I need to get a grip!
September 24, 2008 5:54 AM   Subscribe

Any tips on making my expensive shoes grippier?

I have just bought a couple of pairs of expensive shoes (Church's brogues and oxfords). These expensive shoes have smooth soles, which makes them quite slippery -- unlike the relatively chunky Clarks shoes that I'm used to wearing. Today it's been raining and I've been slipping all over the place.

Any tips on making my shoes grippier?
posted by laumry to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Quick and cheap solution: give the soles a rub down with coarse sandpaper. If that doesn't work you can probably buy stick-on grip pads.
posted by Bodd at 6:04 AM on September 24, 2008

Once you've rubbed the soles with coarse sandpaper, you can use some Shoe Goo to make kind of a waffle-pattern for grip.
It's cheap and grippy.
posted by Acari at 6:11 AM on September 24, 2008

You can bring them to a shoe repair place and have them add grips. It will be very inexpensive (even in New York this has never cost me more than ten bucks), will last longer than doing it yourself, and will look FAR more presentable.

IMO, DIYing a pair of shoes as pricey as those would be a mistake.
posted by bcwinters at 6:20 AM on September 24, 2008

You may not want to go with this option, but last winter I had a favourite pair of knee boots resoled with treads. It wasn't cheap ($40, if I recall), but it was worth it.
posted by orange swan at 6:21 AM on September 24, 2008

First and most important thing -- stop wearing them in the rain! You might completely ruin the sole that way. (Can't find a better reference than this, but I'm sure there is one) . Wait until some dry weather, get them nicely roughed up by wearing them, and they shouldn't be so slippy. If they get wet, make sure you let them dry (naturally, not with a heat source) before you wear them again. Preferably, don't wear them two days in a row.

Oh, and enjoy them, you lucky sod. Churches are amazing, and I wish I had a pair.
posted by Omission at 6:52 AM on September 24, 2008

(Sorry, that should be Church's --- Churches can also be amazing, but are less comfortable to wear, what with vicars and altars and such...)
posted by Omission at 6:56 AM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]

Seconding bcwinters. I just bought a pair of Cole Haan boots with smooth leather soles, and the saleswoman recommended getting rubber soles added on by a local cobbler. Makes them grippy *and* more waterproof (she said the bottoms of hers, without rubber, had let water soak through).
posted by olinerd at 7:03 AM on September 24, 2008

Those sound like nice shoes. Don't use sandpaper or goop on them.

As a couple people have said, go to a real shoe-repair cobbler type person (not some quickie-shoes-while-you-wait place in a shopping mall) and see what they recommend. There are many ways to do this -- everything from rubber add-ons to tiny metal claws that can be nailed into the bottom -- but they all suck if done by amateur.
posted by rokusan at 7:16 AM on September 24, 2008

You should always know a good cobbler.
posted by furtive at 7:37 AM on September 24, 2008

And a bonus for taking them in: when the grips wear down, you just need to replace them, not the whole sole. Makes them last forever.
posted by dame at 7:47 AM on September 24, 2008

Do not put those rubber grips on your Church's. Jesus.

They will grip with wear.
posted by Zambrano at 10:26 AM on September 24, 2008

It depends where you are and when you plan on wearing them. If you're just wearing them in the office and aren't outside much, yeah, they'll grip with wear. If you live someplace that it rains a lot and plan on wearing them outside to walk to places, they will get destroyed fairly quickly (I know leather soles + Vancouver = bad news); in that case, get some kind of rubber grip thing put on them. Much cheaper than frequently resoling them.
posted by SoftRain at 11:13 AM on September 24, 2008

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