Using pile segment analysis, the mobilized shaft resistance of axially loaded nondisplacement piles in sand is investigated here. It is accepted that the shaft capacity of piles constructed in granular soils is highly influenced by the mechanical behavior of soil–structure interfaces forming adjacent the piles skin. Adopting the thin interface layer as a load transfer mechanism, a simple but accurate critical state compatible interface constitutive model is introduced. After evaluation, the interface model in conjunction with the pile segment analysis is applied for the prediction of the shaft resistance mobilized in nondisplacement piles. The proposed approach takes into account the influences of pile diameter and surface roughness together with the effects of the surrounding soil density and stiffness on the mobilized shaft resistance. The performance of the proposed method is verified by comparing its predictions with the experimental data of various model piles covering wide ranges of length, diameter, roughness, and surrounding soil properties. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.