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3 Shoe Rules to Keep Older Adults on Their Feet

June 3, 2015 by HealthyFamilies BC

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It’s true that as you get older, you may be at a higher risk of falling. Yet, falls don’t have to happen – many can be prevented through some fairly simple actions. If you are getting older, or have an older parent or grandparent you love, you can take some steps today that will help prevent falls tomorrow.A key action is to make sure to wear good shoes. But do you know what to look for in a good shoe? Read on!

Rule 1: Thinner treads

What kind of tread is best to prevent falls? Thick or thin; smooth or textured?

The right shoe has a thinner sole and good tread. It turns out that a shoe with a thinner tread makes it easier to feel the ground’s surface and to detect uneven surfaces and obstacles. This helps prevent falls. TIP: stay away from shoes with no treads. They don’t have good traction to prevent slips.

Rule 2: Similar shoe styles

Should you change shoes often, or not?

The right answer is to stick with the same style of shoe. A consistent heel height is best for preventing falls. Look for shoes with heels that are stable and grippy: low (up to 5 centimetres), with bevelled or broad heels. When those heels wear down, have them repaired or get new shoes. Another tip is to wear shoes even when indoors. Studies show that the risk of falling indoors is linked with going barefoot or only wearing socks.

Rule 3: Snug fit

Often, the feet of older people can swell. This can happen when fluid is retained in the ankles and feet. Because of this, many people wear shoes that are too tight, or buy bigger shoes. Then, when the swelling goes down, the shoes are too loose. Go with a snug, comfortable fit to prevent this from happening, and ultimately prevent a fall.

Now you know what to look for in good shoes that help prevent falls: thinner tread, consistent styles, and proper fit. Say goodbye to shoes that don’t meet the criteria. It’s better to stay on your feet, and in the game! And with your beautiful smile, no one will be looking at your shoes.


Related blogs

Find the Workout Shoes that Works for You
9 Tips to Prevent Falls for Seniors
Feeling Young and Vibrant with Age

Recommended resources

Questionnaire: Are you at risk for falling?
Seniors BC: What you can do to prevent a fall
Vancouver Coastal Health: Prevent falls, stay in the game!

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