Welcome to Rate My Treads

The Maximum Achievable Angle (MAA) Test – We Tip Till You Slip

Our testing method is the only one of its kind in the world. Our scientists at The KITE Research Institute have developed a way to get reliable slip resistance results from having participants walk back and forth on an ice floor while we slowly increase the angle of the floor.

We call our method the Maximum Achievable Angle Test or MAA for short and here's how it works in 4 basic steps:

  1. The person starts at level ground on a surface made entirely of ice.
  2. The person walks back and forth across the ice as we increase the slope of the floor bit by bit.
  3. We keep increasing the angle until they slip (don't worry, they wear a full safety harness so they don't actually fall on ice!)
  4. The angle before they begin to slip is then called the Maximum Achievable Angle (hence the name for our test).

The higher the angle, the better the slip resistance!

Our Rating System


Our rating system is very simple – if footwear passes an angle of 7 degrees (which means it will have a score of 7), then it passes our MAA test and is on the list with one snowflake! We picked 7 as the minimum because it meets the accessibility guidelines in Ontario for a curb ramp. And we want you to at least be able to walk up these ramps.

If footwear has a score of 11 then it will get 2 snowflakes and if it reaches 15 or above, it will receive 3 snowflakes!

We want you to be protected against all winter conditions. That is why we test on both Cold Ice and Wet Ice to simulate different environments, from an icy parking lot to a slippery wet sidewalk. It is also important that you can walk up and down a ramp, so we test participants walking both uphill and downhill for this very reason.

To ensure maximum slip protection, we base our overall score for each footwear on the lowest MAA from the four testing conditions.

As mentioned above, the footwear was tested under two conditions (Cold Ice and Wet Ice). Those that passed both conditions received two checkmarks; however, there were some that performed well under one condition only, and they received a single checkmark.


If you're interested in learning more about how we developed our protocol and our publication work, please feel free to email us at ratemytreads@kite-uhn.com.