Feet and Footwear

Taking care of your feet and wearing appropriate footwear is important for reducing fall risk.

Wearing footwear that doesn’t fit properly or has worn soles may increase your risk for a fall - even if it looks okay.

Foot problems such as ingrown toenails, fallen arches, misshapen toes and decreased sensation with age and/or from diabetes can also contribute to falls.

Garments that hang below your ankles or with long hanging cords are trip hazards.

Assess your feet and footwear-related risks of falling by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Have I lost some feeling in my feet?
  • Do my shoes have narrow heels or are worn out?
  • Do I wear flip-flops or sling-backs?
  • Are my shoes too big or too small?
  • Do I have any foot problems that affect my walking?
  • Are my shoes loose or unsupportive?
  • Does my clothing interfere with walking?

If you have answered yes to any of the above questions, it is important to discuss these with a health care professional so that you can move about safely and avoid injury.


  • Wear walking shoes for daily activities.
  • Make sure your shoes are firm and supportive around the heels and the instep of your feet. They should be flexible and have enough room around your toes. Shoes with laces or Velcro fasteners are best.
  • Choose footwear that offers good stability.
  • Choose footwear that is enclosed front and back, and avoid slip on shoes and unsupportive slippers. Do not wear your socks without your shoes.

Foot Care as we Age

Helpful Resources