Non slip shoes, as the name suggests, are shoes that are resistant to slipping. They were created for work environments that may pose a hazard risk. In work places like plants and factories, employees need non slip shoes due to the risky nature of their work environment.
Non slip shoes provide grip on wet and oily surfaces. This does not however mean that you are completely protected from slipping because with the right amount of liquid on a wrong surface, you can still slip. There are no shoes that can guarantee that you will not fall.
With non-slip shoes, there are specialized types created for special conditions. There are oil resistant, fat resistant and alkaline resistant non slip shoes, each for their specified purpose.
What does it mean when a shoe is Slip Resistant?
Slip resistance shoes refer to shoes that are meant to protect you from slipping on slippery surfaces such as oil and water. It does not guarantee that it won’t happen but greatly reduce the probability of it happening.
What makes them different from regular shoes is that slip resistant shoes are made from rubberized soles and great deep thread patterns.
These are both done to provide better grip when walking, running and jumping on slippery surfaces. The soles are made from rubber, PVC and PU, rubber being the best since it is more slip resistant than the other two compounds.
Regular shoes have soft rubber with fine treads and this is why they are more susceptible to slipping. Old shoes, both non-slip and regular, cannot be slip resistant because their treads have been worn out. This is why it’s important to know when to let go of an old shoe.
Non-slip shoes do not use thick soles to make them slip resistant, they focus more on the treads and type of material to use, and this is what makes them effective.
How do non-slip shoes work?
Now that we know what makes a non-slip shoe slip resistant, we are going to look at how they work to reduce the risk of slipping. It’s all about the tread used by the shoe.
Shoes with higher friction have deeper treads and grooves. The deep treads resist against slips because they grip the ground properly. Such treads can be seen on desert shoes or hill climbing shoes.
The more treads and grooves you have on your shoe, the more slip resistant it is. The shape of the tread patterns also matters when it comes to slip resistance. Round circular outsoles and many designs increase grip especially on wet and oily floors.
If the shoes are also flat instead, the liquid doesn’t flow from under the shoes and you are likely to slip and fall. This is why flat shoes with no treads such as rubber shoes are risky on wet surfaces.
When you’re walking or running, non-slip shoes grip to the ground better than flat shoes. The material of tread of non-slip shoes is high grade rubber that provides great traction and superb grip on greasy surfaces.
Factors that affect the performance of a non-slip shoe
There are two major factors to remember that affect the performance of a non-slip shoe. They include material and design.
The material referred to here is the material of the outsole. The outsole is the part of the sole in contact with the ground. In a non-slip shoe, the outsole is softer and made of synthetic rubber that is more slip resistant when exposed to wet surfaces.
The soft rubber also means that the shoe can grip a slick floor more effectively. Such slick surfaces include quarry tiles, hardwood floors and linoleum surfaces. A shoe with a hard sole would slip easily on such surfaces. A soft outsole material is therefore used for non-slip shoes.
The design here is the tread design and patterns found in non-slip shoes. Shoes with an enclosed pattern are dangerous and cannot be used to make a non-slip shoe. This is because they trap the liquid underneath the shoe and for a barrier between the shoe and floor.
Slip resistant shoes have an interlocked tread patterns system that does not trap the water underneath. The liquid can slip through the sole allowing the shoe contact with the floor to provide better resistance.
However, some non-slip shoes are designed for slick floors but not when they are wet. Think of basketball shoes. They are designed to work on hardwood courts. But when these courts are wet, they pose a great risk to the players.
Athletic shoes are not tested on wet surfaces since it is not expected that the games will be played in such conditions. This is the reason basketball courts are always being wiped off sweat during game breaks.
Can I turn a regular shoe to a non-slip shoe?
Fortunately, it is possible to turn regular shoes into non-slip shoes with just a bit of creativity. Your favorite shoes might be old but you still can’t stop wearing them.
When this happens, there is a chance they may be worn out and lost a lot of their grip. Well, worry not because the following are ways to turn it to a slip resistant shoe.
Use anti-skid pads
If the original sole is a shadow of what it used to be, try adding an anti-skid pad to the pair. Anti-skid pads are self-adhesive rubber pads that are stuck on to the outsole of the shoe.
They will enhance grip significantly and prevent slipping on wet, greasy and sticky surfaces. Skid pads are available for any type of shoe from women’s heels and running shoes.
Add an insole
We already know that the outsole is the part of the sole in contact with the ground. The insole on the other hand is the soft cushion found inside the shoe that is in contact with your feet.
Since everyone’s footprint is different, an insole is important in providing balance and support. They assist in arch support and even relieving back pain.
Add coating spray
Coating spray is a new product in the market today. When sprayed onto the soles, they provide a gripping force. It is are mostly used as a winter accessory but can also be used on other slick surfaces such as sweaty gym floors, hardwood surfaces and office marble.
Scrub your soles
This is a great way to add grip to your old worn out shoes. It requires no extra purchases. Scrubbing the sole is done to remove the smooth feel of the sole that increases friction.
To do this, you can walk on rough surfaces such as gravel. You can also rub the sole using sandpaper until the smooth texture is rubbed off.
Non-slip shoes are great for any sport, let alone tennis. They provide better grip and better balance which are all needed when playing any sport. It is important to own at least a pair of non-slip shoes.