Despite some undeniably chic options on the market, having to resort to clunky snow boots for the season can be a drag. Thankfully, there are a range of ways you can prep your favorite knee-highs and leather ankle boots for impending ice and snow — so you’ll not only stay dry and warm, but also sure-footed.
Below, we’ve rounded up a range of handy hacks for making cold-weather boots slip-proof. From affordable add-ons to simple DIY concoctions, these tricks will help save you from painful falls and spending a fortune on special slip-resistant styles.
Score the Bottoms
You may be worried about taking a knife to your boots, but you’ll be glad you did later. Use an X-Acto knife on smooth-soled boots to create a diamond pattern (cut lines diagonally one way, then cut more diagonally the other way so that the lines cross). This will give you more stability as water will now be able to pass through the tread.
To buy: X-Acto #2 Knife, $5; Amazon.com.
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Apply a Salt and Rubber Glue Mixture to Bottom of Boots
Adding a grainy texture to the bottom of your shoes will help improve traction and grip. For a quick solution, apply a salt and rubber glue mixture to the bottom of shoes. Once that’s done, simply let them dry for a few minutes, and you’re good to go.
Use Non-Slip Grip Pads
These non-slip pads easily stick to the bottom of boots for enhanced grip on slippery surfaces. Considering their shape, it’s best to use them on smooth sole boots, as opposed to chunkier lugged sole styles.
To buy: Pleaser Non-Slip Grip Pads, $23; Amazon.com.
Try Snow Grips
If you’re not into DIY tricks, try snow grips. They’re super-lightweight and easy to slip on on top of boots — making them ideal for preventing falls during a quick trip to the mailbox or afternoon hike.
To buy: Yaktrax Walk Traction Cleats, $14; Amazon.com.
Spray Boots with Hairspray
Hairspray is only a temporary solution, but as an adhesive, it will also enhance traction on boots. For this option, make sure the hairspray dries completely before you step outside and is re-applied every few days.
To buy: L’Oreal Paris Bold Control Hairspray, $4; Amazon.com.
Scuff the Soles
Add traction to your boots by intentionally scuffing flat soles on rough concrete or gravel. This is an especially helpful method for new boots, as their soles are often smoothest (and most slick) before wear.
You can also speed up the “wearing down” process by applying sandpaper to the bottom of shoes. Simply rub the paper across the parts of the sole that most frequently come into contact with the ground until they have a rougher texture.
To buy: 3M Garnet Sandpaper, $6; Amazon.com.
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