How to Find a Safe Pair of Shoes

jjue August 4th, 2011, 9:16 AM
Jeffrey Jue, PT, Rehabilitation Consultant
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brownshoeFinding a good pair of shoes is priceless. During my teen years I was one of those sneaker fanatics. I admit to spending hours at the local shoe store combing through aisles and aisles of footwear in search of the perfect sneaker.

Perhaps I was hoping to jump as high, run as fast, and play ball like my favorite athletes. Looking back, the closest I got to the pros were the upper deck seats.

But I wasn’t so far off, good shoes make a huge difference. For instance, older adults who wear a good pair of shoes will help minimize their risk of falling. Allow me to guide you through some of the key features to look for in a safe shoe:


  • Look for soles that can provide adequate traction on a variety of walking surfaces
  • It’s time to look for a new pair if the traction is starts to wear out

Closed back

  • Shoes with a closed back provide additional support and are less likely to slip off which is a major cause of tripping
  • Some examples of backless footwear to avoid are slippers and clogs


  • Wearing comfortable shoes will help prevent foot injuries
  • Be mindful of not only the length but also the width of the shoe
  • Take a look at my post with tips on choosing a comfortable shoe

Is it easy to keep on?

  • Consider wearing a shoe with Velcro straps if you have difficulty using laces

If you have had a history of foot problems consult your doctor prior to purchasing a new pair of shoes.

It’s amazing how your choice of footwear can help prevent tripping and slipping while allowing you to stay active. Doesn’t that sound like a win win situation?

Photo by Suat Eman


  • Such helpful information–if you’re not wearing the right shoes, it’s really hard to focus on other things!

  • This article is very informative. I am fully agree with this, most foot injuries are caused by uncomfortable footwear and not good footwear fitting. So comfortable shoes are very important for everybody.

  • Thanks for your comment! I agree with you and if I could rephrase your statement- “wearing the right shoes allows us to focus on all the other things”

  • Thank you for commenting. Unfortunately choosing a shoe with comfort in mind is often overlooked which can lead to injury and inactivity.

  • [...] Another person shared the benefits of wearing shoes that are both comfortable and provide adequate support. [...]

  • [...] Reduce your risk of falling by wearing comfortable sneakers or shoes that provide good traction. Take a look at my guide to finding a pair of safe shoes. [...]

  • [...] 1. Stand up with your normal posture wearing your daily footwear [...]

  • [...] The offer to take a walk after dinner. Just remember to bundle up and wear appropriate footwear! [...]

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