Assessment of anti-slip devices from healthy individuals in different ages walking on slippery surfaces

Appl Ergon. 2006 Mar;37(2):177-86. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2005.04.004. Epub 2005 Aug 22.


The interest for effective preventive strategies for slips and falls is growing. Much remains to be done, however, to prevent slips and falls in the traffic environment. Using an appropriate anti-slip device may reduce the risk of slips and falls on different surfaces outdoors during winter. The aim of this study was to evaluate the best anti-slip devices of different designs in the Swedish market on a larger group of healthy individuals in different ages on five different slippery surfaces as a way to develop a standard method to test anti-slip devices. Three different designs of anti-slip devices: heel device, foot-blade device and whole-foot device were evaluated on ice surfaces uncovered or covered with gravel, sand, salt or snow. The evaluations were done according to subject's perceived walking safety and balance, videorecordings of walking postures and movements, time to take on and off each anti-slip device, advantages/disadvantages with each anti-slip device and a list of priorities for own use according to three criteria: safety, balance and appearance. The heel device was perceived to be the most safe on all five surfaces, followed by the toe device and the whole-foot device. The heel device was also perceived to be the one with the best walking balance on uncovered ice and on snow covered ice. There were some significant differences due to gender and age. Most subjects walked with a normal muscle function in the hip and knee when walking with or without an anti-slip device on all surfaces. The heel device was perceived as the most rapid one to take on and the toe device as the most rapid one to take off. All three devices were perceived as having a good foothold. The heel device was perceived to fit the shoe and to be stable at heel-strike. The toe device was easily portable and stable on uncovered ice. The whole-foot device was comfortable to walk with and safe on snow covered ice. The heel device had the highest priority according to walking safety, walking balance and choice for own use.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Floors and Floorcoverings*
  • Friction*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sweden