By Jayden Mark
Did you know that slips and accidental falls kill over 30,000 Americans and maim millions every single year? And that’s only 3000 less than car accidents! Even with all the technology in the world to give your shoes good grip, there are factors that lead to the speedy wear of your boot’s outsoles. Some of these factors include time, as well as the conditions and environment that your outsoles are exposed to. As time goes, it’s only inevitable that even the best pair of work boots wears down and becomes more slippery.
Why don’t you give your old boots a long look? If the outsoles are worn smooth by years of hard action, it’s no longer an issue of comfort and convenience. It’s a matter of your health and well-being both in and out of the workplace. Fortunately, you don’t have to necessarily replace the worn outsoles or toss out your favorite pair of work boots. With a few simple DIY tricks and maybe a couple of nifty products here and there, you can easily return the lost traction on your work boots and decrease your chances of taking an awful fall.
Method 1: Down and Dirty
If your boots start giving you the slip and your wallet cannot take another beating, you might want to consider some of the following budget-friendly techniques.
Scuff the Soles
The reason that the outsoles become slippery is because the surface that comes in contact with the ground is smooth and even. To solve this problem, you need to scuff the soles and create small nooks and craters. You can achieve this by simply rubbing your boots on abrasive surfaces such as rough concrete, rocks, gravel, boulders, walkways and textured metal grates.
If you are not overly embarrassed, why not get a little down and dirtier? After all, it saves you money, right? To get even better results, you should take off the boots and starts scuffing the outsole with an array of household items. You can use heavy duty sandpaper on the smoothest parts of the sole until they develop a rough and more textured feel. If you don’t have some sand paper nearby, a coarse nail file will also get the job done.
Method 2: Using Grip Adding Products
There comes a time when your health and well being are more important than a few lousy bucks. Of course, still not so much that you need another pair of $500 work boots. If you’re looking for a more practical and sort of permanent way to improve the traction of your work boots, why not try out the following techniques?
Invest in Grip Pads
For workers looking to significantly enhance their levels of traction, you may want to consider adding some materials to the bottom of your boots. One of the most effective and professional ways to do this is by applying shoe pads designed for better grip. These user friendly textured pads typically attach to your outsoles with strong adhesive and come relatively cheap.
Buy a Spray-on Coating
Thanks to some amazing innovations, there are a plethora of products designed to help your work boot get a better grip. Another convenient product comes in the form of a high traction spray and grips sprays that vary greatly in quality. This technique is very convenient and user-friendly because all you have to do is point the nozzle to the smooth parts of your outsole and spray away.
Just make sure that the soles are cleaned and well dried before you spray to ensure a stronger bond and maximum effect. If you want to save even more money on the spray, you can use ordinary hairspray. Sure, it won’t be as effective (and your wife will kill you for using up all her hairspray), but a generous coat of hairspray on your work boots will definitely give you a small boost in grip.
Method 3: Cobbler Up
I know I said that you wouldn’t need to call in the experts or replace the entire outsole, but what are you going to do when you’ve sanded down your outsole all the way to the uppers? Desperate times call for similar measures, and that’s why you’re here and not up there shopping for new work boots. If you have a favorite pair of work boots that fit you well or are especially expensive to purchase, you might want to consider taking it to a professional. While their services do not come cheap, it will be much more affordable than buying a brand new pair.
By using any of the above methods, you will significantly add some much-needed traction to your work boots. Your choice of method will highly depend on your budget; but remember, you get what you paid for. Scuffing your shoes can only do so much. It’s always better to make use of grip adding products that are actually built for the job. A word of caution, though; some of these DIY techniques can be hazardous for your work boot.
While scuffing, you could accidentally rip and damage your outsole further. You should also be careful about what type of grip adding sprays you use since some of them can discolor or degrade certain materials on your boot. And most importantly, remember to save up for a new pair of brand new work boots; these are just temporary solutions. You don’t want to put your lives and limbs in harm’s way when it could have been avoided in the first place.