Photo: IRSST

Choosing slip-resistant footwear: Research group publishes guide

March 19, 2020

Montreal — To assist in the selection and purchase of slip-resistant footwear for the workplace, Canadian research organization IRSST has published a free online guide.

The 10-page pamphlet lists various factors health and safety committee members, purchasers, and workers should consider when choosing slip-resistant footwear. It also provides a step-by-step process for selecting the right work shoes or boots.

“Choosing work boots and shoes that have a good slip resistance is not a simple exercise, especially when work surfaces cannot be controlled,” Philippe Lemay, multimedia and electronic edition technician at IRSST, says in a video posted on the organization’s website.

In outdoor settings, for example, workers can encounter muddy, snowy, icy or wet surfaces. An important factor in occupational footwear is a high coefficient of friction. The higher the CoF, the greater the resistance to slipping, according to IRSST.


“No shoes or boots can be slip resistant in every situation,” IRSST Mechanical Engineer Chantal Gauvin says in the video. “And none can provide protection against every risk.”

Adds Lemay: “Footwear that doesn’t slip in one situation may slip in another. So, choose carefully.”