What are the Different Types of Slip-Resistant Shoes?

Janis Adams

Also known as safety shoes, slip-resistant shoes are those shoes that are made with soles that are designed specifically to resist slippage. These shoes come in a huge array of different types. There are loafers, sneakers, sandals, and many more types of slip-resistant shoes. These shoes can be made specifically for men, women, and children.

Sneakers contain a thick, rubbery sole which helps make them slip-resistant.
Sneakers contain a thick, rubbery sole which helps make them slip-resistant.

The sole of slip-resistant shoes is most often made of a durable rubber. When the rubber is molded to meet the specific shoe's design, the added feature of traction support is created as a part of the sole. The outer sole is where the traction or slip-resistant quality actually can be thick or thin dependent upon the design and purpose of the shoe. The upper portion of the shoe can be made of a variety of materials, from mesh to leather, plastic to suede.

Winter slip-on boots may be slip resistant.
Winter slip-on boots may be slip resistant.

Slip-resistant shoes come in loafers. They also come in the traditional oxford style and the overlay toe oxford, lace-up styles. There are even slip-resistant sneakers in both high-top and low-top designs to prevent falls.

Slip-resistant shoes come in loafers.
Slip-resistant shoes come in loafers.

Winter shoes are commonly designed with a slip-resistant sole. These types of slip-resistant shoes will often feature a heavier sole and added insulation to keep the foot of the person wearing it insulated from the frigid temperatures common in the colder months.

Some dress shoes have slip-resistant soles.
Some dress shoes have slip-resistant soles.

Dress shoes also can be found with a slip-resistant sole. These types of fancy shoes are often worn by those who have had trouble with sure footing or simply do not want to risk the slippery sole of a leather shoe. The slip-resistant shoes that are chosen for dress verses casual wear range greatly in price, largely dependent on the designer whose line they are featured in.

Slip-resistant shoes are very popular within the hospitality industry, especially for those who work as wait staff in restaurants. These shoes are favored by this type of worker due to the fact that they are in and out of the restaurant kitchen, where spills and leaks are commonplace. The health care industry is another workplace where slip-resistant shoes are favored and often even required by some employers. Within the health care industry, there are often fluids on the floor, creating an unforeseen danger zone for those working around them. Those in the gaming industry as well as in grocery stores and in maintenance positions often wear these shoes. The injury due to a slip is something to be avoided, and so these shoes are a popular choice of footwear.

The soles of flip flops are often designed to be slip-resistant.
The soles of flip flops are often designed to be slip-resistant.

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Discussion Comments


My rain boots are extremely slip-resistant. They have cleats that are about a quarter inch thick, so I’m not going in any direction that I don’t plan to head!

I bought them when my area had a rare snowstorm. We are lucky to get even an inch or two here, and this time, we got eight! Many stores were sold out of slip-resistant rain and snow boots, but I found some fashionable ones in a hip clothing store, probably because no one thought to look there!

I can wear two pairs of socks with these boots, and that makes them hold more snugly to my feet. I can walk up snowy hills with my sled easily.


@wavy58 - I had the same problem! The slip-on shoes that I wear around the house and yard made so much noise that I couldn’t stand to wear them anymore. I bought some slip-resistant slip-on sneakers, and they are totally silent.

I love being able to slip these shoes on quickly to go outside and get the mail. I have to go in and out a couple of times a night to let my dogs do their business, and when I am groggy, I don’t feel like lacing up shoes. The steps are frequently slippery with condensation at night, so it’s also nice not to worry about falling.


My husband works in a refrigerated warehouse, and he has to wear slip-resistant work shoes. He moves around boxes of food like eggs and yogurt all day, and there are often spills on the floor. To avoid accidents, the dress code requires workers to wear slip-resistant shoes.

He said that they work very well. He once dropped an entire box of orange juice bottles that shattered everywhere, and he walked across the liquid without so much as a faltering step.

Of course, they try to avoid messes like this, because they get in trouble for breaking products. However, they will not be in danger of falling and injuring themselves when accidents do inevitably happen, because of their slip-resistant shoes.


Some slip-resistant shoes can help people who have problems with their shoes squeaking on linoleum or hardwood floors. I had a pair of flat-bottomed slip-ons with a rubber sole, and they would squeak horribly every time I walked across the floor at work. This was distracting to my coworkers and embarrassing to me.

I got a pair in the same style that had slip-resistant soles, and they were so quiet! I suppose that the traction they offered kept the shoes from sliding around and making that awful noise. As a plus, I never lose my grip and slide on the floor on rainy days anymore!

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