Falls and injuries often occur when people lose traction under foot when walking. Common causes of lost traction are slippery floors and slippery shoe soles. Slippery soles are usually the result of a shoe designer creating a shoe with a flat, un-textured sole design or slippery sole material. They can also occur when a textured sole wears down and flattens with use. Whatever the cause of the slipping, you can usually fix slippery shoe problems at home by resurfacing the soles.
Attach shoe traction or grip pads that prevent slipping. Wipe away dirt from the bottom of your shoes with a wet cloth or paper towel, and then wipe the soles dry. Remove the paper backing on a pad, align the pad with the area that it’s designed to fit, such as the front or heel, and then press it firmly against the surface. Repeat this process with the second sole.
Rub coarse sandpaper or a rough brick against the soles of your shoes to rough them up so that they’re textured to provide a better grip. If you don’t have sandpaper or a brick, put on your shoes and then walk across a rough surface such as gravel or concrete, scuffing your feet as you walk.
Etch small and large shapes into the soles with a sharp knife or scissors to create a textured pattern. Match the style of pattern as closely as possible to the type you might see on textured soles in a store, such as zigzags, diamonds or Xs, to create the best grip.
If your shoes are still slippery after trying to fix them on your own, hire a cobbler to affix a sole guard to the existing sole or to completely resole or half-sole your shoes with a textured material. If you use a knife to cut into the soles of your shoes, don’t cut too deeply, as you might cut through the shoe if it has a thin sole.
Scuffing or cutting expensive slippery shoes will devalue them. Instead, use grip pads or hire a professional to fix them.
Based in Southern Pennsylvania, Irene A. Blake has been writing on a wide range of topics for over a decade. Her work has appeared in projects by The National Network for Artist Placement, the-phone-book Limited and GateHouse Media. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Shippensburg University.