Anti-Skid and Increased Longevity of Shoes

by Kirk Bachler, Twin Cities Branch

The RTV seems to be a good idea. I have used an alternative for many years that

  • provides good traction

  • provides substantial shock absorption

  • increases the longevity of shoes and

  • meets Uncle Barry's criteria (which are very sensible).

I go to a “shoe findings supplier” (cobblers' supply supplier) and buy a sheet of “Biltrite galloshes bottom” (a material made for the repair of over-shoes). It is available in three thicknesses - use only the thinnest!!! (Other materials may work but most with which I am familiar are too stiff.) I glue it on with “Barge Cement”. Follow all of the safety/ventilation suggestions!! Rough up the gluing surface with sand paper to improve adhesion. Biltrite trims easily with scissors and molds to the convex shape of the shoe - I put on my shoes and press the material with my hands to conform to my foot. I trim it very close to the sole with NO overhang. Biltrite has very little “memory” so will retain the shape of the sole after hand molding. If after considerable dancing an edge comes loose it can be reglued. I am quite heavy (about 95 kg) and find that the material absorbs a noticeable amount of impact (kinetic energy) especially when dancing on hard surfaces. It is flexible enough that it does not impair what “point” I have. It provides grip without sticking as aircraft inner tube does. If it seems too grippy at first a light sanding under the toe/ball of foot section will increase slip. It does not leave black smears on floors. One sheet will do 1.5 pairs of size 13 US (47 European(?)) dance shoes or 2+ pairs of smaller shoes. It will last for 5 or 6 years of dancing several times per week (including outdoors in all weathers and on concrete). If anyone has questions, please, feel free to contact me.