Best Running Shoes for Seniors and Older Runners

As we age, we tend to lose tissue mass as well as elasticity. Our muscles gradually show signs of wear and tear and our limbs no longer perform at their best. Apart from normal wear out, old age often brings with its share of medical conditions which affect our musculoskeletal system.

In this article, we will look at how aging affects our feet and what we need to consider before buying a running shoe for seniors. We will go on to review a few of the best running shoes for older runners.

Last update 2021-06-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Well, if you are looking for running shoes meant for older runners for your own use, I must congratulate you on your physical fitness. It is estimated that less than a third of the population over the age of 65 is physically active.

In fact, over 80% of adults do not meet the recommended daily level of aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercise, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services1.

Elderly People Wearing Sports Shoes for Good Balance and Jogging

Over the past few decades, a gradually sedentary lifestyle and sub-optimal diet have increased the likelihood of age-related health issues in the elderly.

Even otherwise, as we enter the golden years of our lives, we tend to suffer from normal wearing out of tissues and tendons on our legs and feet, which calls for the use of a bit more specialized footwear if you are planning to walk or run a few miles.

Here we have a video that shows jogging tips for older runners.

Jogging Tips for 45-Year-Olds : Running Tips

How Age Affects the Feet of Older Runners?

The human foot is made of 26 bones and a complicated structure of ligaments, tendons, and muscles. With age, the tendons and ligaments of our feet tend to lose their elasticity and begin to stretch out.

This reduces the depth of the arch of our feet and leads to a condition called the flat feet. This condition also causes pain in the arch of the foot.

As we age, common foot conditions also include shortening of the Achilles’ tendon due to loss of water in the tissue and this also results in a more flat-footed walking or running posture.

Arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis, is increasingly affecting the elderly and can affect your ankle bone and joint, leading to severe pain. These and a few other conditions are quite commonplace in the elderly and will require you to carefully select your footwear to suit your feet and running needs.

Running Shoes for Seniors

What to Consider Before Buying Running Shoes for Seniors?

  • Enough Space for all Toes: Many running shoes, or most shoes for that matter, have tapering ends while the human feet are not tapering, in fact, they expand till the toes. Therefore, it is very important that all your toes get enough space at the end of the shoe and are not scrunched up due to lack of space which may lead to reduced blood flow and formation of warts.
  • Padding: Running shoes for older runners should have ample padding on the heels. Moreover, they should also support the arch of your feet with extra padding to prevent aggravating any conditions that may have reduced the elasticity of your feet ligaments. Additional padding in running shoes for seniors also prevents conditions like supination.
  • Sole: The sole should be well-padded and be surrounded by comfortable cushioning to give enough support to the Achilles’ tendon and ankle bones
  • Ventilation: Running shoes for seniors should have adequate ventilation and you should avoid tying laces too tight to prevent compromised blood flow to the feet while running.
  • Size: It is important for older runners to always get footwear that is comfortable and not a very snug fit for your feet. Get a size larger, particularly if you are buying a shoe that is tapering at the front.

Below we have reviewed some of the best running shoes for seniors. We hope that the reviews will help you select the right product for your feet.

#1 ASICS Men’s Gel-Nimbus Running Shoes

The item is a premium running shoe with a lot of technologies packed into the sole, arch, and the body. The Flytefoam technology in the midsole offers more comfort and bounce.

ASICS Men’s Gel-Nimbus Running Shoes

Forefoot GEL technology reduces stress on toes and the front of the foot. The Trusstic technology on the arch helps provide better support to the arch of the foot and increases the longevity of the shoe. The corresponding women’s running shoes with similar features are ASICS Women’s Gel-Venture running shoes.

Pros

  • Shoe body is made of synthetic mesh fabric for ventilation and breathable wear
  • Available in 22 colors and designs; You can choose the one that best matches your personality
  • Lightweight but durable sole
  • Good cushioning with rearfoot and forefoot GEL technology reduces shock during impact
  • Available in wide and extra-wide sizes for better comfort for seniors
  • Good support for arch of the foot
  • Wide and thick cushioning on the collar to support the Achilles’ tendon and ankle bone

Cons

  • On the expensive side
  • Your normal size and normal fit may not be comfortable as fit may be too snug, leading to compression of big and small toes. Try to purchase one size bigger or the wide/extra wide version for the same sizes

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#2 Under Armour Men’s Charged Assert Running Shoe

The Under Armour running shoes are made of polyester and elastane, with leather overlays on the collar, lace holes and the front of the shoe for greater durability and longevity. The shoe has rubber soles for good shock absorption and its 4E sizing is built to better fit runners with wider feet.

Under Armour Men’s Charged Assert Running Shoe

Pros

  • Breathable shoe body for comfortable long periods of use
  • Good cushioning on sole and forefoot, as well as collar of the shoe for better absorption of shocks
  • Available in 15 colors, lighter as well as some bright and vibrant colors
  • Comfortable and suitable for heavier users
  • Leather overlays on the rims and midfoot for greater durability and stability
  • Extra lace holes help you to tie and secure the midfoot for a better running experience

Cons

  • All colors come with white outer soles which may become dirty on outdoor use. Requires regular cleaning to maintain

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#3 New Balance Men’s 608 V5 Casual Comfort Cross Trainer

These running shoes are made either of suede material or synthetic leather and have rubber sole with dual density collar foam. The shoes come in 10 different colors and design and are available in wide or extra wide sizes as well for customized fitting.

New Balance Men’s 608 V5 Casual Comfort Cross Trainer

Pros

  • Available in 10 colors and designs to choose from
  • High-density collar foam for better support to Achilles’ tendon and ankle joint
  • Available in wide and extra-wide sizes for usual foot size
  • Rubber sole for better comfort and absorption of impact
  • Removable insoles for extra cushioning

Cons

  • Support for arch of the foot can be better designed
  • Fabric breathability may be a concern

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#4 Saucony Women’s ProGrid Integrity Shoes

These shoes are made of 100 percent full-grain leather and have rubber soles. Perforations on the body of the shoe ensure breathability and has a premium carbon rubber outsole layer in the high wear zones for longer durability.

Saucony Women’s ProGrid Integrity Shoes

Pros

  • Made of full-grain leather for better durability and strength
  • Shoe design provides good support for the arch of the foot
  • Padding on tongue and collar for extra cushioning and comfort during long periods of use
  • Available in narrow, wide and extra-wide versions in each size for a completely customized fitting experience
  • High lacing for a snug fit on the mid-foot
  • Carbon rubber outsole layer adds to the durability of the sole and shoe

Cons

  • Lack of grip on wet surfaces
  • Leather, once wet, may become hard upon drying, leading to loss of flexibility

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#5 New Balance Women’s 410 V5 Trail Running Shoes

These shoes are made of a mix of synthetic and mesh fabric for better breathability and ventilation and have anti-wear rubber soles for long durability. It is available in 5 colors and has a size of ‘wide’ variety in each of the standard shoe sizes.

New Balance Women’s 410 V5 Trail Running Shoes

Pros

  • Mesh fabric lends good ventilation while wearing shoes for long periods of time
  • Rubber soles lead to high absorption of impact while running
  • Thick padding on the collar provides support for ankle bone and Achilles’ tendon
  • Available in wide format for each of the shoe sizes

Cons

  • Your normal shoe size may run a bit small on these shoes and you should ideally order one size bigger shoe. However, keep in mind to use the higher lace provisions for a snug fit, otherwise, your heels may come in and out of the shoe causing shoe bites.

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#6 Skechers Men’s Energy Afterburn Lace Up Shoes

These shoes are made of synthetic material and have rubber soles with a layer of carbon rubber for better longevity. The shoes are available in extra wide versions of every size and have an extra thick 1.5-inch heel for better cushioning and comfort.

Skechers Men’s Energy Afterburn Lace Up Shoes

Pros

  • Double layer stitching for better durability and strength
  • Comes in 8 designs and colors for more choice
  • Available in extra wide option for all sizes and wide as well for some shoe sizes
  • Thick heels of carbon rubber for durability and good shock adsorption

Cons

  • No ventilation in shoe material or perforation; may lead to your feet perspiring upon long use

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#7 Hoka One Women’s Bondi Running Shoe

These running shoes for women are made of mesh fabric with an overlay of synthetic material for better durability. The mesh fabric offers a good breathable running experience.

Hoka One Women’s Bondi Running Shoe

There is a corresponding men’s version of HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 6...  with similar features.

Pros

  • Padded insoles offer good cushioning on rough and graveled paths
  • Extra cushioning on collar and tongue to provide support to the ankle bone
  • Provides support for the arch of the heel and arrests conditions like supination
  • Full length EVA mid-sole provides further shock absorption

Cons

  • On the expensive side
  • Arch support may offer slightly misdirected support on your regular sized shoe

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Conclusion

Often you would understand the difference in the quality of shoes, when you wear them for longer periods of time and indulge in some physical activity.

However, you can significantly reduce the chances of a mis-purchase by carefully going through each listing and choosing the features that matter to you the most.

And always remember to follow the general rule of thumb, get a 0.5 or 1 size bigger than your foot size for ensuring a comfortable fit and good running experience.

References

  1. https://www.hhs.gov/fitness/resource-center/facts-and-statistics/index.html
About Estephanie Jill

Estephanie Jill (EJBP, BSPT, PTRP) is a licensed physiotherapist. She is a home health care provider, laboratory technician for physical therapy students, medical transcriptionist, and an advocate of the physiotherapy profession. Apart from that, she loves writing. Playing to her strengths, she mainly writes around health and fitness, She has been commended for her writing in the past. Her other passions include commenting on societal changes and writing life reflective pieces. She enjoys meaningful conversations, and detaching from the digital world to do yoga and meditation. She is a self-confessed foodie who enjoys eating for the experience and then burning it all off through exercise.