It's a bold claim, but a Japanese company called Terumo claims to have developed a special type of sock that can stop shuffling seniors from tripping over low obstacles like rugs or the edge of carpets. The secret is a custom sewing technique that causes the wearer to feel an upward pull on the front of their feet, which in turn helps shift their center of gravity back towards their heels, improving balance.
The separate panels on the top and back of the Upwalk socks are made from a tightly woven cotton that resists stretching — at least compared to the rest of the sock. And as a result, while walking the toes are pulled upwards which can help prevent them from hitting low-lying obstacles. Besides, think of yourself walking on slippery ice — you tend to avoid putting too much pressure on your toes to help maintain your balance. It's the same idea here.
You can get yourself a pair of Upwalk socks — in your choice of pink, grey and black — for about $US20 from import shops like White Rabbit. Or, if you don't have that much patience, the same effect can probably be accomplished with a roll of quality packing tape. [Terumo via Inventor Spot]