If the shoe fits – Footwear for women over 50

June 13, 2019
Lady wearing a pair of comfortable shoes on a park bench

Ladies loafers and bag on the beach


This post is part of the Gorgeous 50’s series inspired by a book given to me by one of my sisters on my 50th birthday – ‘Grown up and Gorgeous in your 50’s’ by Pamela Robson.  I will be sharing some of Pamela’s words and my own thoughts along the way.  To see all posts published as part of this series, go here.


Pamela says:

Have you noticed that more of your friends are complaining about sore feet these days? That’s because, as we age, we lose some of the fatty cushioning that protects the balls of our feet. This is the time when bunions and corns make their presence known. Also, any posture problems you may have will increasingly take their toll on your feet.  Thankfully, the shoe industry is now making stylish yet comfy shoes!

The hallmarks of a comfortable shoe:

  • Generally, the softer and more flexible the shoe, the better (it should bend where your foot naturally bends)
  • Always go for uppers made from a natural material, such as leather, suede or a fabric that allows the foot to breathe
  • There should be sufficient depth and width at the toes and a short space between the tip of your longest toe and the end of the shoe
  • The more cushioning the insole has, the longer you’ll be able to stand in the shoes
  • A sole made from rubber provides good shock absorption and is less slippery than leather
  • A firm heel counter that fits snuggly around the back of the foot prevents slipping (and therefore blisters and cramps)

Ladies comfortable but stylish heeled sandals with perfume and pearls

Lady wearing a pair of comfortable shoes on a park bench

My thoughts:

Yes I have noticed that feet get sorer these days!  I have actually suffered with Plantar Fasciitis in the past.  It seems to have come good now and I’m hoping that it stays that way!  As for bunions and corns – I’m very lucky in that I have none – hooray!

Through the process of suffering with Plantar Fasciitis, I learnt some facts about aging. As Pamela says, it’s quite true that we lose the fatty cushioning in the soles of our feet that we are blessed with during our youth! Our feet can get longer and wider as we age too. It is normal for some of us to acquire a lower arch with time due to gravity and weakened tendons or ligaments. When this happens, it allows the arch to drop which causes a lengthening and widening of the foot.  All these things mean we are now more vulnerable to problems with our feet.

As Pamela also mentions – posture problems, or overall postural weakness, can impact the way you move, use your feet, and cause pain and discomfort over time. Bad habits can lead to unusual pressure on some of the muscles, bones, tendons and joints, and this can cause overuse, irritation and inflammation. This is something I have noticed as I can get quite a bit of pain in my left side – shoulder, hip, ankle, foot and I think this is related to a postural issue. Must get that investigated!

The days of teetering about in sky high heels are over.  This doesn’t mean we can’t still be fashionable, but we need to be fashionable whilst also providing our feet with good support and comfort. 

There are lots of great brands out there that provide shoes that offer comfort, support and style, but personally, I have become a very big fan of FRANKiE4 Footwear. Their shoes and boots are designed by Podiatrists and a Physiotherapist. With body mechanics in mind, FRANKiE4 designs aim to alleviate and prevent heel and arch pain, plantar fasciitis, and forefoot pain. They offer functional footbeds, custom fit packs, and soles that provide a stable foundation but still offer plenty of cushioning. Not only does their footwear provide support and comfort, but they’re stylish and gorgeous!  I have a few pairs of FRANKiE4’s now and will keep adding to my collection because they offer everything that I need now in footwear.  They do cost more than I used to spend on shoes, but they’re well and truly worth every cent.  By the way – I am not sponsored by FRANKiE4, I just absolutely love their footwear!

Once upon a time vanity ruled when it came to fashion for me. Nowadays, I still want to look good, but I want to be comfortable and supported as well.

Has comfort and support become equal first place with style for you now too when choosing your footwear?  Do you have a favourite footwear brand?

 

Ciao for now,

 

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26 Comments

  • Reply Joanne Tracey June 13, 2019 at 8:01 am

    Yes to all of this – weak ligaments, arch issues, widening of the feet…I no longer wear heels at all – and I do love to look at them, but my feet just say no.

    • Reply Min June 14, 2019 at 8:52 am

      Ugh – it’s a pain in the errr *foot* isn’t it? I wore boots with heels to the HP productions (not all that high) and suffered for it *sigh*. The rest of the time I was in my trusty Frankie4 sneakers.

      • Reply Joanne Tracey July 10, 2019 at 8:27 am

        I’m going to the RWA conference “gala” dinner in Melbourne in August and am angsting something chronic over what to wear. I seriously have no idea. #MLSTL

        • Reply Min July 10, 2019 at 9:32 pm

          Hmmm August – nice 3/4 sleeve dress with a jacket and some Frankie4 boots!

  • Reply Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond June 13, 2019 at 8:04 am

    Hi Min, I’m a ‘flat girl’ now as I just don’t have the opportunity to wear heels and I’m comfortable wearing my casual shoes. I do have to go to a wedding next month though so will have to don the high heels and probably totter about the whole evening LOL:) #lovinlifelinky

    • Reply Min June 14, 2019 at 8:54 am

      Good luck with the high heels for the wedding Sue! You can get some good comfy and supportive ones that still look stylish. They cost a bit more but worth it! 🙂

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee June 13, 2019 at 8:11 am

    My feet get sore so I’ve had to cut out the 35km+ walks. I think I can still do the 28km (7 Bridges) – they just blow up at the 30km mark….

    • Reply Min June 14, 2019 at 8:55 am

      Far out Lydia – 28km’s is still a lonnnnng walk!! You’re doing well! 🙂

  • Reply christine June 13, 2019 at 2:38 pm

    I do love beautiful shoes, but my feet do not always share the same passion for them. I’ve a big sandal girl in summer and moccasins and books in winter, and occasionally break out the high ones.

    • Reply Min June 14, 2019 at 8:58 am

      I love beautiful shoes too Christine! My version of what makes a beautiful shoe has changed somewhat now though! lol Comfort and support are very, very important to me … and it has to look nice. I do still wear heels but not when a lot of walking is involved – usually only if driving, short walk and then sitting for dinner or a meeting or something.

  • Reply Denyse Whelan June 13, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    So many shoes I can no longer wear. I have many feet problems due to age and arthritis. I also broke a bone in my left foot ages ago and have had my right foot impaired even more from the surgery to take my right fibula. I have hammer toes too. My best bets are Birkenstocks and sandals in wide fittings. I pay a fortune for Brooks Addictions and am as comfy as I can be. I really appreciate being able to get out and about so take great care.

    Denyse

    • Reply Min June 14, 2019 at 8:59 am

      Ouchy Denyse! My feet hurt just reading all the problems you’ve had/have. I have a pair of Birkenstocks too. I bought those when I was in pain with Plantar Fasciitis. They’re looking a bit worse for wear these days! lol xo

  • Reply Alicia OBrien June 14, 2019 at 2:12 pm

    I am well aware my feet need looking at, I am sure most of my aches and pains are due to my arches falling and are causing problems further up. It’s an appointment I have to make before I get much older. #lovinglifelinky

    • Reply Min June 17, 2019 at 2:55 pm

      We become so much more higher maintenance as we get older Alicia! Worth the effort though. xo

  • Reply Michele July 10, 2019 at 8:48 am

    Well this certainly hits home. My feet have widened. I have more pain standing for long periods of walking on hard surfaces. I no longer wear high heels over an inch or two. That is difficult sometimes! I am always on the look out for cute shoes that have good support. Even flats or sneakers need to have support. My shoes always cost more now, but I am willing to pay the price for comfort.

    • Reply Min July 10, 2019 at 9:34 pm

      Yep – all shoes need support these days. Gone are the days of buying cute shoes without any thought to comfort and support. Now comfort is first priority and then the cute bit is secondary. They do cost more but I agree it’s so worth the price!

  • Reply Suzanne Vickery July 10, 2019 at 9:04 am

    Funnily enough, I have just brought some shoes for my husband and me to wear on the aeroplane. Good timing 🙂 We have both got large feet and buying shoes is not something that we enjoy doing. Much of what Michele wrote applies to us. Though such an essential item for making life more pleasant. The most expensive ones are my Brooks for exercising in! Good post.

    • Reply Min July 10, 2019 at 9:36 pm

      I’ve got the opposite problem Suzanne. I have little and narrow feet, so shoe shopping can also be difficult for me!

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au July 10, 2019 at 12:36 pm

    I don’t wear heels much (being tall I don’t need them) so flat shoes are my friends. My biggest change of note is in the sneakers I wear when I go for my daily walks. I have a bit of a “dodgy hip” (another “joy” of getting older) and need to wear quality sneakers with some decent under heel padding to reduce the jarring that irritates my hip. I’ve also noticed that I’m getting a bit of archilles pain these days too – sigh……
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    • Reply Min July 10, 2019 at 9:39 pm

      You’re lucky being tall Leanne. I used to wear heels ALL the time to give me some height but not so much nowadays. I wear sneakers a lot for everyday but do wear mid height heels if going out. Of course, I buy sensible heels these days – not too high, providing good support and all that stuff. I have some heels just for if I’ll be mostly sitting and other heels for when standing and walking is involved. Ultimately though, I avoid heels wherever I can. BTW – I have a dodgy hip too. The joys! xo

  • Reply Debbie Harris July 10, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    Yes to having suffered Plantar Fasciitis in the past, but not recently thank goodness, it’s not much fun at all! I wear flattish shoes these days and favour comfort over the extra height heels would give me. I’m not very tall and my husband is tall but we’re both used to this arrangement now. Good quality shoes are a must but I’ve not tried Frankie shoes, although I’ve heard lots about them. #mlstl

    • Reply Min July 10, 2019 at 9:42 pm

      I agree that Plantar Fasciitis is not fun! So painful isn’t it?! I prefer flatter shoes these days too (but with good arch support and cushioning). I’m a shortie – probably much more so than you so I do still wear heels for ‘occasions’ but good supportive ones that I can bare to be in! I don’t do the pain and torture in heels thing anymore!

  • Reply Terri Webster Schrandt July 11, 2019 at 2:35 am

    Amen to all of these issues, Min! I’m sitting here with a cast on my foot after bunion surgery in June! Got arch supports for Plantar Fasciitis, best thing I ever did! Great post and reminder that our feet really take a pounding the longer we live!

    • Reply Min July 11, 2019 at 4:00 pm

      Ohhh Terri – ouch!! I hope the surgery has been worthwhile and you’re happy with the results. Yes I need arch support in all my footwear now. Plantar Fasciitis is no joke – so very painful!

  • Reply Jan Wild July 12, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    My mind boggles that I used to walk several kms to work in high heels – what was I thinking. I now have one pair of heels in my wardrobe and they only come out for very special occasions. I live in my FRANKiE4 shoes and like you find them the perfect combination of comfort and style.
    I didn’t know that our feet lose the fatty cushioning, how is that fair when our midriffs gain it?
    Pinning this

    • Reply Min July 15, 2019 at 12:53 pm

      I used to walk everywhere, every day in sky high stilletto’s Jan. Being the shortie that I am, the higher the heel, the happier I was, regardless of the discomfort! It’s a very different story these days! lol And yes, it’s a bit unfair that we lose the fatty cushioning from under our feet and gain fatty cushioning on our midriffs! Where’s the complaint’s department? lol

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