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How to Gain Traction? (a little more literally than I usually mean)
A garage startup is an interesting game, and in some ways I'm finding myself conforming to the stereotype -- in particular, I *am* often working in my bathrobe in the mornings. (The downside of this, of course, is that I'm working 8am - 7pm most days: you don't succeed in this game unless you're willing to completely commit. After I finish posting this, it's back to studying Akka.)

But I'm not here to talk about business today. Instead, let's talk about footwear.

As we head into the colder months, I'm finding myself with a dilemma about what to do with my feet. It's getting too cold to leave them bare. But our house is three floors of immaculately-kept wood flooring, and going around sock-foot always feels dangerously slippery as I run up and down stairs -- bedroom slippers even moreso. (And we're a no-shoes house.)

Today, I've resorted to yoga socks:
Yoga Socks
Yes, they have little toes. More importantly, though, they are polka-dotted with tiny rubber studs. They're remarkably effective -- I think they actually provide more secure footing than my shoes do on these floors.

But they are *crazy* expensive (most of $10/pair), and fairly thin -- as we reach real winter, I'm going to want something warmer. So I'm asking myself whether it would be possible to get a pair of real bedroom slippers and do something similar to their soles, or something like that.

So what the heck, let's toss it out for ideas. How would you solve this? Do you already have a favorite solution that gets you warm feet and good indoor traction?

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Places like Walmart and Target sell slipper socks along those lines only without the separate toes. Buy a couple of pairs that are a little large, then layer them over your normal socks. You might have to look for them in the women's section though.

The non-slip stuff on the soles is some sort of puffy fabric paint. You can get it at Jo-ann Fabrics, Michaels, AC Moore, etc. Take a pair of nice thick warm socks and paint a tread pattern on the soles (preferably with the sock stretched out a bit) and let it dry and there you have it.

Excellent! I was hoping there might be answers of that sort. Thanks much...

Socks for warmth, sandals for traction. In your place, I would keep a pair of sandals reserved for indoor use only.


I wear wool socks and the two-strap Bass sandals with rubber soles. Traction and arch support both. And insulation from cold floors.

Both suggestions above are good. Also, some bedroom slippers have non-slip soles.

Invest in a stair runner and area rugs.

We are a no-shoes house, too, and now that we are replacing wall-to-wall carpet with hardwood floors, I've expressed the same concern about slippery floors. I still haven't figured out why it makes sense to get rid of the carpet (because of allergens) but it's OK to put down area rugs that will also collect allergens....

Edited at 2012-11-02 01:38 pm (UTC)

area rugs can be taken out and beaten.

Others have addressed the actual question, so I'll comment a little on the side.

...in particular, I *am* often working in my bathrobe in the mornings

Tsk, tsk. Now, sir, you know better than that. There's major gains to be had on being formal about it, even if you are working at home. Get up, shower, dress, eat breakfast - or whatever yoru normal routine would be, and then go to work. Really. In the long run, the habit will be a major support to your sanity.

Actually, it's not that simple. I know what you're talking about here (I've been through, what, six startups now, including a previous bootstrap?), but it doesn't seem to be quite as essential for me.

There are certainly benefits to that sort of formality, but it's mostly a tactic for a higher-level purpose: maintaining some boundary between Work and Life. As it turns out, I'm mostly handling that in other ways, so far with reasonable success.

Frankly, what I'm wearing matters *far* less than whether I'm in the same room as my computer. Leaving my study and *staying out of it* in the evening is the most crucial part, which will be the long-term sanity challenge...

We do wear shoes indoors, but I've got a pair of mules I don't wear outside. The slip on and off as needed, and go year round with bare feet, cotton socks, and wool socks, as the season requires. They function rather like extra sturdy bedroom slippers with arch support.

L.L. Bean fleece slippers with rubber soles.

Toasty warm and machine washable.

Intriguing -- I'll have to check those out. Thanks!

If you (or other readers here) go the shearling route for slippers, you may or may not know that true shearling has the wool still attached to the sheepskin as it grew in the first place.

As "shearling" is not a regulated term, it is also applied to the simulacrum which involves glue between the layers of leather and wool (or fake wool;) it is a much less comfortable product. Also considerably cheaper.

How would you feel about heating your house to a higher temperature and still going barefoot?

Honestly, it would be less comfortable and more expensive. My ideal temp for dressed body also wants dressed feet...

When the kids were little and just learning to walk so we weren't doing shoes, I would take fabric paint (there's a type that dries raised and kind of rubbery)and put the little traction giving dots and squiggles on myself. You can do it to any pair of socks.

You can buy the grippy stuff in rolls from crafting places and just sew it to whatever socks you like. I saw some in a catalog not long ago.

I would also go into the slippers or indoor-only shoes camp, with the caveat to make sure your slipper bottoms won't just make things a different kind of slippery. Some hard bottom slippers have weird plasticy treads instead of truly gripping treads and make hardwood floors even more precarious than they would be in socks.

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