How To Make Shoes Non-Slip (4 Easy Tips)

what makes shoes non slip

Slippery shoes are not just an embarrassment but also a major health hazard. Whether you are someone who works at a fast-paced job that requires you to hold your footing.

Even if you are someone who is suffering from a pair of slippery shoes, read on to find out just how to make shoes non-slip.

There are many different ways you can improve shoe grip for your favorite pair and most of them are DIYs that can be done from the comfort of your home.

I’ve listed the top techniques for you to learn how to make shoes non-slip for restaurants, for kitchens, or for work in any fast-paced environment.

Method One: Rough up the soles


  • New Shoes
  • Rough Walkways
  • 50-grit Sandpaper
  • Nail File

New shoes are often slippery because of their brand-new soles. New soles which are unworn and unused generally result in less grip on the ground.

For soles to get a better grip on the ground, it is necessary for them to get slight abrasions and get soften with use in order to maintain better contact with the floor. Wearing out your soles can help create better traction between the shoe and the ground.

To wear your new sole out, try one of the following techniques:

  • Walking on rough surfaces such as concrete pathways, rocks, metal grates and walkways.
  • Take off your shoes and rub them against a rough surface on the ground to wear out the soles faster.
  • If you can’t wait for the soles to wear out naturally, try using 50-grit sandpaper against them. This method might not work for some soles which have a more natural material.
  • Use a coarse nail file against the parts of the sole which come in contact with the ground. Try to use a metal nail filer for this. If you don’t have one, you can make do with an emery board but it won’t work as efficiently as a nail file would.

If you don’t mind waiting for your shoes to become less slippery on the bottom, you can always wait for the soles to wear out naturally.

Method Two: Use Grip Pads

Sometimes the issue of slippery shoes comes not from new shoes but rather a pair of older shoes that have been used so much, the soles have been worn smooth.

The smooth surface of the soles causes barely any friction against the ground and can cause you to slip and fall.

For this issue, the best thing to do is to invest in some professional quality grip pads. Grip pads are textured little pads that are adhesive on one side which is used to stick them under your shoe.

They add the much-needed friction between your feet and the ground, making your shoes non-slip. You can get grip pads from a high-end shoe store or order them online.

Method Three: Special Grip Sprays

If you don’t want to stick some grip pads to your shoes to avoid the sticky feeling once the pads come off, you can alternatively go for another solution: spray-on coating.

Spray-on coating, also known as traction spray, comes in a variety of qualities. You can choose the one best suited for your needs accordingly. The spray adds texture to your shoe to make it non-slip. Grip sprays are a good solution if your problem is seasonal.

You can easily spray your winter boots with this spray and keep yourself safe from slipping on ice and in snow.

Method Four: DIY at Home

If you want, you can experiment with some materials you might already have at home. These methods, although cheap and easy to follow, don’t guarantee results as well as actual targeted solutions mentioned above and should be used with caution.

Keep in mind any DIY materials you want to try are safe and compatible with your shoe and don’t cause damage to it.

Puff Paint

Puff paint is a fun little addition to any arts and crafts supply closet. Most parents will be familiar with this oddity thanks to their children’s school projects. When applied, this paint dries up thick and puffy, adding a rough sort of texture to any surface.

This can be used on the soles of the shoes you intend on making non-slip, to giving them some added texture.

Hair Spray

If you don’t have any traction spray at hand, you can use some good old hairspray the same way on the soles of your shoes. Although not a fool-proof technique that doesn’t work as well as traction spray, it does help add some stickiness to the soles, making them slightly easier to navigate your feet in. Just make sure you spray on a light coating and give it a minute or two to dry before wearing your shoes.

Remember that hairspray won’t last very long and would need regular reapplication. Hairspray is also not going to last you if you step out in some rain since it’s not very good at holding it’s own against wet weather.

Masking Tape

Masking tape can be used as a last resort in experimenting on how to make your shoes non slip. Just create an X pattern using two pieces of masking tape on the underside of your shoes. Not a very reliable method though, since the tape can come off any time it’s adhesiveness falters.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I make my shoes have more grip?

You can make your shoes have more grip by using several different techniques or hacks. If your shoe is new, try to wear down it’s sole to make it more rough by using sandpaper or a nail filer.

If a new smooth sole is not the issue, you can invest in some traction spray or grip pads instead. DIYs such as the use of hair spray, masking tape, and puff paint can work too, but should not be treated as a professional fix as these methods are not foolproof and can still be a fall hazard.

How do I make the bottom of my shoes less slippery?

You can rough up the soles of your shoes by using some coarse sandpaper or a nail file against them.

How do I keep my shoes from slipping off?

The best way to keep your shoes from slipping off is to buy them in the correct size. However, some quick fixes on this issue are:

  • Spray your feet with hairspray to make them more sticky
  • Stuff your shoe with soft material or use thick socks to make the shoes fit more snugly
  • Stick your shoes to the soles of your feet with double-sided tape
  • Line your shoes with cushions, inserts, or insoles
  • Wear tights with built-in sole grips


You can try any of the above-mentioned techniques to make your shoes less slippery. Just remember to keep the wellbeing of your shoe when practicing these methods.

Proper alternatives would be to take your shoes to a professional repairman to fix their slippery soles. Or better yet, invest in some non-slip shoes in the first place to avoid slips and falls.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 × 4 =

Scroll to Top