Making sharp turns and motions during a basketball game is hard enough; it could be even more difficult if your feet don’t have much traction in relation to the floor.
Shoes lose this traction due to accumulation of dust and wax of the court floor.
Better grip on your shoes ensures better traction, making your game play more seamless and unencumbered.
So, come along with us as we give you carefully researched tips to ensure that your basketball shoes maintain their grip even on very slippery surfaces.
How Can You Get Enough Grip On Your Basketball Shoes?
1. Buy Shoes Your Size
Now, we know how it goes, you walk into a shoe store and you’re looking for the perfect pair of sneakers, and luckily you’ve found them. There’s just one problem. They’re in every size but yours. Ugh!
So, naturally, you go for a size higher or lower, because you want those shoes so badly and you don’t want to let them go.
Now, if those shoes are intended to be just a fashion item, then you can probably get away with that.
However, if these shoes are for the court, then there is a huge chance that you’ll not be very comfortable shoes in them. And that’s a problem, because you won’t be able to get the traction you need from these shoes on the court.
The shoes, on their own, could have the best grip in the world, but you won’t be able to enjoy any of that grip if you’re hobbling cause you’re not balanced well.
Basically, get shoes that fit just right, because uncomfortable shoes translate to uncomfortable game play.
2. Buy New Shoes
If the shoes you are using to play are worn out — especially at the soles — then it’s time to let them go and get new ones.
The grip of your sneakers are hugely dependent on the wear and tear of the soles of your shoes.
If they are worn out, it basically means that the friction in your motion reduces, which, in turn, reduces your ability to react on the basketball court.
Also, this is why we will advise against purchasing secondhand basketball shoes if you intend to use them on the court. You will only be shortchanging yourself.
Most of the grip on the shoes will be gone with the first use, so, it won’t be long before your new secondhand kicks start losing traction.
3. Style Is Good, But So Is Practicability
It’s easy to walk into a shoe store and be wowed by the various designs and styles.
But if you’re looking for basketball sneakers to use to play the game, then style should be one of the least important factors in your decision making process.
Instead, always lookout for ones that increase the amount of traction to the floor. Non flat soled shoes are naturally built to do this, and as such, do not require much of a trick to give you a great experience and better grip.
4. Wipe Down Gym Floors
Gym floors tend to accumulate dust and dirt a lot due to the amount of activities taking place on them.
Court floors should always be swept and wiped frequently to reduce dirt and dust on the floor.
This will make the surface smoother, and thus, ensure better grip between the shoes and the floor.
5. Wipe Down Your Soles Before And During The Game
Now, like we mentioned earlier, the soles of your shoes are an integral part of game play. They are in constant contact with the floor and their job is to make sure that your feet are stable and firm against the floor.
It is also the soles of your basketball shoes that allow you swift and easy movements and turns without skidding while you play on a slippery court.
Now, during game play, the ability of your shoes to do this (give you traction) on the gym floors deteriorate over time due the build-up of dust and dirt from the floors onto the soles of your shoes.
Over time, the shoes lose friction on the floor, and if this continues you’re more likely to slip and fall which could lead to a big embarrassment and even serious injury.
This is why you ought to wipe the soles of your shoes before, during, and after the game, so as to get the grime off the soles.
There are many ways to do this. Let us go over them so you know which works for you the best.
How To Wipe The Soles Of Your Basketball Shoes
A. Wipe With Sweat Or Saliva
During game play, when you notice your motions are no longer as sharp, and you’re slipping on the court, one of the easiest ways to get them back fast is either to spit on your hand or use the sweat from your skin, slap it onto the soles of your sneakers and rub it out.
Now, not many are fans of this method for a lot of reasons. Not only is it pretty nasty (the spitting part especially), there is also no measure of how much sweat or saliva you’d need, so, you stand the risk of over slicking your soles and now they’re more of a problem than they were before your spit and rub.
You wouldn’t want to do something that nasty in public and still suffer a broken nose, would you? So, what are your other option?
B. Use A Damp Cloth
This is much easier. Just take a damp piece of cloth and wipe down your soles to add a little moisture to them.
The problem with this is that you probably won’t be able to take it on the court with you. But well, you could have one of the bench players hold that for you and quickly go to grab it during a timeout.
However, while it works, it actually is not nearly as efficient as one might hope.
C. Use Shoe Grip Enhancers
There are tools you can purchase that help you with keeping your basketball shoes sticky, which, in turn, helps maintain traction.
Grip lotions are pretty easy to use, you only need to spray an ample amount onto a clean cloth and wipe your soles on them by stepping on the cloth.
Sticky Mats — mats that basketball players can step on to gain back stickiness on their soles — is one of such tools, and it is very effective, too.
Sticky mats can be spread at different points of the court so any basketball player can easily go and regain traction on their shoes during the game.
The only problem with this is that the stickiness tends to gather up dirt and wax from the floor. But despite that, they work better to enhance your shoes’ grip than all other methods.
Well, they were specifically designed to do so, so, what do you expect?