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By the time you reach your 50th birthday, you've probably also reached another milestone: you've put 75,000 miles on your feet. You may reach this milestone much earlier if you've led a foot-active lifestyle. By age 50, you may have lost some of the fatty padding on the soles of your feet. You may also be wearing a shoe that's a size bigger than what you wore in your 20s, in part because of weight gain that puts greater pressure on your feet, and in part because your ligaments and tendons have lost some of their elasticity. If you are a mother, you have another reason for the increase in shoe size: hormones released during pregnancy also cause ligaments to relax.
Our feet do change considerably as we age, and for women, as we have children. They get both longer and wider. Let the shoe clerk measure both of your feet while you are standing. You may be surprised at your new size. Also, many exercise shoes come in multiple widths per length. Aging causes the most problems with the front (forefoot) of the foot, including pain (metatarsalgia) and bunions. This makes the width and height of the front of the shoe key. Even if the clerk measures your foot and brings out that size, if it doesn't fit correctly, experiment until you find one that does. Shoe sizing varies per company. If your feet measured different sizes, begin trying on the bigger size.
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.