If you’re like me, it’s impossible to fight those little signs of aging. I used to be in the gym every day, but as we get older, most of us start to lose the ability to do a number of things physically and balancing properly is one.
We’ve written all about how to improve balance, coordination and stability before and here we’re looking at the best shoes for midlifers’ stability.
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Finding the right shoes for maximum stability on the floor is essential. Our picks of the best shoes to improve balance are for men…
- New Balance MW577 – Men’s
- Skechers Equalizer Double Play Slip-On Loafer – Men’s
- Rockport Eureka Walking Shoe – Men’s
and for women…
- Gravity Defyer Mighty Walk – Women’s
- YHOON Walking Shoes – Women’s
- Propet W0089 Pedic Walker Sandal – Women’s
- Orthoshoes Edema Walking Sneakers – Women’s
How Can Shoes Help My Balance?
If you’ve had issues with kinesthesia, or your sense of body awareness and balance, you may need a bit of help to keep you upright. Something as simple as a pair of shoes might be able to help you stay steady. Studies show that the right kind of footwear can help you balance more than bare feet alone.
Poor footwear is one of the main factors that play a role in preventing senior falls. By finding the best shoes to improve balance, you can help your body stay solid, at any age. Your gait and speed can be increased by wearing well-fitting, broad, flat, closed-toe shoes.
What Are Features to Look For?
If you’re looking for the best shoes to improve balance, there are a few key factors to look for. Solid construction, excellent traction, and support are all extremely important.
Staying steady starts in your soles. By keeping the bottoms of your shoes firmly attached to the floor, you can avoid slips and falls, which can be dangerous for anyone past their prime. Your balance will be improved due to the stability gained by excellent traction.
Weight can be significant to balance. If your shoes are too heavy, they can upset your sense of body awareness. Light, rubber-soled shoes can improve your static balance, or how steadily you can stay standing still. Heavier shoes, like combat boots, can cause people with low balance abilities to walk slower and with more difficulty.
If your shoe is completely flat inside, you’re doing yourself no balance favors. Support is crucial to keep your feet comfortable and able to react to uneven surfaces. A key feature of the best shoes to improve balance is arch support.
When you support the arch of the foot, you can prevent muscle degradation and keep the foot in the correct position for walking.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love heels. I really do. On other people.
Still, I know that they’re not the best for my balance or everyday wear. The same holds true for everyday walking shoes. Shoes that have a flatter base are more likely to help you stay stable. A heel can create issues, not only with balance but also with stability if the heel creates a bad step. Don’t let a heel be caught on a rug or stair, and avoid them altogether.
Balance Shoe Reviews
Let’s step into the best shoes to improve balance. We’ve scoured the market for the top balance-promoting shoes.
One of my all-time favorite make of running shoe but with this model, we have something more stable for those needing the security of a solid pair on our feet.
A lightweight shoe made of 100 percent leather uppers, the New Balance MW577, is built to last. It features velcro, which keeps your foot in the correct position with the right tension.
The ankle and tongue areas are extra cushioned to keep you stable. It has excellent arch support and is incredibly light, which makes these brilliant shoes to help maintain balance. As an additional feature, if you’re out after dark, this sneaker features reflective areas for just such an occasion.
- 100 percent leather.
- Great name. Made in the USA.
- Great support for sore and painful feet.
- These sneakers can run small, according to some buyers.
I love Skechers shoes. I usually wear their memory foam Afterburn model which is more of a walking shoe and a fine one too. But this model is more casual and lighter.
For a shoe this light though, it is robust enough to make you feel safe in your feet placement with no slipping on normal surfaces. And are solid enough for those daily steps.
Although a loafer, I felt the darker colors were fine to wear for occasions but maybe that says more about me.
- Slipper comfortable.
- Look good – 7 colors to choose from.
- Wide sole.
- Breathable – good for warm or temperate climates.
- Not for wearing in heavy wet weather.
- Small amount of arch support
Rockport has had a great name in comfortable shoes over the years. Their shoes have always had that solid enduring look about them and the Eureka is no exception.
Although we’re not looking at hiking shoes here this Rockport Eureka model can tolerate some off-roading.
- Breathable mesh lining.
- Light and comfortable.
- EVA midsole for low impact.
- Good tolerance to harsh weather.
- Recent reports of buyers having stitching coming apart after a few months – not sure if it’s a wider problem.
This women’s sneaker has amazing features to keep you comfortable and stable all day long. The extra wide-toe box can accommodate wider toes and bunions, and help the ball of foot pain. It has a superior supported arch and midsection to keep you stable.
The innersoles are also easily removable, in case you want to add your own custom or prescription orthotics. Gravity Defyer really thinks about their customer’s needs. The sole is harder and quite flat, which helps you keep your balance, but the inside is plush and comfortable.
- Classic sneaker design.
- Many color options.
- Great for support, which can help you keep your balance.
- Bulkier style can be heavier for some users.
Yhoon are what you might call “sock sneakers.” They’re less rigid than other models on this list, but can help you keep your balance, all the same. The upper shoe is soft, and the sole is extra cushioned, which can keep you feeling more stable.
The comfortable, breathable fabric compliments the slide-on appeal of the shoe. You won’t have to fight with laces or velcro. As with the other best shoes to improve balance, it also has excellent traction on the sole, with a textured base.
- Excellent traction.
- Breathable, fly woven fabric on upper shoe.
- Extra cushioned sole.
- Not good for those that need ankle support.
I always thought that balance issues would relegate me to clunky, old person shoes. With the Propet, you don’t have to be stuck in a shoe that’s way too old-looking for more active lifestyles.
This sandal is great because it has a nice, closed-back, which provides more support than a traditional style. You can still wander the boardwalk in cute sandals since the open design doesn’t sacrifice style for stability. These are meant to keep you stable without looking like orthotics.
- 100 percent leather uppers.
- Slight platform without a heel.
- Sturdy double hook-and-loop straps.
- Sole is ridged, the placement of which can cause pain for some users.
- Velcro tabs can be too small for some customers.
The sneakers are incredibly comfortable, due in part to their lightness. They also move with you, since the breathable mesh upper is stretchable.
Orthoshoes are also designed to help correct posture imbalances. Foot posture and balance go hand in hand since it’s thought that the way you hold your feet and the strength of your ankles can directly affect your body posture. It also features a velcro strap that helps keep your foot stable, which can improve your static balance.
- Breathable, stretchy upper construction.
- Lightweight sole.
- Excellent traction.
- Angled platforms can be too high for some users.
- Shoes tend to run small, so size up when ordering.
All too often, we take our stability for granted. But research shows that without intervention, balance issues are almost guaranteed as we age. By implementing an exercise program to help strengthen those muscles that are so important to equilibrium, and choosing the best shoes to improve balance, will help keep your footing.
For the men’s shoe, we like the New Balance Men’s MW577 and recommend them to my clients who favor or who are okay with the velcro hook and loop ‘doer uppers’. Personally I don’t like the look. Otherwise, they hit all the important features—solid construction, great traction, excellent arch support and stability- the leather is fine quality.
For the women’s shoe for best balance and stability we went for the Gravity Defyer Mighty Walk. For functionality, comfort and stability and a good looker too it was our top choice.