Why Do Basketball Players Wipe Their Shoes? Basic Guidelines

Why Do Basketball Players Wipe Their Shoes Basic Guidelines

If you watch basketball frequently, you are aware that situations like this frequently occur, whether it’s in professional leagues or pick-up games at community centers. However, why Do Basketball Players Wipe Their Shoes? Let’s break it down.

Basketball players clean the bottoms of their shoes with a cloth to remove dust and debris. Players sometimes run the risk of losing traction when debris gets stuck to the bottom of their athletic shoes. The traction and, consequently, the gameplay of a player are improved by clearing the dirt and debris in advance.

Basketball players’ footwear is crucial because it can impact their performance and help shield them from harm.

Why Do Basketball Players Wipe Their Shoes?

If you’ve ever watched a basketball game and noticed the players wiping the bottoms of their shoes, it’s because they want to have squeaky-clean soles before the game. No matter how nice a pair of shoes may be, they will inevitably get debris stuck to the bottom, which will decrease their traction.

Although not all gym floors are created equal, NBA teams play on sleek, incredibly smooth court surfaces. The likelihood that some players will trip and get hurt while playing is therefore very high. They can be seen carefully cleaning the soles of their shoes before the game as a result.

Basketball courts often have special mats that players use to wipe off their shoes before a game. These mats have distinct surfaces covered in sticky materials. Upon stepping onto these mats, the players’ shoes’ soles will be instantly free of any excess dust and dirt.

When you think of this ritual, you might chuckle a little. After all, what harm can a little dust possibly cause? On a basketball court, losing traction can actually be quite dangerous for the players. Players who are not careful may slip and fall on that court because it is smooth and slippery.

Basketball players who trip up run the risk of colliding with other players, causing pileups, or just suffering severe leg injuries. In any case, most players can’t afford it and don’t want to put up with it, so they spend a few seconds wiping their shoes.

Why Do Basketball Players Wipe Their Shoes?
Why Do Basketball Players Wipe Their Shoes?

What Do NBA Players Do With Their Shoes After a Game?

Players in the NBA frequently give fans their shoes after games. Players can express their gratitude to their fans by participating in this long-standing custom. Before giving away their shoes, players will occasionally have them autographed as well.

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Other Ways Basketball Players Increase the Grip on Their Shoes

This article on our website specifically explores the subject of how basketball players can increase the grip on their sneakers. If you’re in a hurry to get to the game, we can share a few of the strategies from that article with you right here.

Water can actually improve the amount of grip on your basketball shoes, which may seem counterintuitive. However, stepping in a small amount of water and then brushing your feet against a dry area of the floor will help your cause. Avoid making a mess by leaving large puddles on and around the court.

Another resourceful way to increase traction at the bottom of your shoes is to use the natural “water” that you produce from playing hard in the game. Although I won’t get too graphic, intense fights frequently result in profuse perspiration.

You can actually benefit from rubbing your sweaty palms against the bottom of your sneakers in two ways. It would work the same way as the first method if you rubbed the required amount of moisture against your sneakers in place of water.

Additionally, your hands are now drier, which is a good thing because you don’t want the ball to escape your grasp during an important period of the basketball game.

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How Does Wiping Your Shoes Increase Traction on the Basketball Court?

The solution to this equation isn’t particularly scientific. The traction of your shoes is not improved by a chemical reaction between your palms and the rubber of the shoes. Simply put, by wiping the bottom of your basketball shoes, you are removing any debris that may have initially hindered your traction.

It won’t help if you wipe the bottoms of brand-new basketball shoes before putting them on. You are not doing anything to help increase the traction of the rubber — the shoes are already designed in such a way to maximize traction.

You are removing anything that prevents the shoes from providing their best traction. Regardless of how spotless a hardwood court (or concrete, for those outside hoopers reading this) appears to be, there is always going to be dirt and dust that can get between the grooves of your basketball shoes.

Applying a little water to your hands beforehand to clean the dirt off the bottom of the shoe will help the wipe work even better. This is sometimes accomplished by players spitting on their hands. You can still get the same result, though, as long as you have some healthy natural sweat.

Why Do Basketball Players Wipe Their Shoes?
Why Do Basketball Players Wipe Their Shoes?

Can Wiping Your Hands on Your Basketball Shoes Help With Sweaty Palms?

In addition to reducing sweaty palms, wiping the bottom of your shoes improves traction. Sweaty palms are the ideal source of that moisture; as previously mentioned, getting your hands just a little bit wet and wiping the bottoms of the shoes will aid in cleaning debris from the rubber.

However, it functions both ways. You can improve your handles and leave some of that sweat on the bottom of your shoes by wiping them with your perspiration-soaked palms. It is a quick and simple method for keeping hands dry.

You need to understand, though, that the dust you are attempting to sweep from the bottom of your shoes must go somewhere. Sweaty palms are better able to grip the basketball than dry hands because of the same dust that can harm the traction of basketball shoes. Players are thereby converting a double-negative into a double-positive by doing this.

Is Wiping the Bottom of Your Shoes a Good Or Bad Habit in Basketball?

Whether something is good or bad is entirely subjective and depends on your hygiene and how seriously you take the game of basketball.

This is fundamentally an unhygienic practice because you are wiping the dust that accumulates on the bottom of your shoes onto your hand, and if you are careless, it could spread to your face or other body parts.

However, in a similar vein, the debris will also be picked up by the ball as it is thrown around the same court. We’ve all witnessed how dark our hands can become after playing basketball on concrete without wiping the bottom of the shoes.

There should be no problems as long as we are aware of our hands and do not rub our eyes or mouths while playing. Additionally, washing your hands or at the very least using hand sanitizer would be beneficial before and after games.

The only way it could be a bad habit is in that situation. If you slip often or have trouble maintaining your grip on the court, developing the habit of swiping your sole could improve your performance.

Why Do Basketball Players Touch Hands After Free Throws?

When shooting a free throw in basketball, the player is given time to focus and line up their shot without any defenders around them. After making a free throw, it’s considered good sportsmanship to reach out and shake the opposing team’s hand to show appreciation for their hard work even though the game’s outcome may already be known. It also demonstrates respect for the opposing team and can help keep players from developing ill will or bad blood.

Why Do Basketball Players Tap Their Heads?

Basketball players frequently tap their heads for various reasons. The first justification is to let their teammates know that they are available for a pass. A player indicates their readiness and desire to receive the ball by tapping their head.

This is particularly crucial when there is a lot of activity on the court and players need to be extra alert to who is open for a pass. Players also tap their heads to clear away any sweat or dirt that might be obstructing their vision. A player’s ability to make a shot can be entirely determined by this uncomplicated action.

Last but not least, tapping one’s head can be a method of self-motivation. Throughout a game, players frequently give themselves mini-pep talks; tapping their heads is one such technique. Players can help ensure that they perform at their peak when it matters most by keeping their heads up and reminding themselves to stay focused.


Why Do Basketball Players Wipe Their Shoes?

Basketball players wipe their shoes to get rid of any dirt, dust, or other debris that might be on them. This assists in keeping their shoes tidy and free of any materials that might potentially impede their game.

Do All Basketball Players Wipe Their Shoes?

Some basketball players don’t wipe off their shoes. Some players might decide not to do this or they might forget. Wiping one’s shoes before playing is nonetheless generally regarded as good practice.

What is the Purpose of Wiping One’s Shoes in Basketball?

In basketball, wiping your shoes is a technique used to keep them clean and free of anything that might affect your performance. Slips and falls can also be avoided by wiping one’s shoes.


Basketball players wipe their shoes for a number of causes. One justification is to get rid of any grit or debris that might be on the bottom of their shoes. They can play without slipping and falling if they do this. To prevent their shoes from becoming overly dirty is another justification. The spread of bacteria and germs can be halted by keeping shoes clean.

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