Converse shoes are popular, but are they non-slip shoes?
Converse are good non-slip shoes because of their gum rubber soles and slip-resistant tread patterns, both of which do not trap liquid underneath your feet, but channel it away to help your feet make solid contact with the floor.
We know that if you are a medical professional or work in the foodservice industry, you need to wear non-slip shoes. In this post, let’s explore whether Converse is non-slip or not.
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What Makes a Shoe Slip-Resistant?
Before we examine Converse shoes, we need to understand what makes a shoe non-slip.
As the name implies, non-slip shoes are basically safety shoes that prevent their wearers from slipping and falling on wet, oily or otherwise slick surfaces.
While this might seem obvious, the best way to tell if shoes are non-slip or not is to check the product description. In most cases, it will specify whether the shoes are non-slip or not.
However, there are two important components that make shoe slip-resistant:
Firstly, the outsoles of non-slip shoes are made of certain materials. Vulcanized rubber and polyurethane are good outsole materials against slipping.
Secondly, non-slip shoes have special slip-resistant tread patterns underneath to grip onto surfaces. The idea is that the typical flat soles can allow liquids to get underneath, which may cause their wearer to slip, trip, and fall.
What Makes Converse Great Non-Slip Shoes
Did you know that Converse Chuck Taylors were originally made for basketball?
Designed to grip the hardwood floor, Converse shoes are made with special rubber soles that are meant to prevent basketball players from slipping and sliding.
There are two things that make Converse excellent non-slip shoes. Number one is their gum rubber soles, and number two is their slip-resistant tread patterns.
Here are the two components explained in greater detail.
1. Gum rubber soles
The first reason why Converse are excellent non-slip shoes is due to their gum rubber soles.
According to Converse, the gum rubber soles are usually implemented into sports shoes developed for indoor, hardcourt sports, such as basketball, badminton, and squash.
There are some advantages to gum rubber soles:
- The rubber does not leave marks upon a hard court surface.
- The rubber heats up as you play, providing additional grip.
- It is natural rubber as opposed to synthetic and can be cured by vulcanizing.
- It is usually a tan or brown color.
Since the gum rubber soles are made of natural rubber, they can be cured by the process of vulcanization, which transforms natural rubber into a cured, more durable rubber.
Additionally, the slip-resistant rubber outsoles are softer than working boots and formal shoes, yet tougher than most athletic sneakers. This unique combination of soft, yet firm rubber outsoles means that Converse shoes can grip a slick floor very well.
According to the Health and Safety Executive, rubber outsoles are almost a guarantee of non-slip shoes because they provide superior grip, even on wet and slippery surfaces.
When it comes to slip-resistant shoes, you should evaluate their material composition and how they behave against abrasion, chemicals, cement, water slide, water, and oil.
Here’s a helpful table based on the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health (1999b) and Safety and Falls Aren’t Funny, by Russell J. Kendzior (2010):
Based on the table above, the vulcanized rubber soles of Converse perform excellently against abrasion, cement, and water. They are also good against chemicals, slipping, and oil.
2. Slip-resistant tread patterns
In addition to the outsole material, another reason why Converse are good non-slip shoes is their special slip-resistant tread patterns.
One of the most important features of non-slip shoes is their tread pattern. Ideally, you would want to see little squiggles, circles, or hexagons on the bottom of the shoes.
These patterns are designed to create friction. In other words, they help you grip the floor without collecting water underneath. The smaller the pattern, the better the slip resistance.
As you can see in the image above, the outsoles of Converse shoes have different patterns which include squares and thin lines, all of which provide excellent grip.
Similar to other slip-resistant shoes, the tread pattern of Converse shoes do not close any moisture in, but channels it away from underneath your feet.
As a result, the slip-resistant rubber outsoles of Converse shoes can create better contact with the floor and prevent you from slipping and sliding.
Take Non-Slip Shoes Seriously
You may think that a slippery floor is nothing to worry about.
Slips can cause serious injuries. Not only do slips and falls cause you to miss workdays, but they can cause you to lose your job, your health, and a lot of money too.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), slips, trips, and falls are third on the list of most common non-fatal work injuries in the United States.
You probably deal with slippery floors daily if you are in the foodservice industry. Non-slip shoes are important because they can be the difference between a good job and a bad job.
Likewise, you are most likely to spend many hours walking around slick floors if you are a healthcare professional. The floors in hospitals and clinics can be unforgiving.
Remember, non-slip shoes are important because they can prevent you from slipping and falling. Thankfully, Converse shoes can be a good option for you.
Now you know whether Converse are non-slip shoes or not.
The bottom line is that Converse are slip-resistant shoes because of their gum rubber soles and slip-resistant tread patterns. Not to mention, they are stylish too.
The gum rubber soles of Converse sneakers have also grown in popularity among restaurant workers because they are slip-resistant, even on wet and greasy surfaces.
As long as your workplace allows it, you can trust a pair of Converse sneakers to prevent you from slipping and falling in the workplace.
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