Foot Problems


Poor-fitting Shoes

One of the main causes of foot problems is poor-fitting shoes. Most older people wear poorly fitting shoes that  are too small, too narrow or high-heeled. Their shoes may have slippery soles or have no protection or support.

Poorly fitting shoes can cause serious injury and pain and increase falls.

Physical Changes in the Feet

A person may have foot pain because decades of standing can change your feet:

  • The natural cushion of padding under the heel and the ball of the foot decreases.
  • Arches get flatter and less flexible.
  • Ankles and foot joints become stiffer.
  • The whole foot gets wider and longer.
  • Skin on feet gets drier with age so infections happen more easily.

Risk Factors for Foot Problems

A person has a higher risk of having foot problems in later life if they have:

  • Diabetes. This disease can cause poor eyesight and blood circulation and loss of sensation in the feet. 
  • Arthritis. osteoarthritis, gout, and rheumatoid arthritis- can cause severe foot pain or deform the feet.
  • Neuropathy (loss of sensation) in the feet and ankles or other types of nerve or muscle damage.
  • Poor circulation for other reasons such as hardening of the arteries, or peripheral arterial disease, can also cause foot problems.
  • Injuries to the feet, toes or ankles.
  • Abnormal blood vessels.
  • Flat feet or highly arched feet.
  • Work that involves a lot of standing.
  • Walking often on hard surfaces.
  • Obesity or extra weight can harm the foot’s bones and ligaments.


Last Updated February 2023

Back To Top