Slip-resistant shoes are necessary for industrial employees, restaurant workers, supermarket employees, and many other work environments. However, slip resistance is not only an ability or characteristic that some shoes have but a health and safety requirement that will alter the manufacturing process and testing.
If you’ve not worn Hey Dude shoes for yourself you may be wondering if they fall under this category, and if they are actually non-slip?
Hey Dude do not have the certification to market or brand their shoes as slip resistant or non-slip. Although Hey Dudes have a firm grip on the sole of the shoes minimizing the risk of slipping, they do not follow the required procedures that guarantee health and safety for their users.
I reached out to the Hey Dude customer service team via their contact us page to verify the above. Here’s a screenshot of the email I received back:
As you can see they stated ‘at this time, our HEYDUDE shoes are not slip resistant’.
Don’t let this put you off getting your own pair of Hey Dudes, they are great shoes! Here is my experience with wearing them…
In my personal experience I find Hey Dude shoes to be slip resistant enough for my needs, despite them not being officially marketed as totally ‘slip-resistant’. For reference I wear them when walking my dog, running errands and for casual outings on the weekend. I only wear them in the summer time, so I never have to worry about wearing them on slippery icy surfaces.
Here’s how my pair look on me:
I don’t wear my Hey Dudes in wet weather, or near swimming pools, just to be safe.
Here’s how the outer soles look, so you can get a visual of their tread:
So, does this mean that, Hey Dudes are slippery? Or that it’s unsafe to wear them? Not in the slightest, but not having the necessary certification will make them inappropriate for certain conditions. Let’s look at how Hey Dudes differ from slip-resistant shoes but still create stable soles to protect against slippery surfaces.
Are Hey Dudes Slippery?
It’s important to note that just because a shoe is not credited as slip resistant does not, therefore, imply that it is slippery. Most shoes have an ideal outsole that provides satisfactory traction on slippery surfaces, but when it comes to guaranteeing the health and safety of the users, certification is required.
Very few shoe companies have the certification needed to fulfill the health and standard safety standards, but if it is the criteria your company requires you to follow, Hey Dudes is also not a solution.
However, the outsole of Hey Dudes has a standard formation with separated bars on the sides and decorated patterns in the middle. Hey Dudes’ design focuses on providing comfort for its users, including ease of movement. The soles are not slippery, but caution is advised when functioning on wet and damp surfaces.
You’ll find that the traction you gain from Hey Dudes is very similar to that of casual sneakers from other famous brands. The sole is light, and the grip adequate, making it an ideal shoe for casual strolling around city areas.
Unfortunately, you’ll find that Hey Dudes are less effective if you need to function quickly on ‘dangerous’ surfaces. Therefore, if it is safety footwear you require, Hey Dudes still needs to get a certified non-slipping shoe, although the collection of shoes is not more slippery or less effective than other casual sneakers.
Does Hey Dude Fulfil In Some Of The Non-Slip Requirements?
Firstly, not all slip-resistant shoes follow precisely the same pattern, as different styles serve different purposes, but all of them fulfill the basic requirements, which are the following:
- It needs to pass the ASTM international F1677 standards, which include various tests assessing the performance of the sole on different surfaces.
- The synthetic rubber sole should provide increased traction and grip and prevent retaining water.
- It contains an EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) rubber sole that is slightly open and rounded at the sides to allow water to flow out from underneath the shoe instead of being caught under it.
- Have effective and efficient patterns (like hexagons) on the bottom of the sole that are ideally small and consistent.
As you can tell by now, there are a few strict requirements to ensure the safety of the workers in slippery conditions that Hey Dudes does not fulfill. However, Hey Dudes have some qualities that make them stand out above some of the competition. For example;
- It’s advised that safety shoes should have arch support and orthopedic-designed footbeds. The benefit of Hey Dudes is that the soles are removable, meaning you can replace them with an appropriate bed if the included one is unsatisfactory. However, reviews regarding the sole, specifically concerning comfort, are favorable even though it might not be
- In addition, although the Hey Dudes’ sole does not conform to the requirements, it is light and soft, resulting in a shock-absorbent shoe that moves comfortably. The flexible and lightweight sole Hey Dude design is advantageous for people who move around all day, but it still lacks the appropriate sole to stabilize the shoe on slick surfaces, even though the comfort level is on par.
What’s The Difference Between A Non-Slip Shoe And Hey Dudes?
The light and soft sole plus the ability to add a medically supported insole are significant benefits of Hey Dudes, making them an excellent choice for workers and civilians who will spend a lot of time strolling around a city area. Unfortunately, Hey Dudes lack some popular qualities that differentiate them from the proper non-slip shoes.
Therefore, besides the test requirements of the sole, let’s look at some other differences:
- Most slip-resistant shoes have padded collars (A soft filling between the lining and upper). Although some Hey Dude designs do include padded collars, it’s only present in some of them, meaning only some of the shoes will have that added comfort when spending long hours moving around.
- Most slip-resistant shoes have uppers that prevent stain and water retention. The materials that Hey Dude chose to make the shoes attractive for casual wear also make them ineffective for working. Any water or oils will stick directly to the shoe compromising its integrity and, more importantly, the shoe’s safety.
- Most slip-resistant shoes have ‘protective’ toe boxes. All Hey Dudes have some sort of toe box protecting the front of the feet but the flex-and-fold technology they are known for results in a toe box that is not adequately hardy to safeguard against heavy objects or hardened work surfaces.
- Most slip-resistant shoes have a versatile design. Versatility in health and safety shoes mainly refers to their ability to adapt to different surfaces like crocs would in the outdoors and in a kitchen, for example. So, although Hey Dudes famously have a versatile design in style and comfort, it’s not adaptable to all surfaces.
What Popular Brands Specialize In Non-Slip Shoes?
Although various popular brands like Reebok and Crocs have credited non-slip shoes, a few popular brands specialize in creating safety footwear for various working conditions. For example;
- Skechers specialize in factory shoes with thick soles and hardened toe boxes to protect against heavy machinery and dangerous objects on surfaces, as well as food service shoes that are easy to slip on with ideal materials preventing water & oil from affecting the shoe.
- Avia also has slip-on shoes specifically designed to aid restaurant workers. They follow a similar form as running shoes with breathable materials to prevent sweat build-up and ensure enduring comfort.
- Larnmern also has designs with steel toes that are ideal for rough outdoor conditions and, specifically, hiking trails that require more protection than the standard exercise shoe.
- Lugz has designs that follow a similar pattern to everyday sneakers but fulfill the requirements resulting in a stylish black sneaker that can be worn for health and safety in certain work environments.
- Grigobu has shoes specifically catering to diabetic conditions, as the added insole comfort and adjustable upper are necessary.
It’s important to understand the distinction between great comfortable shoes designed for a casual day out in style, Like Hey Dude, and non-slip shoes. The rules and regulations governing non-slip shoes are strict, requiring a different manufacturing process that can prove costly to brands like Hey Dude.
Wherever health and safety are marketed, strict rules will follow, resulting in many popular brands not branding their shoes as non-slip even though they are not ‘unsafe’ to wear.
Are Hey Dudes Safe Working Shoes?
Depending on the environment you work in and your company’s requirements, Hey Dudes can be described as adequate. Of course, Hey Dudes’ design does not lend itself to factory work or even excessive hiking, but you’ll find that they will be sufficient for store workers and even some restaurant workers.
Many companies have strict rules concerning their working staff’s safety. Still, for work environments that aren’t that dangerous, Hey Dudes are very effective and more comfortable than some of its competition.
For example, suppose you’re a waiter working the floor at a coffee shop without entering the kitchen area. In that case, Hey Dudes have adequate grip, are extremely comfortable on your heel and arch, and are easy to put on or take off for the necessary changes.
In that sense, Hey Dude is a safe and comfortable option that’s sensible to purchase as it offers various benefits in that price range, not to mention that it’s also a stylish shoe that can be utilized for other occasions as well.
On the other hand, for some companies, the shoes might look too informal; for example, White color positions that focus on impressing clients upon presentation require a more rigid and ‘clean’ shoe. The design and material used for Hey Dudes symbolize stylish comfort, which is not the image all companies want their employees to be showcasing.
Nonetheless, in most cases, excluding the ‘dangerous’ and ‘intense’ working environments, Hey Dudes are completely safe and specially designed to be more comfortable than its competition, making it the better option if the casual style is allowed.
Hey Dudes, unfortunately, do not fulfill the requirements necessary to be classified as non-slip shoes and can therefore not be branded as slip resistant. Although the grip on Hey Dudes is adequate and safe, they are not appropriate for the more intense working environments that require the staff to be healthy and safe.
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Lorna is a footwear geek and the founder of Wearably Weird. She created a YouTube channel in 2021 for fellow footwear fanatics, dedicated to detail-rich footwear reviews and info. She has a fashion media qualification (awarded in 2011).