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Shoe Design for Older Adults: Evidence From a Systematic Review on the Elements of Optimal Footwear

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Shoe Design for Older Adults: Evidence From a Systematic Review on the Elements of Optimal Footwear

Anton H Jellema et al. Maturitas.

Abstract

Due to changes in foot morphology and the occurrence of foot deformities and foot pain with ageing, older people frequently wear ill-fitting shoes. This can lead to discomfort and reduced mobility. A review of the literature was performed in Medline, Scopus and Embase with three aims: (a) to evaluate the effects of shoes or shoe elements on the comfort and mobility of older adults, (b) to summarise the evidence-based elements of a safe and comfortable shoe for older adults, and (c) from that, to compile those elements into design recommendations for a safe and comfortable shoe for older adults. Safe elements of footwear include proper anatomical fit, a well-fitting toe box, limited heel height, a broad enough heel, a firm insole and midsole, an outsole with sufficient tread, bevelled heel, firm heel counter with snug fit, and an easy and effective closing mechanism. We conclude that there is a need for shoe design specifically aimed at the foot morphology and demands of older people. The shoe market should increase the availability of well-fitting shoes designed for the older foot and person.

Keywords: Ageing; Footwear; Shoe design; Shoe market; Shoe size; Shoes.

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