Bottom view of men's hiking sandals showing slip-resistant outsoles

Essential Guide to Slip-Resistant Sandals

by Jake Gulisane 5 minute read

This blog explores the essential features and benefits of slip-resistant sandals. It offers insights into how to choose the best pair, with a focus on top picks for both men and women.

The Basics: TL;DR ---

  • Slip Resistance. Slip-resistant sandals provide enhanced traction to prevent slips and falls, especially valuable for those in wet or slippery environments.
  • Key Features. Look for rubber soles, raised interlocking tread patterns, and slip-resistance verification when choosing sandals to ensure safety and stability.
  • Material Significance. Rubber soles are common in slip-resistant sandals, but tread pattern and sole design also play crucial roles in ensuring grip.
  • Tread Labs Highlights. Tread Labs' Salinas and Redway sandals are notable for their slip-resistant soles, making them reliable choices for both men and women seeking dependable footwear.

Need To Know ---

When choosing slip-resistant sandals, consider rubber soles for grip, a tread pattern that balances water channeling with surface contact, and a design verified as slip-resistant. Both material and tread design play crucial roles in ensuring stability on slippery surfaces. Tread Labs' Salinas and Redway models exemplify top slip-resistant choices for women and men, respectively, offering safety without compromising on style or comfort.

Table of Contents ---

Understanding Slip Resistance

Slip resistance refers to a sandal's ability to maintain traction on various surfaces, reducing the risk of slips and falls. This feature is particularly important for individuals who frequently walk on wet or slippery surfaces, such as healthcare professionals, service industry workers, and outdoor enthusiasts.

By providing better grip, slip-resistant sandals enhance safety and stability.  This makes 'slip-resistant' soles a critical consideration for anyone looking for reliable footwear in potentially hazardous conditions.

Is there a difference between slip-resistant and non-slip?

Yes, while the two terms are often used interchangeably, there is a difference between slip-resistant and non-slip terminology. While both terms suggest improved traction, "slip-resistant" indicates that the footwear is designed to reduce the chances of slipping on wet or greasy surfaces.

"Non-slip" is not a standardized term in the footwear industry, and can be misleading as a "non-slip" designation does not guarantee zero chance of slipping. Slip-resistant sandals have key features that making them a reliable choice for environments where slips and falls are a concern.

Perfect for 12 days in Paris
“I ordered several pairs of sandals from a couple of different companies to make sure I was not plagued with pain and blisters on our 12 day walking/biking tour of Paris. Tread Labs did not disappoint! NO blisters, total support of my arches, NO fear of slipping on subway platforms or slippery cobblestone, and about as good looking as this type of hard working shoe can look even with some of my nicer dresses for evening wear. I'm not one for flattery but I commented several times on our trip how grateful I was for my Tread Lab sandals. Highly recommend.”
— Melynda W., Verified Buyer (Women’s Albion Sandal Review)

Key Features of Slip-Resistant Sandals

How do you know if shoes are slip-resistant? Look for these key features to determine if sandals offer slip resistance:
  • Material. Ideally the sole should be made of rubber, known for its excellent slip resistant properties.

  • Tread Pattern. The tread should have raised lugs and recessed grooves to channel water out from underneath the foot, enhancing grip on wet surfaces. The pattern should provide enough contact with the ground to ensure great traction.

  • Verification. Check product specifications and look for indications of "slip resistant" in the sandal's description to ensure they are slip-resistant.


Image showing a screenshot of the product page of Tread Labs' Salinas Leather sandal with the words "Slip Resistant" circled in Red under the product Specs section.

Comparison: Anti-Slip vs. Anti-Skid

In the realm of footwear, the terms "anti-slip" and "anti-skid" often crop up, causing some confusion. While the terminology varies, it's essential to focus on the context and relevance to footwear. We believe "slip-resistant" is the key term to focus on, as it directly pertains to the safety features of sandals and shoes designed to prevent slipping.

Is anti-slip the same as anti-skid?

In the context of footwear, "anti-slip" and "anti-skid" are terms often used interchangeably to describe the ability of a shoe or sandal to prevent slipping or skidding on slick surfaces. However, "anti-slip" is more commonly associated with resistance to sliding on wet or oily surfaces, while "anti-skid" might be used more in reference to preventing movement on dry surfaces.

Despite these slight nuances, the primary goal of both is to enhance traction and reduce the risk of falls. When selecting footwear, it's essential to consider the specific conditions you'll encounter to choose the appropriate slip-resistant or skid-resistant features.

Material Matters: The Role of Rubber Soles

Rubber soles are a staple in the best slip resistant sandals due to their natural grip and durability. Rubber's unique properties provide better traction and reduce the risk of slipping. However, not all rubber soles are created equal. All Tread Labs sandals have durable, rubber soles that are resoleable and made with recycled content.

Does rubber sole mean slip-resistant?

While rubber soles are a good indicator, they don't automatically guarantee slip resistance. Be sure to examine the tread pattern and sole design of the sandals and look for verification of "slip-resistant" in the sandal's product description.

Gently Worn for the Win!
“I saw Tread Lab sandals in a store and then looked up the company online where I found the gently used option. I ordered them and they arrived sooner than I expected. The fit is true to size for me and the arch support is perfect. I love the tread on the bottom so I feel like I am less likely to slip and fall. My new favorite footwear!”
— Leigh J., Verified Buyer, (Women's Refreshed Covelo Sandal Review)

Traction Tactics: The Science of Sole Design

The right tread pattern and sole design are as crucial as the material for slip resistance. These elements ensure a sandal's grip on various surfaces, enhancing safety and stability. Understanding the intricacies of sole patterns can provide insights into how footwear performs in different conditions.

Rubber, Slip-Resistant Outsole of Tread Labs Sandal

Slip-resistant soles balance tread depth with surface contact.

The interlocking arrow-head tread pattern on Tread Labs sandals is designed to channel water away while maintaining substantial surface contact. This balance ensures effective grip and stability on various terrains, particularly on wet surfaces. Such a pattern is crucial for enhancing safety and traction in slip-resistant footwear.


Top Picks for Slip-Resistant Sandals

All Tread Labs sandals are equipped with slip-resistant soles, offering secure footing in various environments. Here are two standout models:

Tread Labs Salinas sandal
. These women's slip-resistant sandals combine a stylish design with a functional tread pattern, making them some of the best slip-resistant sandals for women.

Tread Labs Redway sandal
Redway. Designed for men, this slip-resistant sandal provides excellent traction and durability, ideal for those seeking reliable slip-resistant sandals for men.

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