Are You Wearing the Proper Footwear to Prevent a Fall?
Throughout your life, you often bought multiple pairs of shoes that ranged from sandals to sneakers, white to colorful alike. At a younger age, shoes were bought mostly to be fashionable and your shoe choice was based on what you were wearing that day. However, as we age, our focus begins to shift, and we depend on our shoes to be more comfortable than fashionable. Will they hurt your feet or give you blisters? Are you able to wear them all day without needing to adjust them? But the most important question of them all, will they cause you to have a disastrous fall?
Falls can cause elderly adults to break bones, feel sore or just intimidate them from venturing out to do daily activities. However, if you have the proper footwear (in addition to fall-proofing your home), you may greatly decrease the risk that you will become another statistic. Below you will find simple suggestions to keep your footwear from causing a fall.
- First things first: comfort! Gone are the days where you can wear a pair of uncomfortable shoes just because they match your outfit. Try to focus on the soles of the shoes. Are they comfortable? Can you wear them for hours on end? Comfort is key!
- Keeping it light is right! Comfortable shoes don’t always mean they are lightweight as well. Keeping your shoes lightweight means that you will be able to pick up your feet and walk with ease, decreasing the chances you are dragging your feet and stumble over them.
- Heel height is of the utmost importance! Sure, a higher heel may have been the style years ago, but now you have to think about practicality over fashion. The height of your heel will determine how much balance you have during your day. Try to find a heel that has the right amount of height, without being too tall. A lower heel keeps your balance centered and will help prevent you from falling during the day.
- Make sure there is support on the bottom of your shoes! Is there a tread design? Will it allow you to walk on tile, wood, grass, or even slippery floors? Try to find something that has a firm grip and will lend itself nicely to a chance in terrain!
- Keep them closed! If your toes and heels are exposed, you are leaving your skin up to exposure. Although you may not think this is directly correlated with fall prevention, consider how supportive open back and top shoes really are. The support of closed shoes will allow your feet to feel supported through out your day and you will also prevent yourself from getting a sunburn on your feet or stubbing your toe without protection!
Although shoes used to be chosen based on their color and texture, it is important to focus on what will help you prevent a fall. Shoes may seem like a less than imperative accessory, but they can actually save yourself from a lot of pain, or even your life!