While you may think that balance and stability are the same - they are, in fact, different concepts.
When we're talking about the human body and its movements, the definition of balance, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is, "an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady".
The difference with stability is that it is relating to our ability to control the body while it moves. Imagine standing on one leg - you wobble about but don't fall over, therefore you are balanced.
An example of stability is the ability to lift the leg off the ground without wobbling. It's about how well you cope with movement.
How Shoes Affect Balance and Stability
Simple activities like going shopping or taking a walk in the park may be overwhelming and daunting for people with balance and stability issues. Let's take a look at how certain shoe components can affect you and what you should use to help your issues.
The sole of a shoe can offer an extra layer of support between your foot and the ground and are therefore highly important for people with balance issues. Soft-sole shoes are very malleable and won't offer much, especially on uneven surfaces. This is why walking boots have such solid soles - to make traversing over rocks and uneven terrain easier.
It's no secret that walking in heels is an art form, but they are a good example of how much shoe components can affect balance and stability.
For someone with existing problems, high-heeled shoes should be avoided. Even some sneakers have thicker heels which may be comfortable but can increase the risk of a fall.
Slip-on Shoes or Lace-up shoes
The clue is in the name of shoes like slippers and sliders! These shoes are purposed for ease of use and comfort, and not always balance and stability.
Lace-up or Strap-Tightened shoes allow for a much more snug and secure fit around the foot, thus allowing a more steady gait.
From this information we can surmise that the best shoe components for balance and stability are;
- hard soles
- low heels
- easy tightening
This doesn't mean you need all 3 features for a noticeable improvement, and it also doesn't mean you need to compromise on style. You can find great styles, designed to keep you upright, here.
Choose the Best Shoes For You
Everyone has their own idea of how much they want to compromise on functionality for style, but there are options out there for everyone. If you have issues with balance or stability, take note of the components mentioned in this article that might help you.
Take a look at our Women's & Men's Balance Footwear line and see how we can help you choose the perfectly balanced fit for you!