Are Vans Non-Slip? (Finally Explained!)

If the nature of your job requires you to wear non-slip shoes, then you may be considering Vans among other non-slip shoe brands such as Converse and Crocs.

new pair of yellow vans shoes

Non-slip shoes prevent accidental slip and fall even when walking on wet, oily, or slippery surfaces. Therefore, it is understandable if you are keen to ascertain that Vans are non-slip before buying or wearing them.

Today, we explore features that make shoes non-slip then answer in detail whether Vans are non-slip and other related FAQs.

How to Know if Shoes are Non-Slip?

Typically, non-slip shoes have the following characteristics:

1. Tread

Treads provide traction. They prevent water or oil from accumulating at the bottom of the shoes by dispersing them. Different non-slip shoes have different tread patterns.

Some manufacturers stick with a particular pattern for all of their shoes, while others optimize tread patterns depending on the purpose of the shoe. Shoes for running on gravel have deep and wide grooves than indoor shoes, which have smaller, finer groove patterns. A flat-edged shoe with no treads at all is not non-slip.

 2. Made of material that provides grip on wet or slippery surfaces

Polyurethane (PU) and rubber are the most commonly used materials for making non-slip shoes. However, rubber provides better traction than PU. Also, the manufacturing process of the rubber affects the traction efficiency of the outsoles. Vulcanized rubber soles offer better traction.

3. Labeled as non-slip

Most non-slip shoes are labeled in their packaging, or it is mentioned in their product description. However, be wary of companies that falsely advertise their shoes as non-slip. Inspect the shoes for other non-slip features and check the product reviews to ascertain that they are slip-resistant.

Are Vans Non-Slip?

Most Van shoes are not labeled as non-slip. However, reviews indicate that they are non-slip. Furthermore, Vans outsoles have key features that make shoes non-slip, including rubber soles and close-knit tread patterns.

What Makes Vans Non-Slip?

Premium-Quality Rubber Outsoles

All Vans’ outsoles are rubber. Rubber is considered a non-slip material as it offers a firm grip on the floor or ground. Vans make outsoles out of premium quality rubber and employ a specialized process (vulcanization) to enhance the anti-slip properties.

Vans uses a blend of natural and synthetic rubber to make the outsoles and sides of their shoes. The designers understand that poor-quality rubber provides less traction and grip. Therefore, they do not use lower-quality synthetic rubbers such as Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) rubber.

Vulcanized Rubber Soles

During the vulcanization process, the rubber outsoles undergo a two-step heating procedure. They are baked first to cure the rubber then compressed before being steam baked.

The vulcanization process makes the rubber resilient and resistant to oxidation, abrasion, corrosion, or chemical resistance. It also enables rubber to maintain its form for a long time. Vulcanized rubber has low water absorption and is an excellent electrical insulator.

Unique Tread Pattern

Vans shoes have a tread pattern that combines circles and diamond shapes across the sole. The tread pattern prevents grease or water from sticking on the outsole. As such, the tread pattern maximizes traction and grip on the floor whether you are walking on a dry surface or wet surface.

The tread pattern is close-knit on the top part of the outsole, as this part is more likely to be slippery. The grooves are small and fine yet deep to provide super-grip even on the most slippery surfaces.

A High Dry Static Coefficient

Dry static coefficient refers to the amount of frictional force produced when two surfaces are in contact. The high-quality rubber and tread pattern characteristics of Vans provide a high dry static coefficient. It means that the shoes produce high friction against the slippery surface, preventing sliding.

Note that Vans have different types and styles of non-slip shoes, including Vans for kitchen work, Vans for waiters, Vans for roofing work, etc. The specific type is optimized to provide excellent traction for the surfaces you plan to use them on.

Also, you can choose between the closed back and slip-on styles of Vans non-slip shoes, e.g., Vans Old Skool is a great option for roofing work while Vans Low-Top Trainers are suitable for waiters.

Always check in with your employer on whether they have specific recommendations on the color and style of non-slip shoes.

How Come My Vans are Non-Slip?

vans off the walls
Source: Pexels

If your new Vans are not non-slip, chances are, they are knock-offs. Vans take up a considerable share of the non-slip shoe market, and some counterfeiters benefit from the large customer base. Therefore, they make a replica of Vans.

In most cases, you cannot tell apart the replicas from the original Vans unless you look closely. Below are tips for identifying genuine Vans:

  1. Pay close attention to the tread pattern of the shoes. Original vans have a circular tread pattern with deep grooves. The tread pattern on Vans’ knock-offs may be slightly off, or the grooves may be too wide and large. If the tread pattern is square, hexagonal, or triangular, the Vans are knock-offs.
  2. Determine if the soles use premium quality rubber. Look out for fake Vans whose soles are EVA rubber or plastic.
  3. Check for branding consistency. Visit the Vans website to identify their branding on shoes. Pay keen attention to the branding font, font size, and colors. If the branding on the shoe you are considering is off, then the shoes may be knock-offs. Also, check the Vans website for shoe models on the market, including new arrivals and older models.
  4. If you have the shoes at hand, test them out on a slippery surface. Pour soapy water or oil on the floor and walk across. If the shoes are non-slip, you should feel their grip on the floor. Otherwise, you may slide or fall.

Also, check the rigidity of the sole by bending the shoe back and forth. Non-slip shoes are flexible and soft to enable the soles to conform to the slippery surface for a better grip.

If you have had your vans for a long time, they may have lost the non-slip property. Over time, the friction against the ground causes the grooves on the tread patterns to wear out, causing the shoes to lose their grip. If that is the case, it is about time you get a new pair of Vans.


What is the Difference Between Non-Slip, Slip-Resistant, Skid-Resistant, and Skid-Proof?

All these terms are synonymous. One brand may use the term slip-resistant to describe their shoes, while another may use skid-proof.

How to Preserve the Non-Slip Feature of Vans?

With proper care for your Vans, they will retain the non-slip feature for a long time. Regularly clean the bottom of the shoes. Pay close attention to grooves as dirt and grime may accumulate in the grooves, inhibiting the grip. Often, banging the outsoles against each other dislodges the dirt for easy cleaning. However, if the dirt is stuck deep into the grooves, use a brush to clean them.

You could also enhance the shoe’s non-slip properties by applying a coat of slip-resistant spray at the bottom or attaching adhesive pads.


Vans are non-slip. They use premium-quality rubber, and their design incorporates a tread pattern that offers excellent traction. Beware of knock-offs that may not be non-slip. Also, take good care of your original Vans to keep them in tip-top condition that offers traction efficiency.

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