Resources: Tips for Healthy Aging at Hebrew SeniorLife

How to Wear Shoes that Fit

Poorly fitting shoes can cause a number of foot problems for diabetics and non-diabetics alike. They can cause bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes and other disabling foot problems that are a significant public health risk in the United States. More than 43 million American have foot problems, many of which are serious enough to warrant medical attention.

Hebrew SeniorLife podiatrists offer the following tips for making sure your shoes fit properly:

  • Comfort - rather than style or fashion - should rule shoe selection;
  • Judge shoes by how they fit, not by the size marked on the box; shoe sizes vary by brand and style;
  • Have both feet measured when you purchase shoes; foot size increases with age;
  • Fit shoes to your longest foot; most people have one foot that is larger than the other;
  • Avoid high heels and shoes with pointed or tapered toes;
  • Fit shoes at the end of the day when your feet are their longest;
  • Try on both shoes and walk a few steps to make sure they are comfortable; and
  • When the shoes are on, wiggle your toes to ensure that you can move them freely.

Keep in mind this basic principle: your shoes should conform to the shape of your feet - your feet should never conform to the shape of your shoes. 

To read about research by scientists at the Institute for Aging Research regarding the impact of footwear choice on heel and ankle pain, click here.

You can get more tips like this one in Hebrew SeniorLife's "50 Tips for Healthy Aging." To download a PDF click here.

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