Old shoes that have worn, shoes with smooth areas, and new shoes, especially ones that have leather or plastic soles can be very slippery when walking. Not only can this be irritating, but it can also be a safety concern. Slippery shoes often cause people to slip, trip, or fall, and cause over a million injuries reported annually in the United States. There are many simple, inexpensive ways on how to give shoes more grip in order to keep them safer, and avoid having to throw out an otherwise perfectly good pair of shoes.

How to Give Shoes More Grip


For New Shoes

  • Scuff the soles on abrasive surfaces

New shoes are often slippery because their soles are smooth. Once they are used for a while, the soles tend to become scuffed and offer more grip. To increase the grip of new shoes, try walking on an abrasive surface such as gravel, concrete, rocks, or walkways and grates with a textured surface. You can also try rubbing the soles of the shoes against an abrasive surface while holding them in your hands.

  • Use sandpaper to abrade the soles

For how to give shoes more grip, rubbing sandpaper against the parts of the soles of your new shoes under your toes and heel is a good way. Try using sandpaper that is fairly course, a 50 grit paper works best. This will not work as well on shoes that have a texture similar to cardboard.

  • Use a nail file to provide texture

If sandpaper is not available, try using a nail file or emery board. Try rubbing the file against the sole surface that will come in contact with the floor in order to add grip to shoes. The coarser the tread on the nail file the better.


For Worn Shoes

  • Self-adhesive shoe pads

A good method of how to give shoes more grip is to apply self-adhesive anti-slip pads made for shoes to the soles. After taking off the back covering of the adhesive, stick the pad to bottom front part of the shoe. These pads provide shoes with additional traction and are effective when walking on carpeting or slippery floors.

  • Masking or duct tape

Masking tape or duct tape can be placed on the bottom of worn shoes in order to cover sections that are worn and cause slipping. Add pieces of tape that are 1-2 inches in length under both the toe and heel of the shoe.

  • Grip and traction sprays

There are a number of grip or traction sprays that are available which are applied to the bottom of a shoe in order to give it more grip and traction. It is a good idea to do a bit of research before deciding on the one that will work best for you.


For General Use

If you don’t want to spend money on products that give shoes more grip, you may be wondering what to put on bottom of shoes to stop slipping that you can find around the house. Although these methods may not work as the ones that can be purchased, they may still help.

  • Hairspray: Try coating the bottom of your shoes with hairspray to give them extra traction. Be sure to wait until the hairspray dries before walking in your shoes.

  • Puff paint: This is a type of paint that is often used when making tee shirts or with arts and crafts. When it dries, it becomes textured and rough and can offer increased grip on the bottom of your shoes. Try adding a thin coat to the bottom of your shoes, and wait for it to dry before walking around. Puff paint will last longer than hairspray and should be reapplied periodically.

  • Cleaning dust and dirt away: Your shoes pick up dirt and dust while wearing them, which can make them more slippery. Try washing the bottom of your shoes with a damp cloth to maintain traction.


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