Why do Basketball Players Wipe Their Shoes? Explained

It’s a common sight in every basketball game to see a player wipe the bottom of his shoes on the court before taking a shot. The question most people ask is why. So in this article, we’ll find out why basketball players do this.

When you watch basketball players in action during the Olympics or other international competitions, you’re sure to notice them wiping the soles of their shoes with one hand. They often might use a towel on the sideline. This is something that they do between serves to make sure their shoes stay clean and dry so they can have a good grip on their slides and jumps.

Don’t forget to also check our guide to the best indoor basketball

Why do basketball players wipe their shoes?

If you love watching basketball then you might have seen many players wiping their shoes continuously during the play. 

The main purpose of wiping shoes by basketball players is to remove dust, debris or any sticky material that has stuck to the sole of the shoe. The dust or materials beneath the shoes can lose player traction and grip. Removing that substances ultimately improves a player’s gameplay and also prevents injuries. 

Rubbing and cleaning shoes make the soles of shoes rough. Rough soles have more friction. More friction between the shoes and the ground provides more traction to the player and develops more grip with the ground.

Because the floors of many courts including NBA courts are smooth and feel slippery. Thus, players need to improve their grip on the ground. The improved grip can further help you run faster and jump higher. Moreover, it also helps to score higher, makes defense stronger and keeps it easy to change directions frequently. Additionally, better traction can prevent injuries on the ground.

Does wiping shoes help players in basketball? 

Basketball Players Wipe Their Shoes

Yes, because wiping and cleaning shoes helps players gain more traction to the court. Without proper traction they can’t make higher jumps, fast running which are necessary in winning a basketball game. Wiping shoes also help players to easily change their directions especially when making quick shots. 

Main Purposes of Wiping the bottom of shoes:

Some main purposes why basketball players wipe their shoes are gaining fast speed, making higher jumps, high scoring, enabling them to easily change their directions and to prevent them from injuries that can occur on falling to ground. 

1.Fast Speed

Wiping the shoes during a match could always help you remove dust particles from your shoes, but then again there is one more advantage associated with this act. Wiping your shoe can also help you increase your fast-paced running speed.

You can dribble it forward and change the source in this way that is adopted by many players around the globe to gain speed up in an instant period. Along with these advantages, you will stop your running when speed reaches to top level; and also decrease your running pace means taking action by lowering the energy of the moving body or object.

The race is not always won by the player with the quickest speed, but instead by the one who plays an intelligent game (managing pace) and thinks on his feet. But he knows when to slow down on set points, though at other times he must be able to move fast without hesitation. And if you want to take first place in your match or outrun your opponents, you need proper footing so that you can execute moves like a ball controlled easily just above the ground.

Most players wipe their shoes with their hands, some players use their spit to add grip. The ultimate goal is to stay on your feet and get traction.

2.High Jumps 

When you wipe the soles of your shoes, be sure to adhere them more thoroughly and firmly to the ground so that you can jump higher. As a bonus, because you’ve gotten a bit more grounded, you will find it easier to make traction on the sole of your shoes and this added traction will also help give added spring to your jumps.

So wiping and scrubbing the ground near your shoes allows you to build up a nice, solid foundation for both yourself and your heel to spring off of. If there’s any kind of grit in the sole of your shoe, that infraction can slow you down – so be sure to get it out before trying to form a good base with your jump!

3.High Scoring

In the basketball game, points are critical because they give that team the ability to shoot ahead of their competitor. 

After wiping off any dirt that has settled in your shoes, you can get back on the ground and start to shoot better. It is every player’s goal at that moment to reach as many points as they possibly can because it helps their team win the game.

4.Easily changing directions

If you want to score higher, then by making quick shots you need better traction and grip with the slippery floor. You can slip from the ground when you’re frequently changing your directions without traction. 

That traction and grip to the slippery floor can only be achieved by wiping the bottom of shoes to remove any dust or debris or anything sticking to the bottom of shoes causing it to lose traction. 

5.Prevent injuries

While playing the game you’re conscious of an injury that may occur. Because, if you get injured, there won’t be a better opportunity to perform and in some cases, you could get hospitalized for days. 

So, to avoid major injuries, players have to clean their shoes from the bottom side especially after a match so that during a match if their boots have some dust and dirt on them. You will slip down to the ground. And so with a good grip of your feet on the ground from your boots, it pushes you into safe hands and prevents accidents like falling.

Are some shoes better than others? 

Buying high-quality shoes can’t prevent you from picking up dirt and debris from the floor. There’s always a chance of picking dirt and making you slippery. But with good-quality shoes you can have little benefit. They have tough and rough soles that can provide you more traction. 

Nike and Adidas shoes are especially popular in manufacturing such shoes. While buying shoes there are many factors to consider including traction and support. Read a complete buying guide and best basketball shoes for playing basketball. 

Conclusion: Why do Basketball Players Wipe Their Shoes?

This is a very interesting question. Most of us have never stopped to consider why basketball players wipe their shoes. There is a good reason why they do this and the answer is actually pretty simple. 

It is mainly to do with the traction of their shoes. In fact, wiping their shoes has a lot to do with how the shoes are designed. 

We hope that after reading this article completely you’ve got an answer and understanding to this question. Feel free to ask any query in the comment box. We’ll be there to help you.