Making Slippers Non-Slip
I loved the slippers I made (Pattern: Felted Clogs by Fiber Trends) the other day – they are nice and toasty and I see myself wearing them a lot. I was worried, however, of wearing through them too quickly. Mostly, however, I needed the bottoms to be waterproofed. I plan to wear these slippers on late-night emergencies that my job may have me responding to. And, sad as it is, there is more than a tiny chance that I may accidentally step in vomit. Naturally, I want to protect the bottom of my slippers from such a sad fate. In case you want to do the same, here’s how I did it:First, you’ll need to gather your supplies:You’ll need:
- Slippers (or whatever it is you want to make non-slip)
- Silicone/Latex Caulking stuff. You can get this at any hardware store. Pick a better color than clear – it didn’t turn real clear for me (you’ll see in the photos later) – there’s a good selection of colors – black, white, brown and I think some other colors too… a good variety. Whatever you pick, however, you’ll probably be able to get at least 3 pairs worth of non-slip out of it – so keep that in mind when you buy your stuff (that was why I chose clear). Also – someone advised me to NOT get the cheap kind (which may peel off in layers) – so I splurged and bought the 7$ bottle. I’m not really sure if I succumbed to peer pressure for any legitimate reason – but he seemed to know what he was talking about. Also – please know that Silicone will be EXTREMELY slippery on a wet smooth floor. Latex, not so much.
- A caulking gun – borrow this from someone you know – I bet someone you know has one. I had to buy mine because there aren’t many people in the residence halls who have done any sealing (with caulk) recently – not that I actually asked anyone, by the way.
- Some means of spreading the caulk – you could use an old credit card – or a spreader thing like I did.
- Newsprint – for protecting your table/surface area.
After you cover your surface with newspaper, you’ll need to prepare your caulk tube. Consult the directions on the tube you bought – I had to cut the top off of mine – and poke a hole like below (I used a knitting needle).Next up, load the tube into the caulking gun. You’ll have to pull the trigger a few times to get the caulk to the tip. From here, the next step is to squirt the gel onto the sole of your slipper. You’ll need a lot. Squirt like crazy. If your trigger fingers get tired (it’s hard), do 1/2 a sole at a time.Don’t worry if a string of gel goes off to the side or somewhere that you don’t want it – just let it be and don’t worry about it for now – whatever you do, don’t rub it off and smear it into the slipper. Only smear the gel where you want the gel to be – and definitely smear it – rub it into the fibers.You can try to add a pattern into the slippers with your scraper if you want – try to come up with some sort of “tread” pattern. You can also skip the idea of a solid covering – and use the nozzle of the tube to write “left” or “right” or “hand wash only” or whatever the heck you want. If you’re going for the full coverage affect, make sure you’re erring on the side of too much caulk vs. not enough.Make sure you’re careful to get the edges (especially if you’re worried about stepping into something gross). Once you’ve covered both soles, let the silicone/latex “cure” as directed by the package – make sure they stay “sticky side up.” Mine took 24 hours to fully cure to the point where I was comfortable walking in them.Once the soles are fully cured, you can pull off parts of the silicone that aren’t where you want them – like if one of your squirts went awry – or if you covered too much of an edge – just cut or pull off what you don’t want. It’ll come off pretty easy.In the future, if you wear your slippers so much that you begin to wear through the sole – just-reapply with some more caulk. Double (triple) the length of the life of your slippers!And that’s it – pretty simple.A note about washing: A few readers have asked about the washability of this treatment – and I would say (with no experience, mind you), that a wash on the gentle cycle and an air dry is probably just fine.