How to Make Basketball Shoes Sticky

Slippery basketball shoes can affect your performance on the court and could even lead to injury. Follow this guide to keep your kicks sticky.

Cleaning instructions

When your shoes start to feel slippery, follow these dos and don’ts.


  1. Remove excess dirt and rocks – If you play basketball on an outdoor court you will most likely have a couple of rocks in the groves of your soles. Pry them out with a toothpick.
  2. Make a soapy mix – Mix a couple drops of eco-friendly laundry detergent with warm water and apply it with toothbrush to the soles. Alternate scrubbing directions to clean within the groves.
  3. Rinse off – Dip the washing cloth in warm water, and wipe the same areas to remove the detergent.
  4. Hand dry – Hand dry the soles with a paper towel or clean towel.


  • Put your basketball shoes in the washing machine. This can damage and discolour them.
  • Use drying machines or place them on a radiator. Retain the shape of the rubber by hand drying them at room temperature.
  • Use alternative cleaning products including chemicals, alcohol and bleach. These will dry out and crack your soles.
  • Scrub the midsole or the top of your shoes with the toothbrush. This could damage the material.
  • Play basketball with soapy shoes. It’s more dangerous than funny.
  • Use scented detergent with a softener mix. These will leave a greasy residue on your soles.

Here are some additional maintenance tips for keeping your favourite basketball soles clean and sticky:

White Soles

If you have white soles and are having difficulty keeping them bright, adding a little toothpaste to your detergent mix will keep things white.

Oil stains

If you step in oil act quickly to blot it from the soles with a paper towel or pull it out with baby powder.

When the cleaning is done, complete the final and most important step: hit the court and school the competition. And if that’s not enough, treat yourself to a fresh new pair. Shop for shoes.