As we age, our feet go through a multitude of changes that can cause discomfort and pain if not properly addressed. Women over the age of 65, in particular, tend to have more foot problems due to the deterioration of fat pads on the bottom of their feet. However, many of these issues can be alleviated by wearing shoes that are well-constructed and provide cushioning.
Properly fitting shoes are a crucial component in preventing foot problems for older women. Shoes should have a soft, flexible upper that conforms to the shape of their feet, and be made of leather that breathes to reduce skin irritation. Additionally, lightweight soles with enough flexibility and shock-absorbing quality provide solid footing and reduce the risk of slipping. When it comes to heel height, low-heeled shoes provide greater stability, protection, and comfort.
It’s important for older women to keep their feet warm in cold weather, as they may have circulatory problems that put them at risk for frostbite or chilblains. Regular movement and walking throughout the day also help keep circulation healthy and prevent stiffness.
When it comes to women’s shoes in general, the best option is a walking shoe with laces, a composition sole, and a wider heel with a rigid and padded heel counter that’s no more than three-quarters of an inch in height. Unfortunately, many women wear shoes that are too small for their feet or cause unnecessary foot problems, with high-heels being a major culprit.
High-heeled shoes are defined as pumps with heels over two inches, and they can cause a host of orthopedic problems that lead to discomfort or injury. These include discomfort, bunions, hammertoes, and various foot deformities. Even worse, high-heels also place uneven pressure on the forefoot and ball of the foot, forcing them into an unnatural triangular shape.
To prevent foot problems from high-heels, women should limit how long they wear them and alternate them with comfortable, supportive flats or sneakers. Walking pumps that combine fashion appeal with athletic shoe-derived construction, reinforced heels, and wider toe room are also a great choice for work and social activities. It’s best to avoid pointed-toe shoes, narrow toe boxes, and high heels that put excessive pressure on the ball of the foot.
In conclusion, it’s important to take care of your feet by wearing properly fitting shoes that offer cushioning and support. Older women, in particular, may benefit from low-heeled shoes with flexible, shock-absorbing soles, ample toe boxes, and leather uppers that breathe. If you’re experiencing any foot problems, it’s best to see Dr. Gilbert Huang DPM for expert advice and treatment. Remember, a little preventative care can go a long way in keeping your feet happy and healthy.