Looking for the best non-slip shoes to tackle any surface? Don't slip away just yet! In this article, we dive into the world of non-slip shoes and explore what makes them the "best" in their category. We'll walk you through the must-have features and even reveal the top 10 best non-slip restaurant shoes on the market. Whether you're searching for everyday comfort, the ideal work shoe, or a classy luxury option, we've got you covered. So, put a spring in your step as we uncover the secrets to finding the best non-slip shoes out there!
What are Non-Slip Shoes, and what makes a shoe non-slip?
Many shoes claim to be non-slip, while others function well for activities that require slip resistance but don't advertise it. This can make it difficult to find a shoe that combines your love for style with the safety and stability you need. Before diving into the world of non-slip shoes, it's important to know how to determine if a shoe is truly non-slip before purchasing it.
When searching for slip-resistant shoes, prioritize those with a rubber sole. Rubber soles provide excellent traction and grip, making them ideal for those who are unsteady on their feet or work in slippery environments. If you're unsure about the sole material, ask a store associate or check the product details online. Many brands highlight rubber soles as a key feature because they know it's advantageous for shoppers.
Durable yet Flexible
While you want a sturdy rubber sole, it's also important to choose shoes that have some flexibility. Lightweight, softer rubber soles offer better grip and encourage natural walking movements compared to heavier options. This helps you maintain stability and safety while on your feet.
One of the easiest ways to determine a shoe's slip resistance is by analyzing the tread pattern. This is particularly helpful when shopping online since many retailers provide photos of the shoe's bottom specifically for this purpose. Look for a tread that allows water to pass through and has deep indentations. A strong tread should grip slippery and oily substances. The best treads feature smaller shapes and lines in various directions to offer grip from all angles. However, be mindful that if you plan to wear the shoes in mud or snow, the tread should not be so tight that it easily becomes clogged.
Check out the comparison below of two shoes from my own collection. Both pairs were only worn a few times for short periods. The heel shoe on the left shows a tread that started with minimal texture and has already worn almost flat after just a few hours of use. Notice the smooth sole band surrounding the tread, which traps water and increases the risk of slips. In contrast, the boot on the right has deep and multidirectional tread, allowing it to grip slippery materials without compromising stability. The pattern lets water escape and keeps you balanced.
[Image: Side-by-side comparison of shoe treads. Left: Worn and flat treads. Right: Deep and multidirectional treads for better grip]
The tread is one of the most critical factors when assessing a shoe's slip resistance.
Standards and Certifications
While some workplaces may require slip-resistant shoes, there isn't a standardized labeling system to rate a shoe's slip resistance. This means that companies can use terms like "slip-resistant" or "non-slip" without a comprehensive regulation. Just because a shoe shows up in a Google search or has those terms on its label doesn't guarantee high slip resistance. For a professional and reliable opinion on slip resistance, look for shoes certified by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), particularly the ASTM F3445-12 certification. This certification indicates that the shoes meet specific qualifications. However, not all great non-slip shoes have this certification since it is still relatively new. Other certifications and seals to consider include SRC, APMA, and other ASTM standards, each designed to test a shoe's ability to perform in unique conditions.
What to Look for in the Best Non-Slip Shoes for Men
In addition to excellent traction, the best non-slip shoes for men should prioritize comfort. Why invest in a shoe for long hours of standing if it leaves you sore afterwards? Look for shoes with compression-molded EVA and memory foam footbeds, as well as midsoles with ample cushioning and added support.
Water resistance may not seem significant, but it's crucial for those working in hospitals, factories, or restaurants. Wet feet can ruin your entire shift. Even if a shoe isn't explicitly waterproof, make sure it can be treated with a protective water-resistant layer.
Great traction is not automatically guaranteed in every shoe. To determine if a shoe is non-slip or slip-resistant, it should explicitly state this feature on the box or in the description. Preferably, it should be tested and meet ASTM requirements for traction. Look for a thick and large lug pattern on the shoe's outsole, as this indicates strong grip and traction.
[Image: A photo of a chef leaning against a counter]
The 10 Best Non-Slip Restaurant Shoes
1. Dansko Clogs
[Image: Dansko Non-Slip Clogs for Restaurants]
Dansko Clogs have earned a well-deserved reputation in the hospitality and healthcare industries due to their superior quality and features. They are made of reliable, resilient, and easy-to-clean leather construction, with a padded instep collar for all-day comfort and support. These clogs feature an ample toe box that allows unrestricted movement without pinching or cramping, and a slip-resistant sole that provides trustworthy traction on wet surfaces, reducing the risk of slips and falls.
2. Birkenstock Super Birki
[Image: Birkenstock Super Birki Slip-Resistant Shoe]
The Birkenstock Super Birki clog is perfect for busy work environments. Crafted from durable, oil- and grease-resistant waterproof materials, these clogs offer long-lasting wear. The cork footbed provides comfort and adequate weight distribution support, allowing you to move freely throughout your workplace. The non-slip sole ensures stability on wet or slippery surfaces, giving you peace of mind. Plus, the spacious toe box keeps your feet comfortable even during extended wear.
3. Sanitas Clogs
[Image: Sanitas Restaurant Clogs]
Sanitas Clogs are a go-to choice for restaurant work. Crafted with superior leather, these clogs offer durability and a sleek appearance. The rubber sole has been engineered to deliver excellent traction on wet and oily surfaces, ensuring enhanced safety during your work shifts. The cork and latex footbed cushions your feet while providing unbeatable arch support. With adjustable straps and a roomy toe box, you can customize the fit to keep you stable and secure throughout your workday.
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Best Overall: Shoes for Crews Everlight
In order to be considered the best non-slip shoes for men, a shoe needs to be durable, strong, comfortable, attractive, and affordable. Surprisingly, the Shoes for Crews Everlight checked all of those boxes. This brand specializes in creating excellent shoes specifically designed for healthcare, school, public service, and food service workers. The Everlight, in particular, stands out as an incredibly capable shoe with a trendy appearance.
The shoe features a rubber outsole that meets ASTM standards and is enhanced with Tripguard for reduced trip hazards. This allows for smooth and confident movement in slippery environments. Additionally, the Everlight is incredibly lightweight and offers a breathable knitted upper lining and insole. Despite its porous appearance, the shoe is treated to repel liquids and even includes a Spillguard protective membrane to guard against hot liquids, making it ideal for kitchen work.
Furthermore, the Everlight provides superior comfort at an affordable price. The Revive midsole formula guarantees enhanced comfort, support, and stability, and the cushion insole is removable.
Material: Water Resistant Knit Upper | Arch Support: Yes | Colors: 2 | Sizes: 7-13 (wide available) | Easy to Clean: Yes
Best for Travel: Tropicfeel Dune Core Black
While running and walking sneakers are essential for some men, frequent travelers require a shoe that offers durability throughout the day and is also easy to pack. This is where the Tropicfeel Dune in Core Black comes in. These shoes are designed to be all-terrain footwear, perfect for navigating urban environments, making them an ideal choice for tourists.
The Dune stands out due to its construction and sustainability. It is made from 77% recycled polyester and six plastic bottles, resulting in a lightweight shoe that is easy to fold and pack. The high-grip rubber sole firmly plants the wearer to the ground, while the AirTechTM Mesh promotes breathability and the LavaXL and Anti-bacterial coating prevent unwanted odors.
Material: 77% Recycled Polyester, 23% Polyester | Arch Support: Yes | Colors: 5 | Sizes: 6-12 | Easy to Clean: Yes
Best Budget: Skechers Men’s Nampa Food Service Shoe
Over the years, Skechers has earned a reputation for comfort, and their non-slip shoe, the Nampa, upholds that standard. Although it may resemble a basic black work shoe, it excels in providing comfort on a budget. Thanks to its cushiony memory foam footbed, the Nampa ensures a comfortable experience.
The shoe features a hefty rubber outsole with excellent grip to prevent accidents. It also offers electrical hazard protection, making it suitable for hazardous work sites. Additionally, the lace-up synthetic leather upper is easy to clean and oil-resistant.
When purchasing the Nampa, it is recommended to go up a half size or opt for the wide option, as the shoe runs on the narrow side.
Material: 100% Synthetic | Arch Support: Yes | Colors: 1 | Sizes: 7-14 (wide available) | Easy to Clean: Yes
Best on Amazon: Crocs Specialist Clog
Crocs may not be the epitome of a formal dress shoe, but the Specialist Clog is the dressier version of the classic Crocs style. It offers a more discreet appearance, making it suitable for restaurant work, hospitality, and healthcare settings. The Specialist Clog is beloved for its lightweight, slip-resistant, and easy-to-clean features.
The shoe's outsole is ASTM certified for slip resistance, ensuring a firm grip. It should be noted that the outsole is not ideal for walking on gravel, as it can collect in the lugs on the bottom. Nevertheless, the Specialist Clog is a powerful non-slip shoe.
The shoe is incredibly lightweight and supportive, thanks to its materials that conform to the foot over time. It is also very easy to clean, as one reviewer mentioned using a high-powered hose to clean it inside and out in an industrial kitchen setting.
Pro tip: The fit is roomy, so it is recommended to order a size down to the next whole size.
Material: 100% Synthetic | Arch Support: Yes | Colors: 3 | Sizes: 4-14 | Easy to Clean: Yes
Best Non-Slip Boot: CAT Footwear Men’s Threshold Waterproof Soft Toe Boot
The CAT Threshold is an exceptional non-slip boot that meets ASTM standards with its superior anti-slip resistant outsole. This boot provides excellent grip even on low traction surfaces, making it ideal for a variety of work environments.
The Threshold comes in soft toe and steel toe options, catering to different job site requirements. It is packed with features suitable for hazardous environments, including electrical heat protection, protective abrasion-resistant full-grain leather uppers, and a waterproof membrane to keep the wearer's feet dry.
Even the flexible ERGO midsole stands out, as it is 20% lighter and more shock-absorbing than standard EVA. The boots are also made exclusively in gold-rated tanneries, showcasing their quality.
Material: 100% Leather | Arch Support: Yes | Colors: 2 | Sizes: 6-15 (wide available) | Easy to Clean: Yes
Best For Work: Shoes for Crews Men’s Freestyle II
Initially, I wanted to name the Freestyle II as the best overall non-slip shoe, but its appearance held it back from claiming that title. While it is by no means unattractive, its design limits its versatility. However, the Freestyle II does excel in its features and performance.
The shoe includes special anti-slip technology on the outsole with large lug patterns for superior grip. It is also lightweight and well-ventilated, providing comfort throughout the workday. Its water-resistant treatment repels liquids, making it suitable for various work environments. Shoes for Crews truly understands what it takes to create the best non-slip shoes for men. They also offer a range of socks and other accessories.
Material: 100% Synthetic | Arch Support: Yes | Colors: 2 | Sizes: 7-17 (wide available) | Easy to Clean: Yes
Best Slip-On Shoe: Skechers for Work Men’s Flex Advantage Mcallen Food Service Shoe
For those who prefer an easy slip-on style, the Mcallen by Skechers is the perfect choice. This well-priced non-slip shoe offers all the necessary features for a safe and comfortable workday.
Despite its casual appearance, the Mcallen excels in features such as heavy traction with a slip-resistant outsole that meets ASTM requirements. The mesh fabric upper allows for easy wearing, while the padded collar with reinforced stitch seams ensures comfort and durability.
In terms of comfort, the shoe features a memory foam insole for cushioning and a roomier toe box, which is beneficial for swelling and provides ample space for a good sock. The Mcallen is particularly suitable for those who spend long hours on concrete surfaces.
Material: 100% Synthetic | Arch Support: Yes | Colors: 4 | Sizes: 7-16 (wide & extra wide available) | Easy to Clean: Varies
Best for Walking: Olukai Moku Pae Men’s Boat Shoes
The Olukai Moku Pae Boat Shoes combine comfort, style, and traction, making them an excellent choice for walking on various terrains. Whether on a walk or in water, these non-slip shoes provide security and support. Aside from work, they are a perfect addition to any go-to shoe collection. The shoes are lightweight and easy to slip on and off, thanks to the Drop-In heel functionality.
These non-slip shoes excel in gripping wet surfaces, thanks to their lugged outsole with an articulating pod design for enhanced traction. The minimally lined breathable mesh upper provides sturdiness and ventilation. They are quick-drying and feature a removable and washable footbed.
Comfort is also a priority with the Moku Pae shoes, thanks to the dual-density anatomical PU footbed with a gel insert, offering all-day cushioning and support.
Material: 100% Synthetic | Arch Support: Yes | Colors: 6 | Sizes: 7-15 | Easy to Clean: Yes
Best Luxury: Hoka One Men’s Bondi SR Leather Trainers
Hoka is a relatively new and trendy brand known for its superior materials and outstanding comfort. The Bondi SR Leather Trainers are no exception. These shoes come highly recommended by orthopedic surgeons and have earned the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance, proving their dedication to foot health.
The Bondi SR is the most cushioned shoe in Hoka's road-shoe lineup. Its chunky appearance is due to the EVA compression-molded midsole, providing all-day support and comfort with a smooth ride.
The shoe's slip-resistant outsole offers extensive grip for full ground contact, while the water-resistant leather is durable and easy to clean. The Bondi SR may be a bit more expensive, but its quality justifies the investment.
Material: 100% Leather | Arch Support: Yes | Colors: 2 | Sizes: 7-15 (wide available) | Easy to Clean: Yes
Another new brand in the market is Snibbs, offering "The last work shoe you'll ever need." Designed by an orthopedic surgeon, Snibbs features top-of-the-line Ortholite® insoles, slip-resistant soles that work on both liquids and oils, and breathable, supportive materials. They also offer a 30-day trial period, allowing customers to return the shoes for a full refund if they're not satisfied.
Where to buy: Snibbs.co
Where to Purchase Non-Slip Shoes
While the selection may not always be extensive, major retailers in the country often carry a range of non-slip shoes for various purposes.
Due to the high demand for non-slip shoes in many workplaces, numerous retailers stock them. Your favorite shoe store probably has a dedicated section, although it might be relatively small, specifically for this requirement. However, if you want to move away from the usual black appearance offered by most slip-resistant work shoes, you may need to do some searching in a regular store to find the best non-slip options for your preferred footwear.
Well-known retailers like Target, Walmart, and Amazon offer a good selection of shoes to choose from. Certain brands are also recognized for their exceptional comfort and slip-resistant properties, such as Dansko, Dr. Scholl's Shoes, and Crocs. Additionally, thanks to the internet, you can find stores that specifically cater to this need, such as Shoes for Crews, as well as stores specializing in uniforms for professions like nursing or the restaurant industry.
What Shoes to Avoid Wearing in Restaurants
All restaurant employees should wear appropriate footwear to maintain safety and hygiene standards. Wearing inappropriate or ill-fitting shoes can be hazardous, uncomfortable, and unsanitary for both staff and customers. Therefore, it is essential to carefully consider your footwear choices when selecting work shoes for a restaurant setting. Here are types of shoes that you should avoid wearing in a restaurant:
Open-Toe Shoes: Open-toe shoes, such as sandals and flip-flops, expose your toes and the top of your foot to potential hazards. Unfortunate accidents, such as dropping heavy objects on your feet or spilling hot liquids, can cause significant harm. Take precautions when wearing open-toe shoes to prevent these unfortunate events from occurring.
High Heels: High heels pose a potential hazard, especially in fast-paced work environments, as they can make you more susceptible to falls and injuries due to their instability. Unfortunately, high heels do not provide proper support for your feet, which can lead to arch or heel discomfort. Furthermore, the elevated heel puts stress on the ankle and foot, resulting in pain and fatigue.
Slip-On Shoes: Loafers and regular clogs are particularly dangerous in restaurant settings, as they can easily slip off when workers quickly change direction. Moreover, these types of slip-on shoes do not offer enough support for the feet, resulting in foot fatigue and discomfort. If you are a restaurant owner, it is essential to ensure that your employees' work footwear is securely fastened at all times to protect them from potential trips and falls.
Athletic Shoes: Athletic shoes are unsuitable for restaurant settings due to their lack of slip-resistance on wet or greasy surfaces and their tendency to accumulate food debris and liquids due to their breathable mesh material. These types of footwear significantly increase the risk of slips and falls in slippery environments. Therefore, restaurants must prioritize proper safety and hygiene standards when selecting appropriate workplace attire.
Canvas Shoes: Canvas shoes, including sneakers and casual shoes, are unsuitable for restaurant settings as they do not provide the necessary protection for the feet. Not only are these materials not water-resistant or slip-resistant, but they also easily accumulate food particles and liquids, which can pose a severe health hazard by increasing the potential for cross-contamination. It is crucial to prioritize foot protection and avoid taking unnecessary risks.
The Importance of Using Non-Slip Shoes in Restaurants
Slip and fall accidents are a leading cause of injuries in the restaurant industry. By wearing non-slip footwear, individuals working in the hospitality industry can significantly reduce their chances of sustaining injuries caused by slipping or falling. In fact, according to the National Floor Safety Institute, slips and falls account for 25% of all workplace injuries in the food service business.
For restaurant owners, slip and fall accidents can be costly. The average cost of a slip and fall accident is $15,000, and these accidents can result in various injuries, including fractures, head injuries, and back injuries. Additionally, slip and fall accidents can damage a restaurant's reputation and lead to legal consequences.
Wearing slip-resistant shoes in both the front of house and the back of house is crucial for several reasons, which are outlined below:
1. Reduces the Risk of Slips and Falls
Navigating a wet restaurant floor can be risky, making proper footwear essential for safety. Non-slip shoes are designed with slip-resistant soles that help minimize the risks associated with slippery surfaces. They provide greater traction control, protecting employees and customers from serious injuries.
2. Increases Traction and Stability
Anti-slip restaurant shoes offer a better grip on wet surfaces, enhancing stability and traction when carrying food. These shoes benefit restaurant workers who handle heavy trays or objects while navigating busy kitchens. With extra protection against slips and falls, which can result in productivity losses and injuries, it's no wonder that many restaurants prioritize investing in these types of shoes for their staff!
3. Enhances Productivity
When restaurant staff wear appropriate footwear, they can work efficiently and securely. Slip-resistant shoes provide optimal stability and traction, reducing the risk of slips or falls and increasing workers' productivity in any environment.
4. Meets Industry Standards
Complying with slip-resistant footwear regulations established by countries worldwide is crucial for maintaining safety within food service establishments. It helps reduce accidents and legal liabilities. Noncompliance can result in substantial fines, making it essential to ensure that everyone wears appropriate shoes.
5. Protects Against Spills and Hot Liquids
The slip-resistant soles of anti-slip shoes not only offer superior grip but also serve as a protective barrier between the feet and any spilled liquids. This provides reassurance that these shoes will keep your feet safe from hazardous spills or hot liquids, reducing the risk of burns or other injuries.
6. Comfortable and Durable
Whether you're on your feet all day or casually strolling, restaurant shoes ensure lasting comfort and stability. These shoes feature contoured insoles for support, shock absorbers to reduce discomfort, and breathable linings that promote air circulation - essential features that prevent slipping while protecting foot health.
7. Improves Hygiene
Wearing non-slip shoes improves safety in the kitchen and enhances hygiene levels. Regular shoes can accumulate dirt and bacteria on their soles, which staff members can unintentionally bring into food preparation areas. Closed-toe designs with slip-resistant soles significantly reduce the risk of cross-contamination and protect customers from potentially dangerous foodborne illnesses.
8. Reduces Workers' Compensation Claims
By investing in slip-resistant work shoes, restaurant owners can save time and money that would otherwise be spent on expensive workers' compensation claims resulting from slip-and-fall accidents. Wearing such footwear drastically reduces the risk of workplace mishaps, making it a wise choice for any establishment dedicated to safety and productivity.
Keep Company's line of non-slip, water-resistant, and supportive shoes, which are stylish, vegan, and ethically produced, are designed and tested by chefs.
Where to buy: keepcompany.com
The right restaurant shoes will help decrease fatigue, injuries, and ailments that could otherwise prevent you or your staff from working. To ensure smooth operations, it is important to ensure that everyone, from the host to the kitchen staff, wears proper footwear while also following other safety precautions.
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In the fast-paced world of restaurants, slipping and sliding can quickly turn into a disastrous situation. That's why it's crucial to invest in the best non-slip shoes. With our top picks for men, including the comfortable and practical Brooks Men's Addiction Walker 2 and the durable Shoes for Crews Everlight, you can confidently tackle any restaurant shift. Whether you're looking for everyday wear, travel companions, or work essentials, we've got you covered. Don't compromise on safety - get the right pair of non-slip shoes and keep your footing steady in the kitchen.