Best Athletic Shoes For Seniors To Wear

As seniors age, they may not be able to wear shoes that they wore in their younger years. Wear and tear of muscles result in flat feet, and plantar fasciitis may become more common. As a result, it's important to prioritize comfort over style when buying athletic shoes for the elderly. 

The best athletic shoes for seniors have useful features like a breathable mesh upper, padded tongue, and slip resistant sole that are necessary for their everyday exercise and walks or when running errands among other activities. Read on to get a complete break down of the best athletic shoes for seniors to have in 2022. 

What Are The Best Athletic Shoes For Seniors In 2022?

To help you choose the proper athletic shoes for seniors, here are some of the best stable walking shoes that provide anatomical arch support, help prevent injury, and improve balance during physical activities.

Product NameSaucony Men's Echelon 8 Running ShoeNew Balance Men's 928 V3 Lace-up Walking ShoeSketchers Women's Go Walk 5-15901 SneakerAdidas Unisex-Adult Ultraboost DNA Sneaker Belilent Sneakers Women Walking Shoes
Price$129.95$69.99 - $364.94$34.12 - $157.50$107.25$19.99
Size7-15, Regular to X-Wide7-16, Narrow to XX-Wide4-13, Regular to Wide5-13, Regular5-11, Regular

1. Saucony Men's Echelon 8 Running Shoe - Best Versatile Shoes for Running

Saucony Men's Echelon 8 Running Shoe
  • Price: $129.95
  • Size: 7-15, Regular to X-Wide
  • Support: High
  • Comfort: High
  • Flexibility: High

One of the best athletic walking shoes for men is the Echelon 8. It is a very protective shoe that has a roomy toe box, a secure fit, and plenty of cushioning to prevent knee injuries. The PWRRUN cushioning provides springy energy return and plenty of durability, reducing fatigue during runs and other sports.

The base of the shoe is very stable and wide to support the entire foot, while the 3D Support Frame adds additional security at the heel counter and prevents the foot from slipping out. The Orthotic-friendly sockliner is very comfortable, and it has removable insoles to accommodate special insoles.

Arch support can be replacedMay lack traction on slippery surfaces
Padded collar accommodates custom insolesCould be more durable
Good for wide feetThe insole may be too thick for some people

2. New Balance Men's 928 V3 Lace-up Walking Shoe - Best Supportive Walking Shoes

New Balance Men's 928 V3 Lace-up Walking Shoe
  • Price: $69.99 - $364.94
  • Size: 7-16, Narrow to XX-Wide
  • Support: High
  • Comfort: Medium
  • Flexibility: Medium

The New Balance 928 men’s walking shoe has motion control and ROLLBAR stability technologies as well as ABZORB cushioning to help seniors keep their balance during day to day activities. It has a removable insole for added customization and a durable rubber outsole that prevents slips and falls.

When choosing athletic walking shoes for men, it's important to find a shoe with many widths for the most secure fit. This particular pair comes in a range of narrow to XX-wide sizes so you can find the best shoes for your needs.

Wide toe box suited for a wider foot shapeMay wear out quickly over time
New Balance shoes provide great stabilityTongue may be too short for some people
Comes in both leather and mesh uppersSizing could be improved

3. Sketchers Women's Go Walk 5-15901 Sneaker - Best Women's Slip on Shoes

Sketchers Women's Go Walk 5-15901 Sneaker
  • Price: $34.12 - $157.50
  • Size: 4-13, Regular to Wide
  • Support: High
  • Comfort: High
  • Flexibility: High

When choosing athletic shoes for seniors, ease of wear should be a high priority. This pair of slip on shoes are made of 100% mesh, making it a good pair for those with sweaty feet. The Skechers Air Cooled Goga Mat insole provides additional breathability and helps keep you cool in the heat.

Unlike some other walking shoes for seniors, this pair is machine washable and can be air dried when it gets dirty. It comes in a wide variety of colors to match different outfits and can be used for travel, walking, and other casual activities.

Soft lining and breathable mesh uppers keep feet coolDoes not come with laces to customize fit
Easy to slip on for those with swollen feetCushioning could be thicker for those with joint problems
Provides good arch support for brisk walkingHas no leather upper option

4. Adidas Unisex-Adult Ultraboost DNA Sneaker - Best Comfortable Shoes for the Elderly

Adidas Unisex-Adult Ultraboost DNA Sneaker
  • Price: $107.25
  • Size: 5-13, Regular
  • Support: High
  • Comfort: High
  • Flexibility: Medium

The stylish Adidas DNA sneaker is an excellent choice and one of the best athletic walking shoes, often recommended as a shoe for seniors, especially those with specific foot conditions. The sock-like fit tightly hugs the foot, ensuring support for various foot types, and supportive shoes like these also assist the arch during indoor and outdoor sports, offering extra comfort for those who maintain an active lifestyle.

The stretchy and seamless synthetic uppers are very breathable and dry easily when wet. Although it comes at a higher price point, the tailored support and sturdy rubber outsole provide plenty of grip to help keep seniors safe.

Stylish walking shoe that can be used for runningDoesn't have velcro straps for easy wear
Great shock absorption and cushioned midsoleMore expensive than most shoes for the elderly
Lightweight shoes prevent fatigueAvailable only in regular widths

5. Belilent Sneakers Women Walking Shoes - Best Affordable Walking Shoes for Seniors

Belilent Sneakers Women Walking Shoes
  • Price: $19.99
  • Size: 5-11, Regular
  • Support: Low
  • Comfort: Medium
  • Flexibility: Medium

These Belilent athletic walking shoes for seniors are one of the most affordable options on the market today. They are durable enough for most daily activities including daily walking, driving, shopping, gardening, yoga and travel. However, they aren't the best fit for more intense exercise since they may be too lightweight.

One of their best features is the elastic shoelace top that can be easily tightened or loosened seniors looking to achieve the perfect fit. They also come in plenty of colors.

Lightweight shoe can be used for walking and travelShock absorption could be more effective
Synthetic mesh upper is breathableLimited cushioning for those with heel pain
Elastic laces are suitable for aging feet and most elderly womenNot a good fit for custom orthotic inserts

What To Look For In Athletic Shoes For Seniors

Since athletic and canvas sneakers, often noted for their excellent traction on a variety of surfaces, come with the lowest risk of falls compared to other shoe styles, they are a good option to have in every wardrobe. Knowing what to look for in a proper shoe, especially considering different foot shapes and potential foot issues, can help you find the comfortable walking shoes, ensuring foot health and maximum comfort for seniors.


Ideally, seniors should wear closed-heel shoes for greater stability. This is because open heeled shoes like flip flops don't fit tightly enough creating instability or balance problems. 

When walking, sandals are generally more likely to lead to stubbed toes or other injuries compared to closed-toed footwear like sneakers. Sneakers also have greater sole support to prevent pain in the foot arch during long walks.

Shock Absorption

The heel padding wears out with age, so thin, unsupportive footwear isn't suitable for seniors. Ideally, seniors should look for shoes with memory foam and shock absorption to help support the foot with every step. This can be beneficial on hard and rocky ground.


To promote healthy feet, arch support from the heel to toes is essential. This means that the midsole and outsole should be made with sturdy materials to reduce the burden on the knees, back, and arch of the foot. Some seniors may choose to use orthopedic shoes or replace existing insoles for greater support.


Finding a pair of shoes with a grippy rubber sole can help seniors feel more secure when it rains. A sole that lacks tread may make the wearer stumble, especially on steeper trails, jogs, or fast runs. Since running shoes come with different types of traction and support levels, it's important to look at the surface on which you'll be walking or running.


When choosing the right walking shoes, flexibility is another key factor. Midsoles need to be sturdy and not too flexible since they can lead to a twisted ankle or a rough fall. Some flexibility can be beneficial, but in general, hard and sturdy soles are more resistant to slips and falls.

Frequently Asked Questions About Athletic Shoes For Seniors

Since there are plenty of variations in athletic shoes, here are some common questions and concerns seniors may have when shopping for the right pair.

What are the best sneakers for senior citizens?

The best walking shoes for seniors provide a good balance of cushioning and support. Brands like Adidas, New Balance, and Skechers often have models that can promote better running and walking posture. However, each senior will have their own specific needs so finding the right fit and features is essential.

What type of shoes should elderly wear?

Ideally, elderly people choosing the best walking shoes or slippers should choose a heel that is 1 in (1.6 cm) or lower, have soles that prevent slipping, come with a velcro strap or lace up closure, a firm heel counter, plenty of toe room, memory foam, and a smooth lining to improve comfort.

What is the difference between a walking sneaker and a running sneaker?

While running shoes have a stiffer sole, walking shoes tend to be more flexible. Running shoes also have larger heel cups to prevent feet from slipping out of the backs of the shoes.

Seek advice from a personal trainer or physical therapist on suitable shoe recommendations, considering your current pair of shoes and any foot condition you may have. If you have sensitive feet or often experience swollen feet, details like an adjustable velcro strap or a slip-on design may be integral to your selection. Trail shoes could be a subset to consider if you're outdoorsy, while casual walking shoes might be a better fit for regular, everyday use. Ensure to check the return policies when trying new brands or models and explore various color options to add a fun element to your everyday shoe choices. In some cases, casual shoes with non-slip soles can also be a viable choice for seniors, making sure they’re adaptable to wet surfaces. Opting for durable leather as the upper material might also extend the life of your chosen footwear, providing a robust option for those maintaining an active lifestyle.

For seniors, the best athletic walking shoes for men and women provide sufficient comfort, stability, support, and value for money. Don't forget to replace your shoes after every three hundred to four hundred miles of wear since the tread of the sole is likely to wear out over time, along with the shock absorbency and cushioning. If tying your own shoes proves to be hard, check out the best hands-free shoes for seniors.

Going hiking? Visit our article about the best hiking shoes for seniors for our recommendations.

Read on to learn more about how to choose the best walking shoes for seniors at Senior Strong today!

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