Walking on slippery floors with shoes that don’t have sufficient grip might cause a lot of injuries through slips, trips and falls. You might increase your chances of injuring yourself if you are walking on a hard tiled floor with a wrong pair of shoes.
It, therefore, goes without saying that you need non-slip shoes to safely walk on all surfaces, even when they are wet or oily. But sometimes, your shoes might not have sufficient grip of the floor or surface you want to walk on. In this case, what will you do to make your shoes non-slip?
Here are 13 effective ways of how to make your shoes non-slip so that you can always be safe while walking and enjoying your adventures all around.
Tips for Making Your Shoes Non-slip
If you have shoes with smoother and less grippy soles, you can always use a few home remedies to make them non-slip. Some of the remedies are inexpensive, making them a great choice. Others will require you to wear down your soles so they can become non-slip. The only question that might be on your mind right now is: what are the home-bred solutions to increase the grip of my soles?
1. Let the soles wear down naturally
If your shoes have outsoles that are brand new, they might be less resistant to slips. So, what should you do to make them more slip-resistant? The answer to the question is simple: wear them as often as possible and they will wear down to improve their grip.
This method lets nature to take its course, which makes it one of the best methods to use. However, you might need to have an extra pair of shoes with an excellent grip which you will wear if you have to walk on high-risk surfaces. You will only need to wear your slippery shoes and walk on safer paths until they develop the necessary grip.
2. Scuff the outsoles of your shoes
A new pair of shoes might have smoother outsoles sometimes, causing them to be a bit slippery. But you can always find a way to increase their grip on the surfaces you are walking on so you can stay safe.
One method of increasing their grip is by cuffing their outsoles on textured paths and metal grates. Your job here will be a simple one- just walk on such paths, slightly rubbing your footwear on them. This will increase abrasion and nooks which will strengthen the grip of the outsoles of the shoes. You can also walk on rocks and concrete paths to try to increase the abrasion and nooks.
3. File the outsoles of your shoes
If scuffing by walking on rough paths doesn’t work, you can always file the outsoles. The idea here is to reduce their softness so grip can increase. Use your nail file or metal file to increase abrasion and nooks on the smooth and flat surfaces of the outsoles that are in direct contact with the ground.
Since a metal file is the best of the materials that you can use, it produces excellent nooks and abrasion for an impressive grip. You should, therefore, use it especially if your nail file doesn’t seem to do a pretty job. Another option is buying grip soles.
They are inexpensive and do a great job. They are ideal for shoes that have worn out and no longer have enough grip of surfaces. Simply apply them on the outsoles and you will be having non-slip shoes. Just invest in high-quality ones if you want to prolong your safety.
4. Use sandpaper on the soles
Abrading your soles with sandpaper is another alternative to filing or scuffing the bottom of the soles. You will simply take out the shoes and rub the smooth and flat parts of the outsoles that are in direct contact with the floor. Do so until they increase in roughness.
For a great result, you can use a 50-grit paper. But fairly coarse sandpaper will yield the best result. Even though this method is a great one, it might not work on soles that have a more natural cardboard-like texture.
5. Use a spray-on coating
You can also buy “traction” sprays and use them to increase the grip of the soles of your shoes. They are ideal for work shoes and leather-made footwear. These sprays are sold the same place as grip pads, though they are a bit expensive if you compare them to grip pads.
Before buying and using a particular traction or grip spray, make sure that its chemical ingredients will not harm the materials of your shoes. Also, the sprays vary in quality. Be sure to read customer testimonials to make sure the spray will work for you. You can as well seek the guidance of an employee or expert before buying a specific spray.
6. Use a hairspray
If you want a temporary grip increment, you can use your hair spray. This method is best for smooth-bottomed dress shoes. Simply apply enough coat of the spray on the soles. Give your shoes about 30 seconds so the coat can dry and become tacky before walking in them.
Since this method temporarily increases the grip, you will need re-application from time to time and wait for 30 seconds for the coat to dry and become tacky. However, this method will not work in wet weather because the spray will rinse off in such weather conditions. You should, therefore, make sure to use this method on a dry day.
7. Use masking tapes
You can also use a masking tape to temporarily give your shoes some grip. You will simply lay two strips of masking tape in an “X” pattern on the flat and smooth parts of the soles. This will increase the grip a bit.
Since the adhesive nature of the masking tapes fades with time, you will have to add a few strips from time to time, to continue having the non-slip walking experience. For a great grip, you can try out the XFasten Double Sided Tape.
It is double-sided, meaning it adheres to surfaces on both sides. Also, it adheres to multiple surfaces, such as smooth and rough one. This makes it an ideal choice for people looking to increase the grip of their outsoles just by a bit.
8. Use puff paint on your outsoles
Puff paints can also find another usage when it comes to increasing the grip of the outsoles. When they dry, they usually form rough and textured-quality surfaces, making them another great choice for increasing the grip.
Simply apply thin coats on the bottom of the shoes and leave them to dry for a few hours. After which, test the shoes. This method also provides a temporary solution, but it lasts longer than the hair spray and the spray-on coating methods. Puff paints are easy to find and are inexpensive as well.
9. Stick sand to the bottom of the soles
You can make your shoes non-slip by sticking sand at the bottom of the soles. To successfully do this, you will need an adhesive spray and of course, some sand. Coat the outsoles with the adhesive spray so you can stick sand to them.
The coarser the outsoles are, the better the grip they will provide. Making your shoes non-slip doesn’t have to be a complicated task. There are plenty of materials within your reach to assist you to increase the soles’ grip of the floors and surfaces you are walking on.
10. Use ankle straps
If you want to make your shoes non-slip, you can attach ankle straps to them. The straps will prevent in-shoe slips thereby keeping you safe from falling or tripping. This method works great to give you proper balance as you walk or move about in your workplace.
Ankle straps make shoes non-slip in a different way from how the other remedies work. This method is for internal slips, and not outsole slips on a floor. If you add these straps with other remedies on the list, you will have great balance while walking on greasy or oily floors. Besides, these straps are inexpensive, making them a great option.
11. You can adhere salt and rubber to the outsoles
You can make your shoes slip-resistant by adding a mixture of salt and rubber to the bottom of the soles. Just the two in a bowl and brush the mixture on the entire bottom of the soles. The mixture will give your shoes a grainy texture that will improve the grip.
The grainy texture will interlock with the ground or surface you are walking on and cause sufficient friction for a non-slip walking experience. This method is also another great one worth trying out if your shoes don’t give you sufficient grip of the floor.
12. Remove debris from the bottom of the soles
Sometimes, the soles of your shoes will accumulate dirt, blocking the grooves. When this happens, your shoes will become prone to slips. To restore their excellent grips, you will need to free up the dirt so the grooves and treads can have increased coefficient of friction (CoF).
This simply means that freeing up the dirt on the outsole will make your shoes non-slip again. You can use a shoe brush to clean the soles. But before you can use your brush, you will need to dampen the soles with a rag with alcoholic solution. After wiping the soles, let them dry out and clear the dirt.
13. Use the services of a shoe professional
This method is best for very expensive shoes that you are afraid to ruin. Taking your expensive shoes to a professional cobbler seems to be the best solution. However, you might incur expensive expenses especially if the job will take a toll on the cobbler.
A professional shoe repairer might charge you up to $100, but it is worth the price if your shoes are way too expensive. These professionals have the right equipment for the job. Sometimes, they might replace the soles. So you understand why you might pay a higher price for improving the grip of your expensive shoes?
Just as much as you might want to make your shoes non-slip, you should avoid buying a pair of shoes that doesn’t deliver impeccable results as far as traction is concerned. And to make sure you are safe, it is better to test your modified shoes before actually stepping out and heading to work in them.
First, you should check your improvised shoes before wearing them. Make sure that you have don’t a great job modifying the soles. If everything checks out well, you can then test your shoes.
While testing the shoes, subject them to oily and greasy surfaces. They should have improved grip. If they pass the test, you can now wear them to work. Note that some of the solutions on the list are temporary, meaning you will need a frequent application of the remedies for continued non-slip performance.
If you work at say, a food restaurant, you might not live to wear your modified shoes to work. That is because some restaurants have strict work policies that forbid other shoes except the ones they have approved. It is a good idea to make sure that your modified shoes don’t conflict with work policies.
If you are an employee or worker, you should take measures that prioritize your safety. You don’t want to spend your hard-earned and essential resources such as time and money, or effort to treat an injury you got at work because of not having non-slip shoes, do you?
With that in mind, it is crucial to take precautionary measures before you head out to work. Take full advantage of non-slip shoes and step on all kinds of floors with great confidence, knowing that you are no longer prone to incurring accidents due to slips and trips. With the tips on our list, you can convert your slippery and accident-prone shoes into non-slip shoes for life-saving safety.
You are already working hard to cover your bills. You don’t need to spend more trying to make your shoes safe from slides or slips. Use the methods above for your DIY shoe repair.