How To Score Shoe Soles

Scoring shoes is a practical help for many shoes, but in particular for vintage shoes.  Why?  Well, any unworn shoe has a smooth sole that can be slippery.  In decades past, people were more accustomed to the fact of slippery soles because nearly all shoes had them, and had to be broken in and/or scored before use.  Remember, this was before the days of ground-gripping highly textured athletic soles.

So, for an example, here's an unworn 1940s leather ladies' shoe, right out of its 1940s shoe box:

Take a look at that super-slick sole... It's never set foot on the pavement!
All you need is a razor, and a steady hand.  Be careful!

Score the shoe as evenly as possible...

And you're done!

The glimpse of a scored shoe is often seen on the runway, where fashion house's staff quickly score shoes just out of the box before models step in and go.

An alternative to scoring shoes is placing tape on the soles.  We rarely see this in vintage shoes, and frankly it's a lesser alternative.  The flash of a scored sole is just so much more chic.  Happy shoe shopping!