The Best Shoes for Seniors: Sandals, Hook and Loop Strap Shoes and More

Most seniors know they should be wearing some kind of orthopedic shoe, but it can be tough to sort through all the options out there and make the right decision. To help you with the shopping process, we’ve compiled a guide of our best tips for choosing orthopedic shoes. Below, we break down their benefits, outline our top shopping criteria and highlight some of the best styles for seniors, from dress to strap shoes.

shoe shopping

Benefits of Orthopedic Shoes

If you’re not convinced yet on why you should consider these shoes for your everyday activities, here are three of the most important benefits of wearing orthopedic shoes you need to know:

  1. Orthopedic shoes promote good balance, proper posture and walking mechanics, which reduce your risk of falls. The shoes have non-slip soles that keep you grounded, and help you walk correctly to prevent tripping.
  2. By providing the comfort and support you need, orthopedic shoes encourage movement. After all, if your feet hurt, you’re much less likely to exercise or even leave the house.
  3. Foot problems can lead to other health issues if left untreated, especially foot and back pain. By keeping your feet in good health, orthopedic shoes can help prevent additional health problems from developing further down the line.

woman putting on shoes

What to Look For

When shopping for orthopedic shoes, it’s important to keep a list of your top requirements in mind so you make the right decision. Here are the criteria we use while shopping for shoes:

  • Non-slip soles are a must since they keep you grounded and prevent falls. The soles should also be thick and shock-absorbent so that the shoe (and not your foot) absorbs most of the force of movement.
  • Hard shoes are uncomfortable to wear and transfer most of the force of walking to your feet. Besides the soles, make sure the rest of the shoe is soft and padded for additional shock absorption.
  • Whether it’s mesh or leather, the shoes should be made from a material that’s breathable. If it traps sweat, your feet will quickly become stinky and uncomfortable.
  • If you need additional ankle support, look for a shoe that has a higher back that comes up around the ankle.
  • Any heel higher than one inch puts undue strain on your feet and increases your odds of twisting your ankle. Look for shoes with no heels or heels shorter than one inch.
  • If your foot tends to swell a lot, look for shoes with large openings that are easier to pull on and off. Just make sure it’s not so wide that it rubs against your foot.

As for other tips, it’s best to go shopping for shoes later in the day, after your feet have had time to expand and swell; you’ll get a better sense of fit that way. Make sure you walk around the store to see if the shoe fits. If you ordered the shoes online, do the same thing in your house on a clean floor so that you don’t mark the soles. After you take the shoes off, turn them over and examine the soles to make sure they are thick enough to provide adequate protection and shock absorption.

senior runner

Best Shoe Styles for Seniors

Orthopedic shoes come in many different designs, but we particularly like the following styles for seniors:

  • Hook and Loop Shoes: If you have limited mobility in your fingers (arthritis is a common cause), shoes with hook and loop straps are an excellent solution to reduce frustration and help you maintain independence. Hook and loop shoes come in many styles, including tennis shoes, dress shoes and sandals.
  • Sandals: If you thought seniors couldn’t wear sandals, think again. Brands such as Dr. Comfort are making seriously comfortable orthopedic sandals in many styles, including flip-flops. Complete your summer look without sacrificing the health of your feet.
  • Walking and running shoes: If you thought tennis shoes were the most comfortable shoes ever, let us introduce you to orthopedic tennis shoes. The shoes promote proper form and cushion your feet while you work out, keeping you safe and injury-free.
  • Dress shoes: Orthopedic shoes have a reputation for looking like clunky athletic shoes, and while tennis shoes are certainly available, you also have plenty of options for more formal occasions. Orthopedic dress shoes are made of quality materials like leather and fit right in at the office or fancier events.

Orthopedic shoes can make a serious difference for the better for both your foot health and your overall quality of life. Try a pair today to see why we love them so much.


About the Author

Kaki Zell - Vice President of Sales, Marketing, eCommerce at Legs-4-Life LLC Kaki holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Management from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She’s been working in the medical device industry for over 11 years and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Greensboro Science Center.  


Written July 2019 | Page Last Updated January 2022


Dignity Health. “Orthopedic Shoes: Relief for Arthritis and Joint-Pain Sufferers”

Thrive Global. “5 Advantages of Wearing Orthopedic Shoes”

SneakerFactory.Net. “How to Select Footwear Materials - Shoe Designers Guide” 

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