So you bought a really nice pair of new work shoes that you’re excited to wear, only to discover that they’re not non-slip. Hopefully, you didn’t discover this by hurting yourself on a slippery floor!
If you’ve found yourself in this situation, today we’re covering some ways to make shoes non-slip for work.
Also, non-slip shoes are quite expensive. So if these methods work for you, you can buy more affordable shoes that aren’t non-slip and make them non-slip, saving you money and still keeping you safe on your feet.
Let’s have a look at some easy ways to slip-proof your shoes.
What Makes a Shoe Non-Slip?
Sole and Tread Design
The tread design on your shoes helps to provide traction on the surface you’re walking on. If the design is ineffective, then the shoe will be slippery.
Usually, this involves two specific parts—the tread pattern and the tread depth. Multi-directional patterns offer better grip than single-direction, and the deeper the tread the better grip it gets on rougher surfaces—although the tread depth may be less important on smooth surfaces.
The material that the sole is made out of is probably the most important part. A rubber sole is the best choice for non-slip shoes as rubber is sticky and grips well to a variety of surfaces even when wet or cold.
Two Ways to Make Your Shoes Non-Slip
Some methods for providing better non-slip properties are damaging, which means they alter the construction of your shoe and may be semi-permanent or permanent.
Be careful with these methods as they can cause your shoes to wear out quicker.
Non-damaging methods are safer for your shoes, but they may be less effective. These measures can keep your shoes safe, but they are less permanent and you may need to do them more often to keep the non-slip effect on your shoes.
Tips to Make Your Shoes Non-Slip
Some workplaces require a non-slip shoe and may not accept a modified shoe that wasn’t non-slip from the start. However, if your workplace is more lenient, you can get away with these methods.
1. Scuff the Soles
Scuffing up the soles of your existing shoes should give them more traction. You can use a scuff tip tool and create your own texture on the soles of the shoes, or you can just walk around on a very rough surface and scrape your feet to scuff the soles.
This is a damaging method, because once the soles of your shoes are scuffed you won’t be able to repair them again. You may find that it feels strange when you walk on surfaces that aren’t slippery, but it should work well for slippery surfaces.
2. Use Sandpaper
If you don’t have a scuff tip tool or a rough patch of ground nearby, you can use sandpaper. 50 grit is a good size, although you can use any size as long as it’s not the very fine one.
This is also a damaging method because sanding the sole of your shoe will flake off tiny pieces of the rubber and create a grippy texture on the rubber.
Most people have sandpaper lying around the garage or in the shed. This is an affordable and easy method of making your shoes non-slip.
3. Score the Bottoms
You can also score or scratch the bottom of your shoes with a knife or pair of scissors. Even if you don’t have sandpaper in the house, you’ll definitely have a scissor or knife.
You can create whatever kind of tread pattern you want on the bottom of your shoes. Vertical, horizontal, or diagonal lines, or even a combination of lines. A wave pattern is also excellent for traction.
You can score the soles as deeply as you want and use some traction spray on them to enhance the grippy texture before you use them.
4. Use Traction Spray
Traction spray is usually used on floors, or you can get grip spray that’s used on athletes’ hands, like basketball players.
However, instead of spraying it on the floor or on your hands, you can spray it on the soles of your shoes to give them added traction.
This is a non-damaging method and you will need to reapply the traction spray every time you go out or use the shoes.
As time passes, repeated use may damage the soles of your shoes. But it will take time and the damage will occur along with normal wear and tear.
So by the time the damage becomes apparent, it will already be time to buy new shoes.
5. Add a Salt and Rubber Glue Mixture
Using rubber glue on the bottom of your shoes will give them an extra layer of shock absorption. Adding salt to it will provide a texture that can help to prevent slipping and provide better grip on a number of different surfaces.
Make sure you clean the soles of your shoes well before trying this method. Let them air dry. Mix equal amounts of rubber glue and salt in a bowl and make sure you blend them very well. You only need to make enough to cover both soles.
You will want to layer this onto your shoes’ soles using a spoon or knife. Do it carefully and try to cover every inch evenly.
Leave it to dry in a warm place. Once the glue has dried, you can slice off any uneven pieces that hang over the edge.
6. Use Puff Paint
Puff paint is a type of paint that expands as it dries. You can layer thin puff paint onto your shoes’ soles and let it dry for a few hours. Make sure it’s in a warm place, as the paint needs heat to puff up.
It should provide some texture on the sole of your shoe once it has dried.
7. Use Grip Pads or a Full Sole
You can add grip pads to the bottom of your shoe. These are adhesive pads that are highly textured on the other side.
You can get small ones that you stick on the heel and toe of your shoe, or full-length ones.
8. Adhesive Bandages
If you don’t want to buy grip pads but you have adhesive bandages at home, you can stick them to the bottom of your shoe.
They may not stick as well as adhesive grip pads but they will work in a pinch. They will also get dirty much faster than grip pads.
9. Apply Hairspray
You may be surprised to learn that hairspray can help provide good grip on your shoes, especially high heels. If you have hairspray in your home, this is a quick fix.
10. Break Out the Hot Glue Gun
A glue gun can help you to create textured patterns on the sole of your shoe. If you already have a glue gun, this something you may not have thought of before. Textured patterns provide better grip than smooth patterns.
11. Combine Spray Adhesive and Sand
If you have a spray adhesive, you can spray it on the soles of your shoes and sprinkle it with sand.
Mixing an abrasive substance with a sticky adhesive allows you to enhance the traction on your sole at very little cost.
Why and Where Do You Need a Slip-Resistant Shoe?
Certain workplaces are in naturally slippery environments and slipping may cause accidents. In some cases, people may get hurt, and in others, damage may occur that costs the company money.
Wearing non-slip shoes helps to reduce the chance of these kinds of accidents and save money as well as reduce injuries in the workplace.
Reduce Accidents At Home
Non-slip shoes can also help you stay safe and avoid accidents at home. If these methods work for your work shoes you can do the same to your casual shoes to help prevent slipping around the house.
This may be helpful if you have tiled or wooden floors that are more on the slippery side.
Reduce Accidents On the Road
When you walk or run outdoors, snow and ice can cause you to slip up and possibly injure yourself. Non-slip shoes can help to keep you safe on these kinds of surfaces.
Reduce Accidents in Kitchens and Restaurants
Kitchens are slippery areas and have a high chance of water or other liquids being spilled on the floor, making it more hazardous. If you work in kitchens a lot, whether for work or at home, non-slip shoes would give you a safety advantage.
Top Products to Make Shoes Non-slip
There are some over-the-counter ways to make shoes non-slip. Here are our top picks…
Best Shoe Glue
1. Shoe Goo
If you choose to use glue to increase the non-slip properties of your shoe, Shoe Goo is a good choice. It’s extremely versatile and can be used for many shoe repair purposes as well as making your sole non-slip.
Top Sole With Traction
2. MIIDII Shoe Bottom Full Sole
If you like the idea of sticking a new full sole onto your shoe to increase the traction, we recommend the MIIDII Shoe Bottom Full Sole.
It’s made of textured rubber that’s sticky on many surfaces and you can easily cut it to fit any size sole. Attach it with glue and you’ve got a non-slip sole.