Getting it right when choosing the right footwear is an important aspect for anyone, but in the case of older adults it acquires special relevance because not only the adequate foot protection, but also avoid falls as far as possible.
The data offered by the World Health Organization (@WHO_es) clearly indicate that any element that help gain security in each step it is more than interesting. Falls are the second leading cause of death from accidental injuries unintentional throughout the world and people over 65 suffer the most.
Have you ever noticed the sole of your shoes?
When buying a pair of shoes, almost all of us take into account that they are, above all, comfortable and if they are pretty, much better. However, we rarely pay attention to the sole, something we should do more often. The material with which they are made, their thickness, the degree of flexibility or their adhesion capacity are just some of the aspects that will influence whether it is more or less safe. Knowing what each of these characteristics implies, and knowing how to identify and value them at the time of purchase, may be able to free us from any slip or stumble. We begin.
You will surely be surprised by the great variety of materials that exist for the manufacture of soles. Until a few decades ago, it was only possible to choose between one leather sole and a rubber soleBut now, with the application of advanced technologies to the textile industry, this «rubber» ranges from the innovative «EVA rubber» to the polyurethane soles, increasingly used in sports footwear.
Leather-soled shoes are the most elegant, but their use by older people should be limited, because they are the ones that slide more easily, although some are treated to improve adherence. Wearing them or not will depend on your preferences, but avoiding them on rainy days or on more slippery surfaces is a measure that you should value. In general, rubber-soled shoes have better grip.
Weight, thickness and flexibility they are also important characteristics and visible to the naked eye. Of course, the suitability of each of them will depend on the type of footwear we are talking about. An extra thick sole in house shoes would not make much sense, while in sports shoes it would be a plus, because that thickness implies a small cushioning chamber, essential when it comes to minimizing the impact of an aerobic activity. .
When it comes to checking if the sole suits you, try on your shoe without haste and watch as you walk whether or not you notice its weight. If when lifting the foot the shoe is heavy and the stiffness of the sole makes it difficult to perform the movements, it is likely that you end up, without realizing it, not lifting it enough and dragging it slightly. With a heavy and inflexible sole, the danger of tripping is increased. At the opposite extreme, a sole that is too thin and light, with which you notice any irregularity or pebble on the ground, is also not suitable because the shoe would be more uncomfortable and dangerous. Noticing a foreign body when stepping on can cause you to lose your balance for a few seconds.
In addition to the material, what provides that necessary adherence is the drawing that presents the sole. These grooves increase the fixing capacity of the shoe on certain surfaces. For this reason, it is always recommended that the footwear you choose has a minimal pattern on its sole, which should gain depth to guarantee maximum adherence on difficult surfaces because they are unstable, such as in hiking boots.
What other details to take into account?
In general, a sole made of some type rubber that is semi-hard, with just the right flexibility, that do not have excess cushioning (except in the case of sneakers) and that include indentations not too deep, which guarantee a good grip, it could be the ideal one for a daily shoe to be safe for an older person.
In addition, when purchasing your footwear, experts from the Podoactiva foundation (@Podoactiva) recommend looking at other equally important details, such as the shoe width, about whether you have any type of pathology (bunions, claw toes, spurs…); the degree of clamping, which should be just enough to protect your feet from sprains and strains but without straining; wave perspiration and the degree of impermeability, which guarantee that your feet are always dry.