What to Put on the Bottom of Shoes to Make Them Non-Slip

Feet slip? Get a grip!

Photo: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Even if you're perfected your signature strut, if the soles of your shoes send you sliding, no one will be impressed with your stuttering swagger. Slippery soles are more than just a style cramp. If you feel like you're tottering around, you might do some serious damage to your posture or injure yourself in a fall. Luckily, you don't need to toss all of your fabulous footwear in favor of the more practical choices. You've got options to make those suckers stop slipping.

Professional Measures

If you want the real-deal when it comes to taking your shoes out of the slip zone, a professional re-soling may be in order. A professional cobbler can coat the soles of your shoes in a liquid, non-stick rubber that then bonds and hardens to your shoe for a permanently non-slip solution. If your soles aren't a candidate for coating, a cobbler can also completely re-sole your shoes with prefab non-slip soles, but the cost might be a deterrent. Coating or resoling could cost anywhere from $30 to $90 depending on the type of sole and the size of the shoe, but the change is long-lasting and probably comes with a warranty in case the slippage returns.

Stickin' It to Your Soles

You don't need to be very handy to take your soles from slip to stick. With the help of adhesive non-slip shoe pads, you'll be standing firm in no time. Non-slip shoe pads are usually made of textured rubber with an adhesive backing that bonds with the sole of your shoe. The stickers are usually cut to a generic size and shape to fit the soles of different kinds of shoes, but you might need to do some trimming with scissors to get the perfect fit on a pair of skinny little heels. The soles should last for several months of regular wear, but even if you need to replace them, the stickers are generally affordable and readily available at shoe stores.

DIY Attempts

If you are more of the crafty type, check the items around your house for quick non-slip solutions in a pinch. If you have some hairspray in your bathroom, give the bottom of your shoes a quick spray and let it dry. The spray will level a bit of sticky residue on your soles that will wear off after a few hours, so if you are headed to the club and need to get your dance on without sliding all over, it'll do the job. Non-slip adhesive bath stickers are designed to do the same job as sole adhesives, and their bonding agent is usually stronger, so cut some of those to size if you want a more lasting solution. Duct tape is also a quick fix; the slightly textured surface and super-sticking power will give you enough traction to keep your balance.

When Grip Gets Serious

Sometimes avoiding slipping is more of a must-do than a convenience. If you live in a cold climate, surviving the ice trek from the front door to the car can be perilous if your shoes lack traction. For the absolute highest degree of anti-slip grip, check out elastic ice grippers. The grippers snap around the tops of your shoes and feature tiny metal teeth that dig into ice and keep your feet from going out from under you. Don't be fooled: these are not stylish, and they will make your heels look ridiculous. But if you need that extra non-slip boost when you're donning a pair of sneakers or boots, these babies are the best you've got.

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"The Fashion Survival Manual: How to Find It, Fix It, Make It, Take It on a Budget"; Judith H. McQuown; 1981 "New York Magazine"; Salvaging Your Shoes; Ruth J. Katz; October 1980 On Sugar: How to Make Your Shoes Slip Resistent

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