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Are Hiking Boots Non-Slip?

Are Hiking Boots Non-Slip?

When choosing a hiking boot, you want to find one that is as non-slip as possible. You could come across dangerous elements on a trail that could cause serious injury if you slip and fall, so it is so important to find a boot that offers you the stability you need. So, are hiking boots non-slip?

Hiking boots are non-slip when compared to other types of boots. They have a deeper level of traction on their soles, which helps the user achieve a firm grip on the surface they are walking or climbing on. Special grooves and traction patterns are set into the sole to add stability that regular boots don’t typically offer. 

Let us take a closer look at non-slip hiking boots and other ways to prevent slips and falls while hiking.

How to Tell if Hiking Boots Are Non-Slip

The first way to tell if your hiking boots are non-slip is to check with the shoe’s manufacturer. This is something that will be found on the box or somewhere inside the shoe. Alternatively, it is possible the shoe will display a non-slip stamp on the outside of the shoe as well. 

The other way to know if your hiking boots or shoes are non-slip is to look at the tread on the bottom. A non-slip shoe will have patterns or designs made into the sole that help prevent slips and falls. These patterns are going to work towards moving liquids out from underneath the shoe, and some are done in such a way that they will clean themselves out while you are walking.

What Are the Best Non-Slip Hiking Boots?

Now, if you are looking for a good non-slip hiking boot, this article covers the top three brands of shoes and boots. Each one has great features that will give you the best stability, durability, and non-slip traction you could ever want in your hiking boots:


Columbia has a variety of non-slip options available for whatever terrain or weather you are planning your hike for. They incorporate the best features for all kinds of foot travel. Whether you are looking for an all-terrain non-slip boot or a waterproof non-slip shoe, Columbia has something for you.


If you are looking for a great non-slip boot for the snow, take a look at their Michelin® Outsoles. They have a great rubber sole that is made specifically for snow and ice. What is even better is that the tread makes it great for all terrain types, not just the snow.

Also read: How Do You Waterproof Hiking Boots?


If you are not looking for a boot but would rather have a non-slip shoe perfect for your hiking endeavors, Salomon is the brand you want to check out. They have a variety of great shoes that have the best traction for all types of terrain and weather.


Their shoes utilize a compound developed by Salomon, which is called Contagrip. This compound, combined with the tread’s deep grooves, makes their shoes great non-slip options for hikers.


Asolo is a great brand with a particularly sticky sole that offers you a long-lasting grip on wet or dry terrains. This durable brand ensures that not only will you slip or fall less, but they will last you longer than your average boot as well.


Their soles use a self-cleaning technology to make sure the deep grooves in the tread are free of any debris that could cause you to trip or fall. Overall, they have great boots for non-slip hiking. They use vibram grip technology.

Is There a Difference Between Non-Slip and Slip Resistant Shoes?

The biggest difference is how the manufacturer labels their products. Both non-slip and slip-resistant shoes are designed to prevent slips and falls. However, neither will always guarantee to prevent them 100% of the time.

The distinction between non-slip and slip-resistant is going to come down to the shoe’s tread and how much grip it affords your steps. A softer rubber sole will be better for non-slip shoes and boots because it grips the surface better. You can have a shoe with a very soft rubber sole, with no patterns traction on the bottom, which would make those shoes more slip-resistant rather than non-slip.

Ultimately, it is important to always tread carefully no matter the type of shoe or boot you are wearing. Getting a shoe or boot that is specially designed for hiking will also reduce your risk of falls or slips. 

hiker on rocky terrain wearing non slip boots

How To Make Your Hiking Boots Non-Slip (DIY Ideas)

If you have a great pair of boots that you love, but you know they are not non-slip or slip-resistant, there are plenty of ways to make them non-slip yourself. Below is a list of five ways you can turn your shoes and boots into non-slip ones.

  • Score the bottoms. The easiest way to make your shoes or boots slip-resistant is to take a knife and cut some traction into the tread. The lines will allow water to move out from under you as you walk.
  • Scuff the soles. Similarly to scoring the bottom, you will want to add more traction to your soles. You can do this by rubbing them against concrete, gravel, or even sandpaper to scuff the bottom.
  • Use a salt and rubber mix. Making non-slip shoes is all about changing the way your shoes interact with the slippery element. You can change it up by coating the bottoms of your shoes with a rubber glue and salt mixture. Just layer the glue onto the soles and sprinkle salt on top. 
  • Spray the bottoms with hairspray. If you need a quick fix for your shoes, you can try spraying the base of your shoes with hairspray. This is not a long term solution, but rather a very temporary one. You will have to reapply the hairspray every day.
  • Attach sand. Similar to the salt and rubber mix, you can use sand instead of salt. Just use a form of adhesive and sprinkle sand on the bottom of the shoe.

Additional Tips for Preventing Slips and Falls While Hiking (Not Related to Shoes)

In addition to wearing non-slip shoes or boots, there are other ways to prevent slips and falls while you are hiking. Check out this list of five best tips to keep yourself from falling during a hike:

  • Stay alert and watch your step. Staying alert while you trek through the trail is the best way to make sure you stay upright on your hike. 
  • Take your time. Do not rush through your hike. One of the easiest ways to fall or slip is if you are moving too quickly over dangerous terrain.
  • Avoid dangerous obstacles. If you see something in your path that could be difficult to travel over, try to avoid it. If you absolutely have to move beyond that obstacle, go slowly, and stay alert.
  • Lighten your load. Carrying too much on your back can set you off balance. Make sure you only carry what you need on your hike so that you can stay upright.
  • Hike with a buddy. Make sure you have someone with you to help you in those more dangerous locations on the trail. They can help support you or catch you if you slip.

Closing Thoughts

It is important to have the best hiking boot for your upcoming and future hikes. These boots can protect you from the dangerous and unexpected elements you run into on the trail. The best thing you can do is invest in a good pair of non-slip hiking boots. Hopefully, this article has given you a clear idea of what makes hiking boots non-slip.


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