Why are my basketball shoes not gripping?

Why are my basketball shoes not gripping?

If you play basketball regularly, you know the struggle of your shoes slipping on dusty courts.

No matter if you’re playing pick-up at the local rec center, AAU, or for your high school or middle school, slippery courts are universal.

Unfortunately, hoopers usually think the problem is their shoes, but it’s not!

This usually leads to players buying new basketball shoes over and over and spending way too much money.

Basketball Player wiping off shoe to get grip

So you have two options...

Clean the basketball court. Not just sweep the dust from one baseline to the other, properly clean it! At your school, at your AAU tournaments, make sure they’re clean.

You’re not going to do this, no one is! So, here’s a more realistic solution...

Make sure your basketball shoes actually have grip. Yes, you can enhance the overall traction of your shoes.

You have a few options to ensure you have non-slip basketball shoes, here are some popular options (the last is our favorite).


First, does your coach have a sticky pad for your basketball team? These are fairly common throughout every level of basketball.

There are two types, a sticky pad and a traction mat.

Sticky pads are seen a lot more frequently. They use an adhesive to remove the dust from your basketball shoes so you slip less. If you are playing on a dusty court, you’ll have to reapply anytime you go into the game. This is the most expensive of all of the fixes!

Basketball Slippnott sticky pad

This traction mat is quickly growing in popularity throughout all of basketball. A lot like a sticky pad, this is definitely more of a team fix! By not using adhesives, this will last a lot longer, even if the court you’re playing on is dusty. Additionally, it’s about half the cost of a sticky pad.

Grip Spritz Basketball Traction Mat


If you don’t want to rely on your coach or team supplying you with a fix to dusty courts, players can take matters into their own hands.

There are also two fixes here!

First, unfortunately, hand sanitizer or hair spray has grown in popularity as a way to enhance the traction of your basketball shoes. Both of these products contain alcohol usually. The issue is that alcohol has really harmful effects on rubber, like the soles of your shoes. It will quickly deteriorate, dry out, and ruin the shoes.

Hand Sanitizer on basketball shoes

A good way for players to bring a fix along with them is a basketball shoe traction spray. It fits in your backpack so you can take it to every dusty gym you play in and doesn’t have any of the harmful chemicals like hair spray or hand sanitizer.

They last about a game and are super easy to use. You just spray your basketball shoes, wipe them dry, and go hoop! It’s a pretty instantaneous and long-term fix to this overwhelmingly common problem.

So what should you do?

It really just depends on if you’re a player or a coach! Coaches have two main options to ensure their entire team has grip at their next game. You can check both of them out here!

If you’re a player who wants to bring “traction in a bottle” to every gym you go to, it is definitely a better solution than hand sanitizer. Our favorite basketball shoe grip spray is here!

Stop letting dusty basketball courts stop you from playing your hardest whether it’s a pick-up game or the biggest AAU event of the season!

You don’t need to buy new basketball shoes whenever you start to slip, you can still make sure your shoes always have traction!

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