How To Tell if Shoes Are Non-Slip
Slipping is the last thing you need to worry about when you’re working in a fast-paced environment and rushing from point A to point B.
The CDC conducted a study where they found that workers who wore highly-rated slip-resistant shoes had a 67 percent reduction in claims for slip injuries. Now, non-slip shoes are quickly becoming a requirement in food services, healthcare and other industries across the globe.
Whether starting a new job or simply looking out for your safety, here’s everything you should know when picking out a pair of shoes and how to tell if shoes are non-slip.
1. Read the Description
It might sound obvious, but the best way to ensure you’re getting a pair of non-slip shoes is to read the description to see if it claims to be “non-slip” or “slip-resistant.” Shoe manufacturers won’t claim that shoe to be non-slip if it hasn’t already passed a series of tests, as it can be a liability for the brand.
What To Look For: Read the shoe’s model name and description. If you see the words “non-slip” or “slip-resistant,” you can trust that the outsole was specifically designed to resist slipping on wet surfaces.
2. Inspect the Sole
Another indicator of a non-slip shoe is the sole. The sole should be sturdy, slightly rounded polyurethane or ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA). Both options are rubber alternatives that offer cushion, traction and durability. If you are unsure of what the sole is made from, you can often find it in the shoe’s description.
The sole should also be thicker than a typical shoe, especially if you’re wearing these shoes for work. The addition of a thicker outsole will provide more support and protection.
What To Look For: Inspect the outsole for a rubber-like material that is thick enough to protect the foot and offer comfortable wear.
3. Check the Tread
When inspecting the shoe’s outsole, take note of the tread, which will look like a design made by deep grooves on the bottom of the shoe. While these designs may come in an interesting pattern, they aren’t there for style.
The tread allows the shoe to grip the floor and create friction without collecting water or other spilled liquids. Many non-slip treads will be small hexagons, circles or squiggly lines. Generally speaking, the smaller the pattern, the better the slip resistance.
What To Look For: Check the tread for a small design with deep grooves that allow liquids to pass through.
4. Test the Shoes Yourself
The most important factor for non-slip shoes is how you feel in them. Try on your shoes and put them to the test.
Walk around on a hard surface, like tile or polished concrete. Take note of how the shoe grips the floor. If you’re trying the shoe on at home, you can even test how it feels by stepping in a puddle of water.
At this time, you should also take note of the fit, support, cushion and overall feel. Remember—while the goal is to find a pair of non-slip shoes, they need to be comfortable. If you’re going to be standing and walking all day in your shoes, comfort is key.
What To Look For: Try on your shoes and take notice of the traction, fit, support and cushion. Walk around to make sure the shoes are comfortable enough for all-day wear.
What Makes a Shoe Slip-Resistant?
In short, a slip-resistant shoe should have a high-quality, rubber-like outsole with deep grooves that grips well on wet or oily surfaces. The tread’s grooves allow the shoe to grip the ground without trapping a wet substance beneath it, allowing you to feel safe all day without slipping and sliding.
Non-Slip Shoes FAQ
Are you searching for more information on non-slip shoes? We have you covered with these answers to the most commonly asked questions about slip-resistant shoes.
What to Look for in a Non-Slip Shoe?
If you’re in the market for non-slip shoes, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Effectiveness: How well do the anti-slip outsoles perform?
- Longevity and value: Are your shoes durable enough for daily wear? Invest in a pair that lasts.
- Style: Does your shoe fit within the dress requirements of your job?
- Water resistance: Are you wearing your shoes where water and other wet substances are a safety hazard on floors? Then you may want to seek a water-resistant shoe.
- Protection: Will your shoes offer you protection if you step on something sharp or drop something heavy?
- Comfortability: Are your shoes comfortable enough to wear all day? Do they offer enough arch support, cushion and shock absorption for your feet?
Why Wear Slip-Resistant Shoes?
Slip-resistant shoes are different from your typical shoe due to their rubber sole and tread patterns that can grip floors, even when walking on a wet surface. Though many companies may require their employees to wear non-slip shoes, that shouldn’t be the only reason you wear them.
Non-slip work shoes are a safety measure and significantly reduce the risk of injury when walking on surfaces that can easily become slippery. In a National Library of Medicine study where subjects wore slip-resistant shoes versus regular shoes, they saw a reduction in the rate of slipping by 37 percent, and the rate of falls resulting from a slip by 49 percent. Without slip-resistant shoes, you may be left vulnerable to workplace-related injuries that could put you out of work for days or even weeks.
Who Should Wear Non-Slip Shoes?
- Health Care Workers — Healthcare is a fast-paced industry where employees often rush from one task to another atop hard floors that easily become slippery. An appropriate shoe for healthcare workers is a non-slip work shoe that is easy to clean and offers comfort throughout the day.
- Restaurant Workers — Since restaurant workers often encounter spills and slippery floors, most restaurants require that their employees wear non-slip shoes. This requirement is especially true for workers who are handling cookware or food.
- Warehouse Workers — A common safety hazard in a warehouse setting is slipping and falling. To help prevent these accidents, many warehouses have a policy that requires workers to wear non-slip, high-quality warehouse shoes that offer additional foot protection.
- Delivery Drivers — Delivery drivers and postal workers are in and out of their cars all day while handling heavy packages on various terrains. Slip-resistant work shoes give them the stability they need to carry out their job duties efficiently.
- Cleaning Service Workers — In the cleaning industry, workers should wear slip-resistant shoes to improve traction and protect themselves from slipping and falling when cleaning and polishing floors or working in wet conditions.
- Factory Workers — Factories are home to many safety hazards if the proper precautions aren’t taken. If something spills or the floors need cleaning, factory workers can benefit from wearing non-slip footwear throughout their shifts.
- Contractors — Contractors and construction workers set foot on many surfaces prone to water or oil spills. Wearing protective footwear with non-slip tread keeps contractors and construction workers safer while working.
- Hair Stylists and Barbers — Hair stylists and barbers work with many chemicals and must follow cleanliness standards. When the floors are being cleaned or a substance is spilled, it can lead to a nasty fall. Slip-resistant shoes that are comfortable for standing all day are some of the best shoes for those who work in the beauty industry.
Invest in Your Safety and Comfort
Now that you know how to tell if shoes are non-slip, you should also know that you should never compromise between safety and comfort. With KURU Kinetic shoes, you don’t have to worry about either.
With gripping rubber and small tread, combined with proven arch support and premium shock absorption, KURU’s KINETIC shoes are the perfect option for protecting you from slipping while keeping you comfortable throughout a long workday.
- Non-slip shoes reduce slip-related injuries. NIOSH: Slip-Resistant Shoes (December 2019)
- Slip-resistant footwear reduces slips. National Library of Medicine (January 2021)