How is slip-resistance measured? The ultimate guide to safety shoes classification and slip resistance standards

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Not all slip-resistant shoes are created equal. The slip-resistance of a shoe can differ dramatically even amongst ‘safety shoes’ that are certified as ‘slip-resistant’. Year after year, footwear from Shoes For Crews surpasses the European Industry standard for slip-resistance.

Thanks to our revolutionary, slip-resistant outsoles, we protect millions of workers worldwide with a wide range of high-quality footwear for work.
Our mission is to keep the workforce safe on the job with comfortable, quality protective footwear solutions.

But what is a slip-resistant shoe is and how is slip-resistance measured?

What is a slip-resistant shoe?

A slip-resistant shoe is designed to support the prevention of injuries caused by slips, falls and trips on greasy surfaces.

All our Shoes For Crews styles have been designed to support the protection of your entire workforce from workplace slips and falls with our highly slip-resistant and proprietary outsole technology.

New standard for slip-resistance testing for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) footwear

At the end of 2021 the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) reviewed the slip testing standards. EN ISO 20344:2011 was replaced by the new standard EN ISO 20344:2021.

Effective since the beginning of 2022, this standard must be used when looking at slip-resistance testing methods for PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).

Requirements for PPE footwear

  • EN ISO 20345:2022: standard for Safety Footwear
  • EN ISO 20347:2022: standard for Occupational Footwear
  • EN ISO 13287:2020-02: it is not applicable to special purpose footwear containing spikes, metal studs or similar.

How is the slip-resistance of a shoe measured?

When testing the slip-resistance of a shoe, the shoe is clamped in different positions in a measuring device and guided over the various testing floors.

As mentioned above, the slip-resistance of footwear is tested according to the set of European testing methods standards written into EN ISO 20344:2021. Footwear which has passed the test for slip-resistance will be marked with the SR code:

  • Standard requirement: slip test on ceramic floors with Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS).
  • SR class: slip test on ceramic floors with Glycerin.

Occupational and Safety shoes classifications

In addition, a distinction is made between occupational and safety shoes, because not every occupational shoe is automatically classified as a safety shoe. Safety shoes are required to have a toe cap that must withstand at least 200 joules of load. Although occupational shoes can have a protective component, they don’t have a toe cap. These can also be divided into the following classes:

1. Occupational shoes classification

occupational shoes classification

2. Safety shoe classification

3. Additional requirements:

With the new standard, we currently have 18 additional requirements instead of the former 12.

  • A –  Antistatic footwear
  • AN – Ankle protection
  • C – Partly conductive footwear
  • CI – Cold insulation
  • CR – Cut resistance
  • E – Energy absorption of seat region
  • FO – Resistance to fuel oil
  • HI – Heat insulation
  • HRO  – Resistance to hot contact
  • LG – Ladder grip
  • M – Metatarsal protection
  • P – Perforation resistance (metal insert)
  • PL – Perforation resistance (non metal insert, 4.5mm nail)
  • PS – Perforation resistance (non metal insert, 3.0mm nail)
  • SC – Scuff cap abrasion
  • SR – Slip resistance (ceramic tile floor with glycerine)
  • WPA – Water penetration & absorption
  • WR – Water resistance of the whole footwear

Slip-resistance is key to avoid slips, trips and falls in the workplace. If you are looking for solutions that will help you to increase the safety and the comfort of your crew, or if you are looking for a shoe style to help complement a specific role, we encourage you to reach out to us. Our experts would be happy to help!

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We will help you to find suitable footwear for your team. We will give you all the support you need to help you drive adoption within your organisation and achieve your safety goals with style

*Shoes For Crews (Europe) Ltd. reserves the right to evaluate your request and your professional project before accepting your request of a free pair of shoes. Our experts will contact you to find suitable footwear for your team before sending you a free pair to try. Please note this offer is not valid for retail customers and current customers of Shoes For Crews.

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