You’ve got shoes you wear to work, shoes you wear for running, shoes you wear for hiking, shoes you wear to the beach -- but when you’re going to spend time in town, do you think about which shoes are safest for the city?

Staying Safe in the City

Staying Safe in the City

Wearing the wrong shoes in the city can be as hazardous as wearing flip-flops for hiking or clunky heels for running. The comfort factor aside—who wants to walk miles wearing cute but uncomfortable shoes?—there are serious safety concerns to be considered when choosing footwear for a day or night in the CBD. From uneven pavements to escalators to dangerous debris, cities are full of potential hazards for those who are wearing the wrong type of shoe. Whether you’re a city-dweller or just planning a visit, make sure the shoes you choose for walking in the city are safe for you and your feet.

Stow the Heels Away

Your cute outfit may look great with heels, but your feet won’t thank you if tottering around on stilettos or platforms in the city leaves you with a sprained ankle or broken leg. Uneven city curbs and pavements just don’t mix well with pointy heels or huge platforms, and that’s why you see so many morning commuters wearing trainers or flats with their smart business suits or edgy fashionista ensembles.

 Stow the heels in a daypack and trek about in a pair of Merrell flats that treat your feet well and pack up small. Once you’re indoors, it will be time to trade them for shoes that make more of a fashion statement. When the temperature drops, look for flat boots that offer comfort, warmth, and a small profile that’s easily stashed when you arrive at your destination.

Trade In the Thin Rubber Thongs

If thin, floppy thongs are your go-to hot weather footwear, take a closer look at what your feet are coming into contact with each time you step out in the city wearing them. All the nasty stuff that litters the pavements, from rubbish to broken glass, is separated from your feet by a few measly centimetres of rubber or plastic. All it needs is one misstep, and you could be getting up-close and personal with dirty broken glass or rusted metal.

Don’t even think about getting one of those flippy thongs caught in an escalator or sliding door — scary stuff. No one says you need to forgo sandals completely in the city, just that you need to be more mindful of the kind of sandals you wear, keeping an eye toward safety. Birkenstock’s Rio Tobacco Brown sandal is a great example of what to look for in a sandal for the city, featuring a thick footbed that cups your foot, secure straps for your ankle and the top of your foot, and nothing that dangles to get caught in an escalator or door.