Sandals for the Elderly that are Cool, Comfortable, and Safe!
Everyone wants a nice, cool pair of sandals in the warm summer months, right? Don’t let orthotic insoles or worries about balance keep you from getting a nice pair of stylish shoes this summer. As long as you shop smart, you can easily find a safe, versatile, comfortable pair of sandals for elderly feet. But don’t worry! Sticking to my simple buying guide will remedy all of those issues. Finding the perfect pair of open-toed sandals for the elderly can be difficult, but I’m here to help.
Seniors tend to stay away from open-toed shoes like sandals for many reasons. Generally, they’re more dangerous than regular shoes because exposed toes and feet could lead to injury. They also tend to have less support than sneakers or boots, which can make it more difficult to walk or keep your balance. Sandals also just generally expose more of the foot, and that can lead to some aesthetic concerns for elderly people who may be a bit embarrassed about how their feet look.
In a hurry? Click here to jump right to my recommended sandals for seniors. Or, keep on reading the rest of this guide to learn everything you need to know to pick out the best sandals for your situation.
- Buying Guide: Sandals for the Elderly
- My Recommendations
- Comparison Chart: Best Sandals for the Elderly
- Drew Shoe Women’s Dora Comfort Sandal
- Clarks Women’s Brizo Sammie Flat Sandal
- Silvert’s Womens Comfortable Indoor/Outdoor Sandals with Adjustable Fastener Straps
- Rockport Men’s Get Your Kicks Double Velcro Flat Sandal
- Nunn Bush Men’s Rio Grande Three Strap River Sandal
- Summary and Final Recommendations
Buying Guide: Sandals for the Elderly
In order for sandals to be safe for elderly people to wear, there are a few key features to look for. Seniors want sandals that are comfortable, cool and stylish. But, other features are necessary to consider to reduce the chance of a fall and keep our senior loved ones safe. Here is what I suggest you look for in a safe sandal for seniors.
Sandals that are Easy to Put On
It is important that the sandal has easy on features like velcro, zippers, or slip on to ease the burden of putting on the shoe. However, you’ll also want to stay away from slide-on sandals like flip flops that don’t have any backing or ankle support. These could be dangerous and lead to falls.
Sandals the Offer Support
Also, think about how the sandal supports the foot. You want secure support all around, with at least 2 to 3 straps around the toe area, top of the foot, and back of the foot to ensure that the sandal will stay on all day long. You do not want a sandal that can slip off easily.
Sandals with Anti-Slip Soles
Choose anti-slip soles with good traction on the bottom of the shoe to prevent falls and slips. You may not think about slippery conditions in the warm summer months, but if you’re near a pool, or walking on freshly watered grass, or any other number of scenarios, you’ll want that extra traction.
Sandals with Adjustable Velcro Closures
Look for sandals that have adjustable sizing, particularly in terms of the straps. This is usually done with velcro straps that allow the fit of the sandal to be customized somewhat. Each strap should be easily adjustable to account for swelling feet or ankles to add comfort and security to your shoes.
Sandals with a Fully Open Toe
Your sandals should be completely open toe, meaning there shouldn’t be any extra bar or material in between the toes like you see in most flip flops. That is a sensitive area of skin that could easily get rubbed and irritated. This is very important for seniors with diabetes where simple sores can quickly become big problems.
Sandals with No Heel
Avoid sandals with any heel whatsoever. Heels can place harsh pressure on all parts of the foot, which can be very damaging for a senior. Heels also cause more pressure on the ankle to support the body. It is better that the senior’s foot remains flat for better support and control of their steps.
Ok, now that you know what to look for in a sandal for the elderly, let’s take a look at some of the best options.
I looked at tons of sandals to write this guide for you. There are very few of them I would recommend for various reasons. But, the sandals below generally meet the above guidelines.
Comparison Chart: Best Sandals for the Elderly
Images & Ratings from Amazon Product Advertising API - Updated on 2018-03-16 at 06:45 - contains affiliate links (see footer).
Drew Shoe Women’s Dora Comfort Sandal
For ladies, check out Drew Shoe’s Dora Sandal. These incredibly comfortable open toed shoes have a removable cork footbed with memory foam, allowing them to contour to your unique foot shape while providing lightweight support and cooling. The insole is removable, so it can also easily accommodate any orthotic insole you may need.
They also have 3 adjustable velcro straps in the best areas to give you support and control over how much give you need in the shoe. The bottom of the shoe also has shock absorbing properties to keep you comfortable and light as a feather. The shoe comes in 10 colors and is made out of suede.
The drawback with these is the high price point, as well as a metal piece at the back of the ankle strap which could cause irritation. The piece is mostly covered by soft material though, so you should be okay.Check out these sandals here on Amazon.
Clarks Women’s Brizo Sammie Flat Sandal
A more affordable alternative to the Drew Shoe is the Clarks flat sandal. These quality sandals come in 7 colors and are made out of microfiber, which is a very breathable and cool material for warm weather. It is also super soft and non-irritating on sensitive senior skin. They have a rubber sole for stability and grip, and 3 adjustable velcro straps at the toe, mid-foot, and ankle.
While these are a great option for a simple, safe, and secure pair of sandals for senior women, they could use a little more grip in the sole, and more room for insoles as compared to others on the list.Find these Clarks sandals here on Amazon.
Silvert’s Womens Comfortable Indoor/Outdoor Sandals with Adjustable Fastener Straps
For a more practical option with a slipper-like design, check out Silvert’s indoor/outdoor sandals. These are comfortable sandals, cushioned inside with insoles and slight arch support. However, there is plenty of room to insert any specialized insoles you may need, and also to account for swelling feet. Adjustable velcro straps open up the shoe entirely, unlike any other on our list so far, allowing for the easiest access of all.
They also have a very slight wedge heel to add some support to the shoe, but the bottom of the heel is very skid resistant. These sandals come in 2 colors, black and beige, and while they’re not water or stain resistant, they are washable, which is a great feature. If anything happens to them, all you need to do is throw them in the washer!Check out these sandals here on Amazon.
Rockport Men’s Get Your Kicks Double Velcro Flat Sandal
For men’s sandals, Rockport is a well-known brand for quality and performance footwear, and these velcro flat sandals are perfect for more elderly feet. They’re made out of either black or brown leather, which is a great material for older men, as the leather will contour to your foot’s unique shape over time. The outsole of this shoe provides shock absorption technology to keep your feet feeling light and comfortable, and the cushioned inside contours to your foot to keep you cool and comfortable all day. With adjustable velcro straps, this is a stylish and practical option for senior men looking for sandals.
The only negative aspect of this shoe is the sizing options. There have been some complaints from buyers that the sizing chart is a little off, so round up in size to be safe.Find pricing options for these sandals here on Amazon.
Nunn Bush Men’s Rio Grande Three Strap River Sandal
One more men’s option is the river sandal from Nunn Bush. The main appeal of this sandal, aside from its velcro adjustable straps and secure grip outsole, is its memory foam footbed. The cushioning inside this shoe will remember the contours of your foot to keep you comfortable.
This sandal also features mesh lining, which allows for airflow and keeps your feet cool and comfortable. It’s also a very soft fabric that won’t irritate any sensitive skin in that area. The footbed also features something they call “smartscent” technology, dispelling odors and keeping feet fresh.Check out prices for these men’s sandals here on Amazon.
Summary and Final Recommendations
Consult a doctor or podiatrist before buying any shoe, especially sandals, if you have serious foot problems. But consider these options, and remember to be careful with any open-toed shoe as a senior citizen, as this exposure can lead to injuries. And, some seniors need more ankle support than a sandal can offer (learn more about these options here). Enjoy the warm weather with the security and comfort of a sneaker, and the cool breeze of a simple flip-flop, with a sandal designed with the elderly in mind.
If you are looking for more senior shoe advice, check out my guide to buying guide on shoes to prevent falls in this article. I also have a separate guide for safe slippers that you can read by clicking here.
So, what advice do you have for buying sandals for the elderly? Do you know of any other models that work well? Please share your opinions in the comments below. Also, I’d appreciate a social share if you found this article helpful.
Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®
About This Site
Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS Founder / Editor
My name is Scott Grant and I work daily with seniors as a custom wheelchair specialist at a home medical equipment company. I see these people struggle as they lose their independence. I watch their families try to help them but most don't even know where to start. Few are even aware of their options. I'm here to help!
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