By Ellen Blake
Are Shoelaces Being Phased Out?
It does seem that shoelaces may be on their way out. Slip-on shoes without laces are very popular these days. This trend is seen in various types of footwear, including sneakers and men’s dress shoes. Their sleek and minimalist design appeals to many and they are easy to put on and take off, which offers a new level of convenience.
I get it. I understand the reasons people like slip-ons. But I’m not there yet. Perhaps I am not yet willing to leave behind something that served me well for many years and it feels disloyal. Or maybe I think with nostalgia about teaching my children to tie their shoelaces, which was an important milestone in their young lives. It’s also possible simply that change is hard. Whatever the reason, I prefer to stick with my tried and true shoes with laces. Who’s with me?
A Brief History of the Shoelace
Shoelaces had a good run for many years. Most reports say that shoelaces are as old as shoes themselves. Some say that cavemen and women used specific shoelace designs to distinguish between tribes 5,000 years ago. There is even an example of laced medieval footwear from the 12th century In the Museum of London. Some historical records suggest that a guy named Harvey Kennedy invented shoelaces with aglets in 1790. Aglets are the small plastic pieces on the ends that help thread the laces through the small holes. The shoelaces we all know and love today evolved from these earlier versions.
We know that the original purpose of shoes, before they become a fashion statement, was to protect feet from hazards and weather. A good fit is necessary to maximize protection and comfort, and shoelaces are a way to ensure the shoes are snug and secure. The laces allow for greater adjustability and customization of the fit, important for activities such as sports, running, or hiking. Some believe shoes with laces offer more support and stability than their counterparts without laces. This can be important for people with foot or ankle issues. It’s amazing to me that something costing less than two dollars can make a huge difference in the function of a shoe.
Are Slip-On Shoes Bad for Your Feet?
While some do not think shoes without laces are as supportive as those with them, many do not agree. However, the level of support depends a lot on the design and construction of the shoe, and also the activity for which it is used. If designed with the right features, slip-ons can be a great option. Slip-on shoes designed with elastic or stretchy materials can conform to the shape of the foot to provide a comfortable, supportive fit. They are a great choice for casual wear or running errands as you can slip them on quickly and easily. I like that they add a modern and effortless look to any outfit from jeans to dresses to pajamas.
However, experts advise us to avoid shoes that are completely flat because they don’t give your feet any support. Without support, you can develop issues such as pronation and collapsed arches. And these conditions can lead to more problems like shin splints, and knee and back pain. Many slip-ons seem to be flat, so please avoid those, But know that some shoes with laces also are flat, so you want to avoid those too! So if you ask “Are slip-on shoes bad for your feet?”, the answer is sometimes. But sometimes shoes with laces are bad for your feet too.
Benefits of Slip-Ons for Older Adults
Ease of use
Slip-on shoes are wonderful for people with mobility or dexterity issues. They are easier to put on and take off than shoes with laces. For this reason, they may be especially helpful for those who have difficulty bending down to tie their shoes or manipulate the laces.
Comfort and accommodating fit
Slip-ons provide a more accommodating fit, and that is particularly important for seniors with swelling or other foot conditions. Shoes designed with stretchy or flexible materials can allow for great comfort and adjustability to accommodate different foot shapes, widths, and sizes. Some also have a cushioned footbed, a supportive midsole, and a durable outsole, which can provide adequate support and shock absorption.
As slip-on shoes do not carry the risk of tripping or falling over loose laces, they can provide a safer option than laced shoes. These types of shoes also often have slip-resistant soles which provide greater traction, further reducing the risk of slips and falls.
Some of Our Favorite Slip-On Shoes
Below are a few suggestions for slip-on shoes to give you an idea of the wide variety of designs available.
Women’s Orthopedic Slip-On Shoes With Arch Support for Pain Relief
This attractive, durable, and well-made pair of shoes with their canvas Upper, rubber sole, and arch support insole improves foot and leg alignment and helps ease stress and pain caused by flat feet, bunions, arthritis, plantar fasciitis, and diabetes. Super lightweight and easy to slip on are convenient and comfortable! Great for older adults to promote independence as well as those who work on their feet all day! Available in a variety of colors.
Men’s Casual Support Slip-On Shoes With Arch Support, Foot and Heel Pain
These elegant leather shoes are made with high-quality leather material and superior texture, They are extremely comfortable for men and fashionable. They can be dressed up with jeans or shorts! The orthotic inserts provide great ARCH SUPPORT and decrease foot fatigue. The deep heel cup can reduce overstretch of Plantar Fasciitis and strengthen the stressed area to balance the pressure on the front and back heel. You’ll love the massage layer! And the excellent quality GEL material is great for shock absorption and pain relief. Lightweight and durable, these shoes provide a great user experience. Available in a variety of colors.
Women’s Active Sneaker- Supportive sneakers that Include an Orthotic Insole and Cushioned Outsole for Arch Support
No lace sneakers are for the more active older adult! It is an extremely comfortable walking shoe that provides a great fit for most! Obviously, you need to try them for yourself, but we’ve heard excellent reviews from many. Great for walking stairs without discomfort too. These sneakers include an orthotic insole and cushioned outsole for arch support and come in wide widths. Available in a variety of great colors!
All Day Slip-On Sneakers With Support for Active Adults
With all-weather rubber soles, this supportive and fashionable slip-on men’s sneaker was designed with an adventurous life in mind. The drop-in heel provides comfort and convenience, and the lightweight breathable mesh design with an elastic lacing system for easy on and off! Active adults of all ages love these shoes! The rubber sole provides added traction and non-slip safety in all types of weather.
Women’s Fashion Slip-On Sneaker
These attractive slip-on sneakers are very light and breathable, as well as extremely comfortable! With a flexible rubber sole and soft knit mesh fabric upper, you can walk in these slip-ons all day. An added bonus is they dry quickly if you are caught in the rain!
Men’s Go Walk Evolution Ultra-Impeccable Sneaker
The leaders in walking technology present the next evolution with the Skechers GOwalk Evolution Ultra-Impeccable. This shoe features lightweight, responsive ULTRA GO cushioning and high-rebound ULTRA PILLARS . When combined with the Air Cooled Goga Mat insole system, you get ultimate comfort. High-quality and durable with a seamless fit and natural expansion, this slip-on comfort walking design is very popular with our readers.
Are Slip-On Shoes for You?
In a nutshell, in answer to the question, “Are slip-on shoes bad for your feet?”, the answer is no. Overall, choosing shoes without laces can be a practical, comfortable, and safe option provided you choose the shoes carefully. With shoes that provide adequate support, slip-ons can be quite good and even promote independence for seniors. It’s important when buying slip-ons to look for features such as a contoured footbed, a supportive midsole, and a non-slip sole. Also, make sure the shoes fit properly and provides enough room for the toes to move freely without being too tight or too loose. It’s important that you buy the best slip-on shoes for your feet (and not the ones that might be the most popular at the time!).
Ultimately, the choice between wearing shoes with laces or without should be based on individual preferences and needs. If you or your elderly loved one like shoes with laces because they are familiar, there’s no reason to switch as long as they are comfortably and safely doing the job. In other words, shoes with laces are not being phased out, at least not now as people still want them!
Here are some frequently asked questions we hear often from our readers.
What exactly are slip-on shoes?
Slip-on shoes are those super convenient and easy-to-wear shoes that you can slide your feet into without any fuss. No more tying laces or struggling with buckles – just effortless style!
Why do people love slip-on shoes so much?
There are plenty of reasons to love them! Slip-ons are a real time-saver, and they feel incredibly comfy. Plus, they’re perfect for casual outings and relaxed occasions.
What types of slip-on shoes can I find out there?
Oh, you’ll be spoiled for choice! There are canvas slip-ons for that cool, laid-back vibe, classy loafers for a more formal touch, and even sneaker-style slip-ons that combine style with comfort.
Can I use slip-on shoes for sports or workouts?
While slip-on sneakers can handle lighter activities, like a casual stroll or a light workout, they might not be the best for intense sports or activities. For those, it’s better to stick to regular sports shoes.
Can I wear slip-on shoes for dressier events?
Definitely! Some slip-on shoes, like leather loafers, can totally rock a dressier look. But for super formal events, you might want to consider classic lace-up shoes.
What’s the best way to clean slip-on shoes?
For canvas slip-ons, just toss them in the washing machine (check the label first!). And for leather or suede ones, gentle cleaning with special products should do the trick. Keep ’em clean and fresh!
Will slip-on shoes fit my feet comfortably?
Most slip-on shoes are designed to accommodate various foot shapes, but it’s always good to try different styles and brands to find your perfect fit. Happy feet mean happy you!
Can slip-on shoes cause blisters or discomfort?
They can if they don’t fit right or the material isn’t suitable for your feet. But fear not! Choose the right size and opt for breathable materials to keep blisters away.