Make Certain Your Shoes Fit Right

Incorrectly fitting footwear is common in older adults and is a risk factor not only for foot problems but also for falls.

When I look at the footwear that many of the BASC members have on, it concerns me – especially when I see shoes that I know were purchased during the first Bush administration. Many older adults do not wear the best footwear, and inappropriate footwear can impair balance and alter gait.

According to one study, muscle weakness, gait deficits and balance deficits accounted for three of the top five risk factors for falling among older adults.

Having run half marathons for years, I’ve always prided myself on having the right footwear. However, as I recently learned, as you age, your feet can continue to evolve and change.

I had the opportunity to have a 3D scan conducted of my feet, and it was eye opening. I discovered that my left foot was a full size larger than the right. One foot had a high arch and instep and the other was as flat as Fred Flinstone’s.

Another blow to my self esteem, my size 11 foot is a 4E width.


My doctor even told me to wear shoes when I’m at home. I’m used to kicking off my shoes when I walk

in the house, but studies have made it clear that older adults walking barefoot or only in socks at home have a significantly higher likelihood of falling.

I have the right shoes now, and I know there’s really a lot to learn about your feet.