How To Make Shoes Non-Slip and Slip-Resistant?

Slips and falls are the most common workplace accidents you’d want to avoid if you are working at a restaurant, hospital, or in construction.

Even the cleanest floor can be slippery and might lead to an accident if you aren’t wearing a pair of non-slip shoes.

During my first job as a waitress, I wore a pair of Converse on my first day and ended up slipping on a wet floor and hurting my back. It was embarrassing.

I didn’t have enough money to get a new pair of non-slip shoes so I had to learn the hard way to make my existing pair of shoes slip-resistant.

Here are the 7 best ways to make your shoes non-slip!

1. Scuff the soles

Remember when you scuffed your brand new flashy and flawless Zippo to make it look more classic and easier to grip? This works almost the same with non-slip shoes.

Non-slip shoes are nice with smooth outer and sole but they are not meant to be used on slippery surfaces. If you want to wear your regular, non-slip shoes at work, you can scuff the soles to add more traction and grip.

Scuffing the soles is also easy – you just need to find an abrasive surface like rough concrete or gravel and rub your shoes’ bottom on it.

Take it easy and do it gently. You don’t want to damage your shoes and scuff the sole too much until it is very thin. You might also tear your sole completely if you scuff too much so take precautions.

Keep scuffing the sole till you can feel a little roughness on the surface. A little is enough. You will certainly notice a difference and get a better grip when you walk around!

You can also use sandpaper to roughen up the bottoms of your shoes. You can also use a nail file instead. Spend more time on areas that make contact with the pavement until you get the right traction.

2. Use traction spray or hairspray

Shoe adhesive sprays can also help to make your shoes winter-proof and slip-resistant! Spray-on traction adhesives can provide a good coating and enough protection against slippery surfaces.

This traction spray from Bare Ground does a great job at providing additional traction without harming the leather or rubber.

Direct your nozzle at the targeted area in your shoes and apply the spray gently without waste.

Let it dry and you’re good to go.

This spray is great for both indoor and outdoor surfaces, whether it be tile or wooden floors.

If you do not have a bottle of traction spray in your garage, you could also use your hairspray as a temporary solution. While hairspray is not a long-term solution, it can help make your smooth soles slip-proof for a while.

Although hairspray is a super temporary solution, it is an alternative to spray-on traction adhesives that will make shoes with smooth soles a little more slip-proof.

Spray a good amount on the sole and let it dry before you step outside. Make sure you don’t use a colored spray or your shoes may end up looking weird with unmatched colors.

3. Use non-slip soles or pads

Another solution to make your pair of shoes slip-resistant is to reinforce it with non-slip or slip-resistant soles.

Unlike scuffing your soles to roughen the surface, adding a non-slip pad to your sole is a better and long-lasting solution. After all, these pads are designed and manufactured to provide additional grip and you aren’t required to do any additional work.

On top of that, if you are required to walk daily on slippery surfaces, you do not need to worry about spraying or scuffing your soles time and again.

These non-slip pads can also last for months and provide additional life to your shoes.

4. Score the soles

Scoring to create treads in the sole is another great way to add more traction to non-slip shoes and make them slip-resistant.

You can use a nail file or knife to gently score the sole by cutting short and little deep lines. Make sure to not use extra force as you might tear and penetrate the sole.

Remember, you’re trying to get your sole to look similar to a tire surface by scoring. Try to create patterns so you have better treads for better traction.

5. Using a mixture of rubber glue and salt

Sounds strange, doesn’t it? But, hey, as long as it works, it’s worth trying.

7 Hacks To Make Your Shoes Non-Slip For Restaurant (they work!)

In my experience, you will have to try this sometime. Because…you cannot do any different ways at the moment.

Once I was in the kitchen of the restaurant waiting for new dishes to be served, I found that I might fall over because the floor was kinda slippery. Full of confidence, at that time I already knew some lovely tricks to improve my shoes but I started realising that I could not do them there.

I could not rush out for 20 minutes to look for some non-slip pads, I did not bring my hairspray and there was a lot of fire in the kitchen, I could not find anything to rub the soles because everything in the kitchen was smooth and clean (except cooking stuff). Hmm, too bad.

Seeing me struggling with the floor for some minutes, one of the cooks said to me “Want to know the magic receipt? Salt and glue. Try them out?”

  1. With a little help from her, I tried mixing some salt with a little amount of glue. Luckily, they had got glue there (maybe they did it all the time? I never asked).
  2. I then coated the grainy mixture onto the soles (shoes upside down, remember), enjoyed 2 minutes chit-chatting while the mixture was drying (coated on the soles, not in the bowl).
7 Hacks To Make Your Shoes Non-Slip For Restaurant (they work!)

It worked amazingly! I had never known that!

Now, with little help from me, you should try this hack immediately to make your shoes non-slip!

Pro tip: Medium- or big-size salt work better!

6. Using ice grips

Remember I emphasising that sprayed soles do not work very well on ice? They do not, I tested it myself the hard way…

But ice grips do. And if they work well on ice, they will work well on any other surfaces. They will certainly protect you from falling over due to slip floors.

Here’s what they look with my shoes:

7 Hacks To Make Your Shoes Non-Slip For Restaurant (they work!)

Not very fashionable, is it? It is fair to say no. You can find a couple of grips that match your shoes if you are lucky.

But aren’t we looking for ways to make your shoes less slippery? Then, here, these work perfectly!

These grips will provide A LOT of traction on ice, wooden or steel surfaces!

You can wear these with your shoes indoor and outdoor. They just work in any environments that other methods simply can’t or can but not very well.

Pro tip: Buy ones that best fit your shoes to remain shoes’ integrity.

Are your shoes non-slip? I bet they are.

Are you happy now? I believe you are.

Or, are you?

7. Buying specially-designed non-slip shoes

You might want to consider buying one or two slip-resistant shoes.

I can’t help myself buying 3 pairs of them because they are on top of my must-have items to make my life easier!

Below are my shoes for outdoor activities.

7 Hacks To Make Your Shoes Non-Slip For Restaurant (they work!)

And here are my shoes for running.

7 Hacks To Make Your Shoes Non-Slip For Restaurant (they work!)

And the classic Oxford for work.

7 Hacks To Make Your Shoes Non-Slip For Restaurant (they work!)

All of them are slip-resistant. I totally forgot that I am living in an icy country, used to work in a restaurant with the super smooth wooden floor, often run on hard and slippery pavements; slip to me is just something vague!

No jokes! These shoes are specially designed and have durable non-slip soles. I personally enjoy them quite a lot.

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