Woman wearing non-slip shoes on the snow.

Non-slip shoes are shoes specifically designed not to slip in wet and slippery conditions. These are shoes with specialized rubber outsoles that provide a better grip when walking on slippery surfaces.

Non-slip shoes are very versatile and can be used in various situations. These shoes give peace of mind while significantly reducing the risks of slips, trips, and falls and keeping you safe and protected from different injuries.


Non-slip shoes are popular among many people, but those who spend most of their day walking on their feet wear them the most. It’s much easier to do your job well or spend an enjoyable time in anti-slip shoes without worrying about slips, blisters, chafing, punctures, etc.


But do you know what are non-slip shoes, how to tell whether they are slip-resistant or just regular shoes, and how these shoes work? If not, keep reading to learn more and make an informed buying decision.

What Are Slip-Resistant Shoes?

Slip-resistant or non-slip shoes are designed to reduce slips, trips, and accidental falls. Their outsoles have grippy treads, keeping you stable on your feet while walking on wet and slippery terrains.


Non-slip shoes are ideal for people who work in restaurants, construction, health care, and similar workplaces. Naturally, these are invaluable for anyone walking in wet conditions.


Several features set them apart from other types of shoes. These include the design, materials, and pattern of the shoe sole.


Rubber non-slip soles

Materials used in shoe manufacture come into play when they come in contact with the ground. Non-slip work shoes are usually softer on the outside, while their outsoles are typically made of rubber. That makes them slip-resistant, allowing for an efficient grip on slippery, wet, and greasy surfaces.


The design of the shoe impacts the level of slip resistance it offers. Slip-resistant work shoes have a unique design that allows them to provide a reliable grip.


The right pattern in the outsole creates traction and provides a grip for the wearer to prevent slipping under various circumstances. Most non-slip shoes have interlocked tread patterns ingrained under the outsole.


An enclosed tread pattern leaves no space for the liquid to go inside the outsole. Instead, it channelizes liquid away from the shoe, ensuring your foot remains secure in any position.

The Elements Of Non-Slip Shoes

Besides the anti-slip outsoles, other elements of slip-resistant shoes distinguish them from regular shoe types.

  • Many anti-slip shoes are made with hexagonal tread patterns on their outsoles.
  • Most slip-resistant shoes are designed with soft but durable EVA rubber soles.
  • They often have thick padded collars.
  • A non-slip shoe usually has cushioned insole and orthotic footbed with excellent arch support.
  • Their upper is often water-resistant or waterproof.
  • Their toe boxes are roomy.

So, if you have to walk or stand on your feet for long hours or work on wet, slippery, or greasy floors, you can benefit from wearing slip-resistant shoes. On top of that, these can keep your feet, heels, ankles, and calves comfortable and stable, reducing or preventing fatigue and strain and allowing an all-day comfort.

How to Tell if Shoes Are Non-Slip?

Several things indicate slip resistance. Keep reading to learn how to distinguish slip-resistant shoes from casual shoes.

They Are Labeled as “Slip-Resistant”

The quickest way to identify whether the shoes are non-slip is to check the label. Shoes, boots, and other types of footwear have labels on which you can read whether they are slip-resistant or not.


Moreover, many non-slip shoe outsoles meet ASTM standards. That ensures the shoes are safe to use on oily, dry, and wet surfaces.

Examine the Tread Patterns

The tread pattern is another vital feature to check to see whether the shoe has a non-slip sole. Most shoes have some tread pattern on the outsoles. While observing, you’ll notice little circles, squiggles, or hexagons on the shoe outsole. These generate friction, offering a decent grip on various surfaces without trapping the water. Typically, the smaller the tread pattern, the more powerful slip resistance.


Tread pattern for slip resistance

If there isn’t a tread pattern, the shoes don’t offer much traction and will not grip. If there is a pattern on the outsole, it’s likely made of rubber or other materials that grip well and provide traction.

Check the Design of the Soles

The shape of the outsole also has a lot to do with grip and traction. Even if the pair of shoes is specified as slip-resistant, you should still check the outsoles before investing in them.


When shopping for anti-slip shoes, look for durable EVA rubber outsoles with a rounded design on the sides. EVA materials are synthetic and look like resin or foam. You can often find it in the midsoles and outsoles of non-slip shoes.

Wear or Walk in Them

If you’re buying your new pair of non-slip shoes in a brick-and-mortar store, test them if you notice all the anti-slip features in them. You likely won’t find a wet floor at any store, but a shiny and slick floor can do the same for you.


Put the shoes on and walk around in them a bit. Feel how they fit and how your foot moves on the floor. Shop floors are typically slippery, and you will quickly determine the shoe’s slip resistance level.


Another way to identify the slip resistance of the shoe is to run your hand over the outsole. If the sole is too sleek, shoes aren’t slip-resistant, and you shouldn't take them.

How Do Non-Slip Shoes Work?

Hiker testing non-slip shoes

Non-slip shoes are designed to prevent or reduce slips, trips, and falls. But how do they work?


Athletic shoes with higher levels of friction have deeper tread grooves. Deep grooves can prevent slips and falls because they grip the ground. The more grooves the shoes have on the outsoles, the more slip resistance they offer.


The friction you get from each tread groove ranges between 0.018 to 0.108 on average, and it depends on the condition of the floor you’re walking on.


The shape of the patterns on the outsole can also impact the shoe's grip. Circle outsoles and multiple designs boost grip. That’s especially true on wet or oily surfaces. However, if your shoes have a flat design, it discourages the liquid from moving away from the bottom of the shoe, meaning you’re more likely to slip and fall.


The material of the tread on anti-slip soles also helps against slips. High-quality rubber grips well on wet and oily surfaces and offers strong traction.

How to Make Shoes Slip-Resistant?

If your shoes aren’t slip-resistant enough or at all, there are ways to make them slip-resistant and prevent any unpleasant circumstances associated with slips, trips, and falls. Bellow are non-slip hacks that will help your shoes keep you stable on your feet.

Apply Traction Spray

Applying a traction spray onto your outsoles can make your shoes more slip-resistant and smooth. If your shoes are wearing out, traction spray can help rejuvenate the outsoles of your shoes.

Spray Hairspray on Your Outsoles

Spray Hairspray on Your Outsoles

Another way to add slip resistance to your shoes is to spray hairspray on the outsoles of your shoes. Then, rub it gently into the soles. That’s an effective and cheap way to make shoes shiny and slip-resistant.

Add a Mixture of Rubber Glue and Salt

A mixture of rubber glue and salt can make your shoes slip-resistant. This mixture is made to give the outsoles an extra grip. To make the mixture, mix equal parts of rubber glue and salt. Then, spread the mixture evenly on your outsoles and let them dry.

Make Grooves in Your Soles

Carving out the grooves in the outsoles of your shoes can also help make them more slip-resistant. When you cut them, it creates lines on the soles. These lines will function as a gripping pattern, and your shoes won’t slip anymore.

Use Ice Grips

Ice grip is an adhesive substance you can apply to the outsoles of your shoes. An example of this substance is the materials used in the wheels of rollerblades. Ice grips are successful in making shoes slip-resistant because they offer a strong, non-stick surface for better traction.

Rub Your Shoes with Sandpaper

You can also try rubbing the outsoles of your shoes with sandpaper the same way you would when smoothing a surface for varnish or paint. That works because it creates more friction area in the soles and offers a better grab.

Re-Sole Your Shoes

Another option is to re-sole your shoes. However, you will likely have to go to a shoe repair store to fix your shoes.

Setup a New Rubber Base

You can cover the shoe sole with rubber tape if it’s worn out. The goal is to cover the outsole so there’s no more bare metal, but you still get good traction.

Use Puff Paint

You can also use puff paint to make your shoe slip-resistant. You can get puff paint from any children’s art and craft store or online. To increase the slip resistance of your shoes, apply a thin layer of puff paint at the bottom of your shoes to make the outsoles rough and anti-slip.

That works because it creates friction between the outsole and the surface you’re standing on.

Let Them Wear Down

Wearing your shoes and walking in them on uneven surfaces for several days will wear down the soles of your shoes, making them rougher. That may increase their slip resistance levels.

A Pair of Slip-Resistant Shoes Has Many Uses

The primary use for non-slip shoes is to increase stability when walking on challenging surfaces. That’s why this type of shoes is used in many industries where stability and safety are essential.


Non-slip insoles increase stability


For example, construction workers wear slip-resistant shoes to maintain balance and footing when working and walking around on high ramps. The more challenging the surfaces, the more stability and traction they need. However, they aren’t used only for work. Many people wear them in nature, for example, when hiking on damp terrain.

Anti-Slip Shoes Are Versatile

Like many products designed to help you in various conditions, non-slip shoes can be used by anyone. They are affordable and easy to find. So, if you want an all-around shoe to keep you protected in various situations, slip-resistant shoes are worth considering.


Another reason to get non-slip shoes is if you already have problems with maintaining balance. Poor agility and weakness in the legs can lead to falls when walking on slippery terrain, whether on an icy sidewalk, in nature, or at a construction site.


This shoe type can help you maintain balance in these situations, making them an excellent solution if you’re looking for a way to feel safer when walking on challenging terrain.

Risks of Not Wearing Slip-Resistant Shoes

Risks of Not Wearing Slip-Resistant Shoes

Trips and falls are some of the most common risks associated with wearing shoes that aren’t slip-resistant. Tripping on slippery surfaces can cause severe injuries and even death. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so make sure you wear non-slip shoes when walking on challenging terrain.


Here’s a list of common injuries associated with not wearing slip-resistant shoes:

Broken Bones

Some slips can result in broken bones. This risk increases as we age. Weight and arthritis also increase the chances of breaking bones due to slipping. 

Sometimes doctors can fix broken bones without surgery. However, sometimes surgery is necessary to put screws in the bone to hold it together while it recovers. Again, wearing slip-resistant shoes can help prevent such unpleasant experiences.

Head Injury

If you avoid wearing anti-slip shoes when you should wear them, you can fall and injure your head. Note that one in four people who suffer from a head injury die from it. If you survive, you may have permanent brain damage or paralysis of your legs and arms. 


However, not all is that bad. You may only suffer from a small injury and recover from it quickly. Either way, it’s better to stay protected by wearing appropriate anti-slip shoes.

Internal Organ Damage

Not wearing slip-resistant shoes can cause internal organ damage that doesn’t show up on an x-ray until days later.


Some slips and falls can even result in a ruptured spleen. A ruptured spleen can cause severe internal bleeding. Internal bleeding is usually fatal unless the patient gets immediate medical attention. You don’t want that either.

Hip Fractures

Slips and falls can also cause hip fractures. These take longer to heal and can lead to loss of independence. That’s another problem you can avoid by wearing slip-resistant shoes.

Back Injury

Slips, trips, and falls are some of the most common causes of back injuries. Spinal surgery is one of the most common operations in the USA. Spinal surgery is not something you want. Wear non-slip shoes.

Other Injuries

Other injuries that can be caused by not wearing slip-resistant shoes include cuts, scratches, broken wrists or ankles, concussions, etc.

Fear of Falling

Falls can also cause fear of falling. That can lead some people to withdraw from activities they enjoy and become isolated, which can lead to depression.

Stay Safe in the Best Non-Slip Shoes

Now that you have a good idea of what non-slip shoes are and why they are important, it’s time to get yours. Although you can make your current shoes slip-resistant, it’s better to have a high-quality pair of shoes that won’t betray you when things get slippery.

As you know by now, slips and falls can cause severe injuries nobody wants. And one of the best ways to prevent them is by wearing non-slip shoes. That’s especially true if you work in wet, slippery, or oily conditions or hike regularly on damp ground.

Your safety should be your top priority, so don’t be afraid to invest in quality shoes that will last and allow you to perform at your best. Check our collection of the best non-slip shoes and find your perfect pair!