Caring for Aging Feet: Common Issues and Solutions

Aging is a natural part of life, but that does not mean it is easy. As we grow older, our bodies undergo many changes that affect our physicality and how we perform daily functions. These changes occur throughout our bodies, including our aging feet.

Good foot care is vital to maintaining personal hygiene and overall health, especially in our older years. In this article, we will discuss the importance of caring for our aging feet, which issues commonly occur, various treatment options, and what you can do to prevent pain or injury in the first place.

The Impact of Poor Foot Health on the Aging Population

Foot pain and conditions in adults over 65 years are common and can significantly impact daily activities, such as:

  • Climbing Stairs
  • Getting Out of Chairs
  • Preparing and Cooking Meals
  • Using the Toilet and Bathing

Compromised foot health can also impede an individual’s balance, increasing the risk of dangerous falls.

How Does Aging Affect Your Feet?

People with chronic foot pain may have trouble getting around. The lack of movement can lead to weight gain, muscle weakness, and poor heart health. According to, one-third of older adults experience foot pain, stiffness, or aching feet.

Poorly Fitted or Inappropriate Footwear

Many foot problems result from poorly fitted or inappropriate footwear. Shoes can cause foot pain when they are:

  • Too Small
  • Lack Enough Padding (for the ball of the foot0
  • Have A Narrow Toe Box
  • Do Not Provide Enough Arch Support

High heels are also problematic for preventing or managing foot pain and other issues.

Physical Changes of the Feet

Our bodies experience many changes as we age. Decades of standing, walking, running, and more can change your feet in multiple ways, such as:

  • Stiffer Ankle and Foot Joints
  • Flatter and Less Flexible Arches
  • Feet Growing Wider and Longer
  • Drier Skin, Increasing the Risk of Infection
  • Less Natural Padding Under the Heel and Ball of the Foot

Additional Risk Factors

Some people with pre-existing conditions or certain lifestyles sit at a higher risk of developing foot problems later in life. These risk factors include:

  • Arthritis – severe foot pain and deformities are possible with gout, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Diabetes – complications include impaired eyesight, poor blood circulation, and loss of sensation in the feet
  • Injuries – trauma to the feet, toes, and ankles
  • Neuropathy – numbness or weakness from dysfunctional peripheral nerves in the feet and ankles
  • Poor Circulation – symptoms include pins-and-needles feeling, painful cramping, swollen ankles/feet, plus thin, dry, or cracked skin

Flat feet, high arches, and extra weight or obesity are risk factors associated with an individual’s lifestyle.

Treatments and Foot Care for Aging Feet

Many foot conditions can develop as we age. Common foot problems for adults include, but are not limited to:

  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Toenail Issues
  • Heel Pain
  • Tendonitis

Treatment options and ways to care for your aging feet may involve:

  • Upgrading Your Shoes
  • Investing In Custom Orthotics
  • Physical Therapy
  • Following a Healthy Diet and Exercise Plan
  • Medications (oral or topical)
  • Surgery

Along with consistent washing, drying, and nail clipping, individuals over 65 years should make it a habit to check their feet regularly for signs of bruising, skin breakage, thickened or discolored toenails, sources of pain, and anything else that is out of the norm.

Keep Your Foot Health at Its Best. See a Podiatrist Today.

To prevent foot pain or a potential condition from worsening, the aging population should promptly schedule an appointment with a podiatrist as soon as they notice any discomfort. The more proactive you are with your foot care, the longer you can stay active and maintain more independence.

When you schedule an appointment at The Foot & Ankle Center, you will receive expert care from our experienced podiatrists. Whether you want a general check-up or have concerns that you would like to address, we can help!

To schedule a visit, please submit our online form at You may also reach us by email at and by phone at (314) 487-9300.