How to Make Vibram Soles Less Slippery

In short: To make your Vibram soles less slippery, spray some adhesive spray for slippery shoes or extra strong hairspray. You can also install some grip pads to add traction.

Vibram soles are known for their excellent grip and durability. However, some people think that they are slippery. Here’s why Vibram soles are slippery and how to fix them. 

Why are my Vibram soles so slippery?

Vibram soles are slippery because they are made for rough, off-road terrain, not urban surfaces. They have excellent traction for the outdoors but have poor traction on wet, smooth surfaces.

Most Vibram soles are used on footwear for outdoor and workwear activities, such as hiking, mountaineering, and construction. The ridges provide traction for the outdoor terrain.

The rubber soles allow you to master the most demanding passages on rock, in slushy snow, or on icy sections. After all, Vibram shoes are made for hiking and outdoors.

The compromise for ensuring the rubber is hardy, however, is that they can be a bit slippery on urban surfaces. As a hiking shoe, Vibram soles are designed to last on rough, off-road terrain.

Basically on some stone, tiles, and metal hatch covers in the city, Vibram soles can be slippery (especially when rainy) and have the same grip as if you’re walking on ice.

You will achieve a higher level of performance when wearing Vibram shoes on the mountain. Over time and with use, however, the sole will roughen up and grip better on urban surfaces.

How to make Vibram soles less slippery

If you feel your Vibram soles are slippery, chances are you are wearing them on urban surfaces or in the city. Here are some tips and tricks to make your Vibram soles less slippery.

1. Install some grip pads

Consider installing material to the bottom of your Vibram soles to give you more grip. These grip pads, in particular, are an effective way to fix slippery soles and increase sole friction.

The best shoe grip pads are made of durable and odorless silica gel, allowing you to walk securely without slipping. The adhesive sole pads will stay in place all day securely.

To install shoe grip pads, clean your Vibram soles and let them dry. Remove the clear plastic film from the grip pad and stick it on the soles, one sole at a time. Press and allow it to stick.

However, because most Vibram soles have lug rubber soles, you will need to cut the grip pads to fit the protruding parts of the Vibram soles. Otherwise, the grip pads won’t stick properly.

The best part about grip pads is that they’re suitable for all types of shoes, including Vibram soles. You can cut them into pieces and adjust the size according to your soles.

2. Use an adhesive spray for slippery surfaces

Believe it or not, you can actually spray on the Vibram soles with an adhesive spray. It is designed to add traction on slippery surfaces to reduce slips and falls.

Spray-on traction adhesives coat the soles of your shoes with enough protection to brave wet and icy surfaces in urban areas, so be sure to keep a bottle in your stash all season long. 

This particular product will not harm leather or rubber. It also has a specially designed nozzle to spray the targeted area without waste, although several applications may be necessary.

3. Try extra strong hairspray

Hairspray, especially the extra strong variety, will make smooth soles a little more slip-proof. Although hairspray is merely a temporary solution, it is a great alternative to an adhesive spray. 

Apply an even layer of hairspray on the soles. Be sure the hairspray has dried completely before stepping outside. This quick fix will require reapplication on a daily basis, however.

For best results, use an extra strong hairspray with a quick-dry formula that sprays an ultra-fine mist. This hairspray ticks all of the boxes and can make your Vibram soles more grippy.

4. Resole your shoes

Sometimes the solution is just as easy as replacing your Vibram soles.

Whether your Vibram soles were just worn down from constant use, you can give the pair to a reliable shoemaker and have them replace the soles to make the shoes more durable.

Better yet, you can replace the soles with these Vibram soles. The soles easily snap into place even while standing. You don’t have to take them to a repair shop.

Boasting a sticky rubber sole with a deep, wide lug pattern for cutting through algae and gripping terrain, it is ideal for use on land and in less demanding wet wading conditions.

Bottom line

Now you know how to make Vibram soles less slippery. There are plenty of products like adhesive spray and grip pads that add grip and traction. Or, you can resole your shoes.

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