I have a pair of shoes which are very slippery on snow, ice and other smooth surfaces. I sometimes have the problem at home if the floor is wet. How can I make them less slippery or in other words - how to improve the friction of these shoes? I am interested in making them less slippery on ice and on other surfaces too.

  • To be clear: You're talking about you're every-day-shoes; the ones you wear all the time and walk everywhere, right? Because if you're talking about hall shoes (for example, basketball shoes) you could try simply wiping the sole of your shoe with your hand. This is also only a temporary solution but is very useful, when you're slipping in gyms. The reason is simply the dirt on the hall-floor which sticks to your sole and reduces the grip.
    – Alex
    Commented Jan 8, 2015 at 10:55
  • @Alex Yes, everyday shoes, I am walking with them everiwhere
    – vladiz
    Commented Jan 8, 2015 at 12:48
  • 1
    @vladiz You are aware that increasing grip could mean adding coarse stuff to your shoes, thus making you walk on stuff that will damage floor tiles? Are you sure you want to have solutions for inside the house and outside? Commented Jan 8, 2015 at 16:00

8 Answers 8


Try mixing sugar/salt with rubber glue. Coating the bottom of the shoe should do the trick. The sugar/salt grains texture the glue like sand paper. The glue...umm...sticks the grains to the shoe...

Just make sure you don't use caster sugar, as the grain size is important.

  • 2
    Salt is better, as sugar leaves a sticky trail as it melts.
    – J. Musser
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 19:30
  • I've seen rock salt being used once. That was pretty impressive. But it look like it could cause some serious damage.
    – Aron
    Commented Jan 7, 2015 at 6:22
  • I'd use salt, personally. Sugar just seems like it would attract all sorts of insects. I'd rather have slippery shoes than ones filled with ants :)
    – TIO Begs
    Commented Jan 8, 2015 at 13:59
  • won't the salt melt?
    – Win.T
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 2:38
  • 1
    @Win.T You mean dissolve? Depends on the glue. If you use a glue with high water content, then yes it would. However those same glues would unlikely be very waterproof, and thus would not last long on a shoe. The glues you would be looking for are going to be plastics/rubbers which "cures", and not "dries".
    – Aron
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 2:42

I sometimes use hair spray which I apply on the sole several times and waiting for 1-2 minutes between each spaying to let the hairspray become dry. This improves the friction, but unfortunately has only temporary effect.


You should wear in your shoes a bit. Walking on the smooth surfaces like ice does a little bit towards making the sole of your shoes less slippery as you understand, so you should walk more on the rough surfaces, like asphalt or something stony. Also you can rub thr soles of your shoes with something abrasive, like emery paper.

  • To get a better grip, emery paper also was the first thing I thought about. But since I personally have problems with the sole not ever being thick enough (lifehacks.stackexchange.com/questions/1673/…) this could have other negative effects, because the sole gets thinner. I'd rather add a rough material like @Aron suggested than making the existing surface rougher and thus thinner.
    – Alex
    Commented Jan 8, 2015 at 14:35

Pine resin works well. A big pine near my house was cut down, and I dissolved some of the sap in a mix of acetone and alcohol (flammable!). It works well as antislip, and is clear. Of course, after your shoes pick up dus, it is less effective.


I have a pair of crocs and the rubber soles are extremely slippery on smooth surfaces, especially steel overbridges. I face even more trouble on wet tile floors.

However, one day by accident, I walked on a road (undergoing maintenance) with molten asphalt and that stuck to my soles real well. Ended up having some good traction on my shoes. Maybe if you could get your hands on some molten asphalt it could do the trick for you. Alternately, you could try some cement (Don't know about this one, just guessing)


Cut a strip of sandpaper and glue it to the sole. Try different placements for optimal result.


Try drawing lines at the bottom of your shoes using a fork. That should give you quite good grip and make it less slippery


Depending on your shoes, they can often be transformed with leather patches, or entirely new super grip soles that are designed specifically for the application you have in mind.

Your local, family-run, cleaning, key-cutting, shoe repair shop should be able to recommend something and help you with that.

Support local.

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