New shoes, particularly those with plastic or leather soles, can have frustratingly slippery soles, as can older shoes that are worn soft by years of wear and tear. As minor as it may sound, having slippery shoes isn’t just an trouble — it’s actually a major cause of pain, with over one million reported slip, trip, or fall injuries each year in the U.S. alone. However, you don’t necessarily have to toss out a slippery pair of shoes: with only a few simple tricks, it’s normally easy to put some grip back into your shoes for dirt cheap!
Scuff the soles on rough surfaces. If your slippery shoes are a new pair, there’s a good chance that they’re slippery solely because their soles are perfectly smooth and unworn. Soles usually get a little more grip once they soften and small holes and abrasions have been worn into them because these properties permit them to make better contact with the floor. Thus, wearing your soles down slightly can often noticeably develop your traction.
- To do this, try walking around on a rocky surface like, for instance:
- Rocks, stones, etc.
- Textured metal grates, walkways, etc
- If you’re not embarrassed, you can also try taking your shoes off and scuffing their soles on the area with your hands.
Abrade the soles immediately with sandpaper. Aren’t in a situation wherever you can easily scuff your shoes on a rocky surface? Worried about slipping when you’re waiting for your soles to wear down? Try a harsh like sandpaper instead — simply take off your shoe and rub the softest parts of the sole that touch the floor until they develop a rougher, more textured feel.
# For this task, a fairly coarse sandpaper is best, though finer sandpapers are better than nothing. If probable, use about a 50-grit paper.
# Note that this may not work on certain soles, particularly those with a “natural,” cardboard-like texture.
Use a nail file. If you don’t have sandpaper, a nail file or alike tool usually works well. Use it precisely like you used your sandpaper — scuff the smooth, smooth parts of your shoe that come in contact with the floor to give them some texture.
# Metal files are typically the most long-lasting, convenient tools for this task, though even simple emery boards can work. As with sandpaper, coarser files work best here.
Wear your shoes and wait for the soles to naturally wear down. The different way to make your shoes less slippery is to easily wear them as much as you can. Over a few days to a few weeks of use, the mere act of walking should take the slickness out of your soles.
# If you use this way, take care to switch to a different pair of shoes whenever you anticipate a situation where slipping is likely. You don’t want to speculate hurting yourself just to make your shoes more wearable.