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Are your shoes safe?

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.

Mid-sole cushioning

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.

Textured sole

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.

Rounded heel

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.

Diagram of a safe shoe

Do you want to know more about looking after your feet to prevent falls?

Visit our Wear Safe Footwear page for more information about safe shoes and common foot issues and watch the Check Your Feet video to learn how to take care of your feet to prevent falls.

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Injury Matters strives to be culturally sensitive as we represent the Western Australian community in our imagery. Please be advised that our website or resources may contain images, videos, or voices of people who have since passed away.

If any material causes concern, please contact us on (08) 6166 7688.

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