How to Make Shoes Slippery for Dancing

Hitting the dance floor with shoes that move smoothly as you dance can make your dancing experience worthwhile. Unfortunately, most shoes have some friction with the floor.

While getting professional dance shoes is one way to deal with the problem, this may be an expensive route to take. Luckily, you can easily make your shoes slippery using the simple hacks we show you in this article.

5 recommended ways of making your shoes slippery for dancing

Here’s a highlight of what we’ll cover:

  • Why you should go for slippery shoes when dancing
  • Easy DIY methods to make shoes slippery for dancing
  • Alternative ways to make your shoes slippery for dancing
  • Frequently Asked Questions
dancing girl


Why You Should Go for Slippery Shoes When Dancing

While a shoe with deep treads is ideal for hiking, dancing is a world of difference. Here’s why you need slippery shoes the next time you cut a rug:

Ease of Movement

Less slippery shoes create a lot of friction with the surface, making serious dancing a bit strenuous. When you make your shoes slippery, they glide easily and smoothly on the dance floor, making you effortlessly hit your dance moves.

May Prevent Injuries

Wearing shoes with a firm grip on the surface can make you exert more effort when dancing, possibly leading to foot injuries. Slippery shoes let your feet adjust comfortably and move as you dance, helping to prevent dance-related injuries.[1] 

Easy DIY Methods to Make Shoes Slippery for Dancing

There are numerous ways to make your shoes slippery for dancing. In this section, we discuss some of the quickest and easiest methods.

Additionally, most of these hacks are inexpensive!

The Sandpaper Method

This method is quite simple and should not take you more than 20 minutes. It is also very economical as all you need is rubber soles, sandpaper and you are good to go.

The sandpaper method works by flattening the shoe treads, making them smoother and thus slippery for dancing. A downside to this method is that it yields more permanent results, therefore is irreversible.

To get your shoes slippery using sandpaper, all you have to do is follow these steps:

Step 1: Ensure that the soles of your shoes are clean. Remove any dirt, debris, or foreign objects that may be on the shoe. This helps prepare the shoe surface for smoothing with sandpaper.

Step 2: Get your sandpaper, hold the shoe upright from the inside, and start smoothing the sole. You can start from the top or the bottom of the shoe. Whichever you choose, ensure that you are systematic to get a smooth surface.

Step 3: Check the texture of the shoe surface using your hand to ensure it is smooth and even.

Step 4: To finish off, wear your shoes for a short period on rough terrain, e.g., sandy ground. After this, your dancing shoes are good to go!

girls dancing


The Olive Oil Method

This second method of making shoes slippery is an extension to the sandpaper method. The only difference is the olive oil method uses olive oil after the sanding process.

This method is highly effective, as the oil fills up the air bubbles created when sanding, making your shoes slippery and ready for dancing. Although this technique takes longer than the sandpaper method, the results are worth the time and effort.

Step 1: Like in the sandpaper method, clean your shoes. Having a clean surface to work on makes the smoothing process more manageable.

Step 2: Although this step is similar to the sandpaper method, you have to follow circular movements with the olive oil technique. The main purpose of using circular motions is to form a pattern that will make it easier for the olive oil application step.

Step 3: Dust off the sole to remove any particles from the sanding process.

Step 4: Put some olive oil on the paper towel and wipe the bottom of the shoe.The olive oil fills up the created air spaces, making your shoes slippery and ready for the dance floor.

Using Suede Paper or Soles

Try using suede soles or paper if your shoes do not have treads but aren’t slippery enough for dancing.

Stick-on Suede Soles with Industrial-Strength Adhesive Backing. Resole Old Dance Shoes or Turn Sneakers into Perfect Dance Shoes. [Suede-M, Suede-XL]

  • Turn any pair of shoes into suede-soled dance shoes, or replace worn-out suede soles on existing dance shoes.
  • Enjoy the ideal friction properties of suede soles when dancing on well-maintained and clean wood dance floors – at a fraction of the price of new suede-soled dance shoes. Suede soles should not be worn on any surface other than clean wood dance floors.
  • Don’t fuss with messy, smelly glues. No glue is needed for this product. Just peel off the protective liner from the self-adhesive backing and apply your new suede soles to your shoes. It is really that simple!
  • Don’t worry about cutting the right shape out of a sheet of suede. We shaped these soles optimally for fitting most flat-soled shoes while providing a superb dance experience. Still, if the soles are too big, you can cut the excess with regular household scissors.
  • RELATED PRODUCTS: We offer other stick-on dance soles and sheets of suede, all with industrial-strength adhesive backing. Just enter “Soles2dance Suede” (without quotation marks) in the Amazon search window to see all our adhesive-backed suede soles and adhesive-backed suede sheets.

This option is a temporary solution. When the dance session is over, peeling off the suede paper reverses the process, and your soles go back to how they were originally.

You can buy suede soles online or from a local store. They come in two forms: an entire block, or a section of the sole such as the forefront, the heel, or the ball of the foot.

The following are steps to guide you on sticking the suede soles. If you have ready-made suede soles, you can skip straight to Step 4.



Step 1: Place the suede paper block on a flat surface to ensure precision when cutting.

Step 2: Take your dancing shoes and place them on the suede paper. Using a marker pen, carefully outline your shoe on the suede paper.

Step 3: Using a sharp pair of scissors, carefully cut out the outlined part of the shoe.

Step 4: Gently peel off the adhesive tape on the suede paper and carefully fix the suede paper on the shoe in a gradual manner. Make sure that you press out any kinks or creases.

Step 5: Do the same for your other shoe, and you are ready to start dancing!


Alternative Ways to Make Your Shoes Slippery for Dancing

Using Gaffer Tape

Gaffer tape is a cloth-like adhesive tape that is also waterproof. To use it, simply follow the steps discussed under the suede paper method. As you’d expect, it is similarly a temporary method.

However, a disadvantage of using gaffer tape is that it is more difficult to remove than suede paper. It also leaves a sticky residue on your shoe.

Taking Your Shoe to a Cobbler

If you do not want to go through the hassle of making your shoes slippery yourself, you can take them to a professional cobbler. This may be more expensive, but you will achieve long-lasting results.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Make My Shoes Less Slippery?

If you make your shoe too slippery, you can use grip pads, traction spray, or hairspray to help create some friction. The advantage of grip pads is that you can target a specific shoe area.

All three of these methods are temporary solutions; thus, you should consider this when making your shoes slippery, especially when using more permanent methods like sandpaper.

Can You Substitute Olive Oil with Another Oil When Making Shoes Slippery?

No. Olive oil is the only oil recommended for making shoes slippery.

How Do You Ensure Your Dancing Shoes Remain Slippery?

It’s best to avoid wearing your dancing shoes outside, especially on rough terrain, as this can damage their smooth surface. Additionally, proper shoe care will determine how long they last.

dancing shoes



Making your shoes slippery for dancing is essential as it enhances ease of movement and helps to prevent injuries. Some techniques such as the olive oil and sandpaper method give great results but are irreversible; thus need great caution and consideration.

If you are looking for something less permanent, then the suede paper or gaffer tape method is the way to go. If you prefer a more professional finish that doesn’t comprise a DIY project, you can take your shoes to a seasoned cobbler.



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