How to Improve Basketball Shoe Traction

To improve your basketball shoe traction, you need to identify the factors that influence it. This includes the type of surface you are playing on, the weight of the player, and the materials used in the construction of the shoes. Once you understand what affects your traction, you can take steps to improve it. This article will teach you how to improve basketball shoe traction.

If you’re looking to take your basketball game up a notch, improving your shoe traction is necessary. By implementing some of the following tips, you can maximize your grip on the court and make those killer crossovers and ankle-breaking moves with ease. Read on for more information!

How to Improve Basketball Shoe Traction

Things You’ll Need

  • Rotary tool with a sanding wheel attachment
  • Dremel Accessory Kit – Flex Shaft Attachment
  • Hammer
  • Abrasive Pads (Scotch Brite or equivalent)
  • Protective Gloves

A Step by Step Guide on How to Improve Basketball Shoe Traction

Step 1: Remove Debris

Before you start improving the traction of your shoes, they must first be clean from debris. Begin by using a rotary tool with an attachment for cleaning and removing debris from the treads found on your basketball shoe’s outsole.

Step 2: Clean The Tread

Next, you will need to clean the treads of your basketball shoes. This can be done quickly by using a rotary tool with a sanding wheel attachment and water. The water acts as lubrication for the abrasive pad, which helps remove any remaining dirt from the shoe’s soles.

Step 3: Remove Excess Material

If there is too much material on your outsole or if some areas are uneven, you will need to use an abrasion pad to remove this excess material to create more traction without changing the shape of your outsole. This is ar crucial step in how to improve basketball shoe traction.

Step 4: Sand the Tread

After you have removed the excess material from your outsole using a rotary tool and sanding attachment, it’s time to sand down the treads of your shoe. This is done so that your shoes will have a smoother transition from one area of traction to another – this makes it easier for your foot to grip the floor as it moves.

Using Rotary Tool

Step 5: Reattach The Rubber To Your Outsole

To put the rubber back onto your shoe’s outsole, you must first use a hammer to pound along all of the edges until they are even with one another. Next, take sandpaper and sand around the perimeter where the two pieces meet to smooth any sharp edges or points created by pounding on them with a hammer.

Step 6: Apply A Protective Coating

If you want to make your new, improved traction last, we suggest applying a protective coating over the freshly sanded and reattached rubber before playing in your shoes. This will help prevent it from wearing away quickly and extend the time between fixing them again.

Step 7: Use Traction Matting

The last step is to use the traction matting that will be used in conjunction with your newly improved shoe traction. If you use indoor basketball court flooring, you will need to place this over the areas where most of your basketball shoes contact the surface. This will help improve your grip on outdoor courts as well.

Simply take a sharp utility knife and cut out an appropriate-sized piece for each location where you’re placing it.​ These steps will help in how to improve basketball shoe traction.

Use Traction Matting

Tips and Warnings


  • For outdoor courts, apply a coat of tyre gel to the court. It will be a bit slippery at first but will improve after a few bounces of the ball or some hot water. Make sure you wipe away any excess gel before playing on it.
  • Cotton socks can harm your traction, too, so try wearing synthetic materials which won’t absorb moisture from your feet and retain more elasticity. If you can get hold of them, Graduated Compression Socks are also very effective in improving circulation through your legs while providing that little extra performance boost when it comes to traction.
  • Improve basketball shoe traction by having enough space between the ground and the soles of shoes. Imagine standing with wet feet on a piece of paper and sliding over it. The more distance between your foot and the ground, the less friction there will be. For this reason, beginners often complain of slippery shoes even though they aren’t wet or dirty. As a result, many go for thicker rubber soles to improve traction. Unfortunately, this is one of the most prominent mistakes players make, as it will only serve to decrease their shoe’s grip on the floor.
  • If you’re wearing leather basketball shoes and decide to play with them outside on wet concrete, don’t expect too much from them regarding traction performance. Instead, a synthetic material such as Kanga-lite is highly recommended in such conditions as it absorbs very little moisture and provides excellent traction on wet surfaces.
  • Always ensure you dry your footwear thoroughly after being exposed to water or ice as it will severely affect their traction performance. If you own leather basketball shoes, it would also be advisable to apply a coat of leather conditioner on them to keep them from cracking or stiffening up due to low temperatures.
  • One more great tip for improving basketball shoe traction is to get rid of the dust and dirt on your soles by wiping them clean with a towel, rag, or the side of your foot. In addition, refrain from overusing sprays or other chemicals if you want your shoes to have that extra grip.
 Wearing Leather Basketball Shoes


If you have particularly sweaty feet, avoid wearing cotton socks as they tend to absorb moisture and draw it into your shoes, which decreases traction.

  • Additionally, various powders contain aluminum chloride, which can be used for this purpose, but if you’re not careful enough, using it excessively may result in burns on the skin. Only use it when necessary or mix with an antiperspirant powder instead.
  • Make sure you don’t apply too much tyre gel or polish wax either, as you’ll end up slipping all over the place. Small amounts are enough for outdoor courts.

What Is the Best Way to Improve Basketball Shoe Traction??

There are many ways to improve basketball shoe traction, and choosing the best of them can be challenging. How you improve your shoe’s grip on the court depends on the type of shoes you have and how much money you want to spend.

If your shoes use rubber soles, it may be possible to add grip by applying a liquid rubber solution. This process requires training and practice not to damage or stain your shoe materials or floors. Another option is to purchase pre-tape strips of grip-enhancing material and affix them directly onto sneakers.

These will come off eventually, though, so touch them up if needed with a permanent marker for more continuous grip enhancements without any residue left over after removal from surfaces like glass and metal (instead, rinse, and it’s gone).

Improve Basketball Shoe

If you already have a product that works well for your grip needs, that is fantastic news as now all you need to be concerned about is how much traction those shoes will provide. For example, suppose you recently purchased a new pair of basketball shoes and wish they had more grip (and don’t want to use liquid rubber solutions). In that case, one trick to increase the gripping power of your sole or midsole is to apply double-sided Velcro tape directly onto them.

This gives the shoe a more significant surface area component and can help with ball handling and stopping. How so? Well, when your foot slides across the floor, contact between the bottom of your shoe and the floor only occurs at specific points. The sides of your soles and the middle to rear portions provide almost no contact points, so applying velcro tape will create many more contact spots and better grip without damaging your court surface or your shoes.

Which Basketball Shoes Are Good for Improving Basketball Shoe Traction?

Some of the best shoes for improving traction have extra padding to support your ankles. Some suitable styles are Air Jordan XX8 SE, Nike Kyrie 1, Adidas D Lillard 2 Boost, and the Under Armour Curry One Low. These aren’t all there is, but they are some examples of shoes with decent ankle support.

It is essential to make sure you buy a shoe with good ankle support because you will need it when doing these drills. The higher amount of ankle support means more stiffness in the back end of the shoe to give you more grip on the floor without any slippage.


We hope you have gone through the article on how to improve basketball shoe traction; of course, when you are playing basketball, the last thing that should be on your mind is whether or not your shoes have adequate traction. But if it’s an issue for you, there are a few things to consider before making any purchase decisions.

For example, synthetic leather provides more comfort than other materials but might require some break-in time first. And rubber soles will offer the best grip possible so long as they aren’t too slick when wet. Find out what kind of material works best for you by clicking here!

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