If you are looking for a pair of non-slip shoes, there are many options to choose from, but Vans is a brand you will almost certainly be considering. Commonly worn by workers in all kinds of jobs, Vans are a popular choice – so here we discuss the question, are Vans non-slip shoes?
Are Vans non-slip?
Let’s start with a simple answer.
If you want to know whether Vans are non-slip, the undoubted response is yes, they are. Vans have long been a favored footwear choice among skateboarders, and this is in large part due to the firm grip they provide.
However, they are now also an incredibly popular option for workers in a wide range of professions where sure footing is required.
Nowadays, you can see people wearing Vans in restaurants, bars, kitchens and in any other places where there is a risk of slipping – and again, the reason for this is that Vans provide an excellent level of non-slip performance.
So now we’ve answered the basic question, let’s go a bit deeper and think about why.
What does “non-slip” mean?
Before we talk about why Vans are such a popular choice for non-slip footwear, we need to think a bit about what terms like “non-slip”, “slip-resistant” and “skid-free” actually mean.
When you are out buying shoes, you will come across many labels such as these, but the point to remember is that they are just terms used by shoe manufacturers to sell their products.
There is no clear definition of what these labels mean, there are no accepted standards, and no testing or certification is required.
Shoe manufacturers are free to use whichever term they choose, and all it tells you is that the company is claiming their product will give you some protection against slipping on wet or greasy surfaces.
This means that many shoes end up being labelled “non-slip”, but the amount of slip resistance can vary greatly from one pair to another.
Lots of shoes can claim to be at least partially “non-slip”, and at the same time, even the best skid-free shoes may still slide in certain conditions.
For this reason, rather than simply asking if a pair of shoes is non-slip, a better question is to ask about how much slip resistance a pair of shoes provides.
So which factors affect non-slip performance?
What makes shoes “non-slip”?
There are three factors that make shoes non-slip: the material the soles are made of, the quality of that material and the tread pattern on the soles.
The best material for non-slip shoes is rubber because a natural property of this material is that it has a high “dry static coefficient” – which is another way of saying it provides good traction. This means the first thing to look out for in good non-slip shoes is rubber soles.
Quality of material
However, having rubber soles alone doesn’t guarantee reliable non-slip performance since the quality of the rubber also affects how much slip resistance a pair of shoes can provide.
High-quality rubber offers more traction than cheaper rubber, and at the same time, it will also be more resistant to wear, helping it remain slip-free for longer.
The third factor affecting non-slip performance is the tread pattern on the soles, and this can make a big difference.
Even shoes made of high-quality rubber will slip if they have no tread pattern on the bottom, and shoes that were previously non-slip will begin to slide more as the tread wears down – so if you want high-performance non-slip shoes, tread is something you need to pay attention to.
Shoes for different purposes have different tread patterns. If you think about the bottom of a good pair of hiking boots, the soles are usually made of a high-quality, tough rubber – and the grooves are usually large and deep.
This type of design is ideal for walking over slippery rocks and boulders or on crumbling paths, but it would be less effective on a slippery kitchen floor.
Conversely, shoes designed to be non-slip in work environments have finer tread patterns, often with circular designs, that maximize friction with flat surfaces such as wet or greasy kitchen floors. As a result, this is another key feature to look out for.
What makes Vans non-slip?
So now we know what to look for in non-slip shoes, when it comes to Vans, it’s quite obvious why they’re such a popular option for slippery work environments.
All Vans shoes have soles that are made of high-quality rubber, so they already check the first two boxes.
The rubber used to make a pair of Vans goes through a two-step vulcanization process. First, the rubber is heat-cured and compressed, after which it is steam-baked, creating a high-quality rubber sole that provides superior traction and is resistant to wear.
Vans shoes also all feature highly effective tread patterns on the soles that maximize friction and minimize your risk of slipping.
So when you put this all together, it is easy to understand why Vans are among the most popular choices for those who work in slippery environments.
What other options for non-slip shoes are there?
Are there any other choices that can compare with Vans? The answer to this question is also yes.
Many other brands produce reliable non-slip footwear, and you should look for shoes with similar properties to Vans shoes – namely that the soles are made of high-quality rubber and that the tread pattern is suitable for slippery work environments.
Many sports-style shoes offer a reliable degree of slip resistance, and other brands to consider include Sketchers, Nike, Crocs and Reebok – although there are plenty of others that perform well too.
Look for the right characteristics
Although skaters were perhaps the first to appreciate the excellent non-slip properties of Vans, these same properties are now highly valued by a range of other people. This is why they are a popular choice in all kinds of professions where slip-resistant footwear is important.
To Sum it up
Yes, Vans are non slip, so they are perfect for working on smooth surfaces. They contain rubber soles and high quality thread pattern. They are also ideal shoes if you are skateboarding or running, and although not cheap they are worth every penny!