Walk a mile in my shoe. Or at least 13 steps.
Our basement stairs are regular size in the stepping-on part. Big enough for a foot. Not some series of long thin triangles wrapped around a pole for a spiral staircase to the boudoir in a swinging '60s bachelor pad. Our stairs are, however, a bit tall. Taller than the porch steps. Not tall enough that you'd want to do lunges on and off of the bottom one for a leg workout. Just a bit taller than an average step.
In case you haven't been listening as you read my woeful tales for the past 10 years, I have a twice-operated-on knee (left), and a creaky knee (right) that's the workhorse for getting me up and down stairs, and into T-Hoe. Any time I can grab onto a rail, or an OH BLEEP handle in an automobile, I'll use it for my hoisting needs. Our basement stairs do not have a handrail. I usually have my lunch tray in one hand as I'm going UP. I grab onto the upper floor as I can reach it, to assist with my ascent.
A couple years ago, I had the most scathingly brilliant idea!
WEAR ONE SHOE.
That would be the shoe on my left foot. It's an old New Balance training shoe that I've had for years. It's nice and wide and has a waffle sole. The cushiony part has long been compacted. But these shoes are comfortable enough to be lair wear. I don't generally wear shoes in the house, except for in the basement, on the tile floor. I take them off in my OPC (Old People Chair).
Anyhoo... I take off my right shoe at the bottom of the stairs. Then I go up wearing just the left shoe, which I take off by the kitchen, where it's out of the way. I put it on again to go back downstairs.
The advantage is about 2 inches! That's the thickness of the sole. It makes each step seem 2 inches less steep! I go up and down one-legged, you know. Not walking like a normal person up and down steps. More like a toddler just learning. I only bend the right knee. Coming up, it's the one that steps up on the next stair, and hauls me up. Then again. And again. 13 times. Going down, the right knee is also the one that bends to lower my left leg down to the next step. And the next. 13 times. So I only need that one shoe on my left foot, which allows my right knee to bend fewer degrees.
I really notice the difference if I try to go up or down the stairs wearing TWO shoes, or NONE at all. Yeah. I'm kinda weird. But it works for me. At home, anyway. I don't take off a shoe out in public, heh, heh!