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The Simple Glue Trick That Adds Grip to Any Shoes to Help You Avoid Slips and Falls

Plus 7 other savvy solutions!

While it may look serene and beautiful, snow injures 1 million Americans each year due to slips and falls, according to the Centers for Disease Control. “Winter brings lots of injuries to health centers, and that’s often because people aren’t wearing the proper shoes,” says Nancy Mitchell, RN, registered nurse and writer for Assisted Living. While your best options are rubber-soled shoes with traction —such as soles that are not smooth on the bottom — what to do if you bought a cute pair of shoes or boots that you thought were perfect for winter, but turns out they have no grip? No need to exchange them (or even search for shoes that meet the criteria) because we’ve got the expert solutions on how to make any shoes non-slip for any surfaces. Simply try one of these methods.

How to make shoes non-slip: 5 DIY solutions

1. Try the simple scuff strategy

“As someone who has climbed mountains, I’ve had to improve the grip on the bottom of a shoe or two,” Michael Sawyer of says with a laugh. “Just take a rock, nail file or sandpaper and rub it along the sole until small grooves are formed. The little notches will help your shoes grab onto the ground, making them less prone to slipping.” You can also scuff your soles by wearing them and rubbing them on a rough surface such as asphalt, concrete or gravel. For an easy how-to, just check out this video:

2. Use some glue and a paint brush

Physical therapist Sean Klein, CPT, who specializes in helping clients with balance issues, recommends this method using a strong adhesive like super glue or rubber cement: “Use a small paintbrush to apply a thin layer of glue to the sole of your shoe, then sprinkle some sand or salt on top while it’s still wet and let dry overnight before wearing.” The sand or salt will provide the grip while the adhesive holds it in place. Just make sure to use fine-grit sand (available at home improvement stores) or table salt since larger grains can be uncomfortable when you’re walking.

3. Spritz shoes with hairspray

How to Make Shoes Non-Slip: Applying a water-repellent hydrophobic spray to white women's sneakers. Protection of shoes from moisture, dirt and unpleasant odor
Zarina Lukash/Getty

This method works similarly to the glue-and-sand: simply spray the entire sole with hairspray until it’s covered and let dry, says experts. This will form a tacky surface on the bottom of the shoe — just keep in mind it’s more temporary than the glue method and will need to be repeated every few days if you wear those shoes often.

Related: 10 Brilliant Uses for Hair Spray

4. Break out the puff paint

Got puff paint in your craft closet? You can use it to add grip strips to the bottoms of your shoes. The method seen in the video below from @joannstores is for socks but can be applied the same way on the soles of your boots:

5. Create traction with tape

If you have double-sided tape, just dip one side into salt or sand and put the other side on the sole of your shoe, Sawyer suggests. “Like the hairspray method, it’s not as permanent as glue, but still offers some helpful traction.”

Related: 8 Best Winter Boots for Women to Keep Your Feet Toasty in the Cold [Updated 2023]

How to make shoes non-slip: 3 store-bought solutions

1. Stick-on traction pads

Typically made from rubber, these pads are specially grooved to improve grip. They’re easy and fast to apply — no drying time needed. Just cut them to fit the bottom of your shoe, stick them on and you’re ready to go. Two options: Kiwi Sure Step Non-Skid Pads (Buy from Target, $3.99) or Non-Slip Shoe Pads (Buy from Amazon, $8.99)

2. Pre-mixed sprays

These take the same glue-and-sand concept and streamline it into a canned spray product. A word of caution: They can be messy to apply, so just be sure to cover the top part of your shoe with newspaper to avoid getting the product on it. Two options: Shoe Grip Ice and Snow Non-Skid Spray, (Buy from Amazon, $19.95) or Python Anti-Slip Shoe Spray (Buy from Walmart, $9.95)

3. Snow spikes

How to Make Shoes Non-Slip: female winter boots walking on snowy sleet road

These snow grippers attach to your shoes via straps and feature small metal spikes on the bottom that let you confidently walk on both snow and ice. They’re easily removable, so you can “de-winterize” your shoes instantly. Two options to try: Ice Snow Cleats (Buy from Amazon, $10.99) or Walk Traction Cleats Spikes (Buy from Walmart, $12.99)

For more shoe hacks, click through the links below!

How To Clean Suede Shoes Without a Suede Cleaner — It’s Easier Than You’d Think!

Does Wearing Shoes in Your House Actually Track Dirt and Germs Inside?

The Brilliant Sneaker Soak That Cleans and Deodorizes

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