We all know that Vans are known for their stylish designs and comfortable fit, but are vans non-slip?
As someone who has been in the shoes industry for six years, I have seen the importance of having non-slip shoes, especially for those who work in the food industry or any job that requires a lot of movement on slippery surfaces.
In this blog post, we will explore whether Vans are non-slip, and help you determine if Vans are the right choice for you.
Vans shoes were originally made for skateboarding. But, due to their versatility, people like to wear Vans shoes to different places like restaurants, gyms, and for street walks. Due to their affordable price, some people are also interested to wear them as work shoes in hospitals or kitchens, due to which they have the question in mind regarding the Vans shoes slip resistance.
So, are Vans non slip? All Vans shoes models are not perfectly non slip. There is a specific line of Vans kicks that is specifically designed for working in kitchens or hospitals. These are called “Made for the Makers.” Only, this line of Vans shoes is considered slip-resistant, depending on the nature of the surface on which you’re standing.
Must Read: How to make shoes non slip
Table of Contents
Are Vans Non Slip?
Yes, Vans are non-slip shoes. These shoes have vulcanized rubber outsoles that are designed with a mix of diamond and rhomboid patterns specifically for slip resistance, making them perfect for skateboarders or people who work in slippery environments.
The excellent grip on any surface provided by Vans will prevent you from slipping, sliding, or falling, giving you a safer, more comfortable experience when wearing them.
Also Read: Are Doc Martens Non Slip
Are All Vans Non Slip?
Not all Vans are non-slip, but some models are slip-resistant. Some people have reported that the slip-resistant Vans work well for food service and kitchen work, while others have said that they are not very slip-resistant and may fall apart quickly.
However, slip-resistant Vans may be suitable for other types of work, such as theater work or other jobs where slip resistance is important.
It is important to note that slip-resistant shoes are not the same as non-slip shoes, and slip-resistant shoes may still be slippery on certain surfaces.
Note: At the end of this guide, I have listed down non slip models of Vans which you should consider for restaurants or kitchen work.
Are Vans Non Slip Shoes for Restaurants?
No, regular Vans shoes are not specifically designed to be non-slip shoes for restaurants. However, many styles have decent traction that can work well to prevent slips.
The waffle pattern on classic Vans helps grip floors, so they may provide enough traction for some restaurant workers.
But Vans does make some shoes just for workplace safety. These shoes have oil-resistant, non-slip soles rated to meet safety standards. So while regular Vans aren’t marketed as non slip, some styles can get the job done
What Makes Vans Non-Slip?
One of the main features that makes Vans shoes non-slip is their unique outsole design. The outsole is the bottom part of the shoe that comes in contact with the ground, and Vans outsoles have a waffle-shaped pattern that is instantly recognizable.
This waffle pattern was originally designed for skateboarders, who need a shoe with good grip to prevent slipping off the board.
The waffle pattern of the Vans outsole is made up of a series of small, square-shaped indentations. These indentations create a lot of surface area on the sole of the shoe, which helps to increase traction. Additionally, the pattern is deep enough to provide grip, but not so deep that it becomes cumbersome or uncomfortable to wear.
Another factor that contributes to the non-slip design of Vans shoes is the materials used in their construction.
Vans shoes are made through a vulcanization process in which the gum rubber is cured to a high temperature to improve its durability and make its bond stronger with the Vans upper. The treads pattern on the sole matters a lot to make the shoes non-slip. Made for Maker line of Vans shoes soles have waffled pattern combined with small protruded lugs to improve the slip-resistance as I’ve shown in the picture below.
One of the best ways to maintain the non-slip properties of Vans shoes is to clean the outsole regularly. This can be done using a soft-bristled brush and mild soap and water. This is because the dirt stuck in the grooves of the Vans shoes outsole can affect their grip and traction.
Also Read: Are Vans Shoes Good
How to Tell If Vans Shoes Are Non-Slip?
The slip-resistant tag is a handy thing to have when shopping for our work shoes or walking shoes. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that your shoe is slip-resistant. Some brands like Crocs and Dansko Clogs have a slip-resistant label, due to which we don’t hesitate to wear them on slippery surfaces.
On the other hand, there are some brands like Vans and other athletic sneakers on which there is no tag of slip-resistance.
So, here are a few tips to know if your shoe really is non-slip.
- The first thing you should note is that the sole should be thick and made of rubber material. Furthermore, the rubber material should not be stiff as a hard and stiffer rubber sole may not be slip-resistant.
- The second sign is to look for the treads pattern. If the tread on your shoe is smooth, it probably won’t be slip-resistant. There are a variety of designs included, such as squares, hexagons, triangles, and circles. Even though all have some friction, circle-grip outsoles are the best performers.
- Furthermore, check the fineness of treads. It is important not to let tread patterns become clogged with waste or debris on the ground. If the soles clog up, seek an alternative design, for instance with more space between the cleats or a deeper tread pattern.
- Also, check that the lugs are not large as they are not good for slip-resistance on flat and polished surfaces. Soles with large and thick lugs only perform well on rugged terrains.
- There is also a difference between oil-resistant and slip-resistant. Oil-resistant means that the sole material will not be damaged by the oil. If the shoe is slip-resistant, but not oil-resistant, it would be better to stand on the floors where you find oil spills.
- To verify the slip-resistance of a shoe, you can pour water over the surface and walk across it. Be careful while doing this step as it is a bit tricky, you can fall if shoes are non-slip.
How Vans Shoes Are Non-Slip?
As I said, the special line of Vans shoes i.e. “Made for the Makers” is specifically designed to walk on slippery surfaces.
Here are the following features that make these Vans non-slip, or suitable for slippery conditions.
Vans Made for the Makers feature Vansguard heavy duty leather upper, which is resistant to wear and tear. It holds up well if the fluids spill over the upper while working in the kitchen. The sturdy upper is also responsible for a supportive fit for your feet. So, if you slip by chance, the strong leather will provide support to your feet.
Vulcanized-lugged Patten On Outsole
Made for Makers Vans also feature vulcanized soles. But, it is different from regular Vans due to small rubber protrusions that improve the slip resistance. The normal line of Vans kicks has a throughout waffled pattern which is not so great to offer friction on a smooth surface.
You can check out this video for the treads design on the outsole of Vans shoes.
However, according to several customers, the treads pattern of Vans shoes is not suitable to work on greasy floors.
Here’s what a real user says about the slip resistance of Vans.
In case you can’t read the review, here’s a text:
I use them in wet/ damp/ kitchen conditions. Hit and miss on the floor depending on wet or not. Solid in wet conditions on the toe cap areas. Need to be better slip resistant.50/50
According to several people, Vans shoes are not able to walk on floors that are too much greasy. The slip resistance depends on the coefficient of friction between two contact surfaces. On a highly greasy floor, the grease can’t sift through gaps between treads of Vans easily, due to which the coefficient of friction between Vans sole and the surface decreases. That’s why I would not recommend wearing Vans shoes on floors covered with oil or grease spills.
Here’s another review by a customer about the slip resistance of Vans shoes.
I’m a skateboarder from way back so I’m obviously familiar with Vans. When I found out they made slip resistant shoes, I was pumped!..
I’ve been rockin’ these for about a month and a half. I work in two different restaurants, one with a concrete floor and the slip factor is predominately water. They kill it! The other restaurant is absolutely the worst case scenario for slippage.
Large smooth tile floors and grease. While they do a decent job in this environment. there is room for improvement. comfort.. Holy Sheisse! m almost happy to Put these shoes on! They’re almost not even there! sometimes work 15 hour days walking up and down stairs with 50Ib bus tubs and my feet don’t hate me at the end of the day!
So, thanks Vans but please just do a little work on the non slip tread for those ofus who work in the utmost crazy slippy environments! Otherwise, awesome non-slip shoes. You’ve made my work days much better!
Durable Rubber Outsoles
Vans use different types of rubber compounds for their outsoles, depending on the model and purpose of the shoe. For example, some of their classic styles, such as the Old Skool and the Slip-On, feature the iconic waffle outsole that has been around since 1966.
This outsole has a pattern of small squares that provide grip and traction on various terrains, from skateboards to sidewalks. The waffle outsole is also made of vulcanized rubber, which means it is heated and cured to create a strong bond between the rubber and the upper. This makes the shoe more durable and flexible than other types of rubber shoes.
Another example of Vans’ innovative rubber outsoles is the UltraRange MTE-3 or MTE-1, which is designed for cold and wet environments. This shoe features the All-Trac™ outsole, which is a proprietary rubber compound that delivers true all-terrain grip.
The All-Trac™ outsole has lugs that bend with terrain changes, creating more surface area and better adaptability.
This outsole also works well with the Gore-Tex® Moisture Management system and the 3M™ Thinsulate™ cold weather insulation that keep the feet dry and warm.
Surfaces On Which Vans Are Non-Slip
Here are the surfaces on which Vans are non-slip:
Vans On Concrete
From my personal experience, I can confidently say that if you’re planning to wear Vans on concrete surfaces, you’re in good hands! Don’t worry, they are pretty non-slip, which is fantastic news.
In case you’ve ever walked on a wet or dewy concrete surface before, you know how treacherous it can be. One wrong move, and it can end up in a nasty fall!
That’s precisely where Vans shine. Even after the rain, I’ve never had any issues with slipping on concrete surfaces while wearing Vans. I just had to be a bit cautious while walking on wet concrete with Vans. You shouldn’t run on a wet concrete in Vans.
If the concrete floor has oil, grease or moss, you have to be cautious.They tend to grip well onto the ground, providing a firm and stable footing, even during outdoor activities like cycling and skateboarding.
The best part is that Vans not only provide impeccable grip, but they are also super comfortable, making them a perfect choice for long walks or bike rides. The first time I put on a pair of Vans, I knew it immediately that I could wear them for long hours without any discomfort.
Vans On Wooden Surface
In my experience, Vans can do reasonably well on wooden floors, but their level of grip may change, depending on the surface’s condition.
For instance, when the floor is wet, the wood can become incredibly slippery, making it harder for the rubber sole of Vans to maintain an adequate amount of grip. This increases the risk of slips and falls, which can be very dangerous.
I recall an incident when my friend wore Vans and ran on a wet wooden deck. They nearly slip and had a severe fall that resulted in an injury that took a long time to heal. It was scary and made me realize that it’s crucial to be cautious and mindful of the surface condition when wearing Vans on wet wooden surfaces.
That said, I still think that Vans offer some level of grip on wooden floors, even under wet conditions. However, it’s crucial to exercise caution and be mindful of the surface’s condition to avoid any potential accidents. If you plan on spending a lot of time on wet wooden floors or surfaces where slip-resistance is vital, it might be wise to consider shoes that are specifically designed for improved grip under these conditions.
Vans On Tiles
From my personal experience, it seems like Vans shoes perform really well on tile surfaces. The flat, rubber sole of Vans shoes provides a great grip and traction that makes them perfect for smooth and slippery surfaces like tiles. And the best part- they look so cool!
However, it’s worth noting that some users have reported finding their Vans shoes to be slippery on wet tile surfaces. So, if you plan on wearing them on wet tiles, be careful and watchful. Additionally, it’s important to remember that the durability of the sole can vary across different models of Vans shoes. Some users have reported wear and tear on the sole after extended use on tile surfaces, so that’s something to keep in mind.
Vans On Tarmac
Do you ever find yourself slipping and sliding on wet or oily tarmac surfaces like roads and pavements? I know the feeling. It can be really dangerous, not to mention embarrassing if you go down hard in front of other people.
But here’s the thing: if you’re wearing a good pair of Vans, you don’t have to worry about slipping and falling. I know this from personal experience.
One time, I was walking down a particularly slick stretch of road in my Vans, and I noticed that I wasn’t slipping at all. In fact, I felt more stable and secure than I ever had on that type of surface before.
Just to be sure, I decided to put my Vans to the test. I found an even slicker patch of pavement, covered in oil and water, and took a few cautious steps onto it. And you know what? My Vans held up just fine. I was able to walk confidently across the slippery surface without any slips, slides, or falls.
Some Other Shoes Brands with Better Slip-Resistance than Vans
Several brands make slip-resistance shoes, while keeping in mind the style so that you can use them for street walks.
The most famous brand for such shoes is Shoes for Crews. They have a chukka style that makes them versatile. Their treads have sufficient space and the outsole features grooves so that grease doesn’t clog in the outsole. You can check more features of non-slip soles of shoes for crews from here.
On Amazon, there are different styles of Shoes for Crews. You can buy whichever you like.
If you don’t care much about style, you can also consider buying Crocs as these are pretty much famous for their slip resistance. You won’t have to hesitate to put a step on any kind of surface with Crocs clogs. They are also certified by ASTM 2913-11 standard. You can also check out my detailed review on Crocs Bistro Clogs, which are some of the best shoes to wear in the kitchen and theatres.