how to tell if shoes are non slip

I’ve been walking in different pairs of shoes quite a lot lately, hitting not less than 10 miles a week. And as you can imagine, there isn’t any surface I haven’t stepped.

From rough concrete outdoors and driveways to slippery floors in restaurants and malls, I’ve been on them all.

And if there’s an important lesson that I’ve learned, it’s that choosing the right walking shoes is quite essential.

In the case where you’ll be walking on just about any surface on the planet, you had better pick shoes with slip resistant soles. But how can you even tell if shoes are non-slip in the first place?

Well, that’s what you’ll learn in this guide.

But, first things first …

What are Non Slip Shoes?

Non-slip shoes are nothing more than footwear designed to prevent slips and falls on smooth, oily, wet, and slippery surfaces.

Their sole unit is made of 100% rubber, which tends to have better grip on all surface. Not to mention provide better traction and stability with every step you take.

If you examine the anti-skid soles closely, you’ll see patterned treads that create friction between your leg and slippery surfaces, hence a solid grip.

And with OSHA recommending non-slip shoes for most workers, it’s hard to ignore the significant role that footwear with slip-resistant sole play in feet protection.

How Do Slip Resistant Shoes Work?

When it comes to slip resistance in footwear, everything falls back to the structure of the sole.

If you think about it, there’s a reason why it’s straight out a bad idea to wear flat shoes on wet and slippery surfaces.

Their flat design doesn’t make way for liquid to move out of the base when walking. This explains why you’re more likely to trip or fall.

Non-slip shoes are different. 

They have deeper tread groves, which generate high friction that grips any surface you step on, completing alleviating the possibility of slipping and falling.

Theoretically, the more grooves a pair of shoes or boots has the higher the level of slip resistance.

And this means you can’t fall no matter how slippery the surface beneath your feet is as long as you wear these shoes.

What are the Risks of Wearing Slippery Shoes?

Slippery shoes aren’t evil. After all, if you’ve pre mapped your route property, flat-soled shoes shouldn’t be an issue at all.

However, they can be disastrous if you use them for walking, running, or training on any surface.

In short:

With slippery shoes, you risk tripping over anything, from leaves and small stones to wet grass and smooth surfaces.

The aftermath of slipping and falling from slippery shoes isn’t that very great. Broken hands, head injuries, twisted ankle are more than likely.

But you can avoid all these by investing in the best non-slip shoes, especially if you stand and work in a place where slippery floors are a commonplace.

How Do You Tell If Shoes Are Non-Slip?

Many manufacturers label their shoe packaging as non-slip. But this may not be true for all cases.

To avoid falling a victim of false labeling, consider checking if the shoes are actually slip-resistant.

Here are six ways to tell if the shoes you’re about to buy have anti-skid outsoles:

1. Examine the Outsole

Carefully examine the sole structure of the shoes you’re about to buy.

Is the unit flat edged?

Or is the design rounded?

Stay away from shoes with flat soles because they keep the liquid under the shoes, making you easily susceptible to falls.

Instead, choose shoes with rounded edge soles because they offer better grip on any surface.

Such shoes allow water to disperse quickly as you walk on a wet or slippery surface, thus creating a slip-resistance effect that keeps you moving steadily.

2. Pick Shoes with Rubber Outsoles

You don’t want shoes with hard, stiff soles as they easily trap liquid under the shoe making it difficult for you to walk or run comfortably.

Consider shoes made of soft rubber soles instead.

Soft rubber sole tends to stick to the ground when walking, so you get better traction with every step you take.

3. Test Them on Oil or Soapy Water

Since this is a very simple test, it should take only a few minutes of your time to complete.

Plus, you can tell if shoes are non-slip right away.

Pour oil or soapy water on a slippery floor and walk over it. Be keen to notice if the shoes offer a decent grip as you walk.

If they don’t, the pair isn’t slip-resistant.

4. Look for Deep Grooves on the Soles

So you like a pair of shoes so much that it has set you in an immediate buying mode.

That’s great.

But if you’ll be using them for walking or running on any surface, you have to do a sole check.

Turn to the sole unit and see if there are grooves. If there are, how deep are they?

Quite too often, soles with deeper grooves are a better option as they generate higher friction that enhance solid grip on any surface.

Moreover, more grooves means the shoes won’t trap water, so you can easily use them to walk on wet surfaces.

5. Look at the Tread Design

All types of shoes come with different tread patterns.

So it’s important to know the tread design to look for when determining if the pair you’re about to buy is anti-slip.

Usually, the treads of slip-resistant shoes are circular or hexagon. These designs not only make shoes less slippery but also allow water to flow out of the base of the shoes.

Even better is a pair of walking or running shoes with several smaller treads. They tend to offer better grip compared to soles with only a few large treads.

6. Give Them a Walk Test

After you’ve found a pair of shoes that meets all the above qualities, it’s now time to give them a walk test.

Try them on different surfaces. Walk in them on hard, shiny, tiled, and slippery surfaces.

As you walk, take note of how your feet move on each surface. You can even try sliding and running to see if your feet stay in place.

If there are instances where your feet tend to slide a bit, the shoes aren’t slip resistant enough. 

How Do I Know Shoes are Slip Resistant When Buying Online?

It’s hard to tell if shoes are slip-resistant without manually giving them a test.

So if you intend to buy your shoes online, the following guidelines can help you get yourself a slip-resistant pair:

  • Check the shoes’ description online. In particular, pay close attention to the features as this information can tell you whether or not the shoes are slip resistant.
  • Read buyer’s reviews on product pages. Try to go through all the comments, or most of them, and find out what people say about the sole structure of the shoes.
  • If you have a friend or a relative who’ve bought slip-resistant shoes online, ask them for recommendations.

If you look into these three tips, you should be able to find the right pair of anti-skid shoes online, especially on Amazon and Zappos.

Final Thoughts

I wouldn’t trade my safety for a pair of shoes simply because it’s sleek, fashionable, and the latest trend in the market.

And I’m sure I’m not the only one on this.

The takeaway here is this:

If you’re looking for shoes that you can wear to any place, safety is the number one thing to consider.

And given that you can now tell if shoes are slip-resistant, finding the right pair shouldn’t be difficult for you.

About the author 

Abigael Destiny

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