Once sweater weather returns in full force, boots of all styles will soon make their way out of the dark depths of your closet. Everything from knee-length boots to those of the ankle variety will soon be your go-to, replacing your beloved sandals, flip flops, and even pumps from seasons past. But when blizzards, rainstorms, and the like arrive, sometimes even your favorite boots won’t cut it outdoors. If your shoes aren't quite-winter ready, hacks to make boots slip-proof will make your commute through the snow a lot easier — not to mention injury free.
Whether you're facing fresh, powdery snow or trudging through layers of ice, having the appropriate cold weather shoes is a must. But investing in quality pairs of non-slip boots can get costly and stylish options aren't always readily available. Besides, you're probably already committed to a trusty pair that you've broken in just right.
Luckily, there are always DIY methods to make your boots equipped to handle snow and ice, whether you're glued to a favorite pair or you're eyeing new shoes that don't exactly have the best traction.
If you want to avoid fearing for your life every time you take a step, follow any of these seven strategies for giving your boots the grip they need to survive the slush.
We only include products that have been independently selected by Bustle's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
1. Scuff The Soles
Adding traction to your boots can be as as easy as intentionally scuffing the bottoms. Give your shoes a better grip by scraping the soles against abrasive surfaces like rough concrete or gravel. New shoes especially are more slippery due to their perfectly smooth soles, so wearing them down will make a noticeable difference.
2. Use Traction Spray
Believe it or not, you can actually spray on the grip you need to winter-proof your boots. Spray-on traction adhesives coat your shoes with enough protection to brave icy surfaces, so be sure to keep a bottle in your stash all season long.
The below traction spray from Bare Ground does a good job of adding grip in a hurry, though several applications may be necessary.
3. Add A Salt And Rubber Glue Mixture
Adding a grainy texture to your soles may also help prevent you from sliding all over place. Try combining salt and rubber glue to coat onto your shoes. The mixture should add a non-slip component to your boot of choice.
If you have rubber soled shoes, try this plastic fusion epoxy adhesive as your "glue" base. Sprinkle salt on top, and you'll have grippy treads that aren't going anywhere.
4. Spray Soles With Hairspray
Although hairspray is a super temporary solution, it is an alternative to spray-on traction adhesives that will make shoes with smooth soles a little more slip-proof. This quick fix will require reapplication on a daily basis, however. Before stepping outside, be sure the hairspray has dried completely.
L'Oreal Paris' Elnett Satin hairspray has a quick-dry formula and sprays in ultra fine mist. Plus, this spray is super multifunctional: It can also be used to remove lip stick stains and stop tights from running.
5. Score The Bottoms
You may be weary of taking a knife or razor to your favorite pair of boots, but you definitely won't regret it later. Scoring your soles can give them more traction as water will be able to pass through the treads.
6. Adhere Sand To Your Soles
A cost effective way to get your shoes snow ready is to adhere sand to your soles. Using spray adhesive, like the below option from Loctite, and dry sand, coat the bottoms with the gritty material. Coarse sand will surely give your boots more traction.
7. Try Ice Grips
If you're not too keen on the DIY-ing, you can always slip ice grips onto your existing boots. They're a surefire way to add tread without compromising the integrity of your shoes. These below traction grips from Due North come in colored options as well as basic black. You can take them on and off with ease and add them to any style of boot.
All you need is a little DIY magic to give your boots a non-slip grip. Now you can enjoy the snowier, icier months free of fear.
8. Re-Sole Your Shoes
Sometimes the solution is just as easy as bringing your boots to be re-soled. Whether your winter boots were never made with rubber bottoms or they’re just worn down from constant use, you can give a pair to the shoe maker and have them add rubber traction to make the shoes more durable.
9. Add a Rubber Base
If you don’t want to get your entire boot re-soled, consider some DIY adhesive rubber additions to your favorite Winter shoes. They are called non-slip grips and they easily stick to the bottom of your existing soles.
Depending on your boots, you can opt for a toe, a heel, or both. Just keep in mind that any adhesive rubber tends to stick better to a flat existing sole over one thats already chunkier with texture.
10. Try Sandpaper
Theres a reason that construction and household workers use sandpaper before a big project to make the surface rougher. In the same way, you can create a rougher texture for your boots by rubbing the paper across the sole where your shoe hits the ground.
11. Use Band-Aids
Yes, this might sound crazy, but those extra tough Band-Aids are good for more than just cuts and abrasions. In fact, placing a bandage on the toe and heel of your kicks offer that little bit of extra traction if you’re worried about a patch of black ice here and there.
12. Use Puff Paint
When applied to the sole of any shoe, puff paint will provide a slightly textured surface when dry. And it adds a little bit more personality to your kicks as well.
Additional reporting by Kate Miller.
This article was originally published on