As we age, our feet become wider and longer, develop less flexible and flatter arches and lose the natural padding around the ball and heel.

All these factors can lead to a situation where slip-on shoes keep falling off the wearer’s feet. To make things worse, shoes that keep falling off are considered to be a trip hazard, exposing seniors to a higher risk of falls!

To live an active and safe life, seniors need to have the right pair of shoes. The right pair should fit their feet snugly while still being comfortable. If your elderly loved one’s slip on shoes have been falling off, you can use any of the following tips to solve this dangerous and frustrating problem.

Effective Ways To Keep Slip-on Shoes From Falling Off

1. Buy The Right Fit

Perhaps the best way to keep slip-on shoes from falling off is to focus on buying the right size from the start. Buying a pair of shoes that perfectly matches the size of your elderly loved one’s feet ensures a comfortable and snug fit at all times.

To buy the right shoes, it is recommended that you make your purchases at physical stores, where it is possible for seniors to try on the shoes before purchase. If you would rather buy shoes online, be sure to buy from a seller with a favorable return policy, in case they turn out to be a poor fit and you need to make a return.

However, if a previously snug pair of shoes start falling off, due to the age related changes to the feet discussed in the introduction above, you can use one or a combination of the following solutions to deal with the problem, effectively and inexpensively.

happy senior woman wearing easy to put on socks
Your choice of sock can affect how well your shoes stay on your feet. Look for thicker non-slip varieties.
Take a look at Zeba Shoes which have a patented fastening system that lets you slip them right on while also making sure they stay on your feet. No bending over and no tying required!

2. Non-Slip Socks

One of the best ways to keep slip on shoes from falling off is to wear them with non-slip socks. If your feet keep slipping within your shoes, especially when they start sweating, they may start slipping off at the heel, increasing your risk of falling.

This problem can be solved with the help of a pair of anti-slip pair of socks. In addition to keeping your feet from slipping around within the shoes, these socks can also absorb moisture; thus keeping your feet dry and comfortable throughout.

3. Orthotics

A variety of conditions, including diabetes and arthritis, can cause changes in the physical structure of an elderly person’s feet. Some of these changes can, such as low arches and changes to walking style, can be the main reason why their slip on shoes keep falling off.

If this is the case, you can use orthotics to correct the problem. Orthotics for shoes are described as custom prescription medical devices designed to be inserted into shoes in order to correct various problems, including those mentioned above. In addition to helping your elderly loved one keep their shoes firmly on their feet, orthotics can even save them from undergoing surgery to fix flat feet!

It is worth noting that seniors must visit a qualified podiatrist so as to get a valid prescription for orthotics.

Since they are designed to fit the wearer’s feet, orthotic devices are by far one of the best ways to keep slip on shoes from falling off.

4. Shoe Inserts

Any orthotic devices sold over the counter are actually referred to as shoe inserts. Shoe inserts come in many shapes and forms, including tongue pads, insoles and toe pads among others. Made using foam, gel or plastics, these devices are designed to ensure a better and firmer shoe fit.

While these over the counter products may not be as effective as their prescription counterparts, they help support the heel, arch and toes of the wearer’s feet. It is worth mentioning that shoes inserts are only designed to provide a comfortable and firmer shoe fit; and should not be used to correct any foot problems.

senior man with shuffling gait for shopping for shoes

5. Heel Grips

Heel grips are specifically designed to keep feet from slipping out shoes. These crescent shaped gel or foam grips (depending on the brand you choose) easily stick to the back of your shoes. Once in place, the grips reduce the amount of space left between the back of the shoe and your heel. Heel grips also provide extra cushioning; thus ensuring a more comfortable fit.

However, you might need to stock up on a few extra pairs of heel grips as they normally lose their stickiness and structure after a few hours of use. Fortunately though, heel grips are inexpensive and widely available.

All in all, heel grips are a great way to keep slip-on shoes from falling off, albeit for short intervals of time.

6. Shoe Fillers

Buying shoes with a spacious toe box is recommended for seniors, as their feet widen as the years go by. However, this might create a problem where feet keep sliding forward causing shoes to fall off. You can use shoe fillers to solve this problem.

Simply put, shoe fillers are designed to be used in stuffing shoes. The main idea is to fill the front of the shoe and reduce the amount of space available.

While shoe fillers can be an effective and inexpensive solution in keeping shoes from falling off, they tend to move around and may even rub against the wearer’s toes, leading to irritation or discomfort.

7. Talcum Powder

If you have extremely sweaty feet, it is likely that excess sweating is causing them to fall off. One of the ways you can deal with this problem is to sprinkle some talcum powder on your feet before wearing the shoes in question.

The powder will absorb excess sweat, keeping your feet dry, and giving them some much needed grip. The added grip helps prevent slippage of feet in the shoe, thus reducing the likelihood of them falling off.

As an added bonus, sprinkling talcum powder on sweaty feet also helps counter any bad smell caused by the sweat.

Conclusion

As a senior, if your slip-on shoes keep falling off, they are exposing you to a higher risk of falling. To resolve this issue and continue being active without endangering your safety, be sure to try out any of the above described solutions.

However, even though all of the above suggestions will go a long way towards keeping slip-on shoes from falling off, the best solution might be to ditch the problematic pair for a better fitting one. This way, you won’t need to use any temporary fixes, regardless of whether they are inexpensive or not.

When choosing a different style of shoes for your elderly loved one, be sure to focus on the fastening mechanism. Shoes that come with a laced or hook and loop (aka velcro) fastening system might turn out to be a better fit for anyone struggling to keep slip on shoes on their feet.

Research Sources:

  1. “Optimizing footwear for older people at risk of falls”: https://www.rehab.research.va.gov/jour/08/45/8/menant.html
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/injury/features/older-adult-falls/index.html
  3. “Evaluating Problems With Footwear in the Geriatric Population”: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4647201/
  4. “Footwear and Falls in the Home Among Older Individuals in the MOBILIZE Boston Study”:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3250347/
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2 thoughts on “7 Useful Tips On How To Keep Slip On Shoes From Slipping Off”

  1. I need arch-fit sandals for arthritis in my feet if this makes sense. I was told I must wear shoes all the time even inside. This is difficult because we don’t usually wear shoes inside in Florida. Shoes are hot and uncomfortable. But if I’m walking inside on my wood floors I must wear shoes.

    Please help me.

    • Hey Dawn – thanks for reaching out about the need for sandals that provide arch support for arthritis. Take at look at these Sandals from Orthofeet. Many of their sandals have adjustable arches, padded heel straps, and a cushioning sole. Hope this helps -Scott

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