Senior Feet

March 06, 2018

As we age, a lot of things drop: our eyelids, our jowls and our necks are most noticeable. Less noticeable, but more painful, is aging feet.

Experts report that a person over 40 can gain half a shoe size every 10 years.

This story I’m about to tell could have been wholly different if only I’d known FootDoctors Orthotics. When you don’t know what you don’t know, the story usually has quite a different ending.

My father was in his early 80s when he off-handedly mentioned that his favorite pair of house shoes no longer had tread sufficient to curb a fall. Falls were a concern to him and to his children fearing a fall was in the near future. When I asked how long he’d had the shoes he thought for a minute and then told the story of buying the shoes in an airport in the late ‘70s.

“Dad,” I exclaimed. “Your shoes are older than your oldest grandchild!”

He nodded. Then he reiterated that these particular shoes were comfortable from the first time he slipped them on and that’s why he’d kept them. The soft white kid leather had softened over time, accommodating his widening feet all these 38 years post-purchase.

Independent of this chance conversation, I wouldn’t have thought to ask my dad if his feet were comfortable. When he laid out the faults about his shoe wardrobe I started on a hunt to find him shoes that slipped on and off easily (bending over had become difficult for him post back surgery), shoes that had tread (in case he encountered water on the kitchen floor), and shoes that still looked the part of a man, who 30 years earlier was a spiffy dresser, highly conscious of his appearance.

Because of his walker, he refused to go to the mall. So I began the process of ordering shoes online, driving the incoming shoes to dad’s house and letting him try them on for size, returning what didn’t fit and starting all over again. I nicknamed him “Cinderfella” for all the pairs of shoes I bought online and he rejected because they weren’t comfortable enough, wide enough, or warm enough. Finally, a fleece-lined driving shoe was pronounced acceptable.

My story, it turns out, is not uncommon among my friends’ aging parents. Orthotics can give the gray hairs a new lease on life. Using FootDoctor’s Orthotics, a true model of both feet are used to create custom shoe inserts providing the right arch support for aging feet. The best part: the impression kit can be used at home.

You can try this at home alone. Our orthotic kits by FootDoctors Orthotics are customized to each patient’s feet, and to the shoe’s particular use: dress shoes, sport shoes and more. Used in shoes that offer the proper length and width, orthotics can provide life-changing comfort, particularly to seniors who find their feet have changed over decades.