How To Make Shoes Non-Slip And Avoid A Busted Butt

How To Make Shoes Non Slip And Save Yourself Some Embarrassment (Hopefully)

May 4, 2020 Updated May 14, 2020

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Arisa Chattasa/Unsplash

You found the perfect pair of shoes for the office. They’re pointy-toed, but don’t squish your piggies together. They are probably flats, so (hypothetically) you won’t kill your back. Maybe they’re a lovely mustard-colored suede or a rich, navy velvet. They might even be leopard print — the chic kind, nothing too tacky. Everything about them is perfect… until you take that first step and immediately feel it: The shoes just aren’t gripping the floor like they should. These shoes are absolutely not non-slip and, moreover, they’ll be borderline dangerous on the stairs at work. Especially during rainy season. But, they’re perfect in every other way. You don’t want to leave them behind. Can these oh-so-serendipitous slippers be saved? The answer: Probably.

First, it’s important to make sure you know exactly why your shoes are slipping. Is it really the bottom of the shoe or something with the way it fits? Are you walking weird because you’re in a store or is this how you will always walk? If you’re walking normally and you’re positive the slipping is due to the smooth bottoms of your shoes, there are a few ways to go about remedying this.

Scuff ‘Em Up

The number one cause for slippery shoes are smooth soles. That’s an easier fix than you might realize and there are multiple approaches to take.

Take A Walk Outside

That might seem counterintuitive. After all, you don’t want to slip. The key is to go outside. Rubbing two smooth surfaces together (like your shoes on tile) isn’t going to fix the problem. Going for a walk on concrete or asphalt, though, will actually help. As the rough road or sidewalk rubs against the bottom of your shoes, it will scratch up the bottoms and leave them gritty. Those scratches will go a long way to helping give your shoes the tact they need not to slip.

Use Sandpaper

If you don’t want to risk ruining your pretty new work shoes by going for a long walk outside, you can create the same effect with sandpaper. Any grit will do, so just use some leftover from a project. While you’re watching TV that night, use the commercial time to rough up the bottoms of your shoes. Yeah, typically sandpaper is used to smooth surfaces. However, if your surface is already smooth it will, in fact, add texture. No sandpaper? A nail file will also work, it will just take a lot longer because of the smaller surface area.

Buy Additional Texture

Try Grip Spray To Make Your Shoes Non-Slip

If you know a football player, you’re familiar with one version of grip spray. It’s basically like paint and sand mixed together. You can also find a longer-lasting version at the hardware store — it’s usually with the decking stuff or the spray paint and will come in multiple colors. Keep in mind that you’ll need to be careful to cover up the rest of your shoe, so you don’t ruin it. Be prepared that you might have to occasionally respray as the grit wears down. However, it’s still a solid, semi-permanent option.

Purchase Traction Pads

You’re not the first person to fall in love with slippy shoes. These days you can actually buy stickers that adhere to the bottom of your shoes that offer more texture and grit and help keep your shoes from slipping. Just like the spray, they come in multiple colors. No one ever has to know the extra lengths you went to in order to make your shoes work.

Visit The Cobbler

If you really want the most non-slip soles possible, want them to last and don’t mind forking over some extra cash, try a cobbler. Shoes are much less expensive these days to the point that they’re almost disposable. Because of this, most people don’t put much thought into fixing their shoes once they wear out. However, cobblers still exist and they can fix an array of issues… including just completely redoing your shoes to make them non-slip. (Slightly unrelated hint: They can do quite a bit in the way of fixing purses, too. If your favorite leather purse is falling apart, try a cobbler before giving up on it.)

The Unconventional Route

Use Puff Paint

If you’re a mama, you might have seen the non-slip puff paint trick before. It works great on the worn out bottoms of footy pajamas. Similarly, line of caulk on the bottoms of rugs also work well. Take that same notion and put it to use on your new shoes by putting lines or dots of puff paint on the bottom.

Just Attach The Sandpaper

If you don’t have the time or energy to sand away at the soles of your new shoes, you can always use super glue or Gorilla glue and merely adhere the paper to your shoes. Trace your shoe on the paper for a perfect fit or simply cut shapes that are slightly smaller than the heel and ball of your foot and glue the paper in those spots. That should also work pretty well for making your shoes non-slip.