The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

Slippery Deck Shoe Fix

My Gill deck shoes were completely losing their grip. We are talking scary-slippery, to the point I nearly went on my ass, and overboard was a real possibility.

We have seen this before. Seems like whatever material deck shoe soles are being made of these days, it develops a hard yellowy layer way before the shoe is worn out—shoe on right.

We have tried sanding before, but with not a lot of success, so this time, in desperation, I took a grinder with an 80-grade disk to them—shoe on left.

That fixed it, as grippy as new.

Keep at it until the yellow is gone and wear a respirator, I can’t imagine the dust is good for us.

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Edward Scharf

I have done that to Keens, deck boots and shoes. I usually have good luck with an orbital sander with 80 grit.

Dick Stevenson

Hi John, A wire brush accessory chucked in a drill works well also. Dick

Matthieu Chauvel

For those of us wearing Crocs, or shoes with soles made of foam resin Croc-like material that eventually wears smooth (and accordingly dangerous), I gave this soldering iron method a try a couple months ago, seems to work pretty well!