Women over Age 65

The protective fat pads along the soles of the feet degenerate with age, which can lead to foot problems for senior women. Most people in general experience some sort of foot problem with age; however, it is important to know that foot problems can be a symptom of several serious health issues, such as diabetes, poor circulation, nerve problems, and arthritis. At the first sign of a foot problem, women over age 65 should contact a health care provider such as a podiatrist for proper diagnosis and treatment. Changes in the foot’s appearance, as well as sudden and chronic pain, should never be ignored.

To keep the feet healthy, women over 65 should follow the following foot care suggestions:

  • Check your feet and toenails daily, or have someone else check them for changes. See a podiatrist if you notice something looks different or unusual.
  • Maintain good circulation to the lower extremities: walk frequently, avoid sitting for long periods with crossed legs and without rising to stretch and move, raise the feet when sitting or reclining, have the feet massaged regularly, keep the feet warm, and do not smoke.
  • Keep your feet clean and dry.
  • Wear properly-fitting, supportive, shock-absorbing shoes with a soft upper that will conform to the foot’s shape. The sole of the shoe should be flexible and have good traction to avoid slips and falls. A shoe that causes pressure or friction or lacks cushion and support can generate foot and toe problems.
  • Tears or cuts in the skin of the foot can also lead to infection.

Drawbacks of Wearing Stockings

Stockings, or nylon pantyhose, are an everyday part of many women’s dress and professional wardrobes. However, nylon is a synthetic material that does not breathe, which leads to trapped body heat and perspiration. Fungal infections like athlete’s foot can thrive under these moist, warm conditions. If pantyhose are a must, make sure they are worn for as short of a time as possible and wash them after each wearing.
In addition, certain types of pantyhose can cramp the toes and keep the forefoot from expanding properly with each stride of the foot. This can lead to deformities such as hammertoe and ingrown toenails. It is important to make sure the nylon stockings do not fit too snugly around the feet.

Women’s Shoes

According to the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, women are nine times more likely than men to develop a foot problem due to ill-fitting shoes, and 90% of women say they wear shoes in too small of a size. As a result, 90% of females experience foot deformities because of wearing shoes that are too tight to properly accommodate the length, width, and natural shape of their feet.

Although high heels, or pumps, are a popular staple in many women’s wardrobes as a way to add style, glamour, and even height, high-heeled shoes can lead to a slew of foot, knee, and back problems, such as shortened calf muscles and toe deformities. They can also cause women to alter the way they walk, making them imbalanced and more susceptible to sprained ankles and injuries from falls. Despite the discomforts most women experience while wearing high heels, they continue to wear them, day after day, which compounds the problems that result from high heels.

To minimize the problems stemming from high heels, women can observe the following suggestions: keep the maximum heel height to two inches or under; make sure the shoe fits correctly in all foot areas, such as the heel and toe box; vary heel heights and alternate high heels with flats or low-heeled alternatives; and choose designs of high-heeled shoes made for walking. Do not wear high heels for a time period of more than three hours.

To avoid foot problems, women should wear shoes that offer cushion and support while walking. It is best to choose footwear with laces for additional support and a better fit, rather than slip-on styles. Shoes should have a heel counter that is padded inside with a rigid outside; the heel should be wider instead of narrow and pointy and have a maximum height of 3/4s of an inch. The sole should be rubber or composition for substantial support and grip.

High Heels

Although high heels are a popular staple in many women’s wardrobes as a way to add style, glamour, and even height, high-heeled shoes can lead to a slew of foot, knee, and back problems, such as shortened calf muscles and toe deformities. They can also cause women to alter the way they walk, making them imbalanced and more susceptible to sprained ankles and injuries from falls. Despite the discomforts most women experience while wearing high heels, they continue to wear them, day after day, which compounds the problems that result from high heels.

To minimize the problems stemming from high heels, women can observe the following suggestions: keep the maximum heel height to two inches or under; make sure the shoe fits correctly in all foot areas, such as the heel and toe box; vary heel heights and alternate high heels with flats or low-heeled alternatives (shoes with wider heels and a heel height of no more than 3/4s of an inch); and choose designs of high-heeled shoes made for walking. Do not wear high heels for a time period of more than three hours.