The Best
Running Shoes for Seniors

best running shoes for seniors

What are the best running shoes for seniors?


The ones that feel the best.

Common Question and Answers:

Does the brand matter?

Why do so many seniors wear running shoes?

What about “orthopedic” shoes?

Are the best running shoes for seniors good for elderly people who don’t run?

Does the brand matter?

How do we find the right ones?

What is the cost?

If we don’t like them, can we return them?

Why don’t you recommend a specific brand?


The Brand Matter?

The only reason to buy a brand name when you are searching for the best running shoes for seniors is because the quality and durability is usually much better than the no name brands. Usually.

These days, if you stay with a name brand, any name brand, you’re going to get a good shoe.

Now, the most important part will be to find the one that fits you the best and is the most comfortable.

Why Do

So Many Seniors Wear Running Shoes?

best running shoes for seniors #2

Because they feel good!

If you are already wearing them, you know what I mean.

If you haven’t tried them yet, you should.

No, they are not especially attractive. But, when you feel good at the end of the day, you probably won’t care. And, neither will anyone else.

And, for the very elderly, you may just prefer a good pair of Velcro shoes.

The Best Running Shoes

the best running shoes for seniors?

Having been an athlete most of my life (and I still am a senior athlete!), I learned the importance of proper footwear. That is what got me interested in showing friends how to find the best running shoes for seniors.

As a kid, in junior high, I wanted to join the track team. Not because I was a great runner, but, because they had the coolest sneakers.

Sneakers for runners: running shoes.

But, these were a different kind of “running shoe” than what you and I are looking for now. These were professional athlete shoes.

Those babies weren’t the cloddy basketball things that worked great on a court but were usually very uncomfortable everywhere else.

No, running shoes, for the track runners, were sculpted to the shape of the foot. They were tight fitting with no wasted space. They had very cool looking soles too. AND, only runners had them.

Turns out I was the slowest runner on the team. They made my feet hurt. BUT, I wore those shoes everywhere. Because they made me look cool.

NOW, we want the best running shoes for seniors, and the elderly too, that make our feet feel good!

There Are Two
Basic Running Shoes

In your search for the best running shoes for seniors, you will find there are two basic kinds of running shoes. Only one of these is good for seniors.

The typical “modern running shoe” is what you want. It’s nothing like the cool looking racing shoes I just mentioned. And, that's the difference in wording, "running shoes" and "racing shoes". You want the runners.

Most runners today are joggers. They want to run some distance and feel good after the run.

Today’s running shoes. The best ones for seniors, are well cushioned and very comfortable to wear everywhere.

Sprinting or Racing Shoes, on the other hand, fit like a leather sock that ties up and has metal spikes or rubber spike like things on the bottom.

These are designed for bursting off the starting line and having amazing traction on the track.

FORTUNATELY, if you make the mistake of trying these on, they are so darn uncomfortable that you will hate them right away.

But, boy do they look cool!

Are There Really
Running Shoes for Seniors?

The best running shoes for seniors? And, the elderly?

There was no such thing when we were young.

Old and elderly people wore a lot of ugly shoes that made them look distinctly like old people.

Or, if an old person’s feet were a big problem, they got custom made orthopedic shoes. Even uglier and Super expensive.

It’s hard to even find those anymore because of the excellent running shoes and shoe liners that are now available.

What About
Orthopedic Shoes?

Yes. And, as I mentioned, these custom made ones are hard to find now. Mostly because they went the way of the dinosaur.

They were and are super expensive. These days they are usually only purchased by individuals with very specific foot problems.

The reason for that is, there are now many running shoes, “orthopedic” shoes, and orthotic insoles, available for a fraction of the cost that do the job very well for most people.

The difference? Say $1,200 for custom shoes vs $150 for production shoes. That is why so many seniors are interested in finding the very best running shoes for seniors.

Did you know, there are even many very good orthopedic type shoes, with excellent cushioning, that look good too? We'll be talking about those in a minute and giving you a link to them.

Are There Special Shoes
Senior Citizens?

Yes. Great ones.

As a kid, we had absolutely no interest in special shoes. Why should we? Everything worked OK. Right?

why running shoes are good for seniors and elderly

But, NOW, as seniors we are not quite as supple, resilient, or strong as we were as kids. More things are fragile and hurt.

This applies to our entire body.

Gravity pulls everything down to the surface of this beautiful Earth.

Including: our heads, shoulders, bellies….. Unless we are taking very good care of all these things, we look all slumped and, yes, we think of that as old.

We want some comfy shoes! We don't have to be elderly to enjoy this pleasure.

High quality running shoes go a long way in buffering these problems. They bring lots of comfort. And, we’ve all come to love them. That is why once we try them, we usually want to find the best running shoes for seniors and elderly people also..

In our survey, the most common reason for buying running shoes for seniors is that they are:

  • More Comfortable

  • Longer Lasting

  • Less Expensive

than custom orthotics (insoles that are placed inside a shoe or sneaker to support and cushion the foot $120 - $800) which all seem to wear out quickly.

Are the Best Running Shoes for Seniors

Good For Elderly People Who Don’t Run?

Yes. They are actually great for everyone: young, middle age, elderly, and old. Running shoes are a wonderful invention.

Now, “old” is a relative term. I’m sure we can all agree on this. There are 70 and 80 year olds who walk tall, with grace, are slender, have a sparkle in their eyes, are quick witted…..

These wonderful people may have a lot of age. But, they are not “old”.

Then, there is the 50 and 60 year old (even some 40 year olds) who are weak, bent over, never seem to smile, always look terrible and have something wrong with them….. Yes, they are “old”.

Running shoes are great for everyone, no matter how old, and even if you never run a single step anymore. Why? Because they are so darn comfortable.

And, running shoes can be especially beneficial to elderly people. Even more than the athlete. Because they cushion not only the feet, but, the entire body from shock as we walk.

best running shoes for seniors #3

You Won’t Suddenly
Become an Athlete

No, we’re not just going to buy a pair of the best running shoes for seniors and suddenly become an athlete with a beautiful physique and endless energy.

I wish that was true. Don't you? Like a magic wand? But, it’s not the case. Darn it!

The best running shoes for seniors will not make you slimmer or smarter either. Another wonderful fantasy....

But, when you wear them, you will notice by the end of the day, that you feel a bit nicer. Less worn out.


This is a great question.

Here’s the answer:

Your feet support you. If your feet are bad or uncomfortable, every part of you will feel crummy.

best running shoes for seniors, #4

In order to stand tall and move smoothly our feet need the proper support and cushioning. They need adequate cushioning from the shock a foot gets each time we take a step.

High quality running shoes do just that.

The reason you see so many seniors wearing running shoes, and, why senior citizens often discuss which are the best running shoes (even though they never run) is because these shoes feel good.

We can go to the store, go shopping, walk to the park and feel good when we get home. Right?

Yes, as youngsters we wonder why grannies and grandpas wear running shoes. They never run.

The secret is out: Running shoes feel good, and, so do we when we wear them.

Running Shoes May Look Funny

Don't Worry: you can get similar cushioning with some style

Yes. As a Gramma or Grandpa, wearing running shoes can look funny. I mean, are most of us really running anywhere?


The reason so many of use seniors wear them regardless of how they look is because they feel so good. This is also why they can be of great comfort to so many of the elderly in our group also.

Well, we did a little research on this subject and we found there are a few shoe makers who make regular looking shoes that give the support and cushioning we were looking for. When you want to dress up and go somewhere, you can still be more comfortable in these shoes.

best running shoes for seniors, dress shoes

There are actually quite a few. These are our two favorite places to find them:

Orthotics Shop

KURU Footwear

Does the Brand Matter?


Remember I told you when looking for the best running shoes for seniors the brand doesn’t matter? Right? Well, that is true as long as you stay with the name brands.

Yes, name brands cost a bit more. Sometimes they are no better. With running shoes they almost always are.

Now, if you are on a very tight budget and can only afford the $10 on sale specials, get those. Any running shoe is going to be more comfortable to walk in than any street shoe.


Because running shoes are specially padded to absorb a lot of the shock our feet must endure when we take a step.

It’s not a big jolt. Just a little shock. Over, and over, and over, and over….. Thousands of times during the day.

It adds up. Our feet get tired. As do our backs and every other joint from the feet up because of these constant tiny jolts.

This causes fatigue and even pain throughout our entire physiology.

However, if you can afford the extra cost, high quality running shoes are worth the extra expenditure.

If you can not afford them, get the ones you can afford. You're still in for a treat!

What Are
The Differences?

When looking for the best running shoes for seniors and elderly people, what you'll find is the difference between cheap poor quality running shoes and excellent ones is materials and workmanship.

Very often this is difficult to see. You only notice it by putting them on and walking around.

The reason you want a good reputable brand is that the materials are higher quality. This means they will last longer and keep their shock absorbing properties much longer.

A good quality $125 pair may outlast three or four poor quality $40 pairs, and, give better support and comfort for their entire life.

So, if you can, stick with the name brands like:

  • New Balance
  • Brooks
  • Nike
  • Saucony
  • Mizuno
  • Karhu

There are a few others too. If you don’t know anything about the different brands, be sure to ask the salesperson the reputation of the company, and how other customers like them.

Also, tell the salesperson what type of foot you have. Wide? Medium? Narrow?

Different manufacturers tend to cut for different width feet. The salesman will try to match you up properly.

Why Are These
A Better Shoe for Seniors?

The best running shoes for senior athletes are also the best running shoes for seniors who never plan on running at all. And, elderly people who want a really comfortable shoe.


Because they give the foot the best support. And, shock prevention.

Even though you may never even run a single step in these shoes, it is worth spending as much as you comfortably can to get the best possible.

NOW, and this is very important:

The most expensive running shoes
are not necessarily the best running shoes for seniors
like you and me.

It’s not because they are just for athletic runners. It is because they may not fit our feet correctly.

We all come in slightly different sizes. This includes our tootsies! Fit is one of the two most important points when we’re looking for the best running shoes for seniors. Comfort is the other.

If you get those two things, you’re in business!

Yes, you may be a runner now. A very good one. Or, you may never run at all. BUT, we all have feet.

All feet have the same job. They all need the same care.

How Do We Find

Right Ones?

Here’s what you want to do when looking for your running shoes:

1  Go to a shoe store (if you can). Try on the ones that you like the look of. There’s nothing wrong with having some style. Right?

2  Also, tell the salesman/woman you want to try on their 3 best running shoes. Different stores promote different brands. So, going to even just 2 stores will give you a good choice. And, you can see which brands are recommended most.

3  If you are quite overweight, or very out of shape looking, with a straight face, tell the salesperson you need a better shoe for your next marathon. They will appreciate the humor and give you better service.

4  If they ask your price range, tell them you don’t have one. You just want the best shoes for your feet. After you have tried them all, get the ones that feel best. This is splurge you will never regret. You probably won’t go over $150. Yes, I know, that seems like a lot for “sneakers”. Right? But, these things are worth it. And, good ones will last a long time.

5  Pick the ones that feel the best. That is #1 on the importance list. A good pair of runners can last a good long time. They will be your friend every day. You’re making some very good new friends here. So, choose carefully.

6  IF YOU REALLY ARE A RUNNER - Everything applies the same way. The best foot support, and, the best running shoes for seniors, are also the best friend for your back and all your joints. Don’t skimp.

7  Don’t go to a sports shop and ask for the best running shoes. They may show you shoes made for sprinters. Or, super light weight ones with very little padding. NOT at all comfortable. Quite expensive. And, definitely wring for our comfort need. They are ALL light weight. So, an extra 1/4 of an ounce won’t make a difference to any of us.

8  Don’t buy anything that is not super comfortable right away. Running shoes require no breaking in. They are comfortable right out of the box. Even if the salesperson tells you the ones he recommends are “the best in the world” and on sale for just $8, don’t buy them if they don’t feel great right away. You will regret it later.

9  As soon as you slip the running shoes on and tie them, your feet should be sending you a happy feeling. If they do, you are on the right track. If they do not, take them off and try some others. Your feet will know when you found the right ones.

Shopping On Line:

10  Finding the best running shoes for seniors on line can be difficult because you can’t try them on first. HOWEVER: For some of us it’s not so easy to get to a shoe store. And, buying on line is much more suitable for us. If you decide to buy on line, make sure: You can return them if you don’t like them. Then there is no risk in trying what looks good to you.

For this reason we chose KURU as our #1 on line store. They have all styles including dress shoes.

KURU footwear offers:

  • Free shipping

  • Free exchanges

  • Free returns

Take a look at what KORU says about how they build their shoes.

We LOVE their shoes.

We also like Fleet Feet very much.. Fleet Feet also gives free shipping and free returns with orders over $99. They carry most of the major brands of running shoes.

What is
The Cost?

I know, $75 - $150 for a pair of “sneakers” seems like a lot. OK. It is a lot. But, these are not just sneakers.

And, 50 years ago, people had to pay $500+ to get shoes that cushioned their feet the way modern running shoes do.

Consider these shoes an important piece of clothing. Like a good winter jacket. You never regret being warm in the winter. And, you’ll never regret happy feet when you walk.

Also, don't use the excuse that you're too old and you don't need "fancy walking shoes". Stop that kind of thinking right now!

You deserve them and you should have them. That's right. You are important! So, get some that feel really great. Treat yourself really nice. You deserve it! AND: You won't ever regret it.

Do Running Shoes
Really Make a Difference?


As a Tango dancer, I buy shoes specifically designed for a dancer and a dance floor. They look normal. OK, more beautiful than normal. Quite fashionable in fact.

But, the soles and arches of dance shoes are especially cut to facilitate easier more precise smooth dancing.

Every good dancer buys these type of shoes because they know it improves their ability to move well.

Running shoes are similar. They look like sneakers. But, they are much more. They are really comfortable. They are best friends. They make walking a pleasure. We start to really enjoy walking somewhere again. I’m sure you’ll agree.

The best running shoes for seniors:

  • Will cushion and support the foot all the way around

  • Improve stability and balance

  • Cushion the street shock

choosing the best running shoes for seniors

If We Don’t Like Them

Can We Return Them?

We’ve mentioned this before a bit, but, this is important to remember:

The best running shoes for seniors
will only be the best for you
if they fit properly and if they feel good.

Usually the shoes you try in the store and enjoy will be just right after you take them home.

Sometimes, however, after you wear them for a long time, there may be something about the shoe that chafes somewhere. Or, makes your toes uncomfortable. Or, even a toe uncomfortable… Something you didn’t notice in the store.

So, before you buy, ask if they are returnable if you have a problem. If there is a no return policy, say “thank you” and go somewhere else. Most stores allow returns and/or exchanges.

BRING BACK any running shoes that prove not comfortable. Try another pair.

Remember: When you get the right ones, they will be a true joy to wear. Every day!

the best running shoes for senior citizens, comfort

* No charge returns is especially important if you are buying on line and haven’t had a chance to actually wear them yet.

The two companies we listed above offer free shipping and free returns. Kuru on all shoes. Fleetfeet on orders over $99 (which will be normal).

“Why Don’t You Recommend
A Specific Brand?”

Are we going to try to sell you some specific shoes now?


We are not going to recommend any specific running shoe.


Because we’re not all built alike. We don’t all have the same foot issues.

Picking the right running shoe is almost as important as choosing a husband or wife. Seriously. Get the wrong ones, even if they are “the best”, and you will eventually be miserable.

And, just like choosing the perfect mate, we all have different ideas and needs for what is perfect. Right?

So, when searching for the best running shoes for seniors, you need to choose the ones that feel best to you.

And, as I said early on: If you can, go to a good shoe store and try some on. (You wouldn’t marry someone without at least a few dates. Right?)

One Side Note: We don’t all have easy access to a running shoe store. Or, traveling is difficult. This can be especially true for the elderly among us.

If going to a shoe store is not an easy task for you, with on line shopping you can still shop fairly easily.

Make sure the sellers have a good reputation and that their shoes offer free returns (like the two we mentioned above) before you buy. This way you will be able to try the shoes before you decide to keep them.

Try the shoes on at home. Leave the labels on. Walk around the house. Keep them on your feet for a good long while. If you like them keep them. If you do not, send them back and try some others.
It doesn’t matter if you have to send back many pairs. These are your feet, and, you need to get the ones that feel good to you.


Finding the best running shoes for seniors is not really that difficult. And, what it really means is: Finding the best running shoes for you.

There are many great choices available.

Also, there are dress shoes that are made with support and cushioning features like the best running shoes for seniors for when you want to dress up.

Whether you are a runner, an average person, or an elderly senior who just wants comfortable feet when you stand up and walk, a good running shoe can not be beat.

best running shoes for seniors, #14

Enjoy!  ~ William, Fiona, and Charlotte

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