Choosing Slip Resistant Shoes: Design (Pt 2)

Slip resistant shoes are something that many employers require and their employees wear. We talked previously, about the different environments slip resistant shoes are necessary here.  In this blog we will talk about the correct slip resistant shoe design.  A slip resistant shoe becomes a necessity when conditions may change quickly or may differ from place to place. Floors that are often wet or oily present distinct challenges that can make a work place dangerous. A floor can be particularly unsafe if it is occasionally wet or oily. A slip resistant shoe needs to provide traction under inconsistent conditions, normal conditions and consistently dangerous conditions.

Knowing Your Slip Resistant Shoe Design

Slip Resistance And Drainage

Slip resistance in a shoe is dependent upon the shoe’s ability to disperse the fluid that makes a floor dangerous. Much like a car tire sloshing through a rain filled road, a good slip avoidance technique centers on channeling the fluid away from the center of the shoe and past the outer edge of the sole. This allows the suction cups on the bottom of the shoe to provide traction by trapping and releasing air against the solid floor. If oil or water gets under the raised tread, hydroplaning can be the inevitable result.

Tread Pattern And Dispersion

Grooves, or slits in the tread that release fluid as you assert pressure downward allow channels to carry that fluid away from the center and out past the out-sole. The treads should be formed in a flat surface that allows an even pressure from the center out. When we walk, we step from the outer heel to the big toe. A slip resistant shoe should have a tread pattern that recognizes this, channeling unwanted fluids in a pattern that allows the quickest, most efficient way to the out-sole. Pushing water or oil forward to the center simply makes conditions more dangerous.

Sticking The Landing

Slip resistant shoes should be designed specifically to provide suction. As a person walks, the tread should disperse fluids and the suction cups should couple with the floor. The suction can only be achieved if fluids are first removed. A round suction cup is likely to provide the best coupling, just as a plunger is best to unclog pipes by creating an air pocket, forcing water out and then forming a vacuum. Look for tread where the channels appear to run outward toward the out-sole and the suction cups are round with slotted grooves to remove water or oil.

Don’t Forget Comfort

Any slip resistant shoe should be comfortable to wear. It is extremely important, when working in potentially dangerous areas that shoes are not making the work harder. If a shoe does not provide an easy fit that is snug and effectively cushioned, the wearer will walk differently. In conditions where floors may be wet, oily or slick it is important to be able to walk in a determined, cautious manner while continuing to be quick and efficient. A comfortable, scientifically designed hydrodynamic slip resistant shoe provides this confidence. Check out this list of comfortable slip resistant shoes here.