Why do Basketball Players Wipe the Bottom of Their Shoes?

Ever wondered, “Why do basketball players wipe the bottom of their shoes?”

You might have seen NBA players wiping the bottom of their shoes while playing an intensive game. So, we are here to explain this question that why do they wipe their shoes, and what are the main reasons behind it.

Without any further ado, let’s get right into the main topic:

Why Basketball Players Wipe the Bottom of their Shoes – Actual Reasons

Why do Basketball Players Wipe the Bottom of Their Shoes_

I’ll first start with discussing players wiping the outsoles of the top outdoor basketball shoes and will later move on to the indoor basketball shoes.

Outdoor Basketball

1. To Remove Dust off the Outsoles:

While playing outdoors, the outsoles of your shoes will attract a lot of dust and you simply can’t ignore it. That said, the excess of dust causes slippery conditions and a serious threat to the player getting injured.

Hence, to avoid this problem, players usually wipe the bottom of their shoes to maintain a firm grip on an outdoor court.

2. For Removing Pebbles:

Wiping also comes in handy when your shoes get stuck with small pebbles. Most of the time, pebbles are a real pain in the a** for outdoor players as they cause discomfort. Plus, the tractions get reduced as the shoes collect more and more pebbles.

So, one such benefit of wiping the outsoles is to remove those small pebbles. This way, players can easily focus on their game and improve their reflexes at the same time.

3. For Removing Sweat:

Last but not least, when the game becomes intense outside, then the player’s hands could become sweaty. As a result, athletes could not grip the basketball as efficiently as they can without the sweat. The possibility of ball slip can cost the players crucial points.

So, to avoid this mess, players could sometimes wipe their hands on the bottom of their shoes so their sweat could get absorbed easily. Those were all the reasons for wiping down the basketball shoes when it comes to playing outdoors.

Heading forward,

We’ll now talk about the main reason behind players wiping their shoes indoors.

Have a look:

Indoor Basketball

1. Traction Plays a Crucial Role On the Indoors:

The shiny hardwood floors aren’t easy to play on if you enter them with shoes that offer weak traction. Putting this into perspective, basketball shoes with weaker traction cannot offer you real flexibility and grip. As a result, you’ll probably end up slipping. Or the other way around, you’ll play the game without any focus.

To avoid this problem, many players (including the professional ones) prefer wiping down the bottom of their shoes. They do so to remove any dust or debris off the shoes. While doing so, the outsole becomes cleaned enough and thus helps the players maintain their traction indoors.

2. Removing Sweat off the Hands:

As I already mentioned above, removing sweat off the hands is another major reason b-ball players wipe down the bottom of their shoes. That’s why you see many NBA players do this practice especially when they are playing an intense match against a fierce opponent.

Does Wiping Help Improve the Traction on a Basketball Court?

Does Wiping Help Improve the Traction on a Basketball Court

I, as a professional basketball player, can confirm that wiping the bottom of shoes does help maintain traction on the ground.

You see, the dust particles seem to have a negligible impact while you play on the court. But, this dust could turn out chaotic especially when you play at an aggressive position.

In simple words, this dust or foreign debris becomes quite dangerous for a player who makes a lot of quick movements or wants to shred apart the defense of opponent team. So, yeah, for time being, this wiping thing does help the players maintain a perfect grip, especially when one plays indoors.

Tips to Follow Before Entering the Basketball Court:

Here are some of my personal tips that I follow every time I have a game or an exercise session ahead:

  • Clean your shoes thoroughly. Wipe the outsoles with soapy water and let them dry naturally.
  • Do all relevant stretching exercises before stepping into the court.
  • If the court is within walking distance from your home, better jog until you reach it.
  • Keep separate shoe pairs for each court. Never try your indoor shoes outside or else they will rip apart sooner than later.
  • Don’t eat too much before you start playing. You could eat fruits like a banana or a chocolate bar to maintain your calorie intake.

The Bottom Line:

As it stands, I’ve given enough reasons to explain the question, “Why do basketball players wipe the bottom of their shoes?”.

Other than that, I’ve given ample tips to maintain the charisma of entering a basketball court plus your shoes. Let me know what were you thinking about this specific action before you came here to know the real answers.

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