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Sticky Shoes

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"Ha-ha! I'm wearing Non-Slip Shoes So Ha!"
Flower, Battle for Dream Island, "Take the Plunge"

Footwear that sticks to sheer surfaces, either for a Wall Crawl or to substitute for a lack of Artificial Gravity. Magnetized shoes are popular, but you might also see adhesives or even suction cups, in more fantastic settings it might work by portable gravity manipulation if not outright magic.

Don't Try This at Home — you'd need significant leg and core body strength to pull this off, and there's very few adhesive materials or devices that can hold the weight of a human body with that little surface area while also allowing them to detach at will. The "gravity boots" variant is somewhat more plausible as the wearer isn't fighting gravity, but real-life astronauts tend to prefer floating around the interior of their cramped ships and using Jet Packs outside the ship.

Sub-Trope of Tricked-Out Shoes.


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    Comic Books 
  • Katie the Catsitter, a superhero sidekick in training, keeps asking to use suction cup shoes, only to be told repeatedly that they're a bad idea and don't work.
  • Tintin: In Tintin: Explorers on the Moon, the crew are issued magnetic boots in case the rocket stops and its acceleration-simulated gravity cuts off. Captain Haddock fails to lace his in time.

    Fan Works 
  • Rocketship Voyager:
    • The crew of Voyager use magheel boots (you release them by pressing down on the toes) because their rocketship only has gravity while under acceleration. In her introductory scene, B'Elanna Torres uses her magnetic heelplates to kick a man in the face; when the impact in zero-gravity sends her flying she self-rotates to hit feet-first, then walks vertically up the bulkhead and exits through the tween-deck hatch.
    • Because Voyager's contraterrene is protected by an electromagnetic field, magheel boots are banned in the engineering areas, so the crew use suction boots instead.
  • Stars Fade: As with the original games, Commander Shepard wears magnetic boots just in case she has to travel in zero-g; given that she begins the story by getting trapped in Thedas, they don't appear to have much use at first... up until they end up getting stolen while Shepard is still badly wounded and unconscious from her arrival. Once the thief turns up, Shepard is able to get the boots back without violence by switching on the magnetic function via her omni-tool, leaving the thief irresistibly drawn to anything metal - including the weapons and armour of fellow gang-members. Once the fighting finally stops, the thief throws the boots away in a huff... complete with the cuirass they were stuck to.

    Film — Animated 
  • The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones: When Barney gets stuck up a tree, George puts on a pair of "magnetized anti-gravity boots" so he can walk up the trunk and get him down.
    Wilma: Jane, aren't you worried? He's gonna fall!
    Jane: Oh, he's used to it. I mean, walking upside-down. One of our favorite things at home is dancing on the ceiling.
    Judy: I think Daddy's got a new favorite, Mom: riding horsey-back!
    Barney: [being carried down] Just call me "tall in the saddle".
  • In Titan A.E., Cade is seen walking on the hull of a wrecked ship he's salvaging. The novelization mentions grav boots.
  • In the Wallace & Gromit short The Wrong Trousers, Bungling Inventor Wallace acquires the Techno-Trousers, which feature suction holes on the feet. Presumably, the Techno-Trousers were originally meant for use in space (Wallace mentions the technology is "Ex-NASA"), but the suction is powerful enough for the wearer to walk up walls and along ceilings.

    Film — Live Action 
  • The lunar shuttle in 2001: A Space Odyssey has carpet and stewardesses wearing velcro slippers.
  • Destination Moon: While fixing a problem on the outside of the Moon rocket, Cargraves unclips his tether because it's not long enough. He then makes the mistake of kneeling down to inspect something, causing his magnetic boots to become detached from the hull. Dramatic Space Drifting ensues.
  • Face/Off inverts this trope with magnetic boots for immobility rather than increased mobility. Inmates at Erehwon Prison are required to wear heavy iron boots at all times. The prison wardens can magnetize the floor (which is also iron) at a moment's notice when they want to immobilize all the inmates.
  • Frau im Mond: Weighted boots are used so the protagonists can walk normally on the Moon's lighter gravity. There's no mention of this trope on the Moon rocket however, which is covered in straps so the crew can secure themselves in zero-gravity.
  • In If Looks Could Kill, one of the spy devices that British Intelligence gives Michael Corben is a pair of sneakers with the capacity to stick to walls through concealed suction cups. They get their moment to shine in the final part of the film, when Corben and the Love Interest have to go climb down a sheer wall to get away from the Collapsing Lair.
  • Inspector Gadget (1999): Suction shoes form part of Gadget's arsenal. He uses them to retrieve the mechanical foot from Scolex's lab.
  • Solo: The Imperial range troopers are equipped with bulky magnetic boots — not for use in microgravity, but for standing or walking on the roofs of high-speed vehicles, like a train.
  • Star Trek:
    • Used as a plot point in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country: When the Klingon battle cruiser Kronos One is attacked, its Artificial Gravity is knocked out. Two assassins then board the ship wearing magnetic boots; they are able to calmly stomp around shooting everyone in their path while their victims can only flail around helplessly in mid-air. However, they need the boots to stay on the transporter pad when beaming off the ship, meaning they've been hidden somewhere on Enterprise.
    • Star Trek: First Contact: Picard, Worf and Lt. Hawk have to go for a walk on the outside of the Enterprise to prevent the Borg activating a giant signal beacon, which requires the use of EVA suits with magnetic boots. When Hawk is captured by the Borg, Picard has to finish his task, which first requires him to temporarily disable his boots' magnetism in order to take a flying leap over a group of Borg.

  • In The BFG, one of the dreams is about a little boy who invents shoes that allow him to walk on the ceiling and then he quips to his sister, "I always told you you drove me up the wall, and now you have done it!".
  • In the Ender's Game prequels, spacers often wear "magnetic greaves" on their shins that provide resistance for exercise. They can also be turned off or turned up to act as anchors.
  • In Gold in the Sky, the 1958 sci-fi thriller by Alan E. Nourse, minions of a corrupt asteroid-mining corporation capture our heroes except for Tom Hunter who programs a scout ship's autopilot to take off on its own and get blown up by homing shells fired by the villains. He then clamps himself to the outside of the villain's spaceship using magnetic boots and hand-pads but nearly comes detached when they blast-off; fortunately, he's holding onto a landing strut as well.
  • Rebuild World: The protagonist Akira, eventually gets Powered Armor that has these that work based on energy from his suit. In one situation, Akira jumps out of a skyscraper window, uses his sword to Blade Brake, then uses these to Wall Run back up at his pursuer. In another situation, Akira uses them to Colossus Climb a mech to help create a weak point to exploit in its Deflector Shields.
  • Space Cadet: While in orbit around the Earth, a group of Patrol cadets goes out onto the outer surface of their training ship. They use the magnetic soles of their spacesuit boots to stick to the steel hull.

    Live-Action TV 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: One of the new magic items introduced in adventure S4, The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth, is Slippers of Spider Climbing. They allow the user to walk up vertical surfaces such as walls and cliffs and even walk upside down on a ceiling or roof of a cave.
  • Warhammer 40,000: While it doesn't have any tabletop effect, various pieces of background material mention that the the soles of a Space Marine's Power Armour can be magnetised so that they can fight in low and zero gravity conditions, such as on the hull of a starship.

    Video Games 
  • In Banjo-Tooie, Kazooie can use the Claw Clamber Boots once she finds Jamjars in Grunty Industries. These boots allow Kazooie to climb up walls, but only if the walls have a trail of Kazooie's footprints going up them. At the top of the trails are another pair of Claw Clamber Boots that allow Kazooie to climb back down, especially if there is a big drop.
  • Hardspace: Shipbreaker: Shipbreakers are equipped with special gloves that lets them stick to any solid object. If you run out of jetpack fuel, you can use this to crawl around interiors, as well as prevent yourself from being moved by explosions, debris and decompression.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: The Iron Boots allow Link to walk on patches of charged magnetic ore throughout the Goron Mines, which extend to the walls, ceiling, and cranes. He moves very slowly, makes hideous amounts of noise while walking, and he lacks the ability to use certain sword moves involving jumps, but it's necessary to navigate crucial areas of the dungeon. If there's any major relief, it's that the Goron Mines is the place where you acquire the bow and arrow, and you're going to learn to use it a lot.
  • LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 has Sticky Trainers, which are shoes with suction cups attached to the soles. They're found in Weasley boxes that only members of that family can use, and they allow the user to climb up special walls in the game.
  • "Gravity boots" are a common item in the Ratchet & Clank series that allow Ratchet to walk on magnetized surfaces. Perhaps most notable in Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus which starts on a starship that quickly loses power, and where he can "aim" at perpendicular surfaces and jump over to them quickly. In the original Ratchet & Clank (2002) game, Ratchet instead used the Magneboots, which were similar but caused him to move much slower, prevented jumping, and forced him to only use his wrench due to his other weapons being made of magnetic metal.
  • In SoulBlazer, the protagonist has to get shoes treated with the adhesive from snails to keep his traction on icy paths.

    Web Animation 
  • In Battle for Dream Island has Non Slip Shoes So Ha! Flower is first seen bragging about them in the premiere episode. while four other contestants are hanging for dear life. They aren't perfectly sticky, however, since Blocky sweeps her leg to knock her off. Non-Slip Shoes So Ha! are also referenced in a later episode as one of Yellow Face's advertisements.
    • In Battle for BFDI Flower uses them again to race up a staircase, and they do prevent her from falling—at least until another contestant hits her and knocks her off.

    Western Animation 
  • In a space episode of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog Sonic attaches horseshoe magnets to the feet of his spacesuit in order to run on the hull of Robotnik's rocket and roll it to a nearby station.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: The Joker-centric Villain Episode "Joker: The Vile and the Villainous!" had Joker scaling a building with a pair of giant plungers, in a parody of Batman's iconic grappling-hook climb.
  • The Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers episode "Adventures in Squirrelsitting" has Chip and Tammy visit Gadget in her workshop, where she's testing suction-cup footwear by walking on the ceiling. When Chip and Tammy suddenly depart, Gadget hurriedly tries to join them by unlacing her footwear. It's not until she's free of her suction cups that she realizes that she's still on the ceiling, where Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress. Good thing she had a makeshift crash helmet on.
  • An episode of Gadget Boy & Heather had among the Gadgets of the Week a pair of bubblegums packets: One, when stuck under the user's shoes, would make them Sticky Shoes, whereas the other would make them Spring Coil shoes instead.
  • The Loud House: In "Ties That Bind", Lisa uses a pair she made to clean the ceiling.
  • The Perils of Penelope Pitstop:
    • In "The Terrible Trolley Trap", the mobsters attach plungers to their feet in order to scale a building in hope of untying Penelope from a flagpole.
    • In another episode, Penelope affixes wads of bubble gum to the soles of her boots in order to walk up the wall out of a crocodile pit.
  • Rick and Morty:
    • In the pilot episode, Rick gives Morty a pair of boots that will allow him to walk down a sheer cliff. Unfortunately, Morty tests them out before Rick tells him that he has to turn them on, with predictably disastrous results.
    • Zigzagged in "Rattlestar Ricklactica", in which Rick temporarily makes Jerry lighter than air and urges him to wear his unaffected shoes to keep him weighted to the ground. Of course, Jerry ends up losing one while trying to show off at basketball and gets stranded in mid-air.
  • Rocko's Modern Life: In "Pipe Dreams", the plumbing in Rocko's house is clogged up by Lolita, Rocko's pet goldfish who was flushed down the toilet three and a half years before the episode's events, as at the time, Rocko thought he was dead when he was really just sleeping. When Lolita keeps Rocko and his neighbors up all night with his constant rambling about his life, a Plumber named Dr. Phil comes to Rocko's house to talk to Lolita. As a crater surrounds Rocko's house as the result of an explosion from one of Rocko and Heffer's previous unclogging attempts, Dr. Phil wears toilet plungers on his feet and uses them to walk on the bottom of Rocko's house.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In "Graveyard Shift", SpongeBob wears plungers on his feet so that he can stick to the ceiling as he mops it.
  • Inverted in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) episode "Sky Turtles". Shredder and the Foot Clan use anti-gravity boots in order to rob the city while Krang's hyper-gravity generator is forcing everything to be rooted in place.
  • The Jetbootsu Shen Gong Wu in Xiaolin Showdown are a pair of boots that defy gravity, giving the user the ability to walk on walls, as well as flight.