How to Make Shoes Non-slip | 11 Easy DIY Tips

No one enjoys slipping on their shoes. It’s embarrassing, dangerous, and uncomfortable. Check out these fantastic tips on how to make shoes non-slip to avoid having a shoe slip out from under you in the future.

It is vital to know how to make your shoes non-slip. It can be your running shoes, tennis shoes, or just your regular ones. Why? If you don’t know, the second leading cause of accidental death worldwide is slipping or falling. 


So we decided to compile a list on how to make shoes non-slip.

But first here are a few things you’ll need.

  1. Concrete or Rough Surface
    • Gravel will do too or any abrasive surface you can find
  2. Sandpaper
  3. Blade
    • You can also use a box cutter
  4. Adhesive Bandages
  5. Nail File 
    • Metal Nail Files in particular
    • Grip Pads can be a great substitute as well
  6. Spray Pad
    • Also known as Spray-on Coating
    • Hairspray will make do too
  7. Puff Paint
  8. Glue Gun
  9. Ankle Strap
  10. Non-slip Sole
    • An anti-skid pad is a great alternative too
  11. Masking Tape 
    • Rubber Glue and Salt Mix Solution works as good

Importance of Non-slip Shoes 

Slipping and tripping is a huge problem when you’re on the job. It’s one of the most common causes of workplace injuries. An example would be in a restaurant setting where the floor is often wet. If you know how to make shoes non-slip for restaurant and wear one, you’ll stay safe while performing your duties. 

Many non-slip shoes are also designed with comfortable arches. It properly supports your feet and ensures that you are comfortable while running. 

And by wearing a pair of non-slip shoes, you can gain more peace of mind knowing that your safety is not at risk. You can work confidently and serve customers at restaurants with ease. Do your morning runs and play different sports like tennis without being anxious. 

How to Make Shoes Non-slip

Let’s now get on to the helpful tips and tricks on how to make shoes non-slip; 

Scrape the Soles against Concrete and Rough Surface

How to make shoes non-slip - Scrape the Soles against Concrete and Rough Surface

Shoes are slippery more than ever when they are new. To make them non-slip, you can run around on the concrete or rough surface, or walk up and down some rough stairs.

You can try scraping the soles against rough surfaces to get the traction it needs to be non-slip. You can choose to do so, on gravel or any rough concretes you can find at work or home.

The easiest and cheapest tip you can follow to make your shoes non-slip is also by scuffing the sole of your shoes. You can easily give it footing, which makes it a lot harder for your shoes to slide.

Use Sandpaper

How to make shoes non-slip for work - Use Sandpaper

If you’re looking for a simpler way to make your shoes non-slip, you can try sanding your footwear directly. 

By using sandpaper in abrading the soles of your shoes, you can create a more durable surface. It will have a better grip on slippery surfaces like wet floors in restaurants and icy sidewalks. So if you’re thinking how to make shoes non-slip on wet surfaces, this is worth a try.

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This is a great alternative if you don’t have an abrasive concrete floor to scuff them against. If you have better access to sandpaper at home then this trick is for you.

But, if you have a shoe with a more natural and cardboard-like sole, it may not be best to use 50-grit sandpaper. Lower grit sandpaper is much better suited for abrading that kind of sole material. The high grit can damage the bottom of the shoe, causing it to fray outwards and unattractively.

Score the Undersides 

How to make shoes non-slip for restaurant - Score the Undersides
Image Courtesy of Vintage Vixen

1. Using a Blade

Here’s how to make shoes non-slip by scoring the undersides of your shoes using a blade.

You can create a strong grip on slippery surfaces by cutting a crisscross pattern into the sole of your shoe using a blade. This will enable you to walk up and down steep and slippery hills as easily as possible.

This will give you the same effect as sandpapering without needing as much elbow grease. But you might want to be cautious to avoid slicing through your shoes.

2. Using an adjustable Box Cutter

An adjustable box cutter gives you more control in making your shoes non-slip. The cutting depth of the box cutter’s blade will be shallow enough to let you cut out the pattern without ruining your shoes. But deep enough for good traction when walking or running.

Stick Two Adhesive Bandages

How to make shoes non-slip for work - Stick Two Adhesive Bandages
DIY How To Make Heels NOT Slippery & Easier To Walk In by Stephanie Santiago (YouTube)

Yes, you read it right. As simple as a pair of band-aids can help you prevent stubbing your toes. You just need to cut two small pieces of adhesive band-aid and then place them at the tip and heel of your shoes. Stick on bandages to your heels as well before putting on your shoes.

Okay, so not only will this make it easier for you to get around, but it will also prevent you from slipping or tripping. This, of course, makes sure that you arrive at the place you’re supposed to be in one piece. 

You could also use a non-slip tape to do this.

That’s how to make shoes non-slip by placing adhesive bandages.

Use a Nail File 

How to make shoes non-slip on wet surfaces - Use a Nail File
Use a Nail File to Fix Those Slippery Shoe Soles by NECN (YouTube)

Here’s another brilliant tip on how to make shoes non-slip for work.

You can also use a Nail File in the same way as you would with sandpaper. When your shoe’s upper sole gets scuffed flat and smooth. You can then apply pressure on it gently, but with enough force to ensure that the surface gets filed down.

If you’re looking to save time, metal nail files are the best choice. Coarse files are the best for this as it can quickly produce and makes your shoes non-slip easier.

Grip Pads can be a great substitute as well.

You can also keep your shoe’s soles from wearing down aside from making it non-slip by adding a grip pad. This is a removable, sticky layer that increases friction on your shoes. They’re especially effective for slippery surfaces like tile, wood, and leather.

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To get the best results from your shoe grip pad, make sure to get excellent quality ones. By investing in great-quality grip pads, you can be sure that your shoes will stay comfortable, well-gripped, and not sticky.

Use a Spray Pad

How to make shoes non-slip for work - Use a Spray Pad

Spray pads or spray-on coatings are other great options to make shoes non-slip. Spraying the insole or sole of the shoe can help you get footing for a small amount of time. 

If you’re looking for something that’s easily reapplied, spray pads might be best for you. You can apply them as frequently as you need to.

Hairspray is an effective agent in preventing shoe slippage. All you have to do is to spray the soles of your shoes with a little bit of hairspray before using them on a slippery surface.

It is important to note as well that you must allow the hairspray to dry before wearing your shoes to work. The spray is not a permanent solution though, but it does serve as an excellent quick fix.

Use Puff Paint

Using art and craft supplies like puff paint can improve the traction of slippery shoe soles. Although its original purpose is to improve grip in children’s projects, it can also be a viable solution on how to make shoes non-slip.

To make your shoes non-slip, you need to put on a layer of puff paint and let it dry. When the paint goes on thinly, the texture will come out once dried and ready to wear. With puff paint, you can expect your non-slip shoes to last longer than with hairspray.

Although you might have to a re-apply after a week or so.

Apply Hot Glue

How to make tennis shoes non-slip - Apply Hot Glue

You can turn your new or old slippery smooth shoes into a non-slip one. Without shelling out for a texture spray gun, this hot glue technique is worth trying! All you need to do is to make textured patterns, plain dots, or different lines with a glue gun.

Glue also dries clear, so you don’t have to worry about smudging or leaving a mark on your shoes. Just use a hot glue gun for even, strong adhesion that lasts longer than puff paints.

To ensure even adhesion and a strong bond, let the glue dry mostly before you wear your shoes. But don’t wait until it’s completely dry, or you’ll be stuck with rock-solid shoes. Just walk on a flat surface, like a sidewalk or a parking lot, to help it set. The adhesive will hold better in the long run if you do this at this point.

So that’s how to make shoes non-slip with hot glue.

Attach an Ankle Strap

Attaching an ankle strap to your shoes doesn’t only solve your problem on how to make shoes non-slip, but also reduce the risk of losing your balance and falling. And that’s whether you’re walking up a flight of stairs or juggling your work and personal life. 

The adjustable straps are also great for keeping your shoes in place and giving you a good grip on almost any flooring surface.

Put on a Non-slip Sole

How to make shoes non-slip for work - Put on a Non-slip Sole

Non-slip soles are an interesting solution that gives the wearer safety. You can attach a non-slip sole in several ways. It depends on whether you want them to be permanent or removable. 

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You can get a Non-slip Sole for less than Six Dollars. An inexpensive cost for ensuring your safety, particularly if you need to wear a pair of new shoes on a slick floor.

Another thing you can try if your shoes have lost their grip or it’s a new pair you just bought for your next tennis game, is an anti-skid pad. 

Anti-skid pads are self-adhesive rubber pads that you can attach to the bottom of a shoe to keep the foot firmly planted on a slick surface. 

Skid pads can make up for whatever shoe you need them for. Whether you’re looking to add some grip and safety to your high heels for work or maybe you want to figure out how to make running shoes non-slip or how to make tennis shoes non-slip.

Stick on some Masking Tape 

A masking tape can be your go-to solution for increased traction. All you have to do is you can put a small number of rolls of tape on the bottom of your shoe. Outline it into an X. Then apply it on the largest and even part of the shoe.

Another way you can improve your shoe’s traction is with rubber glue and a salt mixture. All you need is a cup of salt and a bottle of glue. 

  1. Mix the two until you have a thick paste. 
  2. Then, apply the mix solution to the base of your shoes and let it dry. 

That’s all! Once it’s set, you can sport your shoes without worrying about how to make your shoes non-slip at work.

You might not have heard of this technique before, but it’s a great mix for improving stability. You also have the assurance that your shoes will not easily skid around. So that’s also how to make shoes non-slip.

Wear Down your Shoes the Natural Way

For this method, you don’t need any material, just yourself and your shoes. If you wear your brand-new shoes every day, you might wear down the soles naturally. And you can remove the slick surface making it non-slip over time.

You might want to make sure though to always change into a pair of shoes that are non-slip. If you’re going to be around wet or slippery floors right away. And remember to swap your flimsy sneakers for tougher ones while you wait for the soles to wear down normally.

Get Professional Help

How to make shoes non-slip on wet surfaces - Get Professional Help

This method is especially applicable if you have a pair of shoes that’s a bit expensive. Shoe repair experts know how to make shoes non-slip. So you can take your shoes to them and let them do their thing.

You might be too careful in the application or to do some DIY tricks. So it would be best for you to seek the aid of professionals in shoe repair. You don’t want to ruin your beloved running shoes or tennis shoes for example.


Making your shoes non-slip can be a tricky task, but these are some useful ideas to keep in mind. Remember, that nothing will work perfectly to make all your shoes non-slip. You’ll have to rely on other techniques to make the most of slippery surfaces at work or in restaurant environments.

Are you struggling with any of the slippery issues we discussed? Let us know how you’re getting on. We’re always curious to hear what our readers have to say!

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