Why do Basketball Players Wipe Their Shoes?

Did you ever try to find out why basketball players wipe out their shoes? You may consider it a ritual of the game; however, it means a lot more to the players than being a mere ritual – and of course, it is not a ritual; instead, there are many good reasons behind doing this. So, this article will help you understand why do basketball players wipe their shoes.

There are a number of reasons that compel players to wipe out their shoes multiple times in the game – however, removing dirt from their shoes to improve traction and prevent shoes from getting slippery appears to be the most sensible and logical reasons. Being a basketball lover, I personally feel this act as an inevitable move because it brings a better grip which is essential for the player during the game.

Meanwhile, increasing traction or better grip on the floor is not the only reason to wipe out shoes during the game; instead, you will see other reasons too of doing this on the basketball court. Keep reading the article; you will easily understand why do basketball players wipe their shoes along with multiple dimensions that must be taken into account by basketball players.

Why do Basketball Players Wipe Their Shoes?

Why Do Basketball Players Wipe Their Shoes?

As I have told you above that, there are multiple reasons for wiping shoes in the game – following are some of the crucial and essential benefits and reasons for repeating this again and again in the game:


1. Stability and Faster Running

Running is deemed as an essential component of the game, whether you are heading for an attack or chasing the ball. Meanwhile, wiping the sole of your basketball shoes on the basketball court allows players to rehabilitate their traction on the floor, which ultimately leads players towards better stability while running.

Having the bottom of their shoes wiped multiple times in the game, players get a good grip on the floor, and they can easily change their direction, stop themselves, and regain a good running speed while being stable and safe. As the dirt from the shoes gets eliminated by wiping it, so it overwhelmingly improves the speed and stability of players.


2. Better Scoring

A score of the team is a defining factor that declares the victory of a team over the other – so it is the prime objective of each player in the game to achieve a goal against their opponents. However, being good enough at goaling for your team might not be possible without good grip, reasonable traction and necessary stability.

Sometimes players need to shoot a layup to dunk, or sometimes it is necessary to stop immediately to execute a jump shot. Hand in hand, the player also needs to take a jump from a long distance to dunk the ball in the hoop – to make all these moves secure and good enough, accuracy and stability of the player are mandatory, and they can be obtained by wiping the soles of shoes together.


3. Jumping Higher

When it comes to dunking the basketball in the hoop, jumping becomes unavoidable – however, the stability and accuracy of the player are again very important factors to ascertain his success and prevent him from falling or any kind of injury. With the grip of the shoe on the ground, players can easily jump higher and make their shooting successful.

For this purpose, about all NBA players appear to wipe the soles of their shoes during the game. Once they have a good grip eliminating the curds from the outsoles of their shoes, they can truly jump higher with more accuracy, safety and stability.


4. Convenient to Change Direction

If a player is missing the grip on the floor, he will never be able to perform well in the game. Basketball is a game where players are required to be fully ready to gain instant speed and immediate stopping to defend their team and attack their opponents. Likewise, changing the direction is equally important for players.

To get all the things in your favor, it is necessary for players to improve traction and grip on the floor, wiping the outsoles of their shoes together.


5. Improved Defense

If you are about to take the defensive position to prevent your opponent from getting the ball inside the basket, you need a good grip on the floor; otherwise, you might miss the position that can lead your opponent to basket the ball into the rim leaving you under the yelling of your coach.

Rubbing or wiping the bottoms of your shoes together will give you the necessary traction and grip on the floor, and you can stand still and jump higher to prevent an offensive counterpart from hooping the ball into the rim. Meanwhile, you can also better change your direction to block the shot from your opponent.


6. Avoid Injuries

If you want to be in the game and mark the success for you and your team, it is necessary for you to remain to play, which will certainly not be possible if you get injury during the game. So, if you want to enjoy the game and win it, you need to wipe out the soles of your shoes together to make them free from the dust.

Because during the match, if a player’s shoes have dirt sticking to the bottom, he can easily lose necessary grip and traction over the floor, which can cause a fall or slip the player. To remain safe throughout the long basketball games, players make sure that the soles of the shoes have good traction and grip.


7. Easy to Show Your Special Moves

It is earnestly desired by every player to have such skills that could lead his team to victory, and the same is the case with basketball players. In this game, there are some hard skills such as Back Pass, Back Dribble, and Pump Fake – these skills are too hard for beginners, but consistent practice always pays a very good price.

Once a player has acquired a certain skill, now there comes a time to exhibit the skill during the match, and it again becomes unavoidable to have good traction or grip on the floor for better stability. Having a good grip and wiping the shoes together certainly helps the player to exhibit their skills impressively.

So, it was a detailed answer to your question about why do basketball players wipe their shoes. I hope that you will have understood the importance of this act repeatedly done by professional players during matches.



Does Rubbing the Soles of Your Shoes Truly Help in Basketball?

Well, the quick answer to this question is ‘Yes,’ as I can say this considering my own career as a basketball enthusiast. Other than this, I have seen about all NBA players doing this on the court, which adds more value to my comment. We would not see any professional basketball player rubbing the soles of his basketball shoes if it was not helpful to him.

As far as the detailed answer to this question is concerned, wiping out the bottoms of shoes helps eliminate the dust entangled in the grooves of the shoes that significantly reduce the traction and grip of the player on the floor.

Rubbing the bottoms of shoes eliminates all the dust and brings the best traction and grip back to the shoes. However, still, some of the players do not use this method; instead, they tend to adopt other methods to improve the grip of their boots on the floor.

So, if you are fond of basketball and find happiness on the basketball court, you can definitely find this technique helpful in improving your stability and safety during the game.



Why do NBA Players Remove the Insoles of Their Shoes Before Giving Them Away?

If you follow of basketball players, you might have seen them giving away their shoes for the sake of charity or to their fans. But why do they remove the insoles of their shoes before giving them away?

Yes, it happens – players remove the insoles of their shoes to use them again with another pair of shoes.

Typically, these are special, imported and custom-made insoles that are made on order. This is the reason that players remove the insoles of their shoes before giving them away.

Recommended Read: Can You Rebound or Catch Your Own Airball?



Watch out this video to know why it is important to wipe the bottom of your shoes and what can happen if basketball player go a long time without wiping their shoes.




What are the most required things that help you perform better in the court? Being a basketball fanatic, all of you have a list of factors that affect the performance of the player, but grip and traction over the floor are certain things that would definitely be present in everyone’s mind.

Wiping the bottom of shoes together has emerged as a custom of the game followed by the players for years – it helps improve the traction that leads towards better stability and safety of players on the court.



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Why is Grip Necessary in Basketball?

The grip is essential in basketball because it brings more stability and safety for the player. Meanwhile, it also helps players to jump higher, run faster and defend the shots from opponents better.

How to Keep Basketball Shoes from Slipping?

To avoid falling on the floor while playing the game, it is necessary to maintain the grip and traction of the shoes on the floor. For this purpose, players wipe the soles of their shoes together or use a traction mat to eliminate the dust from the bottoms of their shoes.

Michael Heywood

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