In the world of fashion, style and utility often occupy separate spheres; no matter how voguish your new shoes are, you won't look very chic sliding across the ground on slippery soles. With a little action and a do-it-yourself kit, however, you can have the best of both worlds. Self-adhering outsole appliques, available at brick-and-mortar and online shoe stores, serve as your best bet for staying stable. Although basic instructions remain fairly consistent across products, always refer to the manufacturer's instructions before application.
Whisk any dirt or debris from the bottom of your shoes with a shoe brush, then dampen a cleaning rag with rubbing alcohol and wipe the outsole thoroughly. If your applique kit includes a pre-treated cleaning cloth or solution, use this instead of alcohol. Allow the alcohol or cleaning solution to dry completely. A clean surface helps encourage strong adhesion.
Place your shoe on top of the applique and use a felt-tipped marker to carefully trace the outline of the shoe's outsole. In some cases, the stick-ons come with pre-drawn outlines to accommodate different outsole shapes or shoes sizes. Cut out the appropriate shape with a pair of sharp craft scissors or, if you drew your own, cut that shape out, staying about 1/4 inch inside the outline. The tracing and cutting process may not be necessary for some appliques, which come in pre-cut shapes made to adhere to the toe or heel of the shoe.
Remove the backing paper to reveal the applique's adhesive. Align the applique with the shoes entire outsole, heel or toe -- depending on the shape of the stick-on -- and firmly press the adhesive against the bottom of the shoe. Flatten your hand and rub the entire surface of the applique, applying plenty of pressure to ensure that it sticks.
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