How to make basketball shoes less slippery?

How to make your basketball shoes Slip-Proof?

Dusty courts and older shoes make playing your hardest on the basketball court tough. Here are a few popular options other players use and what we recommend.

Remember, your basketball shoes want to be grippy, not sticky! That’s important when you’re on a dusty court. You don’t want the soles of your basketball shoes coated in dust!

Popular Anti-Slip Shoe Tricks and Tips

1. Scuffing/Sanding the Soles

I hate to even have to say this one! This became more popular in other areas looking to improve their shoe traction but it made its way into basketball.

The idea is that sanding or scuffing the rubber soles of the shoes, it will expose new, fresh rubber.

The tread on the soles of basketball shoes is there for a reason! It’s to give them better traction. If they were flat, like bald tires, they would be super slippery.

Secondly, anyone who plays basketball knows how expensive basketball shoes are. You don’t want to sand down and ruin your shoes. Especially because it isn’t normally the shoes, it’s the dusty court that’s causing issues.

2. Pop

We see this comment a lot. It may sound like a cheap fix, but it will end up doing more harm than good. 

Think about how sticky pop is when it dries. If you spill some, it’s a very sticky spot very quickly. Do that to your shoes and step on a dusty court, you just created a magnet for all the dust on the basketball court.

3. Grip Pads or Traction Mats

These are super popular for basketball teams! They’re designed specifically for dusty courts and solving this exact problem.

There are two main ways these products work are either using a sticky plastic sheet to remove the dust from the basketball shoes or by cleaning and softening the rubber soles. 

Sticky Pads, with plastic adhesive sheets, have been around for decades. About 5 years ago, an alternative came to the market.

Instead of just taking the dust off the shoes and then going back onto a dusty court, what if you could stop the basketball shoes from picking up dust as quickly?

In addition, after a player or two uses the top sticky sheet, it’s worthless. Coaches have to peel off another sheet, otherwise, the debris from the previous player's shoes will dirty it and the next player won’t get grip!

The alternative, a traction mat, doesn’t need the in-game maintenance that a sticky pad does. Coaches can set it up pregame and it’s ready to go all game.

In addition, it cuts out plastic waste and fewer reorders of more sticky sheets saves your basketball program money!

4. Hand Sanitizer/Hair Spray

A lot like pop, this has grown in popularity throughout the internet.

This is the worst possible option, like sanding the soles of your basketball shoes, this will ruin them!

These products contain alcohol, it’s how they clean or create hold. Rubber, like the soles of your basketball shoes, is incredibly sensitive to alcohol.

For rubber to grip, it needs to be soft, supple, and flexible. Alcohol will dry out the rubber very quickly. This will dry the soles out and eventually deteriorate and ruin the shoes.

5. Shoe Grip Spray 

These were designed for basketball shoes, too! Again, a fix specifically for slippery shoes.

Players have gravitated towards using grip sprays because it’s individualized. They don’t need to reapply on their coach or team having a traction mat. They can bring their bottle with them to wherever they play and ensure their basketball shoes have grip.

These are really easy for basketball players at any level to use. It’s an instant fix and is mostly inexpensive!

The only thing you’ll want to be careful of is knock-off brands using alcohol in theirs. Using alcohol allows these sprays to be made much cheaper! 

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