What type of slip resistance are you seeking? One of the most frequently asked questions we receive is what would be considered our best footwear option for slip resistance.

What type of slip resistance are you seeking? One of the most frequently asked questions we receive is what would be considered our best footwear option for slip resistance.

It’s a simple question that does not have a simple answer. There is currently no national slip-resistant standard for safety shoes. The ASTM F24-13 standard that covers areas of impact/compression, electrical hazard, metatarsal, puncture-resistant and static dissipative protection does not include slip resistance.

There are so many different work area conditions that exist in both indoor and outdoor environments that a numerical test result standard has been too complicated to establish. Answering what type of slip-resistance you need requires more information leading us to ask a number of questions.

What type of environment are your employees working in? What type of surface are they working on? Are there liquids? What type of liquids? Is it a mixture of different things? This key information can make a significant difference in determining the best type of slip-resistant outsole.

If a customer is working in a typical rugged to semi-rugged work environment, such as a driver or possibly a railroad worker; an aggressive, fairly hard outsole will provide very good industrial traction. Oil-resistant compounds can also be a key factor. An outsole that repels water is helping it maintain its surface contact, while compounds that lack good oil-resistant properties tend to keep the oil on the sole lessening the needed contact between shoe and ground. Please keep in mind that typical athletic shoes do not have oil-resistant compounds because it is not needed for their general intended purpose and could be an issue if they are worn in a work environment where oil resistance is needed.

For a customer working in a hospitality-oriented environment like a restaurant or hotel, the aggressive semi-hard sole is not desirable for a couple of reasons. Inconsistent tread pattern variations lack dispersion channels to allow liquid and grease to flow freely between the floor and shoe. When liquids are dispersed overall surface contact increases. A harder outsole also has limited flexibility that decreases surface contact and therefore decreases traction. The harder industrial outsole compound wears better, but it does not provide near the same level of slip-resistance for hospitialiy environments as a softer more flexible compound.

Please keep in mind that there is no perfect slip-resistant shoe; it is more a matter of finding the best type of shoe for a particular type of environment. We hope that this information helps you in determining what may be the best option for you. Thank you for your interest in our products.