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Written by: Chris Fry
Aging is something we all experience, and it comes with challenges and rewarding benefits alike. While we enjoy the fruits of our hard work and start thinking about our legacies, we also have to contend with physical challenges as our bodies change.
One of the body parts that become the most vulnerable over time is our feet. In fact, around one-third of people over age 65 experience foot pain or walking challenges.
So, it comes as no surprise that finding comfortable, convenient, and stylish shoes can be one of the greatest challenges for seniors.
Today, Kizik is here to make that process a whole lot easier. In this guide, we’re talking about how our hands-free, ultra-comfy footwear is perfect for seniors who are looking to stay active and increase their independence and ease of living.
Before we find a solution, we need to make sure we understand the challenges we face.
Foot pain isn’t unique to the elderly. It’s a common issue for people of all ages, and numerous factors can cause or exacerbate that pain. As we grow older, however, certain issues arise more frequently than others.
Arthritis is one major condition that hinders the ability of many seniors to move and walk as comfortably as they once did.
Joint pain from arthritis comes in many forms. Some, like gout, directly affect the foot. Others affect the back, knees, or even fingers, but all of these pains can make it harder to put on your shoes, take them off, and move around while wearing them.
If you have arthritis, finding shoes that are easy to put on and take off is a priority. Proper support and cushioning are equally important.
One of the most commonly-encountered foot problems in older adults is bunions. A bunion is a bulging bone deformity that causes the big toe to point outward toward the smaller toes.
Bunions can be extremely painful and can make finding shoes that fit comfortably much more difficult. Soft, flexible material and a roomy toe box make a huge difference, so look for these features first.
Various forms of pain can arise in the heel and arches, making walking difficult. Our feet change shape and can become swollen or lose padding as we age, resulting in pain we didn’t have when we were younger.
To counter these issues, look for plenty of support from comfy insoles and outsoles, as well as a soft upper construction in our shoes, so our heels aren’t striking a rigid surface all day.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease that can raise many unique challenges throughout daily life. It’s found in over 10 million people across the world, of whom the overwhelming majority are over the age of 50.
Due to tremors, imbalance, or rigidity, daily tasks such as putting on shoes that once seemed trivial can become difficult. Finding the right slip-on shoes can add independence and convenience to daily life once again.
Now that we’ve identified some of the most widespread foot and walking problems in seniors, we can put solutions into practice.
Let’s outline the features that make the biggest difference in daily life:
If challenges such as arthritis, foot pain, back pain, or Parkinson’s have made putting on and taking off your shoes more difficult, the obvious solution is to find shoes that are made with convenience in mind.
Enter slip-on shoes.
Unfortunately, existing slip-on options have been less-than-stellar for some time. The issue with traditional slip-on shoes is that they often aren’t actually easy to slide into and can be even harder to take off. More importantly, traditional slip-on shoes usually sacrifice comfort and support in other areas.
For example, slip-on shoes like loafers can be stiff or rigid, which can be painful to sensitive feet or feet with bunions, heel pain, or foot ulcers.
Here at Kizik, our HandsFree Labs® technology is exceptionally easy to use, built for optimum convenience after lots of research finding all the best ways to create comfortable, convenient shoes.
How does it work? We seamlessly integrated a structure into the heel that easily flexes down as you step in, then pops right back into place. All you have to do is step in! No hands, no hard pressure, no messed up socks, and no awkward foot wiggling needed.
Stepping into Kiziks is stepping into an empowered, more independent lifestyle. Keep living your best active life with styles like our Lima or Athens models.
While many of the features we’ll talk about relate to comfort, there’s something about a soft, cushy upper and insole that makes a huge difference for feet of all ages!
As seniors, our feet can be more sensitive than most. Shoes that take it easy on our skin and bones go a long way, whether we’re just relaxing around the house, out running errands, or exercising with friends.
Proper support is important in any pair of shoes for seniors. Insoles and outsoles are the main factors to look at here. You’ll want plenty of shock absorption to put a bounce in your step and relieve any stress from rough terrain.
Durable support is important, too. You don’t want your shoes to feel like cardboard sandals after just a few months!
Our Kizik Rabbit Foam™ outsoles blend both qualities to help ease your steps all day long. Indoors or outdoors, active use or leisure walking, your feet will be so glad you chose super comfy support.
For a smooth, stable step and plenty of responsive rebound, you can also try our Roamers, made with our new Flex Foam™ outsole.
Keeping your feet cool and dry is a big part of comfort—and one that’s overlooked. Temperature regulation isn’t just for sports and exercise. Even when you’re relaxing at home or going out for leisure, your feet can become sweaty and uncomfortable if you didn’t consider the weather outside.
To support your body’s natural processes, look for breathable shoes. A breathable material allows hot air from inside the shoe to escape while cool, fresh air flows in. This circulation helps prevent overheating and also prevents and dries sweat, which keeps our feet more fresh and less odorous.
Our breathable mesh upper styles, such as the Lima and Athens, are exceptionally breathable. However, unlike similar traditional options by other brands, you’ll get plenty of airflow in our carefully designed leather and suede styles too.
Few things can kill comfort quicker than cramped feet inside a hard, rigid shoe. Soft material is just one part of preventing this pain. The other is the design dimensions.
From heel to toe, make sure any shoe you choose is plenty spacious—while, of course, not sliding from your foot. At Kizik, our expert designers work carefully to find the perfect balance of width at the bridge and room in the toe box.
We recommend about half an inch between the end of your shoe and your longest toe to let your toes breathe. If you find your ties banging up against the point of your shoe, you may want to size up.
Shoes with proper traction are important for seniors as slips and falls are not only more of a risk but also more dangerous when they occur. Don’t let the risks stop you from staying active! Instead, choose styles that have great traction and grip to empower your activities.
In our Roamers, traction grooves improve grip alongside a wide stance, which makes it easier to roll through your steps smoothly, whether you’re walking for leisure, power walking, or anything in between.
Other styles, like our Athens and Lima options, are built with rubber traction pads to cover the entire heel and toe areas of the shoe. When the rubber meets the road, these grips have got you covered.
Here at Kizik, we know that your shoes are only as valuable as they are versatile. Shoes that can’t adapt are doomed for disappointment.
That’s why we design every Kizik style to be geared for as many situations as possible with durability and flexibility in mind.
Removable and washable insoles are one way we achieve these qualities. Keep our included, ultra-comfy insoles fresh for long into the future, or if you have special insoles for medical purposes, swap those in instead!
In addition to all the great features we’ve mentioned, we also design our Kiziks with a sleek, modern style that easily fits with activewear, leisure outfits, and any style between (including athleisure).
While shoe shopping may have been a tiring and frustrating affair a few years ago, we’re happy to make things simple again.
Our easy-slip-on HandsFree Labs® technology makes all of our Kizik styles an ideal choice for anyone looking to stay active, independent, and stylish in their elderly years.
Bookmark our Kizik blog and check back frequently to keep up with the latest innovations and new, helpful guides like this one!
Basic Facts about Foot Problems | American Geriatrics Society | HealthInAging.org
What Is Arthritis? | Arthritis Foundation
Statistics | Parkinson's Foundation
Written By: Chris Fry
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