How to Make Basketball Shoes Sticky

Keeping your basketball shoes sticky can be a real game changer. Sticky shoes can help improve your traction and stability to allow you to move quickly around the court.


Read our guide for keeping the soles of your kicks sticky and you swift on the court.

Cleaning Instructions

Whenever your basketball shoes begin to feel a little slippery, follow the do's and don’ts below so you can improve your game.


  • Shake off excess dirt and rocks: If you like to play basketball on an outdoor court, it’s easy to get stones stuck in the grooves of your shoe soles. Pick out any rocks stuck in your shoes with a toothpick.
  • Wash lightly with soap and water: Gently clean your shoes with a mix of warm water and eco-friendly laundry detergent. Use an old toothbrush or soft brush to lightly scrub the soles of your basketball shoes.
  • Rinse thoroughly: Use a cleaning cloth dipped in warm water to remove any excess laundry detergent from your shoes.
  • Pat dry: Use a paper towel or clean towel to hand dry the soles of your shoes.


  • Use the washing machine: Putting your basketball shoes in the washing machine can change their shape and colour.
  • Put them in the dryer or by a heater: Rubber can change shape with heat so don’t risk damaging your trainers and always dry them at room temperature.
  • Use chemicals or bleach: Intense cleaning products can dry out your shoes and potentially crack the soles.
  • Scrub the upper material or midsole: The tops of shoes are made with delicate and often mesh-like materials. Scrubbing them, even with a toothbrush, can cause damage to the material.
  • Leave soap on your shoes: Make sure you wash detergent off your shoes thoroughly as if you don’t, your shoes can stay slippery which can increase your risk of injury.
  • Use softener or scented detergent These types of cleaning products can leave a greasy residue even after cleaning which will make your soles the opposite of sticky.


Below are a few extra tips for keeping your basketball shoes clean and your shoe soles sticky.


White Soles: if your basketball shoes have white soles, clean the soles with a little toothpaste in your soapy mix and they’ll get a little brighter.

Oil Stains: if you step in oil, as soon as you can afterwards, dab the soles with a paper towel or bring the oil out with baby powder.


Once you’ve cleaned your basketball shoes so they’re shining and sticky, hit the court and out-manoeuvre the competition. If you want a little extra boost, get yourself a new pair of basketball kicks. Shop for basketball shoes.