What's the best sole for my safety boots?

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Like tyres to a car, the soles of our shoes are our only contact with the ground, so they need to provide ultra-reliable and high-level grip to prevent us from slipping. And while we place a lot of importance on protecting our feet from crushing and falling objects, what happens beneath rather than above our feet is just as crucial. Did you know: 

“All workers wear footwear but less than 1% of occupational accidents involve toe or physical foot injuries, whereas more than 30% of non-fatal occupational accidents are slip related.” 

Source: HSE statistics 

And with superior grip and safety in mind, it was tyre technology that inspired our two most innovative and slip-resistant sole units to date: the Intelligent Grip System (IGS)TM and the Stability Traction System (STS)TM. 

By the end of this blog, you’ll have got to grips with all of the benefits these two pioneering sole units provide, and most importantly, you’ll know whether you or your workforce will benefit most from the IGSTM or the STSTM. 




The main driving force behind the IGSTM was a passion to reduce slips and falls from height, both of which are unfortunately still a huge cause of major injury in the industries we produce footwear for. We worked with experts in safety testing, tyre technology, material compounds and ladder safety to develop this industry-leading sole unit. IGSTM features:

  • hexagon grip pattern  
  • ladder grips  
  • angled heel strike  

Let’s take a closer look at these features and see what they offer the wearer. 

HEX PATTERN: for superior traction and water dispersal

Working alongside a tyre manufacturer, we analysed which patterns offer the best grip and water dispersal, which led to us developing the hex grip pattern. This cuts through water and channels it away, ensuring wearers are always in contact with the ground and avoid slipping, even in the wettest conditions.

LADDER GRIPS: for safe working at height 

IGSTM boots have four strong and deep ladder grips to keep the wearer firm footed while climbing or descending ladders. Our wearers spend a lot of their time up and down ladders, and with falls from height causing serious injuries and even fatalities each year in workplaces across the country, safe ladder work is an often-overlooked danger that the IGSTM helps reduce.

HEEL STRIKE: for slip prevention and braking 

Slips are most likely to happen when the heel is placed down to make a new step – but because the contact area at the back of the heel on most footwear is very small which provides very little grip with the ground, we designed the IGSTM’s heel strike at 7º - the angle at which most slips occur - to drastically reduce the chances of falling.  



V12’s STSTM is a revolution in sole design, inspired by tractor tyre technology and made from highly durable PU. STSTM features: 

  • non-clogging angled channels 
  • large lugs 

Let’s take a closer look at these features and what they offer the wearer: 

ANGLED CHANNELS: for clogging prevention

STSTM’s design means that when the wearer is walking on surfaces like mud and sand, instead of building up in the channels, the material works its way out of the tread, leaving the sole free to give the wearer optimum traction. 

LARGE LUGS: for superior traction 

The STSTM’s large rugged lug pattern provides both backwards and forwards traction, particularly on loose surfaces, keeping the wearer stable and firm-footed, regardless of the unevenness of the terrain. 

And just like the IGSTM, the STSTM features the same standard of ladder grips and 7º heel strike. 


IGSTM and STSTM sole units aren’t rival products, and neither are they more or less effective than one another. Both sole units were designed to give maximum safety and performance in particular industries, so making the choice between these two tread designs depends on what surface they will be used on, and what type of role their wearer carries out. So let's explore this in more detail.     


Let's take a closer look at the specific differences, so you can make the right grip choice.

STS and IGS table-1So now you know all there is to know about the IGSTM and the STSTM – two sole units both responsible for unbelievable grip and traction, but both designed for very different surfaces. Between them, they provide grip and traction when it really counts, keeping the wearer safe, steady and stab


If you are responsible for the health and safety of your workforce, you’ll know how absolutely essential preventing slips, trips and falls is. If you would like added peace of mind and expertise to make the right safety choice for you and your staff, V12 can provide the solution with their specialist health and safety footwear suitability assessment. Find out more below – it could be the difference between pain and productivity.