All can fall! People of any age can fall, especially if they have dizziness or vertigo.

Proper footwear is important to prevent falls.

Today I am going to answer a question that I frequently hear from my patients, which is: “Is there a type of footwear to reduce falling?”

The answer is that I recommend footwear that can securely fasten to your foot.

Fits Securely

Flip flops, sandals that are loose, or slip-on shoes are not recommended because they can slip off just as easily as they slip on.

A thin non-skid sole is recommended for footwear to reduce falling or slipping on the floor. This prevents slipping and sliding, and still allows you to feel the floor to help you balance.

Men must be especially careful with dress shoes that have a slick bottom.

Women should avoid heels.

Thin, Non-Skid Sole

At a talk I offered recently, one woman in the audience asked me, “Why is a thin sole best?”

I explained that our feet feel the “ground reaction force” which creates pressure on our skin and joints to tell us where the floor is located as we walk. The best footwear to reduce falling allows you to feel the ground reaction force.

For example, walking on foam, grass, sand, or cobblestone distorts the ground reaction force and makes it harder to balance.

Proper Size

It is important for older adults to get shoes of the proper size when selecting footwear to reduce falling.

This means getting their feet measured every time they go to purchase new shoes. It’s very important for older adults to make sure that they get shoes that are the correct size for their feet, as the size of their foot may change with aging.

Watch the video below to learn more about all different types of footwear to help reduce your risk of falling.

To learn about steps to reduce the risk of falling in your home, click here.

Note: If you are at risk of falling, follow these three simple exercises to reduce the risk of falling 

Youtube Link


This blog is provided for informational and educational purposes only. The content and any comments by Dr. Kim Bell, DPT are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The details of any case mentioned in this post represent a typical patient that Dr. Bell might see and do not describe the circumstances of a specific individual.

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