The Internet can answer a lot of questions, but sometimes the information you find is wrong. For example, various message boards offer the following pieces of advice for how to tell if your shoe is slip resistant:
- Usually it is claimed on the box, when you buy it.
- It must have a pattern (like car wheels) and must be of a material soft enough to grip.
- It will have a rubber sole.
- If you try to slip and it resists…
While that last one might seem like common sense (and not very helpful), do you think the others are correct? It seems pretty logical that a slip resistant shoe should say so on the box, and would probably have a patterned rubber sole, right? In answer to those questions, yes…and no.
Lack of Standards
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has no specific definition for what qualifies as “slip resistant”. This leaves lots of room for interpretation, which can be harmful for the consumer who is looking to get a pair of quality slip resistant shoes for work. It also means that two shoes can both have “slip resistant” on their boxes but behave totally differently on a wet or greasy tile floor.
Livestrong.com has a great article that talks about some things to consider when buying safety shoes for work, and one of the best points they make is to beware of marketing that is vague or lacks definitive results. Things like “restaurant-tested”, “great performance”, “chef approved” and so on have no real meaning for most people. Look for test results or a standard that prove the outsole has been verified to perform well under all conditions, not just dry floors.
Some Shoes Don’t Measure Up
At SR Max, our shoes all meet a minimum coefficient (COF) of 0.40 on High Soil Oily/Wet (HS Oily/Wet) floors, which are the worst potential conditions you could face for slip and falls in a workplace. This is why we don’t carry certain brands of slip resistant shoes, because they simply don’t measure up. Be sure to look for standards from the company and brand that you purchase from.
Whether you’re looking for more information regarding choosing the right slip resistant shoes or trying to find the right slip resistant shoe for you, we’d love to talk to you! You can connect with us on Twitter or Facebook and we’ll take the time to answer your questions and address your concerns, because we want you to be confident in the quality of your safety shoes.