How to make my boots not slippery

Updated July 20, 2017

A fall on the runway or pavement evokes embarrassment or injury that even models and beauty pageant contestants have experienced. Put your best foot forward by breaking in all new footwear, as most falls can be avoided by adding traction to the soles of new shoes or boots. If you want to make your boots less slippery, properly prepare new footwear so you can confidently walk tall in those fashionable new flats, stilettos or boots.

Stand on a concrete or gravel area while wearing your new shoes or boots. One foot at a time, begin slowly grinding your foot to the left and right as if you were putting out a cigarette on the pavement. Continue to grind the soles of each shoe until the surface no longer feels slick or slippery. This adds traction to the soles of your footwear.

Inspect the soles. Continue to grind the surface of the soles against the pavement until all the slick or glossy-looking areas disappear. Grinding the heel of your footwear is not necessary.

Take a brief walk to evaluate the comfort and safety of your new pair of shoes.

Buy inexpensive adhesive traction pads. These can be found at many retail stores and are simply peeled and applied to the soles of new footwear.

Craft traction support from strips of adhesive-backed sandpaper found at skateboard shops or craft stores. These are applied to the soles of shoes.

Rub sandpaper gently across the heels of your footwear.

Fit your shoes or boots with different heels or soles at your local shoe repair shop for increased traction.


Home methods such as applying duct tape or soft drinks to shoe surfaces should be avoided. Unsecured edges of tape are unsightly and could present an additional fall hazard. Sticky substances such as soft drinks or glues can leave unwanted residue on floors. Choose activity-appropriate footwear while at work in slippery environments or inclement weather. Opt for footwear with deeper treads and patterns for icy or wet weather versus slick-soled boots or shoes.

Things You'll Need

  • Adhesive traction pads
  • Adhesive-backed sandpaper
  • Sandpaper
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About the Author

Tammy Bailey began writing while typing and revising procedural manuals for a bank corporation. Her clerical work eventually lead to a QS9000 writing project for an automotive parts manufacturer. Bailey's articles have been featured on numerous websites, covering topics in Southern living and cooking, holiday ideas, party and event planning, relationship issues and surviving corporate life.