The shock-induced shear strength of a commercial silastomer, trade name Sylgard 184™, has been determined using laterally mounted manganin stress gauges. Shear strength has been observed to increase with increasing shock amplitude, in common with many other materials. Shear strength has also been observed to increase slightly behind the shock front as well. It is believed that a combination of polymer chain entanglement and cross linking between chains is responsible. Finally, a ramp on the leading edge of the lower amplitude stress traces has been observed. It has been suggested that this is due to shock-induced collapse of free space between the polymer chains. Similar explanations have been used to explain the apparent non-linearity of the shock velocity with particle velocity at low shock amplitudes. © 2011 IOP Publishing Ltd.