Seniors' Guide: How To Tell If A Shoe Is Non-Slip

Written By: William Rivers
Reviewed By: William Rivers
Published: December 24, 2022
Last updated: October 27, 2023

Non-slip shoes are an essential safety consideration, particularly for older folks at an increased risk of trips and falls. These special shoes feature non-slip soles that help to increase grip on slippery surfaces, giving the wearer a firmer footing and helping them to avoid slips and falls. 

Many non-slip shoes also have other features, such as a slightly raised heel or thicker sole, which provide additional balance support, further reducing the likelihood of dangerous falls. It's possible to buy non-slip shoes with fashionable designs, so the wearer gets all the safety benefits without sacrificing style.

Is Slip-Resistance Specified?

When buying shoes, check if slip resistance is specified in the product description. This is the best way to know if you're buying non-slip shoes with an anti-slip design. Here are tips to be certain of the shoes' slip resistance:

Check The Box First

Look at the box. Is it indicated in the shoe's name that the product is non-slip? Some shoes will even specify the certification they passed in their boxes, such as the ASTM International F1677 standards. This gives you peace of mind that the shoes have been tested for slip resistance.

Examine the Sole's Shape

Always check the shoes' soles. Non-slip shoes have sturdy EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) rubber which is slightly rounded at the sides. For non-slip shoes, this unique shape and material prevents liquids from getting trapped under the shoes, which can reduce their grip on the floor and cause slips. 

Feel The Bottom Sole 

Check the feel of the bottom sole. You want a softer rubber sole because it has the best grip on a slippery surface. You also want the shoes to be lightweight and flexible to absorb shock and help prevent fatigue. However, this should come at something other than the expense of durability.

Buy Online

You can't feel or examine the sole when you buy shoes online. You have to rely on the pictures and the product description. However, you can read reviews from other buyers and get an idea of what the shoes are like. You can read the reviews, which are four stars or less, to know what they didn't like about the shoes and form an opinion. 

Try Them On Properly

If you're buying shoes from a physical store, you should try them properly. Make sure to use both shoes and walk with them. Take several steps and try mimicking your usual activities while wearing shoes. Take your time with the buying process and get a feel of what the shoes are like on your feet. 

Find Ones With Grooves

Non-slip shoes should have grooves or patterns. They shouldn't be flat like leather shoes, or you risk slipping on them. Grooves indicate that these shoes have good traction when on a slippery surface. 

Check The Tread Patterns

Tread patterns are how the grooves in the soles are arranged. They can be little circles, squiggles, or hexagons. These tread patterns create friction on the floor, making the shoes grip them without collecting water. The smaller the patterns, the better slip-resistance you'll get. 

Spray Hairspray On Soles

If you want that slip-resistant look, you can spray hairspray on the soles of your shoes. Rub the soles gently and watch as the shoes become slip-resistant and shiny. 

Test Ice Grips

Ice grips are commonly used in rollerblades and skate shoes. They provide a strong, non-stick surface on the soles of your shoes, making them slip-resistant. You can apply these adhesive substances under your shoe and watch them create traction on any surface. 

Test Sandpaper

You can further strengthen the slip resistance of your shoes by rubbing sandpaper on the soles just as you'd smooth a surface to prepare it for varnishing or painting. This will create more friction at the bottom of your shoe so that it will have a better grab. 

Choosing A Non-Slip Shoe For Elderly Folks

Choosing A Non-Slip Shoe For Elderly Folks

When looking for non-slip shoes for the elderly, you should consider the following:

  • Price: is the price competitive with other non-slip brands? You want something that's value for money but isn't cheap. 
  • Flexibility: can the shoes be worn for multiple occasions? Does it work outdoors and indoors? And is it good for any season?
  • Durability: will the shoes last long? How strong is it, and are the materials used of good quality?
  • Ease of Use: how easy is it to wear? Ideally, seniors need shoes that can be closed with an adjustable velcro strap or are simply easy to slip on.
  • Treat Pattern: how intricate are the treads? You want shoes with small and intricate tread patterns as they offer the best friction for your shoes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the commonly asked questions relating to non-slip shoes.

1. Are Crocs non-slip?

Crocs have long been known as a trusted brand for comfortable, durable shoes and sandals, but what about non-slip footwear? The great news is that, according to numerous reviews and independent tests, Crocs non-slip shoes provide excellent traction and grip in wet or dry scenarios. 

As well as offering non-slip protection, these shoes are also highly forgiving on the feet, providing plenty of cushioning and support.

2. How do you tell if shoes are non-slip?

The best way to tell if shoes are non-slip is by reading the product description or checking the box. Most will advertise their slip-resistance features. You can verify this by checking the treads and grooves and examining the shoe's soles. A lightweight rubber sole with intricate groove patterns should be present. 

3. What are non-marking shoes?

Non-marking shoes are non-slip soles made from plastic, rubber, or other materials that don't leave marks on surfaces like hardwood. They're often used in places like courts to avoid scuffing and can come in almost any shoe style.

Non-slip shoes are important for seniors who actively move around. They offer support and safety by cushioning feet and preventing slips and falls. Follow the advice above to find the best non-slip shoes for your elderly loved one. 

Aside from shoes, you can also look for non-slip sandals. Check out our list of the Best Non-Slip Sandals for Seniors.

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William Rivers is an editor with a master’s degree in Human Services Counseling at Maine State University. He has more than 20 years of experience working in the senior healthcare industry.
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