How to Make Basketball Shoes More Grippy: A Comprehensive Guide by Sports Gear Specialist

Last Updated: January 01, 2024 | Author: Jake Thompson

Basketball is a game of agility, speed and precision. The right pair of basketball shoes can make a significant difference in your performance. But what happens when your trusted sports footwear starts losing its grip on basketball courts? This guide will provide you with effective methods to make your basketball shoes more grippy by enhancing your performance on the court.

How to Make Basketball Shoes More Grippy - Content

Quick Answer

To make basketball shoes more grippy you should clean the soles thoroughly and use grip enhancers like grip lotions or sticky pads, a sticky mat or sandpaper to increase traction or apply a sticky gel to the soles. Regular cleaning and maintenance can significantly improve the grip of basketball shoes which enhances performance on the court.

Understanding the Importance of Grip in Basketball Shoes

The grip of your best outdoor basketball shoes is crucial for your performance on the court. It allows you to make quick via sharp movements without slipping or losing balance. However, over time the shoe soles can accumulate dust and dirt by reducing their grip. This can affect your game by making you slower and less agile. But don't worry because there are several ways to restore the grip and make your basketball shoes as good as new.

Effective Methods to Improve the Grip on Your Basketball Shoes

1. Cleaning the Soles of the Shoes

Cleaning the Soles of the Shoes

The first step to restoring the grip on your basketball shoes is to thoroughly clean the soles. Over time the dirt and dust can accumulate on the soles by reducing their grip. Start by using a hard bristle brush to remove any loose debris from the soles. Then prepare a mixture of clean water and a mild liquid detergent. Dip a towel into this mixture and use it to wipe the outsole of the shoes. For stubborn dirt, you should use a toothbrush or a soft brush to scrub the soles. Make sure to reach into the grooves and crevices of the soles where dirt can often hide. Once you've cleaned the soles then let the shoes dry completely before using them again. Regular cleaning can significantly improve the grip of your basketball shoes and enhance your performance on the court.

2. Using Grip Enhancers

Using Grip Enhancers

If cleaning the soles doesn't restore the grip to your satisfaction then consider using grip enhancers. These are special products designed to increase the grip of your shoes. They come in various forms such as grip lotions and sticky pads. Grip lotions are sprays that you can apply to the soles of your shoes. They add a layer of tackiness to the soles which improves their grip. Sticky pads also known as traction mats are another type of grip enhancer. These are mats with a sticky surface that you can step on to improve the grip of your shoes. Both these products are easy to use and can significantly improve the grip of your basketball shoes.

3. Using a Sticky Mat

Using a Sticky Mat

A sticky mat is a simple yet effective tool to improve the grip of your basketball shoes. These mats are usually placed at the corners of a basketball court. Before the game or during breaks, you just simply step on the mat. The sticky surface of the mat will pull out dirt from the soles of your shoes which improved their grip. Sticky mats are especially useful in indoor courts where dust and dirt can easily make your shoes slippery.

4. Using Sandpaper

Using Sandpaper

If you're looking for a cost-effective method to improve the grip of your basketball shoes then consider using sandpaper. Take a piece of heavy grit sandpaper and rub it against the soles of your shoes. The rough surface of the sandpaper will create tiny grooves on the soles which increase their grip. This method is particularly useful for shoes with smooth soles that have lost their original grip.

5. Using a Sticky Gel

Using a Sticky Gel

Sticky gels are another great option to increase the gripping power of your basketball shoes. These gels are easy to apply and take effect almost immediately. Apply the gel to the soles of your shoes and let it dry. The gel will create a sticky layer on the soles which improves their grip. However, remember that the effect of sticky gels is only temporary and you may need to reapply the gel after each game.

6. Using Sweat and Saliva

This might sound unconventional but even your sweat and saliva can help improve the grip of your basketball shoes. During a game, if you find your shoes becoming slippery then simply wipe your hand over your face to collect some sweat and then rub it on the soles of your shoes. The moisture from the sweat will improve the grip of the shoes. Similarly, you can spit saliva on the soles to make them wet. This method can be handy when your shoes become slippery in the middle of a game and you need a quick fix.

Maintaining the Court for Better Grip

Keeping the court clean is as important as maintaining your shoes for better grip. A clean court reduces the chances of your shoes picking updirt and dust which can make them slippery. Use the same mop and water that you use to clean your house to maintain the cleanliness of the court.

When to Replace the Sole or the Shoe

Sometimes, despite all your efforts your basketball shoes might continue to be less grippy. This could be because the sole unit has worn out. In such cases, instead of replacing the whole pair you just simply need to replace the sole and you'll be good to go. However, if the tread is worn through and shoe repair isn’t an option then the only way to fix the grip is going to be to purchase a new pair of shoes.


Basketball shoes with good grip will give your leg the support you need for every game. Not to mention protect you from getting injuries. From gripping the court to enhancing swift movements as you dribble and dunk then only shoes with solid grip and traction let you get the most out of every game. So, don't give up on your basketball shoes too quickly. Try these methods and figure out which one works best for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I make my basketball shoes grippy again?

You can make your basketball shoes grippy again by cleaning the soles using grip enhancers, using a sticky mat, using sandpaper or using a sticky gel. If these methods don't work then consider replacing the sole or the shoe.

2. How often should I clean my basketball shoes?

The frequency of cleaning your basketball shoes depends on how often you use them. If you play basketball regularly then consider cleaning the soles after every game to maintain the grip.

3. Can I use my basketball shoes outside?

Basketball shoes are designed for indoor courts. Using them on other surfaces can quickly break down the rubber grooves and cause you to slip. Therefore, it's best to use your basketball shoes only on indoor courts.

4. Can I use any kind of sandpaper to improve the grip of my basketball shoes?

Yes, you can use any heavy grit sandpaper. However, it's important to rub it against your sole until they feel rough enough to increase the gripping of the shoes.

5. How long does the effect of sticky gels last?

The effect of sticky gels is temporary. However, a single application should give you a good grip for a full match.

Author Box
Jake Thompson

Jake Thompson

I am Jake, a sports enthusiast, love eveything about sports, particularly basketball and volleyball. I've played both sports at a local level. Here to share my passion for sports and sports gear experiences with you.