With Australia’s aging population increasing, now more than ever, we are seeing an increase in individuals having their feet attended too.
It is quite common to see elderly patients attending the clinic with slip on shoes either with or without a heel or slippers, due to their easy ability to get them on and off. While this might seem like a good idea it can actually put elderly patients at risk of falls and injury related to their falls.
Slip on shoes and slippers will often not provide adequate support around the heels and arches, have soft flexible materials that lose their shape quickly, do not provide any grip on the soles of the shoes and shoes with too high or low a heel. They can also increase your risk of developing foot complications such as corns, calluses, bunions, hammer toes and poor balance.
So is barefoot or socks better then these options? The answer is NO!
It is important that when walking around the home and outside that you are always in appropriate footwear to ensure that you reduce your risk of falling.
What kinds of shoes are appropriate to reduce the risk of falls occurring?
- Low- heeled shoes around 2.5cm
- Slip resistant shoes
- Firm and high heel counter to provide support and stability
- Laces, buckles or Velcro to fixate the foot into the shoe
- Wide heel to avoid losing balance
- Wide and deep toe box for foot deformities
- Firm midsole
Next time you’re about to put on your shoes, think about if your shoes are considered appropriate and if they will reduce your risk of falling should a slippery situation arise.
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