How Do I Keep My Tap Shoes From Slipping?

Last Updated on March 7, 2021 by Fahad Zahid

No matter how excited you are to dance in your new tap shoes, their slipping is a disaster for all dancers. And when you have a constant fear of slipping on the stage, you might not be able to perform better as well.

If you have bought the best tap shoes for beginners, learning to dance will be difficult with tap shoes. But, don’t worry!

We have a complete guide on how to make your tap shoes less slippery, which will help you prepare for the performance and dance with confidence!

How To Make Tap Shoes Less Slippery

· Use Grip Pads:

The most useful hack for making your tap shoes less slippery is using grip pads or traction pads on the shoes.

They are readily available on the market at low prices. However, they are a handy tool if you want a permanent solution for your slippery tap shoes.

For the best results, it is better to apply the grip pads at least 24 hours before your performance. However, a few hours will also do the job if the grip pads are of high-quality.

How To Attach Grip On Tap Shoes

While many people face problems while attaching the grip on their tap shoes, it isn’t a complicated process. If you cannot figure out how to attach the grip, here is a step-by-step guide.

  • Place the grip in front of you such that the non-grip part is facing the floor.
  • Apply adhesive or a strong contact bond on the grip.
  • Attach the grip side having the glue under the tap of the shoe.
  • Press the grip firmly on the tap to attach it correctly.
  • Leave the shoes for a few hours.
  • Cut out any excess portion of the grip hanging from the shoes.
  • Your non-slip tap shoes are ready!

These simple and easy steps will help you attach the grip on tap shoes like a professional. However, make sure not to use tape for attaching the grip as it will destroy the look of the shoes and make your beautiful shoes look ugly.

Many grip pads also come with adhesive on the inside. They are a better option, as you won’t have to buy glue separately.

· Duct Tape:

Applying duct tape on the toe tap is one of the commonly used methods by all dancers. Almost everyone says that it helps a lot to prevent slipping.

Thus, it is another simple and less costly hack. If you have no time left for the performance and want to avoid slipping on the dance floor, applying duct tape will do the job.

However, duct tapes often interfere with the tapping sound and reduce it a bit.

· Hairspray:

Using hair spray is another excellent and easy hack for preventing tap shoes from slipping. If you are doing last-minute rehearsals and continuously slipping on the dance floor, a hairspray will do the job.

Just hold the bottle in your hand and spray it on the tap (metal part) of the shoes. It does not lessen the sound of the tap but makes your shoes less slippery.

The best idea is to apply hair spray an hour or thirty minutes before the performance and let it dry completely. However, make sure that the floor does not have any dirt or dust as it will make the tap shoes even more slippery.


You can also use cola and water to make your tap shoes less slippery.

  • Take cola and water in equal quantities.
  • Transfer them to a spray bottle and shake thoroughly.
  • Spray it on the bottom of the tap shoes.

However, this technique isn’t as quick as using hairspray. Therefore, you might need to spray the cola and water at least two hours before the performance and let it dry.

· Sandpaper:

Using sandpaper is also an excellent idea if your new tap shoes slip a lot. However, make sure to only use sandpaper on the toe tap and not the whole shoes.

Sandpaper gently scrubs the metal tap of the shoes, increasing the friction and thus reduces the chances of slipping. It also does not disturb the clarity of the sound.

· Rub On Concrete:

Rubbing the tap of tap shoes on concrete also makes them less slippery by increasing the grip. Although it may seem to damage the metal tap, it won’t cause extra damage.

It is better to gently rub the tap on concrete or any other hard surface to lessen the metal’s smoothness.


A better alternative is to walk with the dance shoes on the road. The road’s surface is less harsh, so gently rubbing the metal tap on the road will do the job and make them less slippery.

But, make sure not to do this for hours.

Just rubbing for two to three minutes is enough.

· Use Dance Rosin:

Buying dance rosin is an effective way to avoid slipping of tap shoes. Many dancers buy rosin boxes and keep these boxes with them.

Rosin is the sap of a tree and is usually available in solid form. The powdered form of rosin is very useful in preventing slipping on dance floors.

How to use:

  • To use rosin, take its powdered form.
  • Dust it gently on the toe-tap of your shoes.
  • Many dancers dip their shoes in the rosin dust for added friction.
  • You can also dust it on the floor.
  • For best results, apply it just before going for the performance.
  • Make sure to review your dance rules before using rosin.

Rosin boxes are cheap and readily available. However, dance rosin and instrument rosin are different. So, make sure to use the right one.

· Use Water:

It may sound strange to use water to reduce slipping, but it is useful. However, this method is not as effective as the ones mentioned above.

Using water either on the floor or the tap shoes will make them less slippery. But, make sure not to soak your tap shoes in water as it can make them more slippery. Instead, use a few drops of water and gently rub your shoes on them.


A damp towel is a better alternative to make tap shoes less slippery. Use it just before going on the stage and as soon as you come off before going again.

Although many dancers use this method, we don’t highly recommend this. If you don’t use the water in the exact quantity, it will make you slip and get hurt.

Looking for Non Slip Shoes? Check out the links below:


Is there any permanent way to make tap shoes non-slip?

Yes, adding grip pads or traction pads on the tap shoes makes them slip-resistant. If you attach them correctly, they can go well for several years, often becoming a permanent and less costly solution.

Can I remove the tap from my tap shoes to stop slipping?

You can remove the tap from tap shoes, but we don’t recommend it. The tapping sound of these shoes makes them ideal for dancing. If you remove the metal tap, you might need to renew the sole.

Does dust cause tap shoes to slip?

Yes, if the floor has dirt or dust, you will probably slip while walking or dancing on it. So, it is better to clean the floor before performing.

Do you always slip with tap shoes?

The metal toe tap on tap shoes makes you slip. As we don’t regularly use tap shoes, beginners can face slipping problems while wearing them. However, a bit of practice will help you handle yourself in the tap shoes, and you won’t slip anymore.

Does rubbing on concrete damage tap shoes?

Dancing on a concrete floor will damage the tap shoes. However, for slipping purposes, concrete in fine. Gently rubbing the metal part of the tap shoes on concrete will make them non-slip.

Final Words

If you are worried about your tap shoes slipping during the performance, our guide has got you covered.

However, it is better to keep in mind that these tricks don’t offer a permanent solution. We have mentioned the time you need to use them, which will help you use the right one, depending on the situation.

So, don’t worry about slipping with your tap shoes and perform the best you can!

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