How to get tennis shoes to stop making marks

Updated April 17, 2017

Scuff marks seem to materialise out of nowhere, streaking wooden floors and leaving linoleum untidy. There are easy ways to get rid of these unsightly blemishes, but stopping them from forming is a more difficult task. Hard black-soled shoes, like tennis shoes, are often the primary perpetrators of the dirty damage, and in order to keep them from making marks, it's necessary to be vigilant about your actions and movements.

Remove your tennis shoes when entering the house. If sock-walking or strolling around barefoot indoors seems strange, change into slippers. Make this a house rule and encourage friends and family to heed your wishes. The removing of shoes is a cultural norm and a sign of respect in many nations. Most people are happy to comply and adopting this policy is the simplest way to eliminate scuff marks.

Avoid wearing tennis shoes with hard, black rubber soles. The primary cause of scuff marks is the disintegration of material on the bottom or near the bottom of the shoe, and hard rubber is the material most likely to disintegrate. White rubber soles are less likely to leave marks than their black counterparts.

Walk softly on floors prone to scuff marks. Any abrasive motion, like grinding or stomping, can speed up the disintegration process and cause pieces of the shoe sole to be transferred onto the floor in the form of a scuff mark.

Wax the floors to keep scuff marks away. The thicker the coat of wax, the more it can decrease friction between the shoe sole and the floor. Even if scuff marks do manage to form, only the wax will be damaged, not the actual floor. Consult a manufacturer to find out which wax would suit your floor best, and avoid using any abrasive products to administer the wax. Always test the wax on a small portion of the floor before using on the whole floor.


Scuff marks on wax floors are harder to remove. So if they do form, make an effort to remove them immediately. The longer they linger, the higher the chance they'll become permanent.

Things You'll Need

  • Socks (optional)
  • Slippers (optional)
  • Floor wax (optional)
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About the Author

Stephanie Katz has been a travel writer since 2006. She is the online editor of Expat Arrivals and a regular contributor to many lifestyle and leisure print publications, including "Sawubona" and "Live Out Loud" magazines. Katz graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.