Novel website offers slip resistance ratings on boots

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Toronto, Nov 26 (IANS) Canadian researchers have developed a novel website that may offer evidence-based ratings on footwear that can reduce the risk of slips and falls on ice in winter.

The website, Maximum Achievable Angle (MAA) Testing Method, is the first of its kind to validate slip resistant footwear on icy surfaces using real people in a simulated winter environment.

For the study, the researchers from the Univerisity of Toronto tested the slip resistance of 98 winter boots, including both safety and casual footwear.

The results showed that only eight per cent of the footwear met the minimum slip resistance standards set out by the MAA test.

Consumers while buying boots for winter can check the slip resistance ratings available on the website, the researchers said.

A recent Toronto Public Health report revealed that over 40 per cent of those aged between 35 and 59 and 60 per cent of those aged 60-85 years said they would go out less as a way to cope with the winter weather.

"I expect that many serious and life-changing injuries will be prevented this winter by people choosing to buy better non-slip footwear," said Geoff Fernie, Research Director, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, Univerisity of Toronto, Canada.

"I also expect the impact to grow with future winters as more manufacturers strive to develop products that score well in our system and can be recommended to consumers," Fernie said.

In the future, researchers plan to work with manufacturers to develop new footwear that functions well on snow and ice.

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