Give Slip and Fall Hazards the Boot

The Winter Boot Breakdown

The right footwear is critical to preventing slip and fall accidents this winter. Unpredictable and often treacherous conditions mean footwear should provide as much stability as possible. Other important factors include comfort, thermal protection, slip resistance and usability.

Six Tips for Winter Footwear Safety

  • The outsole of the shoe is the area that’s in contact with the walking surface, and the depth and spread of the tread is important. Too closely-patterned treads or those with minimal depth will not allow liquids to be dispersed properly and may create a potential hydroplaning effect.
  • Periodically inspect shoe tread and replace shoes when significant wear is noted.
  • Find a shoe that fits: a boot that’s too big can cause tripping hazards, but one that’s too tight can cause circulation issues and increase the risk for frostbite.
  • Insulation matters — lining made with synthetic fibers to help keep warmth in and cold out is important. Look for materials such as neoprene, Sherpa or fleece.
  • Waterproof your boots with spray or wax, depending on the material of your footwear, to help keep moisture out and toes dry.
  • And lastly, for extra tricky walking surfaces, like hard-packed snow or slick hills, consider using ice cleats over your shoes or boots for extra traction.
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