How to Make Shoes Non Slip For Work

Several industries require workers to wear non-slip shoes at work. Even if the non-slip footwear isn’t a standard part of your work uniform, it’s still something you should consider. Often, slips and falls at work can be prevented if the employee is wearing the right shoes.

You can go out and buy a pair of safety shoes but this can be expensive. However, you can also turn the shoes in your closet into a non-slip pair. Here are a few ways you can make shoes non slip for work.

How to Make Shoes Non Slip For Work10 Ways to Make Non Slip Work Shoes

  1. Scuff the soles of the shoes

Some people use this trick on every new pair of shoes. Since the smooth soles don’t provide traction, they spend some time scuffing the soles. It’s easy to do and doesn’t take a lot of time.

Any abrasive surface like concrete or gravel will work. Just briskly scrape the soles of the shoes over the surface. The soles will no longer look ‘perfect’ but no one will see and you now have some traction on slick floors.

  1. Use sandpaper to scuff the soles

It does take a little more effort to scuff the soles on your shoes with sandpaper but it is an effective method.

You want to use 50 grit sandpaper on the soles. Rub the sandpaper back and forth over the smoothest parts on the sole. One tip to remember is that this doesn’t work on all types of soles.

Soles made from natural fibers and cardboard type materials, often found on sandals, cannot be scuffed with sandpaper.

  1. Apply adhesive bandages to the soles

Some shoes you don’t want to scuff regardless of how slick the soles are. Instead of scuffing the soles, you can stick an adhesive bandage to the soles.

The best place to stick the bandages is on the back portion of the sole. If it’s possible, stick a band-aid on the heel for additional traction. This trick won’t ruin the soles while still giving you traction.

  1. Use a nail file on the soles

A stiff nail file can also scuff slick soles. It works like sandpaper, though you want to use a metal file instead of the flimsier emery board.

Rub the nail file against the smooth parts on the sole. Pay attention to the areas that touch the floor since this is where you need traction.

  1. Apply a spray pad or use hairspray

You can find spray pads or spray-on coating at most shoe stores. The concept is similar to using an adhesive bandage only it’s a little more discrete. There are different types of spray pads so you can find one that blends in with the sole.

Another trick that will give you some traction without having to scuff the soles of your shoes is to liberally coat it with hair spray. You want to let the hair spray dry for a minute or so before you wear your shoes but it will help prevent slips and falls. Using hair spray isn’t a permanent fix. It will need to be reapplied daily. More often if the soles get wet.

  1. Use puff paint on the soles

If you aren’t sure what puff paint is, it’s typically used in kid’s arts and crafts projects. When the paint dries it has a textured surface that will give you plenty of traction.

You only need a thin layer of paint on the soles. Let the paint dry for several hours before wearing the shoes. While the paint coating does last longer than hairspray and adhesive bandages, it will need to be periodically reapplied.

  1. Add an ankle strap

This won’t work on all shoes but adding an ankle strap can improve your balance and reduce your chances of slipping and falling. It doesn’t add traction but sometimes just being able to maintain your balance is enough to prevent a painful and embarrassing fall.

  1. Apply a non-stick sole to the shoe

In the shoe aisle, you’ll find small non-stick sole pads in a variety of sizes. The textured pads are designed to resemble the shoe’s sole while providing plenty of traction.

The sole pads will prevent slips and skids. It also protects the soles from excessive wear and tear so your shoes will last longer.

Non-stick sole pads are also inexpensive and can last for years.

  1. Use masking tape or a rubber glue and salt mixture

Sticking strips of masking tape to the sole of the shoe will increase traction. It’s also a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to safely navigate slick floors at work. It is a temporary solution that you will probably need to redo every time you wear your shoes but it is effective.

A rubber glue and salt mixture creates a coarse mixture that improves traction when applied to the sole. After coating the sole with the mixture, let it dry before you walk around. Your feet won’t get stuck to the floor if the glue is still wet, however, it will make a mess.

  1. Wear the sole down naturally

If you have the time, you can wear the soles down naturally by walking around in the shoes. It can take a few days or weeks, but eventually, the sole’s smoothness will wear down. If you can, try and walk on rougher surfaces like concrete and gravel to help speed up the process.


Floors at work are often slick and this can lead to slips and falls. Even if safety shoes are required, it’s still a good idea to have traction on the soles.

There are several ways you can improve traction and some don’t require you to scuff the soles. Whether you choose a simple, temporary solution or a more permanent one, the main goal is to keep you safe and on your feet at work.