If you're an avid basketball player, you know how important a good grip is on the court. The ability to make quick turns and cuts, without slipping, is crucial in any basketball game.

Whether you're playing professionally or just for fun, making sure your basketball shoes are as grippy as possible can help you up your game and avoid injury.

In this blog, we'll go over some quick tips on how to make basketball shoes more grippy, using both traditional and unconventional methods.

Why Grip Matters in Basketball Shoes

Before we dive in, let's take a moment to understand why the grip is essential for basketball shoes. A good grip allows you to quickly accelerate, decelerate, and change direction while on the court.

It also gives you more control when you jump and land, reducing the chances of slipping or sliding. Proper grip can also help prevent ankle twists and other injuries while playing.

For these reasons, it's crucial to ensure your basketball shoes have a good grip, whether you're a beginner or a pro.

Quick Tip #1: Regular Cleaning of Your Basketball Shoes

The first step in making basketball shoes more grippy is to keep them clean. Dirt and grime on the sole can reduce the shoe's grip, making it more challenging to move fast and change direction.

To clean your shoes, use a brush or rag and some soapy water. Gently scrub the sole and the tread pattern, paying particular attention to any dirt or debris stuck in the grooves.

Dry your shoes thoroughly after cleaning them to avoid any slipperiness due to moisture.

Quick Tip #2: Using a Sticky Mat for Enhanced Traction

Sticky mats can be an effective way to increase the grip of your basketball shoes before playing. Place the mat on the court and step on it with your basketball shoes a few times.

This will rub off any dirt or dust from the sole and create some extra stickiness. Once you've used the mat, make sure to wipe your shoes clean before stepping back on the court.

Avoid using a sticky mat too frequently, as it can strip the tread of your shoes and reduce their lifespan.

Quick Tip #3: The Role of Court Cleanliness in Shoe Grip

The cleanliness of the court can significantly affect how well your basketball shoes grip. Although you can't control the court's cleanliness in most cases, you can check that there isn't any loose debris or materials on the court before playing.

If you find anything that could affect your shoe's grip, like small stones or sand, sweep the area before playing. This will remove any potential hazards and increase the grip of your shoes.

Quick Tip #4: Sandpaper Method for Improved Grip

If you're looking for a more permanent way to increase the grip of your basketball shoes, try sandpapering the sole.

Take some rough sandpaper and gently rub it against the sole in a back-and-forth motion. This will roughen up the surface, creating more friction and grip.

Be careful not to overdo it and damage the sole. Light sandpapering should do the trick.

Quick Tip #5: Applying Grip Enhancing Gel or Spray

Grip-enhancing sprays and gels are products designed to increase the grip of basketball shoes. They work by adding an extra layer of stickiness to the sole, essentially creating a temporary adhesive layer.

Apply the product according to the manufacturer's instructions and wait for it to dry before playing.

Keep in mind that grip-enhancing gels and sprays can be sticky and attract dirt and dust, so use them sparingly and clean your shoes after each use.

Quick Tip #6: Utilizing Moisture for Better Shoe Stickiness

Moisture can help create a better grip on the soles of your basketball shoes, especially when playing on dusty courts.

You can use water or a traction-enhancing liquid like rosin or grip cream to increase traction. However, be careful not to overdo it, as excess moisture can reduce grip, especially in humid or wet conditions.

Quick Tip #7: Utilizing Sweat and Saliva for Enhanced Grip

Finally, your own sweat and saliva can be used to increase the grip of your basketball shoes. Before playing, simply rub some sweat or saliva onto the sole of the shoe.

This will create a temporary adhesive layer that can help you move more quickly and make sharper turns.

Although this method may seem unconventional, it's an effective way to increase the grip of your shoes.

Unconventional Methods: Vaseline, Hair Spray, and Hand Sanitizer

Finally, if you're in a pinch and don't have any of the above methods available, you can try some unconventional methods.

Vaseline, hair spray, and hand sanitizer can all be applied to the sole of your basketball shoes to create extra stickiness.

However, be careful when using these methods, as they can damage the sole of your shoes or make them too sticky.


For the Vaseline solution, start by cleaning your shoes with a damp cloth and allowing them to dry completely before applying the product.

Once dry, use a brush or your fingers to spread a thin layer of Vaseline onto the soles of your basketball shoes.

Letting the sneakers sit overnight will help ensure that they are sufficiently coated with the product and then you should be ready to go!

Hair Spray

For those trying out hairspray as an alternative option for improving their shoe grip, first, make sure that you have a good quality non-aerosol hairspray on hand.

Once again start off by wiping down your basketball shoes with a damp cloth and allow them to thoroughly dry before coating them evenly with the non-aerosol hair spray from about 8 inches away.

This should provide adequate coverage and once it’s all done just give it some time to air out until it’s no longer wet feeling on touch!

Hand Sanitizer

Finally, if you want an even easier method for making basketball shoes more grippy then look no further than regular household hand sanitizer!

Just like using hair spray, applying hand sanitizer on the soles of your hoop kicks yields similar results - making them grippier than they were beforehand!

Not only does this prevent slipping but also eliminates bad odors often created by sweaty feet during sports activities thanks to its antiseptic properties.

The Lifespan of Your Basketball Shoe's Grip: When to Replace

No matter what method you use to increase the grip of your basketball shoes, it's essential to remember that their grip won't last forever.

Over time, the sole of your shoes will wear down and lose its grip, eventually reducing your ability to play effectively.

It's recommended that you replace your basketball shoes once the tread has worn down significantly, usually after a few months of playing regularly.


Keeping the grip on your basketball shoes is crucial to keep you in control on the court and prevent injuries.

By following these quick tips, you can increase the grip of your shoes and up your basketball game.

Remember always to keep your shoes clean, keep an eye on the court's condition, and replace your shoes when necessary.

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