Shoes for Elderly With Swollen Feet: A Buying Guide and Recommendations
Swollen feet are a very common issue among elderly people. They can cause a lot of discomfort and difficulty when performing everyday tasks. Luckily, there are many solutions out there for seniors with swollen feet, including specially made extra-wide shoes that accommodate the size of swollen feet and relieve some of the pain that comes with this condition.
Extra wide shoes for seniors come in all kinds of styles, from sandals to boots to slippers. Read on to find out what to look for in extra wide shoes, as well as some of the best shoes for swollen feet on the online market right now.
In a hurry? Click here to jump right to my recommendations. Or, keep on reading this guide for helpful advice on buying your own shoes.
- What Causes Swollen Feet?
- Buying Guide: Shoes for Swollen Feet
- Recommended Shoes for Swollen Feet
- Summary and Final Recommendations
What Causes Swollen Feet?
Swollen feet, referred to in the medical community as “edema,” is caused by a variety of conditions. Edema could come from a lack of proper blood circulation, problems with the lymph nodes, or more serious conditions like heart failure or liver disease. It is also a common side effect of many medications.
Edema happens when small blood vessels leak fluid into nearby tissues. When that happens and extra fluid builds up, the tissues swell and result in a bloated area with shiny, stretched skin.
This condition makes the feet, ankles, and legs feel very heavy or even numb. And it can make even simple tasks like walking or standing extremely difficult. It can increase the weight of these areas by up to 5 to 10 pounds. Imagine walking around with 5-pound weights on each of your feet – not so easy! It’s even more difficult when regular sized shoes squeeze the feet, causing even more pain and discomfort.
Usually, swelling can be controlled or cured by diuretics (water pills), or by reducing salt intake in your diet. However, when it’s attached to a more serious condition like heart or liver failure, treatment of that underlying condition is usually the best way to reduce the swelling.
In the meantime, while you’re figuring out how to treat your personal case, there are plenty of shoes made for seniors with edema that can relieve some of the discomfort that comes with this condition.
Buying Guide: Shoes for Swollen Feet
So, what should you look for in an extra-wide shoe? Here are some of the options you will find out there along with my recommendations.
Shoes with Wide Sizing
Of course, make sure your sizing options are correct. Check each individual retailer’s sizing charts, because there can be discrepancies between different companies. Make sure they have wide sizing for swollen feet, or even go up a full or half size from your normal size to ensure that you’ll have enough room.
Shoes that are Easy to Put On
Your shoes should also be easy to put on. Many of them come with velcro adjustable straps, and some even open up completely or slide on, making it easy to insert your feet and go! Look for large openings at the mouth of the shoe as well to ensure that your swollen feet will fit inside.
Shoes with Velcro Straps
Versatility is key when it comes to shoes for seniors with edema. Some days are better than others. If you expect the swelling to fluctuate, adjustable velcro closures can account for that change in size while keeping you comfortable.
Shoes with Roomy Toes
Look for extra toe space at the top of the shoe (called the “toe box”). This added room provides extra stability and comfort as well as relieving pressure on swelling toes that can cause a lot of pain.
Forget the Heel!
You don’t want any heel whatsoever. Make sure that the shoe is flat so that there is no extra pressure on any part of the feet.
Shoes with Non-Slip Soles
Having a good grip on the bottom of the shoe will prevent slips and falls, and can help increase balance and stability when walking. Look for a sole that is flexible enough to keep from squeezing the foot but firm enough to provide support.
Shoes that are Easy to Care For
Your shoes should be water and/or stain proof, and if they are made out of cloth, you should be able to throw them in the washer. Low maintenance shoes are the way to go when it comes to senior footwear care.
Recommended Shoes for Swollen Feet
Based on the recommended features in the buying guide above, here are my favorite shoes for seniors with swollen feet.
Comparison Chart: Quick Recommendations
Images, Product Info, and Ratings from Amazon Product Advertising API - Last update on 2018-01-15 at 15:24 - contains affiliate links (see footer).
Orthofeet Glacier Gorge Comfort Orthopedic Orthotic Diabetic Mens Boots
For full coverage without the restriction, check out these comfortable orthopedic boots from Orthofeet. These shoes are perfect for seniors with edema because they have enough room to accommodate any specified orthotic insole you may need, and are also perfect for diabetic feet with a cushioned bottom. They have a low shock design and good grip on the outsoles so that you can walk with ease and comfort. They also have a bunch of wiggle room in the toe area and tend to run wide, so they’re a great pick for swollen feet.
Grasshoppers Women’s Stretch Plus Hook-and-Loop Sneaker
For regular walking shoes, these are made for senior women who are active, but still need some extra room for potential swelling. These sneakers feature a velcro adjustable closure, and open wide at the mouth for easy insertion. They also have a memory foam interior, meaning lots of comfort and room for adjustment inside the shoe. For a sleek and stylish option that will accommodate edema but keep you active, these are a great option.Find these sneakers on Amazon right here.
Women’s Indoor/Outdoor Velcro Sandals with Adjustable Fastener Straps
If you want a cooler option for warmer spring/summer months, but still need extra space for swollen feet, these sandals are a good pick. They have two adjustable velcro straps to adjust the sandal to your ideal size, providing that versatility needed for edema, and an open toe for coolness and extra space in that area to address any issues in the toes. Best of all, these sandals are totally washable as well.
Check out pricing options for these sandals on Amazon or look at more options in my sandal buying guide.
Wide Memory Foam Edema Slippers with Slip-On Tabs
Looking for cozy slippers to wear around the house, but not sure if a typical slipper can accommodate your swollen feet? These unisex slippers are a great option for edema-ridden feet, because they have a form-fitting design with 3 large adjustable velcro tabs for total adjustment and comfort. Inside, cushioned memory foam forms to tired feet, and a rubber bottom keeps seniors stable when walking around the house – a feature most slippers usually overlook. The shoes are also anti-microbial and machine washable, so they’re very easy to maintain.
Summary and Final Recommendations
As always, make sure to consult a podiatrist if you have serious foot issues that need to be addressed. These shoes are all made for seniors with swollen feet, but be sure that you’re unique medical needs are being met as well.
The key to comfortable shoes for swollen feet is to have lots of adjustment in them so that you can customize the fit based on how bad the swelling is. Another key thing to look for is lots of “wiggle” room on the inside.
So, what shoes have you worn when your feet are swollen and painful? Do you have a go-to shoe that you recommend? Please feel free to share your opinion in the comments below. Oh! and please share this post with your friends on social media if you found it helpful!
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 WANT TO CHANGE THAT!
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