A slip and fall on ice is no minor accident – it can lead to broken bones, permanent back injuries, and mountains of medical bills. You don’t have much control over the weather or the way someone else removes (or fails to remove) snow and ice from their property. One thing you can control is whether you’re wearing the right footwear to keep yourself from sliding. For a walk in icy conditions, choose your shoes carefully. They could make you more prone to slipping, or they could help you stay upright.
Slips can happen whenever there’s not enough traction between your feet and the ground to allow you to maintain control over your motions. An icy walkway certainly decreases traction, but so do certain kinds of shoes:
- High heels put you off balance to start with, which isn’t ideal for navigating walkways and parking lots full of ice and snow. With less of the shoe actually touching the ground, high heels can’t help you with gaining more traction, either. Even if they’re boots, high heels are just not good for snow and ice.
- Shoes with smooth soles might seem sensible, but in reality, they’ll just add to your risk of slipping. With no texture to help provide traction, it doesn’t matter if the soles of your shoes are plastic or leather – they won’t protect you from slipping on an icy patch of pavement.
When you know it’s going to snow, wear boots or shoes with textured soles that will help you have the most traction possible on slippery walkways.
- Boots with non-slip soles are an excellent choice.
- If you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors in winter weather conditions, consider buying a pair of snow cleats, which have spikes that can dig into ice and snow to give you extra traction (but you don’t want to wear these shoes indoors!).
- Slip-on cleats and covers are a great and affordable alternative to non-slip boots or cleats. You can buy them for as little as a few dollars online. Just slide them over the shoes you’re already wearing (again, not high heels) for added traction, and remove them when you’re safely inside.