One of the questions we get asked the most after releasing our barefoot products is: Can people of old age wear minimalist footwear? Let us try to answer your question in this short post!
A study* conducted by Evi Petersen, Astrid Zech and Daniel Hamacher did experiments on 31 young people aged 25-33 years and 33 elderly people aged 67-75 years. The participants walked once on a flat surface barefoot and once with minimal footwear. Then, stride length, stride time and gait balance were measured.
As a result, all studied variables showed significant differences. Balance and gait improves when wearing minimalist footwear in both age groups. This means, no matter your age you can benefit from being barefoot or wearing minimalist footwear!
Here is a little story from one of our followers on Instagram, Mrs. Reinie Nadiawati she ia 67 years old and happily wears Tapak Barefoot Flip-Flops during weekly walks with her daughter.
Photo courtesy of @reninadiawati on Instagram
Here she is, still so healthy and strong! She has told us that her foot pain reduced significantly after wearing Tapak Barefoot Sandals consistently.
So, can the elderly wear minimalist footwear? The answer is: YES!
However, given the condition of the body that is no longer of young age, it would be safer if the practice of wearing minimalist footwear is also accompanied by more attention to physical abilities. If it's not possible to walk or do activities that are too extreme with minimalist footwear, then use them according to the recommendations of your respective doctors. Most importantly, don't forget to always listen to your body!
*Source: Petersen, E., Zech, A. & Hamacher, D. Walking barefoot vs. with minimalist footwear – influence on gait in younger and older adults. BMC Geriatr 20, 88 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12877-020-1486-3