Is There Any Difference Between Non Slip and Slip Resistant?

When it comes to shoes, it is greatly possible that you have encountered the terms non-slip and slip-resistant, especially during the time when you are still figuring out the actual features integrated into all your footwear options. Such terms will most likely be noticeable when you are looking for work boots or shoes.

Now the question is, are both terms the same? Is there actually a difference between non-slip and slip-resistant? Do the two popular features just provide similar functions? Continue reading this article as it contains some relevant information that will answer such questions.

Difference Between Non Slip and Slip Resistant?


The answer is actually no as both slip-resistant and non slip shoes actually have similar function – that is to prevent people from slipping, especially if they are at work. Remember that there is no such thing as a shoe, which can totally prevent you from slipping. It does not make it impossible for you to fall or slip.

What both slip-resistant or non-slip shoe does is to help reduce the risk of you slipping accidentally and incurring major injuries because of it. Both the phrases non-slip and slip-resistant are actually used interchangeably. If you are getting a shoe, which is labeled as non-slip, then it does not instantly mean that you will have zero risks of slipping.

It is just designed in such a way that it can minimize the likelihood of you slipping and falling. In other words, both non-slip and slip-resistant shoes are made to reduce the possibility of trips, slips, and falls. In most cases, they come with a slip-resistant grip found on the shoes’ tread.

Such grip can help you stay on your feet, especially when you are walking and moving around greasy and wet surfaces. It is particularly helpful for those who have demanding jobs, like those in the catering, food service, manufacturing, construction, and healthcare industry.

It should be noted that trips, falls, and slips are among the most common causes of workplace accidents in the world. You can minimize your risk of being part of those who incurred injuries due to these accidents by ensuring that you are wearing a non-slip or slip-resistant shoe.

How Does it Work?

Now that you know that both slip-resistant and non-slip shoes have similar functions, it is time to understand exactly how it works. These shoes actually work with the help of its tread – the one which has the biggest contribution when it comes to minimizing your risk of falling, tripping, or slipping.

Shoes that come with a higher level of friction can be expected to have deeper tread grooves that can resist falls and slips. The main reason is that they have more than enough grip on the ground. That said, the higher number of grooves on your shoe also means that it is more slip-resistant or non-slip.

It should also be noted that the shape of the outsole’s pattern has a major impact on the grip of your shoe. For instance, those shoes that come with circular outsoles and more than one designs also have higher grip when handling oily or wet floors.

Shoes with a flat design, on the other hand, prevent liquid from getting away from the shoe’s base, causing a higher likelihood of sleeping when you are walking. If you want to invest in a shoe that can resist slips, then it is, therefore, advisable to check the tread and the outsole’s pattern or shape.

It should be noted that the tread can provide you with the grip that you need on wet and oily surfaces. In addition, it provides more traction. With better traction, you can expect the shoe to grip well on the floor even when you’re trying to slide your feet.

It is also advisable to check the material used in the tread. It is because the material also has a say on how slip-resistant your shoe is. If possible, go for a shoe, which comes with a tread made of high-grade rubber. Such material is known for its ability to grip on greasy and oily surfaces successfully while also providing strong traction.

Read more: The 6 best kitchen shoes.

Choosing the Best Non Slip or Slip Resistant Shoe

Just because a shoe is labeled as non-slip or slip-resistant, it instantly means that it is the best footwear to buy. Note that the slip-resistant ability of different footwear varies, so you should spend time doing a thorough comparison.


As mentioned earlier, it is crucial to check thoroughly the material used in creating the shoe. Check the outsole and tread material. You will know that the shoe is slip-resistant if it features a softer outsole, often constructed out of rubber. Such is more resistant to slips when you are exposed to oil and water.

A soft rubber outsole also guarantees better grip when dealing with a slick floor. With that in mind, you can expect it to grab hold of the surface even when you are exposed to linoleum, hardwood, or quarry tile flooring.


Check the design of the shoe, as well. The overall design of the footwear also has a say on how slip-resistant it is. For instance, shoes that feature an enclosed tread design or pattern can cause any liquid that penetrates into them to have no place to go out to.

In that case, it is possible for the water or liquid to get trapped under it, forming a barrier between the floor and your footwear and causing you to have less than the desired grip. A wise tip is to find a non-slip or slip-resistant shoe designed with an interlocked tread pattern.

Such pattern should not close the liquid or water in. With that, you can expect it to get channeled out of your feet, making it possible for the non-slip or slip-resistant sole to come in contact with the floor or surface, thereby offering better slip-resistance.


While there is no actual major difference between non-slip and slip-resistant shoes, it is still important that you are careful when you’re making your buying decision. Ensure that the slip-resistant feature meets the standards set by different organizations that focus on safety so you can really prevent being part of those who experience workplace injuries.

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