How to Reinforce Shoe Soles With Duct Tape

Tape the bottom of high heels to prevent slippery soles.
Tape the bottom of high heels to prevent slippery soles. (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

An active person can quickly wear out shoe soles, but reinforcing them with duct tape could extend the life of your shoes as well as make slick soles safer. Inexpensive and easy to find, duct tape is durable and a little goes a long way. For the best results, clean and dry the shoes before taping the soles. Applying tape to a dirty surface will limit the tape's effectiveness, and you may have to repeat the procedure.

Things You'll Need

  • Shoe brush
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cloth
  • Liquid soap
  • Scissors
  • Box cutter

Flip your shoes over so the soles are facing up. Brush the dirt from your soles with a sturdy brush such as a utility brush. Clean the sides of the shoes as well.

Rub the shoe soles with a cloth dabbed in rubbing alcohol to remove any gummy residue. Treat light dirt with a soapy cloth. Let shoes dry completely before continuing.

Examine the shoes for cracks or tears in the soles. If you see cracks, the soles need to be replaced.

Turn the shoe so that the toe is pointed towards you. Unroll 1-inch to 2-inches of tape. If your shoe has a heel, position the tape at the sole above the heel.

Smooth the tape across the shoe sole, stopping about a 1/2-inch from end of the shoe. Cut the tape away from the roll with scissors or a box cutter.

Rub down the tape to remove any bubbles or creases, which can cause you to trip or loosen the tape from the shoe sole.

Tips & Warnings

  • Take your shoes to a professional cobbler if they need complete resoling.

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