The Best Socks for Seniors


According to Harvard Health Publishing, “Taking care of your feet could improve your chances of staying on them.”1

There is a long list of risk factors for falling, but on that list, foot pain and afflictions are often overlooked. But if fall prevention is important to you, it’s time for seniors to start giving some love to their feet.

Our Feet Age over Time

As we age, our feet age with us. Over time, “Muscle tissue thins out, blood is more likely to pool in veins, and arches falter.”1 But it isn’t age itself that leads to foot problems. Injuries and chronic diseases are what cause our foot health to decline, but we tend to accumulate these problems as we age, and about 30% of older people experience foot pain from such issues. Let’s take a look at some of those issues that commonly impact our feet, and the best socks to support us through them.

Common Foot Problems in Seniors

Seniors experience some foot problems more often than others. Being familiar with them can help us to prevent them from occurring, and being able to recognize them can help us treat them. Healthy feet are happy feet!

1. Blisters

Blisters form when we wear shoes that are too tight or that rub against our feet. The friction against our skin causes a fluid-filled pocket to form under the upper layers. Finding shoes that fit properly is one of the best ways to prevent blisters from forming, but wearing socks can be just as important, especially when wearing sneakers or other close-toed shoes, because socks will absorb any unpreventable friction, keeping your feet unharmed.

2. Foot Fungus

There are many different types of foot fungus, and once you have it, it is extremely difficult to get rid of. Some will even attack nail beds, causing toenails to become misshapen. One of the best ways to prevent foot fungus is to keep your feet covered in public places, such as locker rooms and by the pool, with either shoes or socks. Even showers can spread foot fungus, so it’s important to cover your feet in any public rest room or locker room.

3. Odor

The bacteria that cause that awful foot stink thrives in dark, damp places, so sweaty shoes make the perfect breeding ground. Washing your feet, keeping them as dry as possible in between washes, frequently changing into clean socks, and disinfecting or airing out shoes between uses are all ways to lessen or eliminate bad foot odor.

4. Plantar Fasciitis

According to the Mayo Clinic, one of the most common causes of heel pain is plantar fasciitis. “Plantar fasciitis is most common in people between the ages of 40 and 60,” with the most typical symptom being a stabbing pain in the bottom of the foot or in the heel. This pain usually occurs during the first steps taken in the morning, but activities that place tension and stress on the fascia can exacerbate the problem, also causing pain.2

5. Bunions

Bunions occur when the bones in the big toe misalign, causing bone to jut out of the foot at the base of the toe. The misshapenness of the foot can lead to certain areas taking on more pressure, causing foot pain, and the bunion can lead to an increase of friction inside your shoe, causing blisters and calluses.

Taking Care of Our Feet

Being conscientious about foot health and taking care of our feet is a great fall prevention strategy. Even though only 5% - 10% of falls among elderly people result in a major physical injury, senior falls are frightening, so it’s important to prevent them. After all, one fall is one fall too many. It’s also important to be prepared if they do happen. A good way to put your mind at ease about falling is to own a medical alert system. Alert1’s emergency Command Centers are staffed by trained agents 24/7/365, and once a member sends an alert, our emergency response team stays on the line with them until help arrives, which most companies do not do. Alert1 members are always assured that there is someone looking out for them.

Socks Can Help

Maintaining proper foot health is a great fall prevention strategy, and while many people take the time to pick out comfortable shoes, people tend to be less particular about their socks. Big mistake! The right kind of socks can help to prevent foot issues, provide relief from existing conditions, or both.

The Best Types of Socks

When we walk into a store, we are greeted with rows and rows of socks going up and down the aisle. After a while, they all start to look the same! But they’re not the same. While you don’t need to know the brand name and ranking of each type of sock, there are a few important features that seniors should pay special attention to. With a little care, you can find the perfect sock to benefit your lifestyle and overall foot health.

1. Compression Socks

Do you like to travel? Then compression socks might be the right choice for you. Travel usually involves airplanes or sitting for long periods of time, so a lot of people experience swelling in their feet when they travel. The swelling occurs when blood pools in the veins, but compression socks can prevent this from happening. When you’re traveling, one of the last things you want to do is have to stop somewhere to buy bigger shoes! Compression socks can support circulation, prevent swelling, and ensure that your shoes continue to fit comfortably.

2. Padded Socks

There’s nothing that puts more spring in your step than a little squish in your shoe! Socks with extra padding help to lessen foot pain by absorbing shock when you take a step. The places on your foot that typically take the most shock are the balls of your feet and your heels, and those are also the places where most people will experience foot pain. Because of this, you’re most likely to find extra padding in these areas, but there are socks made for all different types of foot pain. Look for a sock that’s padded in the areas where you need it the most.

3. Moisture Wicking Socks

According to the Foot and Ankle Center of Washington, “Synthetic fibers keep your feet cool and dry.” Moisture wicking socks are made from these synthetic fibers that dry quickly, which keeps the moisture off your feet.4 These types of socks are great for people who like to go for walks, jog, or hike, or people with sweaty or hot feet. In addition to keeping your feet dry, the moisture wicking material can keep your feet cool, especially in warmer months. This can also help to prevent or lessen the foot orders that often accompany sweaty feet.

For people who like to walk, jog, or hike, moisture wicking socks are the way to go, but there is only so much a sock can do in the way of fall prevention. Falls can happen any time, and when prevention methods fail, it’s always good to have a backup plan, such as a medical alert system. For those who like to be on-the-go, a medical alert wristband is a stylish and functional choice. The Alert1 On-the-Go Wrist Watch Medical Alert has a built in GPS and pedometer to keep you going on adventures with peace of mind. The right socks can take you anywhere, and the right medical alert device can provide you with safety as you go.

4. Socks with Arch Support

A collapsed or fallen arch can be very painful, but it doesn’t have to be painful if you have the right support. You can find shoes and shoe inserts with arch supports, but there are also socks that can provide additional support. Look for socks that have ribbing around the middle. They will also usually advertise that they provide arch support.

5. Diabetic Socks

If you have diabetes, you already know how important it is to treat your feet with the utmost care. Diabetic socks typically have most or all of the aforementioned attributes, keeping the blood circulating, your feet cushioned from injury, and your feet dry. If you want a sock that is the top of the line and checks all of your boxes, try looking for diabetic socks.

6. Grip Socks

Grip socks are perfect for people who like to spend a lot of time around the house. They cover your feet more than slippers, they don’t track in dirt from outside like shoes can, and they allow your feet to breathe more than when in shoes. Walking around the house in socks can be dangerous, though, especially on hardwood and tile floors. Even on carpeting, there is the potential to slip and fall. One way to stay safe in your home is to have a medical alert system. The Alert1 In-Home + Fall Detection Medical Alert system can detect your fall and call for help for you, in the event a fall occurs where you cannot push the alert button yourself.6 Grip socks can help to prevent slips from happening at home, but Alert1 medical alert technology can keep you protected should falls occur.

Footloose and Fancy Free

Seniors shouldn’t have to worry about taking walks or living an active lifestyle. With the right footwear and the right medical alert system to back you up, those feet can take you anywhere!

As always, Alert1 wishes you (and your feet) all the best.