basketball player wiping shoes

Why Do Basketball Players Wipe The Bottom Of Their Shoes?

Ever seen basketball players wipe their shoe outsoles and wondered why the hell they’re doing so?

Well, it turns out they do it for a really good reason.

And that reason is to help improve the grip of their shoes on the basketball court.

Traction is crucial in basketball shoes

Shoes with a good grip will go a long way in helping improve your performance on the court. This explains why the players will go the extra mile and do the unthinkable and seemingly unhygienic—wiping shoes with their hands.

If you enter the court with shoes with a weak grip, the chances are high that you’ll not be able to do most of your techniques. Cutting across the court becomes harder. And the fear of slipping and sustaining injuries becomes real (limiting you from giving your all on the court).

Even when you’re wearing shoes with excellent traction, sometimes they can get slippery due to various factors, the most common being the presence of dust and dirt on the court.

Over the years, players have devised many years of strengthening their shoe grip, one of them being wiping the shoes.

Let’s see how this method works…

How Wiping helps improve shoe grip

Wiping simple helps get the dust and dirt off your basketball shoes. To do this, you simply wipe the bottom of your shoes using your hands and to get off the dust.

But do you just wipe your hands on your shoe outsole?

Not really…some players will first spit on their hands and then apply the spittle on shoe bottom which also works fine in terms of strengthening the grip. Others will wipe off the sweat off their forehead and use it to moisten their shoe bottom.

All these methods have a single goal of improving the shoe grip.

The biggest advantage of using this particular basketball shoe enhancing method is that you can do it right inside the court, unlike the other methods that will require you to be off the court.

That said, you should make sure you do it at the right as you’ll need you to stop for a few seconds. In other words, you don’t want to start wiping your shoes when your opponents are about to score.

 However, it’s important to note that wiping your shoes will only give them a temporary boost in traction and save you at that particular moment. If you find your shoes getting slippery most of the time, they might have become worn out and replacing them could be the best option.

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