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Mar 25, 2022 / Slip Resistant Footwear

What Are Non Slip Shoes and Why Do Restaurant Workers Need Them?

Non-slip shoes are essential for restaurant workers due to their many safety benefits. But, if you’re new to the industry, or if your workplace has recently added specialized shoes to your required uniform, you may be asking yourself, “What are non slip shoes?”

Non slip shoes, or slip resistant shoes, are uniquely designed to minimize slips and falls in the workplace—particularly in food service environments where slips and falls are the number one cause of injury on the job.1

In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the question, what are slip resistant shoes and how to tell if shoes are non-slip, as well as exploring how a non-slip shoe is made and why they’re so important for restaurant workers. By the end of this article, you’ll understand why restaurant slip resistant shoes should be a non-negotiable part of your work shoe collection.

What Makes A Shoe Non Slip?

Slip resistant shoes are specially constructed to:2

  • Improve durability and foot and ankle support for long periods of standing or walking
  • Prevent slips and falls in the workplace

A slip resistant work shoe generally has a few common construction elements that make them both useful for food service and easily identifiable to shoppers or uniform managers:

  • Rubber soles – Slip resistant shoes typically have rubber soles or soles made from a synthetic rubber alternative. Rubber and similar materials improve soles’ grip on the floor, even in slippery, greasy environments.
  • Treads – Non slip shoes always feature numerous and intricate tread patterns on their soles. To keep you from slipping on grease or liquids, treads allow these substances to move freely under your foot as you walk. The tread pattern on a slip resistant shoe prevents liquids from becoming trapped under your sole, which causes trips and slips. This increased traction is why shoes with slip resistance are the perfect work shoes.
  • Thick soles – The thicker-than-average soles on slip resistant footwear helps restaurant workers avoid foot, ankle, and back pain both on and off the clock. Thick, firm soles on non-slip footwear provide additional arch support as well as support for your heels and toes to prevent fatigue during long periods of standing or walking, which can help alleviate any future foot problems.
  • Water-resistant materials – While the soles of non-slip shoes are almost always made from rubber (or material that behaves similarly), the sidewalls are usually made from water-resistant or waterproof materials to protect your feet from contact with a wet floor or surface spills, and keep them dry throughout your shift. Slip resistant shoes are typically made from leather, rubber, faux leather, cloth, or canvas.

Comfortable slip resistant shoes for work. Shop now!

Why Do Restaurant Workers Need Non Slip Shoes?

Studies show that slip resistant shoes significantly reduce the number of workplace slip and fall injuries for restaurant workers.3 But why do these specialized shoes make such an impact on the health and safety of food service employees?

Increased Slipping Hazards During Work

Restaurant workers encounter significantly more slippery environments than the average person.

Imagine you’re in your home kitchen making an average dinner—perhaps sauteed vegetables, pan-fried chicken, and black beans. While you’re prepping and cooking, you’re almost guaranteed to spill something on the countertop or floor, and you don’t always have a spare second to clean up the spill right away.

Now, imagine back-of-house staff—cooks, chefs, and dishwashers—moving at a significantly faster pace and cooking for multiple tables at once. The combination of a higher workload and a quicker pace makes it more likely that they’ll spill something, significantly increasing their likelihood of slipping in a spilled liquid.

Plus, front-of-house workers racing into the kitchen to call out an order, run food to tables, or even head out back for their break are unlikely to have seen these spills happen and could be caught off guard when they step into a pool of grease.

Ultimately, non-slip shoes protect restaurant workers—both front- and back-of-house staff—from the slips and falls that are significantly more likely to happen in commercial kitchens. They’re a crucial safety tool for these fast-paced, messy environments.

Healthcare-Related Cost Savings

Restaurant workers are, unfortunately, some of the least likely employees to receive adequate benefits packages, particularly health insurance coverage.4If you’re an uninsured food service worker, preventing slip and fall injuries is vital to both:

  • Maintaining your physical health and safety
  • Protecting your finances

For people without health insurance, receiving medical care to treat sprains, fractures, or broken bones can pose financially devastating consequences. If you’re one of many restaurant workers without an employer-provided benefits package, avoiding injuries with adequate tools—like non-slip shoes—will protect both your body and your wallet.

Boot World: Restaurant Workers’ Top Source For Non Slip Shoes

For restaurant workers, wearing a pair of slip resistant shoes on the clock should be a top priority. These shoes are uniquely designed to prevent slip and fall injuries, which are the most common workplace injury in the food service industry—and, without proper healthcare coverage, treatment for a preventable injury could jeopardize a worker’s finances.

Understanding how to clean work shoes is also essential to keeping your non-slip shoes in good condition, in order to maintain the quality of the slip resistant soles.

If you’re ready to find the best restaurant shoes and pick up your first pair of non-slip kicks, you can trust the experts at Boot World to help you choose the perfect option. Since 1975, restaurant professionals in California and beyond have trusted us for all of their workplace footwear needs, and our professional team is ready to help you stay safe and stylish at work.

In an industry where slip resistant shoes are a must, Boot World has the expertise and the inventory to help you find the perfect pair and keep yourself protected—both on and off the clock.

If you’re interested in slip-resistant shoes for women and styles of men’s slip resistant shoes, check out our collection of safety & slip-resistant shoes today!

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.

Reviewed By:
Ed Stone

Ed Stone brings over 45 years of footwear knowledge and passion to his role as President of Boot World, a family-owned company and an industry leader in safety and occupational footwear. A second generation "shoe dog” Ed's footwear knowledge is unparalleled, serving as an informal advisor for some of the worlds largest footwear brands including Wolverine, Timberland PRO, and Reebok Works.

A lifelong Southern California resident, and ardent conservationist, Ed enjoys hiking and open water swimming.