How To Tell If Shoes Are Non Slip (Slip-Resistant)?

A lot of people think that just because a shoe is stamped with the word “non-slip” or “slip-resistant”, it is already true that it can really resist accidental slips. That is actually a misconception. Another wrong belief is that if the sole (the bottom of your shoe) features an odd or intricate design, it can also grip well.

If you are wondering how to tell if shoes are non-slip, then you have to steer clear of the mentioned misconceptions. Note that the shoe’s tread design has a major contribution to its slip-resistant ability. However, that’s not the sole factor that can significantly boost its traction.

So to determine whether a shoe is non-slip, and if it can really perform such function excellently, there are several factors and points you have to keep in mind – one of which is the rubber compound of the footwear. You will also know more about other important factors and points regarding a shoe’s non-slip feature through this article.

How To Tell If Shoes Are Non Slip?

1. Outsole

One of the major components of a shoe that can contribute a lot to its slip-resistant nature is the outsole. With that in mind, it is advisable to be very careful when it comes to examining the shoe’s sole. One thing you have to scrutinize in the outsole is the pattern.

In this case, you have to check the tread design’s shape thoroughly. Keep in mind that outsole treads have different patterns, including hexagons, circles, squares, and triangles. Such patterns contribute a lot to the ability of your footwear to grip on the floor well in case it gets exposed to an oily or wet surface.


Each of the pattern or shape offers some level of slip-resistance but those outsoles that are square, triangle, or shaped like a hexagon come with a flat edge that often produces a wall, preventing any liquid from being moved away from the sole. That said, consider picking a shoe that comes with a circle-grip outsole.

Such shape does not come with any flat age. Since it has a circular shape, you can also expect it to act like a moving pad. The result is more rubber, which hits the floor while also allowing water to disperse quickly each time you take a step in an oily or wet surface.

It is also possible for you to increase the traction of the shoe even further. Just pick an outsole, which features tiny incisions or snipes, dividing the shape of the tread into 3-4 movable sections. The features incisions or snipes can channel a higher amount of liquid to the outer outsole, making the shoe even more slip-resistant.

2. Environment

You can also determine whether a shoe is non-slip enough for your specific requirements by assessing the specific environment where you plan to use it frequently. Keep in mind that a lot of oil or slip resistant shoe for servers, waiters, waitressing... undergo testing on various kinds of flooring and tile samples.

With that in mind, you can specifically determine the type of sole that perfectly fits the environment you plan to use it to (kitchen, restaurant, hospital)

3. Material

When referring to the shoe’s sole, what it actually means is the outsole. However, there are those who confuse the sole with midsole and insole. To prevent such confusion, we would like to emphasize that the outsole is that specific part of your footwear, which directly comes in contact with the ground.


You need to check the material used in creating the outsole so you can determine if it is indeed slip-resistant. An outsole made of rubber is often more non-slip once you expose it to oil and water. That is the reason why it is highly advisable to look for an outsole constructed from soft rubber.

Such material is more effective when it comes to gripping on slippery and slick floors. In other words, even if you wear it on linoleum, hardwood, or quarry tile flooring, the shoe will still showcase its slip-resistant nature by efficiently grabbing on the surface. That’s something that an outsole made of a stiff and hard material can’t do.

4. Types of Slip-resistance

It is also advisable to learn about the specific kinds of slip-resistance often integrated into a footwear. One option that you have is the self-cleaning Chevron or ultra-grip sipe. There is also the safety-lock. Many prefer it because of its ability to offer more than enough traction when worn on wet floors.

You can also choose the cleated or lug type. It often refers to general industry or multi-purpose soles. Lastly, there is the aluminum oxide grit. In this case, the soles of the shoe are treated with the material, thereby providing the additional non-slip capability. Figure out which one can provide you the most benefit before making your choice.

5. Other Tips to Keep in Mind

Other tips that you can use to tell whether a shoe is non-slip are the following:

Check the bottom of the footwear – Find out if it comes with a fine tread design or if there are large lugs. If possible, choose a shoe with a bottom featuring smaller lugs. It is because smaller lugs also indicate better non-slip functionality.

Feel the shoe’s sole – Aside from using your sense of sight, you should also feel the sole of the footwear. Is it versatile and soft, or stiff and hard? Go for a sole made of a softer material, such as rubber, which was actually mentioned earlier. It is because soft materials also mean that they can grip well even on slippery surfaces.

Ask whether it is constructed from rubber or other compounds – In the US, shoes are often constructed from different compounds, like PU, PVC, and rubber. If possible, go for rubber as it has the highest level of slip-resistance.

Test it using soap and oil – Pour soapy water or oil on a slippery surface. Once done, you can test the shoe and figure out if it is indeed non-slip. Be very thorough when doing this test to ensure that you are making the right choice.


There are some of best non-slip shoes in the market today but you have to be careful in choosing so you won’t end up buying the right one. Aside from the tips above, you’ll also know that the shoe is really non-slip if it can offer additional surface contact with the pattern of the tread.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *