How To Make Shoes Non Slip: The Ultimate Guide

If you’re wondering how to make your shoes non-slip, there are a handful of options to consider before trashing the shoes into the nearest bin.

Having slippery shoes is a slippery slope that’s fraught with danger. If your foundation isn’t stable, then you’re a walking accident waiting to happen.

We present some of the best options in the section below, along with a detailed guide on how to make shoes non-slip by yourself.

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The most promising options on how to make shoes non-slip include the following:

  • Sole scuffing.
  • Using sandpaper.
  • Using adhesive bandages.
  • Nail files and grip pads.
  • The spray-on coating technique.
  • Using puff paint.
  • Fixing an ankle strap.
  • Non-slip soles.
  • The masking tape solution.
  • Natural wear.
  • Ice grips.

How To Make Shoes Non Slip

Importance of Slip Resistant Shoes

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There are various reasons why one should be wearing slip resistant shoes and why it’s important to pay attention to the existing grip on your current footwear.

The most important and obvious factor here is your own safety, as slippery shoes can be disastrous. This is especially true when you’re in the workplace and if you tend to work around heavy or dangerous machinery. A slip at the wrong time in such an environment could be fatal even.

You could also harm yourself by wearing slippery shoes in winter conditions. When you have ice or snow to contend with, even the best hiking shoes tend to make the walk feel a little dicey.

It’s very easy to avoid such injuries by using the right precautions and ensuring not just your own safety, but the safety of those around you, especially in the workplace.

Wearing special slip-resistant shoes or working on the slipperiness of your existing shoes helps to ensure that you don’t encounter any untimely slips or falls.

Safety Meets Comfort

Are you looking to pick up a pair of non-slippery shoes because you believe that none of your existing shoes are worth saving?

You’d be happy to know that most shoes in this category are made to maximize your comfort levels as well. They often come with a healthy amount of arch support and help to keep you feeling comfortable and healthy at all times.

Stability Matters

When you replace slippery shoes with ones that offer a great amount of grip, the confidence in your stride returns. This way, you can feel more secure as you go about your daily activities.

Some workplaces, in fact, demand that you pay extra attention to the quality of your shoes. You could be required to pick up a special safety pair as wearing improper footwear could lead to conditions such as torn ligaments and overworked muscles.

What To Look for in Non-Slip Shoes

A quick breakdown of the qualities of non-slip shoes includes:

  • High-quality rubber outsoles.
  • Excellent tread design.
  • Specific features that match your job requirements.
  • Compatibility with multiple conditions.

The best non-slippery shoes often come with a high-quality rubber outsole that helps to tackle multiple conditions such as a greasy floor or a wet driveway. These soles also include an excellent tread design and this aids in allowing any liquids under your feet to funnel out in a safe manner.

You can look to pick up non-slip shoes that are designed for specific working conditions. For example, the type of shoes you would have to wear while visiting various construction sites would be different from those worn in factories working with viscous liquids.

It pays to not compromise in this department and seek out the best quality shoes to ensure that you aren’t under the threat of slipping.

If, however, you already have a quality pair of shoes and you need some help to make them less slippery, you can consider the detailed guide in the section below.

How To Make Non-Slip Shoes

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Below is a wide selection of handy tips that can help to make your shoes non-slippery. Each of these techniques has its own merits and demerits.

Sole Scuffing

Things you’ll need:

  • Any abrasive surface.

A lot of high quality shoes come with soles that are extremely smooth and this can be quite slippery when you’re wearing the shoes the first few times.

You can easily improve the traction of such models by using the sole scuffing technique, especially if you intend on wearing these shoes to work in the near-future. This technique involves improving the grip of the shoes by scraping the soles manually, thereby heightening the traction of the shoes.

Using this technique:

  1. You’ll need an abrasive surface in order to do this, and you can use any number of natural surfaces such as rough concrete or gravel near your home.
  2. Just take your shoe to the surface of your choosing, and rub the sole of the model against the surface without applying excessive pressure to damage your shoes.
  3. A new shoe, in particular, will need a lot more work than an older model. You may need to scrape the soles for a couple of days to get the desired results, but this method can definitely yield you quality results once you put in a bit of time.
  4. Shoes that you’ve already worn-in won’t give you a difficult time as they’re likely to already have abrasions on the sole. You’ll simply need to accelerate the natural formation of the grip of these shoes by rubbing it against a rough surface, and voila! Your shoes are now ready to keep you safe and steady round the clock.

Using Sandpaper

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Things you’ll need:

  • Sandpaper sheets.

This is a direct variation of the first method, but instead of relying on a natural surface to cause abrasions on the sole, you turn to the use of sandpaper while manually heightening your grip.

Sandpaper is a highly versatile tool that you can use to smoothen or rough up various surfaces. You’ll find sandpaper of various densities and roughness. As this material is reasonably priced, we suggest picking up a few versions with varying levels of thickness.

This will help you experiment with matching the right sandpaper to the right material on your sole. Sandpaper can also be far more reliable than using natural surfaces as you tend to achieve higher levels of consistency across the sole while using this tool.

Using this technique:

  1. If you’re using this technique on a brand new pair of shoes, use the sandpaper evenly across various sections of your shoes. You can verify if you’ve managed to wear out the soles evenly by using your hands to conduct an inspection.
  2. If the shoes you’re working on are used, you should try feeling around the soles for the smoothest and roughest sections, and then try to achieve some consistency across the entirety of the sole.
  3. You should also look to specifically target those sections of the shoes that are most likely to come in contact with the floor while you’re walking.
  4. Don’t shy away from taking breaks from the abrasion process to wear the shoes and check to see how they feel under your feet. This allows you to cross-check the progress and avoid causing too much or too little abrasion on your shoes.

This technique, however, has a weakness and it’s that sandpaper isn’t really the best material to tackle certain kinds of soles found in flats and sandals. These soles have a cardboard-like texture, and sandpaper may not be great at evenly eliminating the sole on such surfaces.

Using Adhesive Bandages

Things you’ll need:

  • Adhesive bandages.

Of all the techniques prescribed on this list, this one takes the cake for being the simplest technique you can employ to improve the grip on your shoes. Adhesive bandages are a classic homemade remedy that you can utilize effectively in any type of footwear.

As these bandages are small and come in multiple shapes, you can strategically place them in order to improve the grip on various sections of your shoes.

Using this technique:

  1. All you need to do is remove the top layer of the bandage and stick it to the shoe’s sole, across the anterior region.
  2. Once the bandage is stuck in the slipperiest region of the sole, the non-sticking section of the bandage has enough grip to be able to boost the stability of the shoes.
  3. You can leave the bandage on and allow it to naturally come off whenever it has run its course.
  4. Once the bandages are off, you can look to replace them with fresh bandages in your shoes.
  5. You can also use the bandages to strengthen the grip on various other portions of your foot such as the heel as well. With this simple and effective move, you can ensure that you prevent falls with any of your footwear.

The best part about this technique is that you hardly need any time whatsoever to execute the fix, and it can even be done in the last minute if you don’t have the time to work extensively on your grip.

Nail Files and Grip Pads

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Things you’ll need:

  • A nail file or grip pad.

Nail files have a similar texture to sandpaper but offer more control because of the well-defined structure. It’ll probably be easier to use a nail file too, as it won’t rough up your hands like sandpaper does.

Using this technique:

  1. Use the nail file in a similar way as the sandpaper, scuffing the regions of the shoes that are overly flat or smooth. Make sure to target those areas that are more in contact with the floor as well.
  2. Metal nail files, in particular, are extremely sturdy and can make your job a lot easier by allowing you to maneuver around the shoes to scuff the soles.
  3. Make sure to pick out the coarsest nail file you can find in order to reduce the effort you need to exert.

Another tool that works as a great substitute for this technique is a grip pad. This is especially the case when you’re working on shoes that you’ve already worn.

  1. To use the grip pad, simply place the pad on your shoe’s sole and allow the texture of the tool to increase the grip of your footwear.

A high quality grip pad will ensure that you need a minimum number of replacements over time. These products tend to have great durability when you pick up a high quality grip pad, and it’ll also ensure that your shoes don’t feel sticky when you’re in your stride.

Fortunately, these are quite affordable and even the best of grip pads should not set you back by too much.

The Spray-on Coating Technique

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Things you’ll need:

  • A hairspray or spray pad.

A spray pad can be a surprisingly effective tool in helping eliminate slipperiness from your shoes. This technique is also known as the spray-on coating technique and is a great alternative to consider when you’re thinking of substitutes for adhesive pads.

Spray pads, however, come in various types, so it would be ideal for you to consider a product that’s most compatible with your footwear.

Hairsprays also work really well for this technique and can be an excellent solution to tackle slippery surfaces.

Using this technique:

  1. Just look to pick up a quality hairspray and apply it liberally on the dullest parts of your sole.
  2. Make sure to allow the hairspray to set well on the sole and not retain any moisture or stickiness before you begin to use the footwear again.
  3. Hairsprays, however, don’t work as a permanent solution as they’ll wear off over time based on your usage. If you intend on sticking with this technique, you’ll have to spray your soles repeatedly from time to time to ensure that they retain their grip.

It does, however, work as an appropriate quick-fix solution and is a great option to turn to when you’re looking to swiftly add some grip to the shoes you’re going to be wearing immediately.

Using Puff Paint

Things you’ll need:

  • Puff paint.

Puff paint is a wonderful tool to help add some grip to your shoes.

If you’re not familiar with it, puff paint is a common type of paint that children use when they’re working on their arts and crafts. It has a very distinct texture that works as a great medium to add some grip to your soles.

Using this technique:

  1. You’ll need to apply a bit of paint on the parts of the soles that have the least amount of grip.
  2. Make sure to wait for these sections to dry out thoroughly before you wear the shoes again.
  3. Once you’ve noticed that the paint has dried out entirely, you’ll see that the paint has not accumulated a rough texture.

This can be surprisingly effective in adding instant grip to your shoes, and the paint tends to be durable as well. This means that you can expect the paint to last for a long time before you need to apply another coating on the sole.

Fixing an Ankle Strap

Things you’ll need:

  • A cobbler or sewing kit.
  • An ankle strap.

Ankle straps aren’t the solution for all shoes, but they work really well with certain types of footwear such as women’s flats.

Using this technique:

  1. You can attach an ankle strap to your shoe by either stitching it onto the shoe yourself or asking a cobbler to execute this task.

This simple alteration will help keep your shoes in place and will also act as a source of grip in order to reduce your chances of slipping and taking a fall.

Non-Slip Soles

Things you’ll need:

  • A pair of non-slip soles.

A non-slip sole is a god-sent tool that’s specifically created to help you add an additional layer of grip to extra slippery shoes.

Using this technique:

  1. Simply attach the non-slip soles to the bottom of your shoes. This way, you’ll be able to ensure that you can walk around freely and safely with any footwear.
  2. Once you notice that the grip of the soles is starting to wear out, you can consider picking up an additional set for your shoes.

The added grip provided by these soles also helps with the overall comfort level of wearing any particular footwear. The added layer can also be beneficial in preventing your soles from wearing out naturally by acting as a protective layer. This helps maintain the condition of your shoes for longer periods as well.

You can expect to pick up a quality pair of these slip-resistant pads for a reasonable price.

The Masking Tape Solution

Things you’ll need:

  • Masking tape.
  • Rubber glue.
  • Salt.

The masking tape solution is yet another quick-fire technique to swiftly add some grip to your footwear.

Using this technique:

  1. Look to apply the tape on the flattest and widest portions of your shoes in order to eliminate these weak spots and boost the overall grip.
  2. An alternative to masking tape is using a combination of salt and rubber glue. This mixture offers a grainy, sticky substitute to boost traction. Just make sure that you combine equal parts of glue and salt into a mixture and apply it evenly at the bottom of your shoes.
  3. Allow it to settle well on the sole and dry up entirely before you use the shoes.

Natural Wear

The obvious method on our list doesn’t require any materials whatsoever and it involves simply using the shoes in order to allow them to naturally accumulate wear.

Using this technique:

  1. Simply look to wear the shoes as often as you can in a short span of time and allow the ground to work its wonders by wearing down the important sections of the sole.
  2. Based on your stride and the dimensions of your foot, every shoe will accumulate a unique wear.

One note: don’t try to use this technique on a pair with absolutely zero grip, especially if you’re looking to navigate across tricky terrains such as snow, ice, or water.

Ice Grips

Things you’ll need:

  • Ice grips.

The winter months are notorious for producing higher numbers of slips and falls, and ice can be the star culprit of this season. Walking on ice isn’t an easy task, and things become far more complicated when you have non-gripping shoes under your feet.

A simple solution to this issue would be to use ice grips for your shoes. These grips follow a similar principle as using chains on our car tires to tackle ice and snow. Ice grips are made using heavy-duty rubber and feature miniature metal spikes to provide a sturdy grip on the ice.

Using this technique:

  1. Purchase a sturdy pair of ice grips.
  2. Ensure that the size of the ice grips match your shoes.
  3. Place the ice grips at the bottom of your footwear.

This grip is excellent to help you confidently maneuver on ice and snow, and you can even use them for jogging when you’re tackling muddy or wet conditions.

You can also consider picking up these ice grips if you work with challenging conditions round the year. This product works extremely well for individuals with jobs ranging from park rangers to janitors.

Grips and Slips

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The support and stability a shoe offers is one of the most crucial elements to consider when picking up footwear. If you do love a pair of shoes but there isn’t enough grip, you can make a few alterations of your own to right this wrong.

You can use any one of the 11 solutions presented above to add grip to your shoes and make them non-slippery. Fortunately, all of these solutions are cost-effective as well, so you can try and test various methods to see which ones work best for you.

As they say, a grip in time saves nine!


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