how to get grip on basketball shoes

How to Get a Grip on Basketball Shoes? (Details Guide)

Once again, we find ourselves in the basketball season.

Autumn is here. With it, the turning of the leaves, a chill in the air, and the rush to get into the basketball court

However, when you go onto the field for the year’s first match, you immediately notice that something is not right.

It’s the slippery basketball shoes.

Dear basketball players, this write-up is totally about you.

Do your slippery shoes make you feel down?

Here, we’re going to show you how to add grip to basketball shoes. We’ll show you our top 7 ways to make your shoes less slippery. 

Can I add more grips to my shoes?

Whether you’re on a college basketball team or a pro player, you can’t take chances with your top-notch game, right? 

Let’s say you’re playing on an indoor court.

Having a good grip on your shoes allows you to make safer and quicker stops as well as faster direction changes.

Traction, also known as grip, is crucial for a player’s basic mobility. It drives each player’s striddle by causing agitation between the soles and the court’s surface. 

This is why it is important to have reliable traction on your outsoles.

But the most commonly asked question is whether adding extra grip to basketball shoes is possible. 

Yes, there are several ways in which you can make your basketball shoes less slippery and have additional grip.

However, you can bring different shoes for the game. Thus, your basketball shoes will get less dirty and provide enough traction. However, that is an expensive way to play your game efficiently.

Remember, you can affect your playing skills and performance by following certain techniques and products. The combination can give you an improved edge on the court with a better grip on your shoes.

Top Methods You Can Apply for Better Grip

You must have seen many players lick their hands and wipe the bottom parts of their shoes, which is awful-looking.

Top Methods You Can Apply For Better Grip

Another fact about this technique is that it would be easier with a player with large and flat hands.

Many people recommend wiping your shoes with a wet towel, which is also not a guaranteed way to get a better grip. When you’re halfway between a free throw and a shot on a basketball court, you can’t just go off asking for a wet towel for your shoe. 

Here are 7 ways to add grip to basketball shoes for your upcoming championship or training match:

1. Cleaning 

The moment you step out on a court, your basketball footgear starts to accumulate dirt and dust on the bottom. 

This situation prevents the sole from being connected to the floor, making your Snickers slippery and challenging to use during tournaments or training.

You have to clean the outsole by removing all the particles and debris to restore the hold of the footwear and prepare for the upcoming big time.

  • You can use toothpicks or a bristle brush to clear away the debris from the outsole. 
  • Mix clean water with liquid detergent, put a cloth in it, and wipe all the grooves of the soles.
  • Scrub the leftover dirt off the bottom using a soft brush or toothbrush.
  • For only drying off the outsole, use a towel. And go for an air-drying method if you have done a deep cleaning of the footwear. 

As you don’t want to compromise the fabric quality of your shoes, avoid cleaning them in a washing machine. 

2. Use Sandpaper

Increasing the grip of the basketball footwear using sandpaper or a nail file is a convenient technique. 

It is basically a gravel or brick-textured surface that scrapes the surface of your shoes against polished ground surfaces.

The gravel of sandpaper helps to add traction by turning the outsole into a more textured one that sticks better to the floor. 

  • Please select the smooth channel of your soles that comes into contact with the ground and rub it with 100-grit sandpaper. 
  • Keep doing it till the area becomes grooved and rougher. 

As if creating little furrows in your soles by taking off the upper coating, make sure you choose quality sandpaper. Though this method is helpful for a firmer grip, apply it if the shoes are not for return. 

3. Use Sticky Gel

You can apply specially produced gel on the soles that aim to improve the basketball shoe’s traction. The sticky gel comes in the form of a gel mat to help the shoes remove dust efficiently. 

Applying this method is easy. 

  • Before entering the game, step on the gel mat wearing your footwear.
  • Its adhesive surface absorbs the dirt and dust from the outsoles. 
  • And you’re all set to go with added traction.

4. Moisten the Sole

There can be awkward situations happening in the middle of a superb game, like starting to traction and breaking your shoes. 

To give your footgear more stopping power, try to make your shoes sticky by moistening the sole.

Generally, players use saliva and sweat on the sole to give their footwear some grip. 

We know what you’re thinking. Splitting your saliva and smearing it on the bottom of your shoes is disgusting; and unhygienic as well. 

You can use Vaseline instead of saliva to enhance the traction of your shoes. It will help sustain the sole’s moist level for longer hours. 

  • Clean the shoe soles and dry them off. 
  • Cover up the sole by smearing Vaseline over it. 

5. Grip Spray and Lotion

Have you ever heard of grip enhancers? 

Yes, you heard right. Utilizing special grip enhancers such as grip sprays and lotions gives you an additional measure of over-cleaning.

You can add more stickiness to your sole by using grip lotions to the sole. With a quick spritz, you can add enough grip that you require. 

Different shoe adhesive sprays are available for creating anti-slipping coats on the sole. A traction spray works similarly to a hair spray. As grip sprays are water-resistant, they are ideal for drab winter days. 

Another traction enhancer is traction fluid, which is helpful in getting an additional hold on your shoes. 

Before you start a game, apply an ample amount of it on the outsole, and it will start working immediately. 

Remember, the effect lasts only five to ten minutes. So, you must repeat the method several times during a match. 

6. Sticky Mat

You may have seen a mat placed beside a play court during a match. Players walk on it, trimming off their shoes before playing. 

It is the sticky traction mat. The base of this sticky mat anchors 50 polyethylene recyclable and replaceable sheets. 

At the time of giving flooring protection, it is secured due to its ribbed rubber. 

The adhesive top sheets capture dust, dirt, and floor wax without shifting the stickiness back to the outsole.

Once the used sheets get nasty, players are exposed to new ones. The sticky mat is a comparably convenient method for cleaning your mouth and hands. 

7. Fixing the Sole 

Nevertheless, there are various ways to increase your basketball shoes’ traction. You may face a situation of zero grip on the soles after using them for a period of time.

In such a case, fixing your shoe sole is the right option. 

Replacing the old sole can give your shoe a new avatar. However, removing the outsoles is not as easy as cleaning your shoes.

You can ask professional service providers or shoemakers to add grip to your basketball footwear.

Still, Facing the Problem? Fix the Court!

At basketball arenas, the court is made of hardwood floors. So, avoiding the slipping risk while playing is a challenge. 

Why Basketball Shoes Become Slick

You may have already tried all the methods mentioned above to get an additional hold on your basketball footwear. However, you are still facing issues. 

In such cases, you should attempt to fix your slippy basketball court. 

Here we have pointed out several ways to maintain a clean, less slippery court surface.

  • To avoid a slippery floor, you should do dry dust mopping daily.
  • If you want comparably effective sweeping over the hardwood, consider a microfiber dusting mop instead of the traditional one. 
  • For effective cleaning, you should use a quality cleaning product.
  • Choose a cleaning solution and scrubber that match the basketball floor type and the particular floor pad you’re using. 
  • Try not to use auto-scrubbing on the basketball court for the first 1 or 2 years after installation.

No matter how many times you wash your floor, there is always a threat of dust landing. So, you can use a quality floor cover for the basketball court. 

Why Do Basketball Shoes Become Slick?

You might have slick basketball sneakers for a few different reasons. It could be because the sole is still sleek since the shoes are brand new. 

The synthetic leather of new shoes isn’t as gluey as the old material. Also, the new shoe’s sole is smoother than your old basketball shoes. 

You may find that you need to walk in your new shoes for a little while before they reach the level of stickiness you want. 

Wearing them at home for a couple of hours and even on the playing field for short bursts may help to achieve this.

Another possibility is that the bottoms of your shoes are too worn and cannot provide the same amount of grip as they formerly did.

Last but not least, probably the surface of the court is adding to the slippery nature of the shoes you’re wearing. If the floor is slick or damp, your shoes will have more of a tendency to slide than they normally would.

How To Maintain Basketball Shoe Grip 

An old saying reads, “Prevention is more effective than curing.” The same may be said about the basketball shoes you have. Being proactive is really necessary in this situation if you want to avoid your shoes getting too slick. 

Dust accumulation on the soles of basketball shoes is one of the primary factors contributing to their slipperiness. It lowers the amount of friction that occurs between the soles and the basketball court. 

The maximum amount of dust can be removed using a moist cloth. However, sometimes tiny particles become so ingrained that even this procedure is ineffective.

In this scenario, the only way to remove the lingering dust particles is to give the surface a vigorous scrub with a bristly brush. 

Your basketball shoes’ grooves will eventually wear out and need to be replaced at some point. When this happens, it’s time to pack them away for good. 

Barely any amount of shoe grip spray, moisturizer, or Vaseline will bring them back to their former traction.

However, you may increase the amount of time your basketball shoes last by simply avoiding wearing them for activities that are not related to basketball.

After all, basketball shoes are far more costly than everyday sneakers, so it only makes sense to wear them when they’re needed. 

Frequently Asked Questions


Can I Repair my Basketball Shoes?

You can re-stitch and patch the upper sole of your shoes. And, to reduce slippage and improve traction, the sole can be restored. 

Is Grip The Same As Traction?

Traction means the capacity to drag something ahead, and grip refers to the ability to hold onto a surface. 
Basically, by the term grip, we understand the ability to hold onto stuff. On the other hand, traction resists sliding while being dragged. 

Can I Use Hairspray To Get Grip-on Shoes?

As hairsprays are sticky in texture, you can add a temporary grip on your shoes. Rather its stickiness will reduce traction by collecting dust and dirt on the shoe’s bottom. So, it is a misconception that hairspray can increase the hold of your basketball shoes. 

Final Thoughts

While playing basketball, slippage is the main enemy that can slide your sneakers across the dusty floor. 

Also, as this game is all about changing direction and having traction, one of the major keys to a successful game lies in your basketball footwear. 

Hopefully, our tricks and tips on how to add grip to basketball shoes will help you eliminate slippage and improve control, balance, and stability. 

Here are a few additional articles for you to explore, all based on basketball shoes:

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Behind Best Darn Product is Kevin Pena, a passionate blogger and e-commerce enthusiast based in Atlanta, Georgia. With his finger on the pulse of the ever-growing online marketplace, Kevin is dedicated to sharing his extensive knowledge and genuine enthusiasm for the products and services that shape our modern lives.

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