We all know the importance of exercise, but an exercise routine can seem daunting if you’re plagued by joint stress or heel pain. Although these can be frustrating and difficult to deal with, did you know that something as simple as wearing the proper footgear can help improve those symptoms?
Luckily, there are in fact some of the best walking shoes for seniors out there – you just need to know what to look for!
Walking is considered to be one of the best exercises for seniors. Why? Walking lowers your blood pressure and your risk of heart disease and diabetes. It even helps strengthen your bones and improve your balance. While walking certainly isn’t the only exercise that provides these benefits, walking is especially beneficial for seniors as you have a very low-risk of injuring yourself when compared to more complex activities. It’s also a great way to enjoy the outdoors and socialize!
Finding the Right Shoe
So what are the risks involved if you get the wrong shoe? If you get thin-soled shoes that don’t offer enough support, this will cause you heel pain since we lost the fat pad protection on the bottom of our feet as we age. If your heel gets irritated or inflamed, see a podiatrist right away because if left untreated, this can lead to a heel spur.
- Skip the bargains. Familiar with the phrase, “you get what you pay for”? This is especially true for walking shoes. Dr. Cary Zinkin from the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) recommends spending about $75 to get a supportive walking shoe.
- When in doubt, get a running shoe. Even if you just use them for walking, running shoes provide the best support over any other kind of shoe – hands down. This extra support for your feet and joints also helps prevent injuries.
- Know the top feature to look for: motion control. Shoes with motion control (also called stability shoes) support your arches, provide cushioning and accommodate your heel’s movements. It may also help if you purchase extra-soft inserts for your shoes. Spenco is an example of a brand approved by the APMA.
- Know what not to do: walking in backless shoes. Backless shoes, such as Crocs, may be comfortable, but walking for too long in backless shoes will only result in heel pain.
- Go to a specialty running store. These kinds of stores will have salespeople readily available to help you determine which shoe is right for you. Unsure about which stores to go to? Runner’s Edge, Sports Authority, Runner’s Depot, Fleet Feet or other similar stores will guarantee you a shoe that fits properly and supports you.
- Always get measured. You may think that you no longer need to have your feet measured before purchasing shoes, but each brand is different. To get the perfect fit, measure your feet first before purchasing.
- Buy shoes at night. When it comes to buying any kind of shoe, the time of day does in fact matter! Since our ankles and feet swell throughout the day, buy your shoes at night so you can get the perfect size.
Just follow these tips and you’re sure to find the best walking shoes for you!