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Reduce Your Risk of Falling with the Right Footwear

September is Falls Prevention Month, an excellent time for people of all ages to consider ways to avoid falling. So in today’s post, Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, shares 7 things to consider when choosing your footwear.

  1. Sole: Soles that are pure rubber provide the best traction. Manufacturers often use a mixture of natural rubber and artificial rubber to provide a sole that grips well and doesn’t break down too quickly. Inexpensive footwear will have soles that feel more like rigid plastic that will freeze in the cold and become slippery.
  2. New technology: New features are designed to prevent falls and slips. Some newer footwear has metal shavings in the rubber. These shavings act like small teeth that provide a higher level of slip prevention than regular rubber.
  3. Lugs: These are the nubs on the bottom of footwear that provide traction. Deeper and sharper lugs help provide more grip on uneven surfaces. A sole with lugs that grip both from front to back and side to side provides better traction.
  4. Soles: Footwear with wider soles offers a broader support base and provides more stability on slippery surfaces. People who aren’t very steady on their feet should look for footwear with flatter soles. Flatter soles without a defined heel provide the best stability on flat, slick surfaces such as sidewalks as there is more contact with the ground.
  5. Ankle support: Stable ankle support helps prevent ankle and foot fatigue when walking long distances and provides an extra sense of security. In the event of a fall, proper ankle support can prevent injury to the ankle.
  6. Closure: Too loose footwear can be a fall hazard. Footwear that laces up provides more stability and support than boots with a zipper for closure or slipping on. The more secure your feet are inside the footwear, the less likely you are to stumble and fall. If you can’t tie laces, Velcro is the next best option.
  7. Proper Fit: Footwear that fits correctly is more stable than one that is too loose. Footwear should not fit too tightly across the foot and must provide enough room to move your toes. Poorly fitting footwear won’t support your foot sufficiently and can lead to a fall.

Keep these tips in mind when shopping for your fall and winter footwear. If you fall, contact Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, immediately to make an appointment. You can schedule an appointment online or by calling us at 425-455-0936.

Dr. Hubert Lee

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