8 Easy Ways to Give Your Shoes More Traction | Great For Work Shoes

We’ve all been there, wearing shoes that look great, but don’t necessarily feel great. This is particularly hard when you walk in the rain, ice, or snow, as you can fall and seriously injure yourself. Some people work in situations that require shoes with good traction to remain safe and productive.

Simple ways to give your shoes more tractions include scuffing the sole, using traction spray, scoring the base of your shoe, and even use hairspray. All of these things and a few more tricks will allow your shoe to get more traction.

There are many tricks to use when you want your shoe to have more traction, but keep in mind that each one will work differently depending on your shoe and what material it is made of. Let’s dig into the steps and common questions for how to give your shoes more traction.

8 Easy Ways to Fix Slippery Shoes

#1 Scuff the soles of the shoes

While it seems like this would happen on its own, sometimes shoe soles need to be scuffed against an abrasive material to gain some traction.

Here are some ways to do this:

  • Walk over a rough, hard surface, like concrete or metal grating.
  • Go on a long walk over a route with tons of gravel.
  • Move your shoes with your hands over stones or gravel, especially if you have a driveway.

#2 Use traction spray

This may be the easiest solution, though it is an investment. You can spray this adhesive coat onto the soles of your shoes for better traction in snow, ice, or flat surfaces.

Some good options include:

On Sale
Bare Ground BGSG-1 Spray-on Shoe Grip Adhesive Spray for...
  • Added traction on slippery surfaces to reduce slips and falls
  • Spray Shoe Grip on the soles of your shoes, let dry, and go
  • Will not harm leather or rubber
  • Specially designed nozzle to spray the targeted area without waste

#3 Sandpaper your shoes

If you don’t have any gravel or concrete nearby, the next best choice is to use sandpaper on the sole of your shoes. However, this will only work when you have shoes that come with a hard and soft sole.

This is what you will need to do:

  1. Find good sandpaper, 50-grit is a good option
  2. Rub the sandpaper over the sole and heel of your shoe, using the coarse part
  3. Rub the parts of the sole that make contact with the floor more
  4. Continue rubbing until you feel and see a coarse texture on the sole
3M 9003NA Aluminum Oxide Sandpaper, Coarse, 9-in by 11-in
  • The product is 4PK 60G ALO Sandpaper.
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  • 4-Sheet

#4 Spray the soles with hairspray

While this isn’t a permanent solution, using hairspray on your shoe soles can provide a quick fix for more traction. You can reapply the spray as much as you want, but make sure the spray dries completely before you walk with these shoes.

Some hairsprays, like this Kenra fast-drying spray, or Redken quick dry hairspray. Buying hairspray has more uses than just hairstyling and making your shoes less slippery, it can also help remove lipstick stains and fix your tights in place when you wear them.

Kenra Fast-Dry Hairspray 8, 8 Ounce
  • Hold Index: 8
  • Multifunctional spray that is ideal for both styling and finishing
  • Dries in an instant for sizzle-free thermal styling up to 450ºF
  • Can be layered for buildable hold throughout the day
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REDKEN Quick Dry 18 Instant Finishing Spray, 9.8 oz
  • This quick dry hairspray finishes styles fast for long lasting results
  • Its fast drying formula adds high shine and firm hold
  • Ideal for daily use
  • Hold can 8-12 inches away from dry hair and spray lightly

#5 Use a nail filer for scuffing the sole

This is another solution for soft and hard soles, but it may be a good quick way to solve the problem without having to go out and find sandpaper, but you will need the filer to be metal so it works best.

These are the steps to scruff your shoe soles using a metal nail filer:

  1. Hold your shoe firmly with the sole facing upwards
  2. Rub the file over the smooth parts of the sole and heel
  3. Focus on the parts of the sole that touch the floor the most
  4. Rub until you feel the sole is scuffed or rougher
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#6 Score the base of your shoes

Even though it sounds scary and a bit aggressive, you can use a knife or razor to score the soles of your shoes. This will result in more traction, especially because water will be able to pass through the treads. Always look for direction, a simple Google search or video search can help guide you.

Here are the steps you can take to score your shoes:

  1. Hold the shoe up firmly with the sole facing upwards
  2. Use the razor or knife to very carefully make shallow cuts across the sole, preferably diagonal ones
  3. Cut in the opposite pattern again
  4. Go out and test your scoring, especially if there is water on the ground

#7 Apply grip pads to your shoes

Grip pads are a good way to make both old and new shoes have more traction without hassle. There are many styles, colors, and shapes, so you can pick the ones you think fit your shoes best.

If some grip pads don’t fit, you can also cut them into better shape, but keep in mind that this may reduce some of the traction if they are too small.

Here are some options:

Non-slip shoe pads come with 5 pairs

Non-Slip Shoes Pads 5 Pairs Self-Adhesive Shoe...
  • Upgraded Non-Skid Pads: NEVER be disintegrated on your dorable shoes, most...
  • Easy to install: it's self-adhesive sole sticker, just clean the high heels,...
  • PREVENTS SLIPPING: Our anti-skid pads can help our soles stop the abrasion and...
  • Multiple functions: fits any size shoe, male or female (unisex) Ideal for ladies...

Non-slip shoes work well in heels and come with 5 pairs

Non-Slip Shoes Pads High Quality(5pairs) Self-Adhesive Shoe...
  • Non-Skid Pads for shoes:Prevent shoes slips and fall with strong self-adhesive...
  • Suit for any size of shoes for man or women. Better for high heels, boots,...
  • Durable Matrials. Made with durable matrials with strong stick. Thoes pads...
  • Easy to Use for your shoes. Please clear the shoes where you need stick those...

#8 Wear down your shoes naturally

This is the last option because it takes longer, but it is a good way to make your shoes gain traction. Once a shoe gets old, the traction is lost in the sole. However, if you walk around abrasive surfaces and simply use your shoes naturally, the sole will gain more grip slowly.

It is best to do this on days when there is no rain, ice, or slow. You can try walking on stones, trails, pavement, and even up and down the stairs. As you walk, the sole accommodates to your step and gait as well, which can be a good solution to avoid falls.

If your shoe is too slippery though, avoid falls and try one of these other alternatives instead. You can also use them at home, and walk around in place or the house so you can avoid falls.

How To Make Shoes Non-Slip for Work

All of the tips above work, but there are some other good options for you, particularly if you work in an industry where being safe is essential.

Try all of the tips above, and if that doesn’t work, then let’s compare some of the options out there:

Dr. Scholls DynamoSkechers Felton Slip-ResistantAvia Skill Food Service ShoeCROC Slip-Resistant Work and Nursing Shoe  
Oil-resistant, slip-resistant Lock Step OutsoleTM that meets SATRA TM63 and TM144 standardsOSHA-complaint nitrile outsole. Shock absorbing midsole.Oil and Slip Resistant rubber tread pattern for enhanced grip  Rubber sole, made with a thicker toe region to protect from slip-falls.   Made for the hospital, health care, and kitchen work.
  Mid-range price between $40-$50  Mid-range price between $39-$50  Low range price between $25-$30  Mid-high range price between $50-$70  
Available in various colors and patternsAvailable only in black or whiteAvailable only in blackAvailable in various colors and patterns

How To Add Grip to Basketball Shoes

There a few things you can do if you are trying to perform better at basketball and other sports, especially when it comes to keeping your shoe slip-resistant and give them a higher grip.

  • Keep your shoes clean, use a damp towel, but don’t get the soles too much.
  • Dry mop the court constantly, removing dirt allows the shoe to have a better grip and avoid falls.
  • Apply a grip gel/or lotion on the shoes. Let it dry accordingly, but keep applying throughout the game.
  • Get a traction mat, which will remove all dirt and allow your shoes to immediately regain more traction.
StepNGrip Model Courtside Shoe Grip Traction Mat - Basic...
  • ✅ Our Basic Model- Step on and Step Off as our Traction Pad Removes Dirt,...
  • ✅.USES PEEL AWAY STICKY SHEETS -- Includes 30 Sticky Sheets (15" by 18")....
  • ✅ OUR BASIC MODEL: For those Seeking the Basic Shoe Cleaning System this...
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How Can I Make The Inside of My Shoes Less Slippery?

Another common problem with new shoes is that they are slippery on the inside, which can cause you to lose balance or even have a shoe fall off. There are some things that you can do for your shoes to fit and feel better.

  • Get some products, like insoles and heel grippers
  • Use hairspray on the inside of your shoes to reduce friction and increase traction.
  • Place moleskin on the areas that slip, like the bottom of your foot near the heel or toes. 
  • Use socks on top of your tights when you use boots or closed-toe shoes. Or double the socks if your feet can fit.
  • Fill the bottom of your closed-toe shoes with tissue paper or soft fabric so the toes rub against it and don’t slide down.
Dr. Scholl's CLEAR CUSHIONING Insoles for Flats // Clear Gel...
  • Dr. Scholl's Stylish Step Clear Cushioning For Flats
  • shoe insoles
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Foot Petals Fancy Feet Back of Heel Cushions - One Pair of...
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  • DESIGNED FOR COMFORT: Our back-of-heel inserts are made with a breathable,...
  • HELPS WITH SIZING: Fancy Feet can be used in a pair of shoes that are slightly...
  • WEAR WITH OR WITHOUT SOCKS: Worn with or without socks, our back-of-heel...
Dr. Scholl's Moleskin Plus 4 5/8-Inch X 3 3/8 Inch Padding,...
  • Self-stick adhesive, cuts-to-size
  • Available in strips or in a value-size roll
  • Product of USA

A Word from Love At Firt Fit

Making your shoes safe to use in rain, pavement, ice, and snow will require a bit of work, but these tips and tricks should help. How to give your shoes more traction is a relatively easy process, so get to work, and try these suggestions.

If, however, you feel like your shoes are still too slippery on the inside, you may need to adjust your shoe size to a smaller one. Otherwise, you should be ready to walk anywhere and in any kind of weather!

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Last update on 2020-11-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API