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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

12 Tips for finding properly fitting shoes

Oct 31, 2022 11:14AM ● By Fred Cicetti

It may seem pretty straightforward, but the foot is actually a complicated machine, containing 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 tendons, muscles and ligaments. 

After decades of putting these parts to work, it’s not unusual for your feet to go through some changes. They can actually become flatter and larger as you get older since tendons and ligaments lose their elasticity. This can contribute to bunions.

The force of your weight can also thin the fat pads cushioning the bottom of the feet, which can lengthen your feet and cause corns and calluses. Thinner pads also lead to soreness.

Older adults don’t always notice that their feet have gotten bigger. A study at a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospital found that three quarters of senior patients were wearing shoes that were too small for them

Wearing properly fitted shoes are important to the health of your feet. Here are some important things to consider when buying your next pair of shoes:

• The uppers on shoes should be made of a soft material that can match the shape of your foot. 

• Leather shoes reduce the possibility of skin irritations. 

• If you buy new shoes with leather soles, rough up the surfaces before walking, especially on carpet.

• Consider thick soles to cushion your feet if you have to walk on hard pavement or are visiting places with cobblestone streets.

• Opt for low heels. They are safer and more comfortable.

• The best time to measure your feet is at the end of the day when your feet are largest.

• Most of us have one foot that is larger than the other, so fit your shoe to your larger foot.

• Don’t select shoes by the size marked inside the shoe but by how the shoe fits your foot.

• When fitting shoes, make sure there is about a half-inch extra space for your longest toe when you are standing.

• Make sure the ball of your foot fits comfortably in the widest part of the shoe.

• Your heel should fit comfortably in the shoe with a minimum amount of slipping. The shoes should not ride up and down on your heel when you walk.

• Walk in the shoes to make sure they fit and feel right. Then take them home and spend some time walking on carpet to make sure the fit is a good one. 

Read more Healthy Geezer articles here.

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