Shoe soles that leave marks are damaging to floors. Hard, stiff soles are often the culprit when it comes to scuff marks and lines on wooden or tiled floors. You should wear shoes that have nonmarking soles before you enter certain environments including dance floors and gymnasiums. If a friend invites you for a ride on his new boat, wear shoes with nonmarking soles so he won't have to spend an afternoon cleaning the deck after your visit.
Flip the shoe over so the sole is facing up. Press your thumbnail or fingernail into the sole and observe if the sole is dented from the pressure. If the sole is dented momentarily, the sole is considered soft and is likely a nonmarking shoe.
Hold the shoe in your hand, with the sole facing down. Place a piece of clean white paper on a hard surface, such as the floor. Rub the sole of the shoe against the white piece of paper with force but do not tear the paper. Look for a scuff mark on the paper. If you see a scuff mark, you do not have nonmarking shoes.
Write with the heel of the shoe at the sole on another piece of plain white paper. Draw a line with the heel on the paper and examine the paper for a marking. If you do not see a mark, you have nonmarking soles. Although shoes with black soles are more likely to leave marks that those with light soles, nonmarking black-soled shoes are available.