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How to Make Basketball Shoes More Grippy – Improve Traction 2024

Last Updated July 15, 2024 Last Updated February 21, 2024 by Brian Aquino

It is essential for a basketball player to have a good grip on basketball shoes to manoeuvre multidirectional fast moves. Whether you are playing basketball on indoor or outdoor courts, shoe traction plays a pivotal role in performance. If you are disturbed by slippery shoes that don’t allow you to stop and go and make quick cuts, here, we’ll discuss easy and tested ways about how to make basketball shoes more grippy.

In my own experience, I’ve found that poor quality soles wear down quickly – resulting in less friction between the shoes and ground and losing grip. Soles also pick up dirt and a thin layer of basketball court wax that reduces traction. However, the following quick ways can significantly improve the grip of basketball shoes.

Note: Never use indoor basketball shoes on outdoor courts, they’ll wear down quickly. If you play mostly outdoors, check out the best outdoor basketball shoes of 2024.

How to Make Basketball Shoes More Grippy


How to Make Basketball Shoes More Grippy – Quick Easy Ways

Slippery shoes will no longer be in the way to your best performance. I’ve been following the below-described ways for years and always have a good grip on the court.

Fond of playing on streets? Check out best outdoor basketballs of 2024.

  1. Clean the Sole

One of the major reasons for weak grip is a dirty sole. Rubber soles intend to pick up dirt and it collects in the grooves, and the shoes lose traction. Therefore, it is advised to keep the sole clean. This simple hack restores the grip of basketball shoes.How do I make my basketball shoes grippy?

There are two ways of cleaning the sole while you are on the basketball court;

Wet Cloth – make sure to keep a wet cloth or preferably a towel to wipe out the dirt from the sole whenever you feel slippery. Also, get into the grooves to eliminate stuck-on dirt. There is no need to scrub hard, simple wiping will do the job.

Bristle Brush – keep a soft bristle brush in your bag. Scrub the shoe sole whenever required to rub away the dirt. It requires less effort, plus it keeps the sole dry.

Also, keep your basketball clean – read how!


  1. Apply Grip Enhancing Gel/SprayHow to Make Basketball Shoes More Grippy

If the shoes have lost an adequate amount of stickiness and cleaning the sole is not improving the traction, we recommend using shoe grip-enhancing spray. Wipe the sole with a dry cloth to clean an extra bit of dust and spray a couple of spits on the sole. You’ll notice a significant increase in friction and improved grip.



  1. Use a Traction Mat

Improve Traction Traction mats are mostly available in indoor gyms and basketball courts. They serve the purpose of collecting dust and wax which the sole has grabbed from the hardwood floor. Also, it adds up a little adhesiveness to the rubber sole. As a result, the bottom of the shoe gets clean within a couple of seconds and gets more grippy for some time.

Read about best indoor basketballs, good for gym courts.


  1. Permanent Way to Restore Grip

improve grip of basketball shoesA time will come in the shoe life when cleaning the sole and applying traction gel over and over will not restore its grip. Perhaps, it’s time to consider a permanent fix – replacing the sole. Take the shoe to a shoe cobbler and get the sole replacement done. This may not be the easiest way to make basketball shoes more grippy but it is definitely cheaper than buying a new pair. New soles will definitely increase the comfort and offer grip same as the new shoes.



Tips to Maintain Basketball Shoes Grip

Every basketball player is concerned about losing traction because it plays a vital role in performance. Many athletes have multiple shoes so that the usage frequency stays low to increase grip lifespan. We always recommend using some pre-measured techniques to maintain the basketball shoe grip for a long time;

  • Always wipe and properly clean the sole after every game before storing them. It is not necessary to wash the whole shoe, but it is advised to clean the sole before putting them away
  • Keep a dry and wet cloth in your bag whenever you are out to play basketball. Make sure to keep wiping the dirt the sole collects in between the games
  • Apply traction gel/spray after washing your shoes. The adhesive of the traction enhancer gets absorbs in the dry rubber sole to restore the grip
  • Do not use indoor shoes on the outdoor basketball court
  • Always keep a few pairs of shoes and wear them simultaneously. The sole will wear out quickly if you use one or two pairs for the everyday games

Get yourself a portable basketball hoop and start hooping in your backyard or driveway.


Final Verdict

Every basketball player wants to own basketball shoes with the best grip. However, shoes lose traction over time and we strive to increase the grip. If you find your basketball shoes slippery, the above-mentioned methods will serve the purpose of making basketball shoes more grippy.

You might have seen some NBA players spitting on the soles or licking their palms and applying it on the sole in the middle of the game. Well, applying saliva on the sole can also increase grip for a short while but it is not advised to make them excessively wet.

Also, read about best basketball shoes for jumping and for wide feet.


Frequently Asked Questions: (FAQs)

How do I make my basketball shoes grippy?

There are four ways to make basketball shoes grippy. If you find your shoes slippery on a basketball court, try the following methods to increase grip;

  • Clean the Sole
  • Apply Grip Enhancing Gel/Spray
  • Use a Traction Matt
  • Permanent Way to Restore Grip


Does hairspray make your shoes grippy?

Yes, hairspray makes your shoes grippy temporarily, the grip will not last for a long time. Hairsprays have an adhesive that improves the stickiness of the rubber sole. It is advised not to apply the spray too much. Plus, always make sure to completely dry the hairspray after applying on the sole before stepping into the basketball court – you might slip and get injured if it stays wet.


How do I make my shoes less slippery?

Keeping the sole clean will make your shoes less slippery. You can either wipe the sole with a damp cloth or scrub it using a soft bristle brush to eliminate dirt from the grooves. Grip enhancing sprays and gels are also a good solution to increase traction and making the shoes less slippery.


What basketball shoes have the best grip?

Nike Air Jordan XXXIV basketball shoes have the best grip. Here is a list of basketball shoes with the best grip;

  1. Nike Air Jordan XXXIV
  2. adidas Men’s Dame 5
  3. Under Armour Curry 7
  4. Nike Kyrie 6 Basketball
  5. Nike Lebron XVI
  6. Under Armour Curry Flow 8
  7. Nike KD 13 Bred
  8. Under Armour Men’s SC 3zer0 II
  9. Nike KD Trey 5 VIII
  10. Nike Air Precision III