Best Sandals for the Elderly that are Supportive, Comfortable, and Safe!

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The goal for most seniors is to find a comfortable, good looking sandal that is also safe and supportive. Often, the best ones have adjustable velcro straps, soles with good traction, stabilizing mid-soles and heel cups, protect the toes, and are easy to put on. Wearing the right shoes is an important part of an overall foot health plan.

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senior man with sandals sitting on a bench

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.

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, making walking or keeping your balance more difficult.
  • Sandals also generally expose more of the foot, leading to some aesthetic concerns for elderly people who may be a bit embarrassed about how their feet look.

Finding the perfect pair of velcro sandals elderly people will wear, and love may seem difficult, but I’m here to help. As long as you shop smart and know what to look for, you can easily find a safe, versatile, comfortable pair of sandals for aging feet.

Reviews – Sandals for Elderly Ladies

Silvert's Adaptive Clothing & Footwear Women’s Easy Closure Open Toed Sandals for Seniors - Indoor & Outdoor - Natural/Black 9

Women’s Easy Closure Open-Toed Sandals

$52.40
as of 01/27/2023 5:01 pm

Silvert’s Indoor/Outdoor Sandals are a great choice for seniors looking for a great all-around sandal. It works well in all conditions and looks great too.

Every time you wear them, you will instantly notice that these shoes stabilize your foot, offer great support, and are comfortable too.

A few things I really like:

Easy to Take On & Off. The straps are easy to use and quickly adjust. Your feet will be secured and ready to go within a few minutes.

Breathable Fabric. The polyester fabric was a good choice by Silvert’s – and one they made on purpose. The shoe has a seamless fit, and your feet will breathe easily in these sandals.

Comfortable. This shoe offers a near-perfect blend of stability, comfort, and support for elderly feet. It has a history of being reliable and will work well indoors and out.

Potential Negatives:

May Run a Bit Large. You should plan on buying the next size down with this shoe. It is important that senior’s shoes fit very well and aren’t too big.


Propét Women's Pedic Walker Sandal, Teak, 7.5 Wide

Propet Pedic Walker Women’s Tan Sandal

from $74.15

Propet’s Pedic Walker Sandal for Women is a well-built shoe made with care. You will notice this in the finer details of the inside lining or the design of the adjustable straps. It has been around for a while and is highly regarded in the footwear industry. The sandals are easy to wear, comfortable, and offer great protection for the feet. Its features all work together to make this a great sandal for elderly women.

What you are going to like:

Ideal for Diabetics. This sandal is a certified diabetic-friendly shoe and holds the Medicare diabetic shoe code.

Complete Shock Absorption. When constantly pounding your feet against pavement, gravel, and other hard surfaces, shock absorption becomes very important. Propet uses a proprietary mix of materials for the insole so that the entire foot is secured and cushioned simultaneously.

Fully Supportive. The foot is held in place as soon as you tighten the strap. Propet has really studied how the foot lays in a sandal and designed a sandal to support the foot regardless of the shape or pressure points.

A con you should know:

The straps are Too Short. Several users noted that the straps are too short in extra wide sizes. This could affect the security of the foot in the show. Straps like these are really important if swelling is a concern.


Cloudsteppers by Clarks Womens Saylie Spin Strappy Sandals Cushioned Footbed

Clark's Saylie Spin Sandal

from $44.69

Clark’s Saylie Spin Sandal is an extremely well-thought-out design for seniors who value traction and support and want a bit of style.

This is a sandal that looks great, feels great to wear, and meets the needs of the elderly at the same time.

Here’s the good stuff:

Stable. Let’s begin with the overall stability of walking in these sandals and getting from point A to point B. If that is your primary requirement, this has been designed with stability in mind. It’s incredibly secure and isn’t going to have the foot weaving left and right as soon as you start walking.

Comprehensive Shock Absorption. Walking long distances means shock absorption is essential. With the padded bottom and Clark’s patented cushioning, the brand has certainly paid attention to protecting the foot. It does well whether you’re walking, jogging, or even running.

Easy to Wear. These are among the easiest sandals to wear because of the adjustable straps. You can play around with them without breaking a sweat. Plus, the sandals look beautiful and feel great as soon as they are put on for the first time. The easiness of putting them on is a real plus point.

Make sure you know that:

Can Get Warm in the Heat. Sweating is a concern due to the textile material. While this isn’t going to be a deal breaker, it’s a point to keep in mind while investing in a new pair of sandals.


GP Signature SNAP LOCK Sandals for Women: 9179 Grey-22, EU39 (US Size 8-8.5)

Gold Pigeon Shoes GP Signature SNAP Lock Sandals

$55.00
as of 01/27/2023 5:01 pm

The Gold Pigeon Shoes Signature Sandal is a unique sandal that works well in most situations. It is a well-rounded option for many elderly people. They are easy to slide on and easy to wear all day long!

Here are some pros:

Impressive Cushioning. The cushioning makes the foot feel like it isn’t feeling any pressure. This helps pad and protect feet, ankles, and hips. They also have an ergonomic sole to support the foot properly.

Waterproof. Wet feet are an uncomfortable experience, so the material is waterproof. The sole is also slip-resistant, which makes it safer.

Tremendous Traction. Traction is a big plus of this product because of the well-built rubber sole. It withstands lots of use for those looking for a long time investment.

A Potential Con:

Tends to Run a Bit Wide. Consider this when ordering so that you get the right fit. Like I’ve said several times now, the key to safety has a shoe that fits properly.


Rockport Darwyn Quarter Strap

Rockport Darwyn Quarter Strap Sandal

from $51.69

Reviews – Sandals for Elderly Men

Rockport has come up with another well-rounded, comfortable sandal that’s easy to take on and off and wear. You will enjoy its cushioning, style, and high-quality build.

Here’s what I like.

Incredibly Stable. Ankle and foot stability are very important in sandals for seniors. With this model, the adjustable straps hold the ankle and heel in place to reduce the chance of rolling an anchor while walking.

High-Quality Build. The build quality is second to none, with both a rubber outsole and an EVA midsole. Each layer has been designed and created to meet the wearer’s needs. Even the comfort level of the straps was intentionally designed.

Beautiful Leather Finish. The 100% full-grain leather finish is elegant and looks great. The leather even works well with a range of outfits and social events. They fit right in at the mall or the park.

But…

Noisy. Users complain that they squeak on hard floor surfaces at first. It does seem to go away after the break-in period, though.


Nunn Bush Rio Grande Fisherman Closed Toe Sandal

Nunn Bush Rio Grande Fisherman Sandal

from $44.95

Nunn Bush is another industry-leading shoe company, and these sandals are among the best. They are comfortable, provide lots of stability to the foot, and are easy to wear all day long.

Pros

Comfortable. These sandals are easy on the feet with lots of padded cushioning from the memory foam lining and a rubber outsole that meets the curve of your foot.

Stable in All Situations. The adjustable velcro straps improve stability by allowing for a custom fit. The rubber outsole helps, too, because it meets the curve of your foot and supports it.

Easy to Put On. They also slide on and off quickly because of the straps. Plus, you can adjust the fit throughout the day too!

Cons

Straps are Shorter Than Desired. Users complain that the velcro straps are too short for extra wide sizes or extremely swollen feet.


Prop?t mens Kona Fisherman Sandal, Brown, 10.5 X-Wide US

Propet Kona Men’s Sandals

from $69.95

By design, a fisherman-style sandal is made to be comfortable and supportive. Because it has a thick sole, the fisherman sandal keeps your feet comfortable for hours on end. The open design lets air flow to cool your feet without sacrificing support.

Here’s the good stuff:

Comfortable Footbed. The specially padded footbed and lace system allow you to wear this sandal all day long in complete comfort. Even if you stand on your feet all day long.

Cool and Ventilated. The microfiber sock and neoprene lining keep the foot cool and breezy all day. Propet uses a particularly high-quality, durable lining that will last a long time.

Tough and Durable. The design elements of this sandal, like the rubber outsole and 100% leather finish, blend together for a top-quality sandal.

Potential problem:

Sizing. Several users complained that these sandals are too narrow. You might want to go up a width size when ordering.

Finding the right sandal is challenging when you get older. Many look great but don’t offer the support a senior needs.

But the Kona is a complete package.

It’s very comfortable to wear and offers full support and stability. It breaks away from my normal recommendation by including adjustable bungee laces. But they also allow for the best fit and maximum support since they are elastic.

It’s a great sandal for seniors who spend a lot of time on their feet and want to stay comfortable.


Dr. Scholl's Shoes Men's Hayden Fisherman Sandal, Brown, 10 M US

Dr. Scholl’s Hayden Men’s Sandal

The Hayden Fisherman Sandals feel good as soon as you put them on. Dr. Scholl is known for producing high-quality products; this sandal is no exception.

Pros

Gentle on the Feet. Soft and comfortable microsuede lining under your feet, with neoprene lining along the sides, makes this sandal extremely comfortable to wear.

Stable Around the Ankles. The velcro straps keep the ankle securely in place and the foot stable while walking. This makes walking easier, even on rougher surfaces.

Easy on the Eyes. The leather finish is noticeable and visually pleasing. They are an exceptionally sophisticated pair of sandals that works equally well with about any outfit a person can think up.

Cons

Could Offer Better Traction. The traction with this product could be better. It won’t track well outdoors or on wet surfaces. Be careful in those areas.

Buying Guide

Like everyone else, seniors want comfortable, cool, and stylish sandals. But safety and reducing the chance of a fall are important too.

For sandals to be safe for elderly people, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind.

Here is what my research suggests you look for in a safe sandal for seniors. If you have serious foot problems or diabetes, consult with your doctor or podiatrist about your shoe options.

Easy to Put On

It is important that the sandal has easy-on features like velcro, zippers, elastic ties, or slip-on to ease the burden of putting on the shoe. With these styles of fasteners, you can easily stretch open the shoe mouth. This gives you plenty of room to put your foot in the shoe without forcing it.

However, stay away from slide-on sandals like flip-flops or open-heel sandals that don’t have any backing or ankle support. These could be dangerous and lead to falls because they slip off the foot easier than the recommended styles.

You might want to check out these easy-on belts for seniors, also!

Stability and Support

Also, think about how the sandal supports the foot. To reduce the chance of a fall, it is important that the foot is stabilized within the shoe with very little movement.

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. This helps stabilize the foot and keeps it from sliding or rolling around.

These straps serve a few purposes. First, you can pull them tight to get a nice secure fit. Also, you can custom adjust the sandal’s fit if you have swelling or foot pain.

Look at the heel cup too. You want a heel cup that wraps around the bottom of the heel and supports it. Your heel should sink into it slightly. Avoid flat heel areas that allow the heel to move freely.

Good Traction with Anti-Slip Soles

Choose anti-slip soles with good traction on the bottom of the shoe to prevent falls and slips. Look at the tread on the bottom of the shoes.

Deep treads are better for sandals that are used outdoors, on trails, or in the park. Be careful with treads that are too deep, though. Small pebbles might stick in them and cause you to lose your balance or slide.

RELATED GUIDE: Anti-Slip Socks for the Elderly

Conversely, shallow treads are better for indoor use. Choose a rubber tread that will not slide on tile or hardwood floors.

Think about wet surfaces too. You may not think about slippery conditions in the warm summer months, but if you’re near a pool, walking on freshly watered grass, or any other number of scenarios, you’ll want that extra traction.

Adjustable Velcro Straps for a Custom Fit

Hook and loop straps are the best closure option for older folks. As I said above, straps like these allow you to customize the fit of the sandal. You can adjust for extra wide feet or even swelling. If your feet swell later in the day, you can adjust on the fly for comfort and pain relief.

RELATED GUIDE: Best Socks for Elderly People With Swollen Feet

Ideally, there should be three straps: one across the heel, another across the ankle, and the last across the top of the foot. These locations are important to improving the stability of the foot in the shoe to keep the heel in its place and to prevent the foot from moving in the shoe.

Be Careful With the Toes!

Be careful with open-toed sandals, especially if you are diabetic. Avoid open-toed sandals to reduce the chance of an injury to your foot. This is very important for seniors with diabetes, where simple sores can quickly become big problems.

As seen in most flip-flops, there should also be no extra bar or material between the toes. That is a sensitive area of skin that could easily get rubbed and irritated.

Skip the Heel

Finally, avoid sandals with any heels whatsoever. Increased heel height can place harsh pressure on all parts of the foot, especially the heel and toes. This situation is very damaging for seniors particularly.

Heels also cause more pressure on the ankle because they support the body. It is better that the senior’s foot remains flat for better support and control of their steps.

Pros of Sandals

For the sake of clarity, let’s provide some basic definitions first. In this article, we’ll be discussing sandals and not “flip flops.”

Flip flops are shoes with no security attachments for the heels, whereas sandals often come with some form of strap or attachment for the heel or ankle.

And seniors should never wear flip-flops!

Here are a few pros to having seniors wearing sandals:

  • No need for socks, meaning less time bent over and fidgeting to get material over your foot.
  • Just slip the sandal on with no need to tie any laces.
  • These days, sandals come in many styles, colors, and patterns.
  • Many sandals are waterproof and can be worn in the bathroom.
should seniors wear sandals cons
When wearing sandals, the toes and heels are less protected.

Cons/Dangers of Sandals

Now that we’ve looked at some of the pluses of wearing sandals let’s closely examine some of the downsides:

  • Sandals are not as secured as well to the feet as other shoes, which can cause tripping, loss of balance, or falls.
  • Some sandals come with annoying straps with tiny buckles that are hard to manage.
  • Lack of cushion or socks leaves the skin prone to rashes, blisters, or other damage.
  • You’re more likely to get sticks or pebbles caught in your shoes during outdoor use.
  • Toes and heels aren’t as well protected, which is terrible for seniors with decreased sensation and those prone to foot ulcers.

So, Should Seniors/Elderly People Wear Sandals? 

A certain group of seniors or elderly folks can easily get away with wearing sandals and face minimal safety risks if they wear the right sandals.

However, this group should still be extremely selective about what features must be included in their sandals.

These features may include the following:

  • A sandal with a malleable arch and foot support. Arch support that’s too rigid will lock the foot into place and cause joint pain elsewhere, including the back, legs, and hips. Arch support that is completely absent makes the feet susceptible to awful pain throughout the day. Find a sandal with an orthopedic foot insole. 
  • A sandal with both toe and heel support. A sandal without heel support is just a flip-flop and extremely dangerous for a senior or older person to wear. Get a sandal that secures the shoe entirely to the bottom of your foot. 
  • A sandal with excellent traction. Get a sandal you can rely on when crossing slick or slippery surfaces.
  • A sandal with a custom fit. Find a sandal that fits your particular foot structure, width, and length.
  • A sandal with manageable straps. A sandal with tiny buttons or buckles can be such a hassle for seniors, especially those with limited fine motor coordination or dexterity. Make sure your sandals have wider straps with secure velcro or elastics that won’t wear out. 

If you’re one of those folks that have to wear your socks with sandals, then make sure that is considered in your sandal measurements. 

So Should Elderly People Wear Flip-Flops?

No, no, no, and ABSOLUTELY NOT! In fact, seniors are better off walking around barefoot than wearing flip-flops. At least there’s nothing on their feet to trip over.

If you want your feet to feel free and not be trapped in orthopedic or smothering sneakers, go with custom-fit sandals. If you can safely wear sandals, make sure those sandals include the following features:

  • A sandal with a malleable arch and foot support. Arch support that’s too rigid will lock the foot into place and cause joint pain elsewhere, including the back, legs, and hips. Arch support that is completely absent makes the feet susceptible to foot pain throughout the day. Find a sandal with an orthopedic foot insole. 
  • A sandal with both toe and heel support. Get a sandal that secures the shoe entirely to the bottom of your foot. 
  • A sandal with excellent traction. Get a sandal you can rely on when crossing slick or slippery surfaces.
  • A sandal with a custom fit. Find a sandal that fits your particular foot structure, width, and length.
  • A sandal with manageable straps. A sandal with tiny buttons or buckles can be such a hassle for seniors, especially those with limited fine motor coordination or dexterity. 

Summary and Final Recommendations

Most seniors aim to find a comfortable, good-looking sandal that is also safe and supportive. Often, the best ones have adjustable velcro straps, soles with good traction, stabilizing mid-soles and heel cups, protect the toes, and are easy to put on. Wearing the right shoes is an important part of an overall foot health plan.

Think about your individual needs, and then consider the sandal options I’ve given you above. Do you need ankle support? Is it more important to get your shoes on and off quickly? Do you have heel or arch pain that needs addressing?

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.

Don’t forget to consult a doctor or podiatrist before buying any shoe, especially sandals, if you have serious foot problems.

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.

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Senior Home Safety Specialist (SHSS)®
Assistive Technology Professional

Scott Grant has spent more than 20 years serving seniors and the elderly in the home medical equipment industry. He has worked as a manufacturer's rep for the top medical equipment companies and a custom wheelchair specialist at a durable medical equipment (DME) provider in WV. He is father to 4 beautiful daughters and has three terrific grandkids. When not promoting better living for older adults, he enjoys outdoor activities including hiking and kayaking and early morning runs.

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1 thought on “Best Sandals for the Elderly that are Supportive, Comfortable, and Safe!”

  1. i need sandals for the elderly that go thru the big toe and next one, and it must have a strap, hopefully velcro on the back. I have the hammer toes and they will push my sandal off. thank you

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