The present study examined whether a new footwear outsole with tread blocks and a hybrid rubber surface pattern, composed of rough and smooth surfaces, could increase slip resistance and reduce the risk of fall while walking on a wet floor surface. A drag test was performed to measure static and dynamic coefficient of friction (SCOF and DCOF, respectively) values for the footwear with the hybrid rubber surface pattern outsole and two types of commercially available boots that are conventionally used in food factories and restaurant kitchens with respect to a stainless steel floor covered with glycerol solution. Gait trials were conducted with 14 participants who wore the footwear on the wet stainless steel floor. The drag test results indicated that the hybrid rubber surface pattern sole exhibited higher SCOF (≥0.44) and DCOF (≥0.39) values than the soles of the comparative footwear (p<0.001). Because of such high SCOF and DCOF values, the slip frequency (p<0.01), slip distance (p<0.001), and slip velocity (p<0.001) for the footwear with the hybrid rubber surface pattern outsole were significantly lower than those for the comparative footwear, which resulted in no falls during trials.
- Hybrid surface pattern
- Slip and fall