Skip to content

Best Shoes for Parkinson’s Disease

Technology and Comfort for PD Sufferers

Light Blue Cadense Adaptive Sneakers
Image of a brain on a purple background

What is parkinson's disease?

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is progressive neurological disorder characterized by symptoms such as tremors, rigid muscles, and slowed movement.

With over 10 million people afflicted with PD globally, it’s a condition that requires the right accommodations so that sufferers can lead normal lives. 

Finding the right footwear may help you walk more comfortably and safely with this condition.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s presents a wide range of symptoms. At first, they may only affect one side of your body, and be relatively mild. But over time, they spread to both, and become more severe.

Research shows that people with Parkinson’s may walk 1.24 cm/s more slowly each year.


According to Nature, one of the main symptoms of Parkinson’s is bradykinesia. This word refers to slower movements, often marked by halting. When you have this symptom, initiating movements can be more challenging, resulting in a decrease of automatic movements.

Loss of balance

Loss of balance also is among the hallmark symptoms of PD. According to this journal article, 68% of individuals with Parkinson’s fall one or more times per year. That is twice the fall rate of older healthy individuals. That is why it is extra important to choose shoes that will help you to maintain your balance walking with PD.

Speech changes

This article published in Age and Ageing states that it is “almost inevitable” that patients with PD will experience changes in how they communicate. That includes altered articulation in 40-50% of patients, and voice changes in 80-90% of patients.


“Micrographia” refers to a type of small handwriting that is common among patients with PD; it may affect around 30% of those with this disease.

Rigid Muscles

Muscle rigidity or tightness is widespread among people with PD. The Parkinson’s Foundation explains that rigid muscles can alter gait by reducing how much a person swings their arms.

Cadense Adaptive Shoes in Slate and Pink

Discover the best shoes for Parkinson's Disease

Discover now

Causes of Parkinson’s disease

According to Mayo Clinic, researchers do not fully understand the causes of Parkinson’s disease.

Loss of nerve cells

Mayo Clinic reports that a person afflicted with PD is unable to produce sufficient dopamine due to brain neurons dying off. This reduction in dopamine is what causes the symptoms we discussed above. Again, researchers are not sure why this happens to some individuals and not others.

Environmental factors

Mayo Clinic states that certain toxins may possibly increase the chances of developing PD.

Advanced age

The average age of diagnosis for patients with PD is 60. That means that younger people are less likely to be diagnosed with this disease.


According to Mayo Clinic, there are some gene variations and changes associated with Parkinson’s disease, though they do not appear to play a large role in the development of the condition.

Treatments for Parkinson’s disease

As there is no current cure for Parkinson’s disease, the only option is to treat the condition and manage the symptoms.


Common medications used to treat Parkinson’s include Levodopa, dopamine agonists, monoamine oxidase B (MAO B) inhibitors, xatechol O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitors, and others.

Speech Therapy

Patients who are having difficulties speaking due to Parkinson’s can receive help from a speech therapist.

Occupational Therapy

Because Parkinson’s can make it difficult to do everyday activities, occupational therapy can be a valuable tool to help patients increase and maintain their independence.

Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)

If the disease is advanced and the effectiveness of Levodopra is reducing, doctors may recommend deep brain stimulation (DBS). DBS involves multiple implants: a generator in the chest, and electrodes in the brain. The electrical pulses sent between the two may decrease the symptoms of the disease.

Exercises for Parkinson’s disease

According to Mayo Clinic, exercising can benefit people with Parkinson’s by improving flexibility, strength, balance, mood and overall wellbeing. 

Following are some exercises that are often recommended to patients with PD.

Man biking outside with helmet down a mountain road


Studies show that cycling can improve motor performance, gait and quality of life for people with PD.

 Be sure to wear a helmet and any additional padding you need in case you lose your balance.

Young woman running outside


Exercises such as running can reduce the mortality rate in patients with PD. As with cycling, take precautions to protect yourself if you are concerned about losing your balance.

A group of women practicing yoga together


A study in Behavioural Neurology found that practicing yoga can help people with Parkinson’s to increase their balance, motor function and mobility while also decreasing their depression and anxiety.

Womens dance class


Dancing can help patients with PD to improve their gait function, balance and quality of life.

Two young women doing back strength exercises together

Strength Training

According to a review of studies on strength training’s effect on patients with Parkinson’s disease, strength training can improve quality of life and physical health.

Young black woman reading a book with a cup of tea

Brain exercises

The American Parkinson Disease Association recommends a wide range of cognitive exercises to patients with Parkinson’s disease. Examples include strategy games, reflex games, card games, word searching, preparing new recipes, memory games and more. The association also suggests meditation.

White Womens Adaptive Shoes showing shoe sole

Shop adaptive shoes for parkinson's Disease

Explore now

Prevention of Parkinson’s Disease

There is no surefire way to prevent getting Parkinson’s disease, because we currently do not know its exact causes. Nevertheless, there are some suggestions for diet and exercise.


Studies show that consuming higher amounts of caffeine is associated with lower occurrences of Parkinson’s. Whether it is the effect of the caffeine, other compounds in beverages such as coffee and tea, or a combination is something researchers are still investigating.


This study in Neurology shows that there is an association between higher amounts of physical activity and a reduced risk of PD.

Footwear for Parkinson’s patients

According to a survey, more than half of patients with Parkinson’s have shoe-related difficulties. Finding a shoe that is comfortable, supportive, and makes it easy to maintain a natural gait is therefore very important.

Consider purchasing textured insoles for the footwear you choose; these insoles may improve stability, gait and plantar sensation.

When you have the right footwear, you can get more exercise with PD. This can help you stay healthy and manage symptoms.


Studies show that consuming higher amounts of caffeine is associated with lower occurrences of Parkinson’s. Whether it is the effect of the caffeine, other compounds in beverages such as coffee and tea, or a combination is something researchers are still investigating.

Features of Parkinson’s footwear

Let’s go over important features to look for when you are choosing suitable footwear for Parkinson’s.

Image showing the width of a shoes toe box

Depth and width

When you are trying on shoes, make sure you get the right fit. You should be able to move your toes, but they should not be up against the lining.

Adaptive Shoes with extra wide base

Wide base

When the base of a shoe is wide, it is more stable. Walking in narrow shoes with Parkinson’s can increase the chances of losing your balance and falling. A shoe with a wide base will help you stay upright.

Soft cushioning for adaptive shoes

Strong support

Your shoes should support your feet and help maintain the alignment of your ankles as you walk. That way, you are less likely to fall.

Bottom view of white adaptive sneakers

Shop from an adaptive footwear manufacturer

When shopping for shoes for Parkinson’s, it helps to buy from a specialist that understands the needs of people with PD and the footwear features that can help mitigate symptoms and improve safety.

That is where Cadense shines. Cadense Original Adaptive Shoes for men and women include patented variable friction technology. If you fail to lift your feet fully when you walk, this technology adapts so that you “glide” over uneven surfaces smoothly and safely. As a result, stumbles, trips, slips and falls are less likely and walking is easier, less fatiguing, and more comfortable.

More Information on Parkinson’s disease

Finding out you have Parkinson’s disease can be difficult. But it is important to be aware that life expectancy is often normal or close to normal with PD since this disease usually affects older adults.


By making healthy lifestyle adaptations and collaborating with your doctor on a treatment plan, you can manage the symptoms of PD. You may also want to look into therapy or a support group to help you maintain your mental wellness.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there specific drills that help Parkinson's patients walk better?

Improving walking with Parkinson’s disease entails training strength, balance and flexibility with a variety of exercises. In addition, patients with PD may also try techniques such as dual-task gait training and cueing strategies to improve their gaits.

Why is walking so difficult with Parkinson’s?

Walking with Parkinson’s is difficult because the disease causes challenges with balance, slows down movement, and can also cause muscles to get tight.

What foods should be avoided with Parkinson’s disease?

The Parkinson Foundation of the National Capital Area says that patients with PD should avoid processed foods, saturated fats, sugary foods, excessive alcohol, and too much protein, citrus and iron. You may also want to avoid foods that are difficult to chew.

What are the stages of Parkinson’s?

The model developed by Hoehn & Yahr in 1967 consists of five stages of progression for PD. They are simply referred to as Stages 1-5.

 The Movement Disorder Task Force also has a model with three early PD stages: the Preclinical Phase, the Prodromal Phase, and the Clinical Phase.

How long can you live with Parkinson’s?

NHS reports that the majority of PD patients have a life expectancy that is normal or close to normal.

Shopping Cart