3 Reasons Why Vans Are Excellent Non-Slip Shoes

Vans are trendy, but are they slip-resistant?

Vans are exceptional non-slip shoes because of the combination of vulcanized rubber and unique waffle outsole pattern, both of which do not trap liquid underneath your feet but channel it away to help your feet make solid contact with the floor.

The waffle-pattern soles of Vans shoes have also grown in popularity among restaurant workers because they are slip-resistant, even on wet and greasy surfaces.

Of course, it’s hard to go wrong wearing a pair of Vans.

But if you’re a medical professional, work in the food service industry, or have a job that requires you to spend long hours on your feet, non-slip shoes are a must.

Let’s explore whether or not Vans are non-slip shoes.

What is Considered a Non-Slip Shoe?

As the name suggests, a non-slip or slip-resistant shoe is basically a safety shoe that prevents you from slipping, tripping, or falling while walking or standing on different surfaces.

While it seems obvious, the best way to tell if shoes are non-slip is to check if slip resistance is specified in the product description. If you can’t find any description stating that the shoe is non-slip, then your next step is to look for a tread pattern.

A telltale sign of a non-slip shoe is squiggles, circles, or hexagons on the bottom of the outsole. These patterns are designed to create friction, which will help your feet grip the floor without collecting moisture underneath.

Additionally, make sure that the shoes have rubber outsoles.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, rubber is almost a guarantee of a non-slip shoe because it provides superior grip and traction, even on wet, greasy, and slippery surfaces.

Are Vans Shoes Slip-Resistant?

Vans Shoes, an Overview

Vans were created in 1966. By 1970, the skateboarding community became enamored with Vans because of their sticky soles and unique design.

Skateboarders need special shoes to do what they do, and Vans stepped up by making shoes that suited the sport perfectly.

The company went from having 12 customers on its first day of operation in 1966 to becoming one of the world’s most popular and well-known footwear brands. 

The important thing to remember here is why skateboarders took a shine to Vans in the first place. The sticky soles made them highly slip-resistant.

Over time people from other walks of life would grow to appreciate Vans for the same quality. 

Vans, Are They Non-Slip Shoes?

As discovered by avid skateboarders, Vans are non-slip shoes.

Their vulcanized rubber soles give them a non-slip quality praised by skaters for their superior grip and support while on the board.

This non-slip quality has made them incredibly popular over the years. 

If you work on slippery floors, Vans with waffle rubber soles are a good choice. You might want to stock up and grab a few extra pairs, though, so you can always change it up.

The Design, Why Vans Are Non-slip Shoes?

Vans are great non-slip shoes because of two things: vulcanized rubber outsoles and waffle patterns. Also, Vans has made a sneaker collaboration just for restaurant industry professionals.

Here’s each characteristic explained in greater detail:

1. Vulcanized Rubber Outsoles

The outsole is the part of the shoe that comes in direct contact with the ground. As mentioned earlier, shoes with rubber outsoles are almost a guarantee of non-slip shoes.

Vans are not only made of rubber, but they go through a unique process of vulcanization.

It goes through two stages of “baking”. First, the rubber is cured by heat and compressed. Then, it is “steam-baked” after assembly.

As a result, the vulcanized rubber of Vans shoes is superior to regular rubber because it is more durable (though you need some time to break into them). The vulcanized rubber is also more slip-resistant when exposed to water and oil than other outsole compounds.

Moreover, the slip-resistant rubber outsole is softer than dress shoes or work boots, yet firmer than most athletic footwear. This combination of soft, yet firm rubber outsole means that Vans shoes can more effectively grip a slick floor.

2. Waffle Pattern Which Provides Excellent Grip

One of the most distinctive traits of Vans shoes is the waffle outsole pattern.

The waffle outsole pattern does not trap liquid or moisture underneath, helping you make better contact with the ground.

During the 1970s, the soles of the older version of Vans would easily crack along the balls of the outer sole. So Van Doren patented a new waffle-designed sole.

Not only are the waffle sole patterns growing in popularity, but they grip surfaces very well.

Similar to other slip-resistant shoes, the waffle sole pattern of Vans shoes does not close the moisture in, but channels it away from underneath your feet. This allows the slip-resistant sole to make better contact with the floor and provide better slip resistance.

3. Restaurant Industry Collaboration

Due to the growing popularity of Vans sneakers in the restaurant industry, Vans has decided to partner with two renowned Los Angeles chefs, Jon Shook, and Vinny Vitolo, in a sneaker collaboration that is perfect for the kitchen.

The Vans “Kitchen Shoe Program” provides popular Vans shoe restaurant-worthy upgrades which include coated water-and-dirt-resistant materials on the uppers and footbeds with enhanced cushioning at the bottom.

This means that if you work in the food service industry, you have the freedom to wear Vans without the worry of spilling food on them, or aching feet from standing all day.

Why Slip-Resistant Shoes Are Important

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.

While you may not think falling on a slippery floor is anything to worry about, this type of fall can lead to injuries, which leads to missed workdays. If you’re an employee, not only does an injury set you back financially, but you can also lose your job as well.

If you work at a restaurant, bar, or catering company, you know how slippery floors are the norm.

The slippery floors are not caused by water or soda, it’s caused by cooking oil and condiments. For this reason, non-slip shoes are a must-have for the food-service industry.

Similarly, if you are a healthcare professional, your days are mostly spent walking around on slick floors throughout hospitals, clinics, and operating rooms.

Whether you’re a doctor, nurse, nursing assistant, or support staff at a medical facility, non-slip shoes allow you to perform at your best because what you do can save lives.

Related: Can You Wear Vans in the Rain (Waterproof)?


The big conclusion here is that Vans are non-slip shoes. More specifically, they are high-quality non-slip shoes. If skateboarders can trust them to keep them from falling and breaking their legs, you can trust them to keep you from slipping and falling in the kitchen.

Not many other brands put so much focus on slip resistance.

Vans have been around for a long time, which means people trust them. So the next time you are looking for a new pair of no-slip shoes, take a look at some Vans.