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Aug 30, 2021 / Slip Resistant Footwear

The Truth About Slip Resistant Shoes

Proficient slip-resistant shoes are an unmistakable essential purchase for many modern day workers prioritizing safety and comfort. From warehouses to restaurants, and manufacturing plants to hospitals, slip-resistant shoes are necessary to keep working individuals on their feet regardless of the safety hazards they encounter. It is for that exact reason that we at Boot World offer a wide variety of slip-resistant shoes for women and men.

Simply wearing a slip-resistant work shoe can cut the chances of a slip in restaurants in half. That is why we have a wide selection of women's and men’s restaurant shoes to give our customers the proper safety shoe options for their working conditions, especially if slip-resistant shoes are required. Our selection contains everything from comfort-filled women’s oxford work shoes to men’s slip-on work boots so you’re sure to find the right slip resistant footwear for you. But not enough people are wearing the right slip resistant work shoes: According to the National Floor Safety Institute, slips and falls are the primary cause of lost workdays. Plus, by 2020, researchers anticipate 17 million slip and falls will occur in the U.S. annually, costing billions in health care.

Finding the right slip-resistant work shoe with enough traction isn’t always easy, though. For one, the slip-resistant label used by manufacturers doesn’t indicate the degree to which they’re safe to use on a slippery surface. Instead, it just means that the safety shoe meets the federal standard for slip resistant boots and shoes (which places the bar relatively low). Boot World is here to change that: we’ve developed our own rating system to offer our customers better guidance for slip resistant footwear.

Why is this important? Actual slip resistance isn’t as simple as meeting a single standard. Not only do different materials and shoe construction affect slippage, but water, oil, and other contaminants influence the grip of slip-resistant shoes differently.

To stay as safe as possible in the workplace, it’s important to choose the right shoe for your needs. Here are some tips.

The Science of Slipping

A shoe slips because it loses friction. In other words, the shoe is unable to stop moving. To illustrate, think about how friction works with tires: High-performance tires are often much wider than their commuter counterparts because the larger surface area provides more traction for high-speed maneuvers.

The amount of friction available, which determines the slip resistance of a shoe (or a tire), is determined by many factors, including the flooring being walked upon, the sole’s composition and tread—even the internal sole affects the slip resistance of a shoe.

An important misconception regarding footwear that needs to be resolved is that the feel of the sole doesn’t always correspond to the slip resistance of a shoe. For example, soles made of a polyurethane material feel slick and slippery to the touch, but are actually ideal for slippery environments like a kitchen. It is vital to remember that factors such as tread patterns, manufacturer’s slip-resistant label, or sole material won’t tell you the complete story.

Lab testing, while useful to establish a baseline, fails to capture the real-life slip resistance of shoes. Many tests utilize a small 2”x2” patch of a sole to test their resistance, but they don’t account for all of the factors that can occur in the real world.

We’ve gone a step further at Boot World to offer slip-resistance guidance to our customers.

Finding Professional Grade Slip-Resistant Shoes

Garnering real-world experiences with shoes in a variety of scenarios is key to knowing the right amount of slip resistance you need for your working conditions. That’s where buying from an experienced store like Boot World can make all the difference. With experiences totalling over 40 years, the reliable staff at Boot World has the knowledge to help you pick out the appropriate sole and shoe for your particular needs so you stay safe and pleased with your footwear. We’ve gone through and specifically rated all of our shoes to help you work confidently in your specific work conditions

Granted, most workplaces won’t require Professional Grade slip resistance. Manufacturer labels indicating general slip resistance are enough for some workers. But, if your job requires the highest level of slip-resistant shoes, we’ve got you covered. You know what we’re talking about: Wet environments like kitchens, bathrooms, machine shops, etc., demand Professional Grade slip-resistance.

That’s why we created the Slip-Resistant PRO label to indicate the highest level of slip resistance possible. Just check the product descriptions for our wide selection of men's and women's non-slip work shoes or ask a Boot World team member at one of our convenient locations for our Slip-Resistant PRO footwear.

A Final Boot World Advantage Tip: In today’s modern world, there are no shoes that are entirely slip-resistant. Instead of searching for the most slip-resistant shoe possible, the trick to remaining on your feet is working in an environment that is frequently cleaned of contaminants that could lead to accidents, like water and oil. Other forms of debris like small rocks, glass and loose food can become lodged in your work shoes increasing the likelihood of an accident occurring and turning even the most slip-resistant shoe into a slip-and-slide.