Tripping off over a surface due to water, oil, or anything slippery is the last thing you want to happen to yourself. Imagine it feels so embarrassing and in the worst cases, you may end up injuring yourself as well.
Before things get worse and if you want to save some grace then one of the most convenient options you can opt for is to wear a pair of non-slip shoes. But not all shoes are necessarily non-slip as they claim. In that case, you can always make your shoe non-slippery. However, you want to make sure you don’t end up spoiling your beautiful pair of shoes.
Therefore, we come up with some handy tips and tricks to make your shoes safe and non-slip so you can walk carefree, on any surface, given any condition.
Why make your shoes non-slip?
While you can wear any pair of shoes to team up with your clothes, why would you exactly need non-slip shoes? Here are several reasons why:
This would be one of the most obvious reasons why you would need a pair of non-slip shoes. Certainly, if you are accident prone or if the floors of your workspace are glossy or slippery, and have a cemented or tiled design, chances are you are more likely to fall.
And, slip-related injuries are horrible. You may have mild swelling to even a hairline fracture. Before style comes safety and hence making your shoes non-slip is a must for such slippery environments. After all, safety comes first!!
If you have a slippery surface around you, you need to be extra cautious before each step, always making sure that you do not slip or fall only to save the embarrassment or prevent injuries. This may distract you from the actual work you are supposed to focus on, and if you are someone who has to be on their toes all the time, catering to people, then it can be next to impossible with a pair of slippery shoes. Therefore, making your shoe non-slippery will allow you to walk confidently and not watch each step as you are on a working spree.
Provide good support to feet
Certain shoes that are non-slippery additionally come with better features like arch support, superior quality rubber outsoles, good midsole support, only to make sure that your feet are well supported and that you can walk better. These shoes make your feet happier and make them feel more comfortable. However, finding a good pair of shoes with so many embedded features in one may get hard to find for which you may either have to customize by making them non-slippery or by changing the soles accordingly.
Work for rainy seasons and winters
If you stay around areas that are snowfall-prone and are rainy terrains, then non-slip shoes are the best bet as you can walk safely when you move out of the home. Floors, roads, and surfaces tend to get slippery in such areas that are dampened or stay moist all the time for which non-slip shoes are quite helpful.
How to make your shoes non-slip?
Here is a list of tips and tricks we suggest that can help you make your shoes non slip in an affordable and time-saving manner:
Scuff the soles
Wear your shoes out by simply rubbing the sole over a rough surface like hard rock or gravel to wear the slippery layer out. If the soles of the shoes are smooth, there are chances that they may be more slippery and hence the aim is to wear them out. This helps in reducing the break-in period of the shoes as well.
By this, the soles will also get a better grip over the floor, which improves the overall traction of the shoes. This can get a bit time consuming as you may have to naturally wait for the shoes to start wearing out. Therefore, another way out is to scuff them manually. Read on to know!!
Rubbing Sandpaper or Nail filer
If you are not patient enough for the shoes to wear out naturally or if you simply prefer being safer around the most slippery surfaces, then you may want to try rubbing sandpaper on the outsole of the shoe. This is fairly easy and you can rub extra over the surfaces that feel smoother and may cause you to slip.
For checking, you can simply move your hands over the surface once done, and if it feels rough, which means the sandpaper has scrapped enough to make them non-slippery. For better results, you can use coarse sandpaper. This is helpful only for particular types of soles which feel more like cardboard that is more common with flats and sandals and not shoes with rubber outsoles.
If you do not have sandpaper handy, then a nail filer is another tool you can use to make your shoes or sandals slip-proof. It works in the same manner, the coarser the better.
Stick a Bandaid or Sellotape
A bandaid not only heals wounds but heals shoes as well. This is not a very well-known tip but you can stick them at the most slippery surfaces of your shoes, preferably the front and the back portion that aids in providing a better grip on the floor. This is a very easy, cost-effective, and time-saving tip in moments of emergency as well!
The same works for sellotape. Now, since it’s tape, you can cut and squeeze it into a certain area of your shoe or even make shapes onto the surfaces that feel most slippery below the shoes.
Attach a non-slip sole
Easily available at any shoe store or at a cobbler’s, you can also find a non-slip sole that is specifically available to serve the purpose of making shoe non-slippery. The advantage of using these is that it’s long-lasting and also protect the outsole of your shoe, making the shoes more durable. Moreover, this is safer than any other emergency technique as well.
Use an Ankle Strap
While we may think that it is the outsole of the shoe that is causing all the slipping, it can sometimes also be the fitting of the shoe that matters. If the shoes don’t fit your feet right or are an inch or two loose on your feet, the feet may start slipping, for which ankle straps hold your feet at the right place even if the shoe runs a size or two larger. It provides a good amount of grip, making your walk more supported and comfortable. Moreover, if you choose a color that matches your attire, it may look stylish too!!
Use a hair spray or non-slip spray
Another quick fix method is to use a hair spray or a non-slip spray. These are fairly inexpensive, effortless, good for an emergency but not a long-lasting and permanent solution. You may need to do this repeatedly, spray it over the outsole and allow it to settle for a few minutes before you can wear your shoes outside. This does not wear out your shoes as well and can be used as a solution as and when needed.
Another quick fix that is better than a spray and may last longer is puff paint. These paints are generally used for decoration by small children but cause a great abrasive effect that makes the surface rough and traction proof.
The paint may take time to dry but makes a great textured surface after drying. However, this too is not a permanent fix and may require reapplication once the paint starts wearing over the surface. Careful of the color you choose though!!
Rubber Glue and Salt
This is a grainy way out to cause your shoes to be less slippery. And this totally works. Simply take a few grains of salt and mix it with some glue. The coarser the grains, the better. Apply it evenly on the outsole and VOILA!! You have a rough surface that totally slip-proof. Make sure to take salt and glue in the right proportions, you don’t want additional glue to make the shoe more sticky and gooey. Alternatively, you can also use sand instead of salt, but make sure the particles are coarse.
If you fear that you may end up spoiling your pair of shoes with the above tricks, simply go to a cobbler who may help you fix the problem professionally over trying these hacks. However, they may not be as cheap as these hacks are and you can’t guarantee their services either.
All said and done, here are some preventative measures you can follow while wanting to have the right non-slip pair of shoes for yourself:
Choosing the right pair of Shoes
This can depend upon the surroundings you live in or the profession you work for. If the work environment is such that the floor is slippery and demands excessive running around, it is advisable to go for a pair that has a treaded outsole surface to provide enough traction.
Usually, rubber outsoles serve the best deal in such cases and the non-slip grips are also usually made of rubber. You may have to invest a bit extra based on the quality of the outsole and the design of the shoe but that is the safest and the best way to keep your shoes and yourself safe.
Always test before you wear
Once you have tried the hacks above, make sure to test the shoes over a small area and see if you feel comfortable walking with them. If it feels safe over a smaller surface, then you are good to go!!
Beware of Chemicals:
Hair sprays or non-slip sprays that you may choose mostly contain concentrated chemicals which may cause materials like rubber or leather to wear out. They may also cause certain discoloration and you do not want to spoil your shoes because of the same. Therefore, make sure to look at the contents carefully before spraying it on the shoe surface.
- Slip Resistant Work Boots
- Top-Rated Waterproof Work Boots
- Shoes for Walking on Concrete and Standing all-day
You can expect the unexpected to happen at any time, be it with your pair or shoes especially if they are slippery. Sure, you would loathe the idea of slipping or falling anywhere slippery and compromise on your safety while also bearing the shame on the streets.
Shoes are an object that is meant to protect our feet while providing stability while walking.
We can sure enhance its abilities by making them non-slip with the simple and effortless hacks mentioned above.
However, if you are very protective of your shoes and do not want to risk their quality, then investing in a good quality shoe is advisable. Let us know what you think of these hacks suggested and which one works best for you through the comments below!
Brandon R. Katz is a registered professional nurse who has been instrumental in providing us with an informed opinion on the medical aspects of footwear. He graduated from NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and currently provides his services at a non-federal long-term care hospital in Brooklyn, NY.
Brandon proves to be the champion in the group of expert writers with his in-depth knowledge in foot health, how to take care of it adequately, and what shoes, socks, or insoles will be supreme for you. He has previously worked with hospitals where he has foreseen both inpatient and outpatient departments and has been a practicing nurse since 2009.
Brandon hails from Jersey City, NY, and has a loving family of four with a small popper called Rozo. His decision to become a nurse arises from the desire to be in the position of helping and rehabilitating people.