Should Seniors Wear Socks with Slip-On Shoes?

Seniors can wear slip-on shoes with or without socks, depending on their comfort level and preference. And in this article, we will discuss in detail if seniors should wear socks with slip-on shoes or if they shouldn't.

Registered Licensed Occupational Therapist
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Slip-on shoes generally refer to any laceless shoes with a low-level heel that can be slid on without much assistance from the hands. Some examples are loafers, moccasins, or some forms of night-time slippers.

Seniors may wear slip-on shoes barefoot or combined with socks, depending on what they are comfortable with. Socks can be worn safely with slip-on shoes, especially among elderly individuals who choose to do so as part of their daily routine.

This article will discuss the pros and cons of seniors wearing socks with slip-on shoes, if seniors should be wearing socks with slip-on shoes, and what types of socks work best for slip-on shoes.

Should Seniors Wear Socks with Slip On Shoes
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Pros of Wearing Socks with Slip-On Shoes

Socks provide an extra layer of comfort to your feet, especially as you get older and lose that natural fat padding.

Here are a few upsides to combining your favorite pair of socks with slip-on shoes:

  • Gives your feet a little extra warmth during the colder months of the year.
  • Adds an extra layer of protection against blisters or other wounds caused by the shoes or prolonged walking.
  • Socks may help with sliding in the shoe since bare feet tend to stick to the in-soles. 
seniors wear socks with slip-on shoes cons
Socks should not be paired with loose-fitting slip-on shoes.

Cons of Wearing Socks with Slip-On Shoes

Now that we’ve considered the positives about wearing socks with slip-on shoes, let’s discuss some potential downsides:

  • Socks could make the feet too warm, contributing to sweat and lack of ventilation. Lack of ventilation makes the feet more susceptible to fungal infections, especially if the shoes are worn for long periods of time.
  • Socks are just another thing to put on and another thing to take off. 
  • If the socks are combined with loose-fitting slip-on shoes, this could increase slips, slides, and eventual falls.

Should Seniors or Elderly People Wear Socks with Slip-On Shoes?

In most cases, there is nothing inherently wrong with seniors wearing socks with their slip-on shoes.

Socks are totally appropriate and safe if:

  • The sock doesn’t compromise the overall balance of the senior while wearing the shoes.
  • The sock still offers proper ventilation to the skin.
  • The sock doesn’t impede the senior’s ability to slide the shoe off and on the foot easily.

What Types of Socks Are Best for Slip-On Shoes?

The most popular socks for slip-on shoes are “no-show socks,” which come just to the ankle so that the material doesn’t show above the top of the shoe.

No-show socks were created for aesthetic purposes, so you don’t feel obligated to wear tacky long, long socks with slip-on shoes in public settings.

However, some no-show socks tend to slip down into the shoe, which can cause skin irritation and blisters.

seniors wear socks with slip-on shoes types
Seniors should go for socks that are the most comfortable for them to wear and wouldn’t hinder their mobility.

Seniors should feel comfortable selecting whatever sock feels comfortable to them and does not impede their safety or mobility.

We suggest socks that are:

  • Breathable
  • Slick enough to slide in and out of the shoe
  • Thick enough to provide warmth and prevent the shoe from sliding off the foot

Note, don’t wear slick socks around the house without the shoes, especially on hardwood floors or other slippery surfaces.

If you wear slick socks with your slip-on shoes, put everything on while sitting before getting up and walking around. 

We don’t recommend combining socks with slip-on shoes with zero heel support (sandals). This may contribute to the shoe sliding off and tripping the wearer, increasing their fall risk. 

Summary and Final Recommendations

Socks can be worn safely with slip-on shoes, especially among elderly individuals who choose to do so as part of their daily routine.

Socks can prevent blisters and aid in sliding the shoe off and on during dressing to make the process less of a hassle.

However, seniors should take extra care in selecting socks that provide appropriate ventilation and comfort and no changes to their overall balance.

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Meredith Chandler, OTR/L

Registered/Licensed Occupational Therapist

Meredith has worked as an occupational therapist for 9 years and as a content writer for 6 years. She primarily works with the geriatric population, focusing on their rehabilitative needs and instructing caregivers and family members for home care. Her specialties include ADL training, neurological re-education, functional mobility training, adaptive equipment education, and wheelchair assessment and mobility training. She is a painter, a musician, and a mother of 4 who loves spending time with her family,

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