How to fix a slippery sole on shoes

Updated February 21, 2017

Slippery shoe soles can lead to falls and serious injuries when walking on wet flooring or dancing on a slick dance floor. Tennis, hiking and casual footwear normally have a rubber ridged sole that allows the shoe to grasp the floor without sliding. Other footwear such as high heels or flats have a thinner slick sole that allows the shoe to slide easily over smooth surfaces. Stop your shoes from sliding by adding roughness to the soles.

Run a fine-grit 000 sandpaper over the bottom of the shoe sole. Scratch the sandpaper gently over the entire sole. After three to four swipes with the sandpaper, run your hand over the sole to test for roughness. Continue sanding the sole until you achieve the desired result.

Wipe the shoe sole with a rag. Place a non-slip shoe guard on the sole. Peel off the paper, exposing the adhesive. Center the adhesive side of the non-slip guard over the sole and press it onto the shoe bottom. Rub your hand over the non-slip applique to ensure it has bonded completely to the sole.

Rough up the shoe sole by scraping it over cement. Hold the shoe interior and slide the shoe sole back and forth over the cement. Rough the sole until the shoe no longer slips on a smooth floor surface.


Refrain from deep sanding or roughing with cement as you could damage the sole by rubbing off too much material. Only sand or rough enough to remove the slick areas of the sole.

Things You'll Need

  • Fine-grit 000 sandpaper
  • Rag
  • Non-slip shoe guard
  • Cement
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About the Author

Constance Barker, located in the hills of southern Ohio, is the owner and writer of several financial, credit report and travel websites. She started writing in 1999 for private clients and began creating website content in 2004. She gained expertise in home improvement after she and her husband built their home themselves.