There are many jobs that require you to spend a lot – if not all – of your time on your feet. Non-slip shoes are essential when you spend long hours on your feet, particularly if you’re rushed off your feet! But not all non-slip shoes are created equal, and as you search for a pair you may be wondering how you can tell non-slip shoes from other types of shoes and indeed, what sets a great non-slip shoe apart from a subpar one.
Below, we’ll take you through the properties of a non-slip shoe, how you can tell if a shoe is non-slip, and what you need to look for in a pair of non-slip shoes that mean business. Let’s get into it!
What Makes A Shoe A Non-Slip Shoe?
Non-slip shoes are a type of safety shoe that prevents you from slipping on slick surfaces. What makes non-slip shoes different from their standard counterparts is the rubber sole that gives you a secure grip and extra traction.
In many industries you are required to wear non-slip shoes in order to prevent hazards, and proper non-slip shoes should have durable soles that prevent skidding, and a patterned tread to provide extra friction on slippery surfaces.
How To Tell If Shoes Are Non-Slip?
It can be tough to figure out whether a pair of non-slip shoes will be up to the mark, especially when buying online, and you’re unable to try them on to test them out. Therefore, to avoid confusion it’s best to have an idea of what factors to consider before buying a pair of non-slip shoes.
Does The Product Description Specify That The Shoe Is Non-Slip?
This may seem like common sense, but checking whether non-slip properties are mentioned in the product description is where we need to start. While running shoes, athletic shoes, and even clogs are favored by those who work on their feet, these shoes are not necessarily non-slip by default.
A lot of truly non-slip shoes will specify that their outsoles meet the ASTM International F1677 standards, meaning they have been tested on a variety of surfaces both slick and dry.
Take A Look At The Sole
The next thing to take a look at is the soles. Non-slip shoes should have a sturdy and durable EVA rubber outsole that is a bit rounded on the sides. EVA, or Ethylene Vinyl Acetate, is a synthetic, foam-like resin that is found in the midsoles and outsoles of a variety of shoes.
With a normal flat sole, liquids can get underneath and this is what leads to slipping or falling. But a non-slip sole will stop liquids from getting trapped. Non-slip shoes are also designed to grip the floor, even on slick surfaces.
But as well as being durable, the sole of your non-slip shoe should be flexible, lightweight, and fairly soft. An outsole that is flexible and lightweight absorbs shock and helps you avoid that ache you feel when you’ve been on your feet all day. Plus, soft, rubber soles usually provide the best grip on slippery surfaces.
Now Look At The Tread
The tread pattern is also important to consider. Non-slip treads normally have circles, hexagons, or squiggly patterns on the bottom of the outsole. This creates friction, helping you grip the floor without water getting trapped. Usually the smaller the pattern is, the better the slip-resistance.
When looking for non-slip shoes, understanding how non-slip technology works goes a long way in finding the right pair for you. Ultimately, it’s all about the combination of rubber soles that are soft yet sturdy with the ideal tread pattern. Hexagons are normally considered the best pattern. They give you the most reliable grip on any surface, while keeping water and other liquids away from the bottom of your shoes.
What Makes A Good Non-Slip Shoe?
Besides having an anti-slip sole, what other properties do non-slip shoes need for those working long, demanding shifts on their feet? We talked about the properties of a non-slip shoe, now let’s talk about what takes a non-slip shoe from good to great.
The best non-slip shoes feature durable, lightweight, and soft EVA rubber outsoles, non-slip hexagonal tread patterns, uppers that are water and stain resistant, cushioned midsoles for comfort, padded collars, orthotic foot beds with arch support, and a versatile design.
No matter what your job, if you spend most of your day on your feet then you’re going to want shoes that can make your job easier. Non-slip shoes do just that. Not only do non-slip shoes put injuries to the back of your mind and keep you safe, they also ward off that familiar pain and discomfort in your ankles, calves, heels, and toes. Shoes with orthotic arch support also protect you in the long-run, as unlike other shoes they won’t lead to any painful, uncomfortable foot conditions in the future.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has found that falls, slips, and trips are the second most common type of work injury that can lead to fatality, and the third most common type of non-fatal injury. While these types of accidents can often be a matter of life or death, on a smaller scale these types of injuries can also mean time away from work. The average time away from work following a trip, slip, or fall is over 10 days, which nobody wants!
Therefore, non-slip shoes are crucial to prevent injuries such as dislocations, fractures, sprains, strains, and torn muscles that can put you out of action. Well-made non-slip shoes help you keep your balance on slippery surfaces.
For those who work in construction, or any job that involves handling heavy objects and operating heavy machinery you may also need extras to your standard non-slip shoe, such as cleats and weight-resistant toe boxes. Heavy-duty industrial soles can also keep you safe during heavy lifting, and if you live in a colder climate these soles can also help you navigate icy, slippery surfaces. Some boots are also designed to prevent electrical hazards on wet surfaces.