How shoes affect balance in older adults

Many of us are guilty of wearing inappropriate or poor footwear. Ballet flats, high heels and skate shoes are all common choices that we know are not great for our feet. As we get older this can have a greater influence on the way we walk, and in older adults this can impair balance and alter gait.

There is a lot of medical literature that clearly states that foot and ankle characteristics play a role in balance and falls among the elderly. Factors like reduced ankle flexibility, weakened ankle muscles, foot pains or bony changes, reduced sole sensitivity, amongst other foot characteristics, have all been found to be predictors of falls among seniors.

Additionally, shoe characteristics have been shown to influence balance in older adults. These can not only limit mobility but even increase the risk of falls. Footwear components like a stable midsole, rigid heel counter and rubber outsole can improve the stability of the foot whilst walking and standing, as well as improve the function of the feet as well.

If you need advice regarding footwear call (07) 3823 5423 to book an appointment with one of our podiatrists.