Wearing safe footwear is a great way to reduce your risk of having a fall, but what does safe footwear look like?
Your shoes are your direct source of contact with the ground, so it is essential to wear good shoes to support your feet. Your shoes can affect your posture, stability, balance, safety and how you walk.
If your feet are not well supported by your footwear, then moving around can be more challenging, change the way you walk, cause you to be off balance, and increase your risk of having a fall.
What makes your shoes safe?
Low heel height
Studies have shown that high heels can make you less stable and unbalanced. A safe heel should be broad and less than 2cm in height.
A foam material is often used in the middle sole area of shoes to provide comfort. A good shoe will have thin and firm sole cushioning; not too much that the foot is unstable and cannot feel the ground.
The slip resistance of the outer sole of a shoe is important to prevent slipping, and the amount of tread a shoe has can increase the likelihood of tripping. Too much tread can cause the shoe to grab the ground, while a smooth, slippery sole will make the shoe slip, increasing your risk of falling. Always make sure you try out new shoes in store before buying them.
A rounded heel improves slip resistance by increasing the surface contact area of the shoe as the heel strikes the floor, which can help reduce slip-related falls.
Heel collar height
The heel collar is the back of the shoe that holds your heel. A high, firm, and supportive heel collar helps to support the foot.
We know that’s a lot to remember when shopping for new shoes! Use the Stay On Your Feet® Shoe Safety Checklist to see if your shoes are safe.