Is Skid Resistant the Same as Slip Resistant?

Safety footwear is a must have at the workplace according to OSHA requirements. The feet has to tread safely as there are indeed a gazillion accidents waiting to happen at the workplace.

Thanks to ASTM standards and OSHA requirements, safety is of utmost importance at any place of work. Newer and newer safety work gear are coming out on a daily. 

Newer features are being introduced in the safety footwear segment, starting from hazard protection to odor control technology.

The multitudinous innovations in the safety footwear industry has indeed improved our welfare at work but has also introduced a wide array of confusing terms that can drive us nuts. Two such confusing terms are slip resistant footwear and skid resistant footwear.

Are the two different, or the same? If they are different how are they different from each other? Hold your reins guys coz we have done all the hard work to find you the right answers to all such queries. 

Is Skid Resistant the Same as Slip Resistant

Skid resistant and Slip-resistant

As of now ASTM and OSHA has not provided a clear cut differentiation between slip resistant and skid resistant footwear. All we can depend on are the features that cater to our specific requirements.

Skid resistant and slip resistant shoes are differentiated solely on the basis of functionality. Looking for such specifications on the labels is the simplest way to make sure that the shoes will suit your specific need, be it skid resistance or slip resistance. 

Safety shoes are generally designed to prevent any sort of slipping and falling. Safety shoes have a high ratio of dry static coefficient, ie, the ratio of resistance between the shoe and the floor or the surface on which you are walking.

If the shoe is labeled skid or slip resistant, one must look into the conditions in which they were tested to have a more precise idea of how the shoe might work in your place of work.

If a shoe has been rated slip resistant in water and oil or skid resistant in water and oil, either of the two can suit you fine. 

Slip/skid resistant shoes are commonly called non-slip shoes, they are slip and skid resistant shoes with great friction and durability. 

What makes a shoe skid/slip resistant? 

Skid/slip resistant shoes are specially designed to prevent skidding or slipping. The type of material used to make the outsole and the macro-texture aka roughness of the outsole determine the skid resistance provided by the shoe.

Skid/slip resistant shoes are specially designed to provide greater friction and resistance, thereby preventing slip/skid related injuries at work.

treads in slip-resistant shoes

The outsoles of such specialized safety shoes will be made of materials that provide high levels of friction and the outsoles will be designed to provide excellent traction. 

Slip/skid resistant shoes also come with a cushiony midsole that provides ample support to the feet as well makes walking in such shoes really comfortable as well. Such shoes also comes with padded collars for additional support. 

The shoe must also have a perfect fit. If it is too tight, without any room for the toes, you might probably end up spraining your leg. If it is too loose, there is a high risk of skidding as well. 

The following are the most notable features of a skid/slip resistant shoe: 

1.) Lightweight rubber outsole for greater friction 

2.) Small hexagonal/circular patterns filling up the outsole for excellent traction. 

3.) EVA midsole for added support and comfort 

4.) Padded collars for additional support

5.) Waterproof and oil proof tops to keep the feet dry and safe.

6.) Perfect fit- not too tight nor loose 

Make sure that the sole does not lie flat but is rounded at the ends (this prevents water or oil from getting trapped between the floor and the shoe, thereby preventing skidding and slipping). 

Features Skid resistant shoes Slip resistant shoes
Lightweight Yes  Yes 
Rubber outsole  Yes  Yes 
Outsole pattern  Hexagonal/circular Hexagonal or circular
Cushiony midsole Present Present
Padded collar Present Present
Softness of outsole  Softer than rest of the shoe Harder than rest of the shoe 
Fit  Not too loose nor tight  Not too loose nor tight 
Top  Waterproof and dirt proof  Waterproof and dirt proof 
Label  Skid resistant/non-slip  Slip resistant/non-slip 
Can have spikes  Yes if small in size Yes 

How to know if the shoe is slip resistant or skid resistant? 

Most of the features are same in both slip resistant and skid resistant shoes. As OSHA has not provided any definition for the two, the only information we can depend on is the specifications provided by the manufacturers.

Depending on whether the labels say skid resistant or slip resistant we can make a more informed purchase.

Make sure to check the conditions under which the shoe was tested and do not fall for misleading claims such as restaurant tested and approved etc. Always make sure that the shoes have precise and clear ratings. 

Slip and skid resistant shoes can also be differentiated by considering the weight of the outsole. Even though in slip resistant shoes the outsole will be very soft it will comparatively be harder than the rest of the shoe.

But in case of skid resistant shoes, the outsole will be much softer than the rest of the shoe to provide excellent friction and resistance. 

It is also convenient to check with your employer to find the type of shoe they would suggest before purchasing one.

The employer will be able to shed more light on the requirements at the workplace and the type of shoes that has already been tried and tested by other employees. 

See also: How to Tell and Make Shoes Slip Resistant (Fast and Easy Ways)

How to make your shoe slip/skid resistant? 

1.) Use nonslip sprays on the outsole 

2.) Use sandpaper on the sole to improve friction 

3.) Use adhesive bandages on the outsole 

4.) Use double side tape on the outsole 

5.) Spray soles with hairspray 

6.) Use ice-grips 

7.) If you have a non-rubber outsole, attach a rubber base to the shoe to make it slip/skid resistant.

8.) You can also resole your shoes 

Top 3 slip/skid resistant shoes

1.) Skechers for Work Men’s Felton Slip Resistant Relaxed-Fit Work Shoe 

This relaxed fit, non-slip shoe comes with an OSHA approved nitrile outsole that guarantees your protection and a memory foam midsole that makes walking in it feel like stepping on a fluffy cloud. 


2.) JointlyCreating Womens Non Slip Running Shoes 

This stylish and comfortable non-slip shoe is perfect for work, sports and for everyday use as well. 


3.) Crocs Unisex-Adult Men’s and Women’s on The Clock Clog | Slip Resistant Work Shoes

This comfortable, easy to wear and affordable unisex crocs is the perfect work shoe for an awesome workplace experience.