Like other parts of the body, your feet change over time. As you age, you may notice the following changes in your feet and ankles:

  • The foot becomes wider and longer. It is not uncommon for individuals to notice their shoe size increasing up to two sizes from their early adulthood.

  • Your feet appear flatter due to mild settling of the arch.

  • The fat pads on the bottom of your heel and under the bones of your forefoot thin out, causing loss of natural padding and spring in the step. This can also lead to increased heel pain and calluses, as well as discomfort walking barefoot on rough surfaces.

  • Your feet and ankles get stiffer as they lose some of their normal range of motion and become stiffer.

  • You may lose balance while walking more often.

It is important to check your feet regularly and catch problems early. If you experience pain or notice changes in your skin or circulation, make an appointment with a foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon in your area.


The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) offers information on this site as an educational service. The content of FootCareMD, including text, images, and graphics, is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnoses or treatments. If you need medical advice, use the "Find a Surgeon " search to locate a foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon in your area.