Foot Doctors Warn: “Older than 65? Your Shoes are Probably the Wrong Size”

You’re a grown adult. You’ve been buying your own shoes since you were a teenager. You know what fits you and what doesn’t.

Right?

Let us guess. The shoes you’re wearing right now? You’ve had those for a few years. More than a few. They’ve served you well, they’re comfortable, and that’s all that matters.

Right…?

Adults Wearing the Wrong Shoe Size

A recent study found that 83% of the participants were wearing the wrong size shoe.

Actually, you might want to take a closer look. Many people believe that once your feet stop growing, they level out, remaining roughly the same size for the rest of your life.

But this isn’t actually true. Elderly adults experience a wide variety of changes to the shape, size, and feeling of their feet as they age.

A recent study study shows how very widespread this incorrect belief actually is, and the damage it’s doing to elderly adults may surprise you.

The study explains that, “In this stage of life, there are changes in foot morphology involving increased width and length, as well as changes in pain tolerance, linked to age, and the loss of muscle mass and fatty tissue on the feet.”

Not as Obvious as it Might Appear

During the study, the team examined the feet and footwear of 100 adults over the age of 65. Astoundingly, they found that 83% of the participants were wearing the wrong size shoe on at least one foot – shoes were either too big, too small, or the wrong width.

Interestingly, many participants required different sizes for the left and right foot.

Their results “strongly indicate that the choice of appropriate footwear is not as obvious as it might appear and highlight the need for health education in the area of foot care.”

Neuropathy and Pain Tolerance

Foot Examination, University Foot and Ankle

Only 19% of seniors were regularly checking their feet.

Additionally, the study discovered that while only 19% of seniors were regularly checking their feet, over 70% exhibited signs of neuropathy – loss of sensation in the feet. Neuropathy increases a patient’s pain tolerance, which stifles the body’s natural warning system.

The result is a perfect storm for podiatric complications.

Dr. Bob Baravarian, Director of University Foot and Ankle Institute, weighed in: “Most seniors don’t realize their feet are changing shape right underneath them. Given how many are suffering from neuropathy, it’s easy to see why so many seniors are wearing shoes that don’t fit.”

Heightened Risk of Injury and Illness

Wearing the wrong size shoes can increase the risk of losing balance and falling, and lead to a lower quality of life. Chronic pain, infections, and the loss of mobility are among some of the chief concerns raised by the study.

Combined with other chronic diseases – vascular disease, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes – it’s no small wonder that elderly people experience a 71%-87% increase in the prevalence of foot problems, such as:

  • Skin irritation
  • Bunions
  • Plantar keratoses
  • Diabetic foot ulcers

Find the Right Footwear

This study confirms what podiatrists have long suspected: inadequate footwear is an incredibly common phenomenon for seniors and it’s costing patients their quality of life. If you are over the age of 65, make an appointment to have your feet sized by a foot and ankle specialist.

One comment

  1. My mother’s rheumatoid arthritis (RA) started two years ago at the age of 49; and her life was not the same. it started with traveling joint pain. she went to many doctors, it took a year to diagnose, and the only reason my mother was diagnosed was RA. This article was helpful, thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

16,004 Total 1st Party Reviews / 4.9 out of 5 Stars
  • Google
    always excellent service both before and after my surgery. Dr. Franson has performed other surgeries also. I would definitely r...
    Diana P.
  • GatherUp
    10/10
    John A.
  • Yelp
    Dr. Hamed Jafary is an outstanding podiatrist. He is a brilliant diagnostician. He takes his time and doesn't rush the appointm...
    Roger V.
  • GatherUp
    Excellent experience. Able to get an appointment when needed. Dr. Franson explained my issue well and initiated effective tre...
    David B.
  • GatherUp
    Very efficient and the Doctor and x-ray tech were great!
    Deborah W.
  • GatherUp
    I appreciated the friendly and communicative doctors and staff, and most importantly their expertise which led to the complete ...
    William K.
  • GatherUp
    Dr. Kelman was great!
    Zev F.
  • GatherUp
    All went well and the doctor was very knowledgeable and kind
    Nancy P.
  • GatherUp
    On time, friendly and professional front desk staff, very happy with my treatment so far, I had pain for a long time after visi...
    Zohreh P.
  • Yelp
    I have been suffering for a long time with pain in my toes. Thought it was just something I would have to deal with, my mom can...
    Amanda W.
  • GatherUp
    The doctor was very professional and took care of our problem immediately. The doctor and staff are very friendly and helpful.
    Bellanmy B.
  • GatherUp
    Your Doctors and Staff are great! 5 Star Foot Dr.
    Nicholas G.
Same Day Appointments
Now Available!

Or call 877-989-9110

24 hours a day, 7 days a week