How To Make Shoes Non-Slip

Non-slip shoes are a great way to protect yourself from slips and falls. They can be a requirement for some jobs, but having a non-slip grip is also useful for day-to-day life. But while specialist non-slip shoes exist, they can be expensive.

But don’t worry – this article will take you through some easy and effective ways to make your shoes non-slip without having to break the bank.

Why Do I Need To Make My Shoes Non-Slip?

Before getting into how to make your shoes non-slip, it’s useful to know why. There are plenty of benefits to making your shoes non-slip. The most obvious is preventing you from slipping on wet and slick surfaces, but there are also several other reasons you should opt for a better grip.

Having non-slip shoes is crucial for some jobs. Many construction jobs require good grip, so you need to make sure your shoes don’t slip. Non-slip shoes are also a necessity for servers and kitchen staff, as well as cleaners.

If you’re going to be moving quickly over floors that can be slippery, you’re putting yourself at risk of falling, so you need to have proper non-slip shoes.

Colder weather and climates can also leave the ground icy and slippery. Non-slip shoes keep you safe from falls.

But specialized non-slip shoes can be expensive and difficult to get. Luckily, there are some simple-yet-effective ways to do it yourself, either for free or with a product.


There are several different ways to make your shoes non-slip. Some of these are DIY solutions you can do with things you have around the house, while others need a specific product.


One method of making your shoes non-slip is a natural part of owning them – breaking your shoes in. New shoes are slippery because the soles are smooth, and haven’t had the chance to get worn down.

You can speed up the wearing-down process by walking on rougher terrain or deliberately scuffing them. If you grind your feet on a gravel path for a few minutes, you’ll have a much better grip on the soles. It’s not the most dignified method, but it’s quick, easy, and free!


In a similar way to scuffing, you can make a non-slip sole on your shoe by rubbing sandpaper against it. This method is much more controllable than scuffing, and you’ll get a much more even surface on the sole.

It also keeps your shoes looking neat: the sole will have a better grip and there won’t be any dirt or dust on the rest of your shoe.


If you want an instant solution and don’t mind damaging your shoes, you can get a much better grip on the soles of your shoes if you score the rubber with a knife or file. This isn’t the most effective method and can be dangerous if you aren’t careful, but you will see results straight away.

The more scored lines you have in your sole, the better your grip will be. The ideal method is having plenty of crisscrossing lines that are close together. Just bear in mind that the more scoring you do, the longer it will take.

Non-Slip Spray

If you would prefer a more effective solution and don’t mind paying for it, consider getting a non-slip shoe spray. There are plenty of these on the market, and definitely cost less than a new pair of shoes.

Using a non-slip spray isn’t a permanent solution and it will wear off with the natural wear of the sole. However, you can simply apply a new coat, and the sole wearing down will give some extra help with the grip. 

Puff Paint

Puff Paint might seem like an odd choice, but it’s actually quite effective. Puff Paint is a type of paint that expands as it dries. You can buy it or make your own (there are several different recipes out there).

If you apply a layer of it to the sole of your shoe, it will dry into a non-slip grip. While it won’t last as long as a spray, it’s still a simple way to make your shoes non-slip.

Traction Pads

A more permanent solution than some of the previous ones, traction pads are one of the most effective ways to make your shoes non-slip. These can be applied to the bottom of your shoe, covering the sole and giving you a permanent non-slip sole.


While it might seem a bit ‘out there’, you can use band-aids to make a quick, makeshift non-slip sole. Simply put them on the bottom of your shoe and it will function as a basic traction pad. So if you’re ever caught out by icy ground or a wet floor in your shoes with no grip, you have a DIY solution to tide you over.

Masking Tape

If the idea of sticking a band-aid to your shoe grosses you out, don’t worry. Masking tape is a great alternative to a band-aid, without the ick-factor.

Putting strips of masking tape in a cross-shape on the sole of your shoe gives a basic but effective non-slip grip. However, this is also only a temporary solution, and the tape will need replacing fairly frequently.

Ankle Strap

Some of these methods aren’t really effective on high-heeled shoes. While the limited sole space makes some non-slip methods unviable, an ankle strap will give you more control and a better grip. Using an ankle strap won’t just stop you from slipping, but it also stabilizes your ankle to help prevent any twisting.

Final Thoughts

So now you know some methods to give your shoes a non-slip grip. While some of these methods are only temporary, they are still very effective and are a cheap alternative to buying a pair of non-slip shoes.

So whether you need non-slip shoes for your job or simply want some added safety, you’ve got your bases covered. 

Now all you need to do is use one of these methods, and you’re good to go!