How to Improve Traction on Basketball Shoes

When you think of the term traction, if you are an athlete, playing a basketball game, you probably know how important it is during a game.

It is what keeps you grounded, allows you to change direction quickly, and allows you to keep up with opposing players, at all times of a game.

When playing with worn-out shoes, traction might be an issue. The groves of your shoes are worn, dust has built-up in the groves, or the soles are completely worn-out, making it virtually impossible for you to play at the fastest speeds, without falling a few times during a game.

 So, what’s the solution to the problem?

These are a few ways you can improve the traction during play, with your favorite pair of Nike’s or Air Jordan’s, which you’ve out-worn on so many courts and surfaces over the years.

Traction Fluids : 

Immediately after applying these fluids to your shoes, you are instantly going to feel more traction. It will feel like you are stepping deep into mud or sand (i.e. you are going to feel like your shoes are gripping onto the surface you step onto).

These products only work for a period of 10 to 15 minutes at a time, so you will have to reapply them during a longer game.

However, they are going to allow you to make sharp-turns, quickly dive onto the ground, or otherwise make quick movements, without having to worry about sliding all over the place.

Soapy solution: 

Applying a soapy solution to the soles of your sneaker after each game, is a good way to help preserve traction. Although it might not help you immediately if you need a solution during a game, you will preserve the soles, and this will help you avoid issues during the next game you play.

It is best for you to apply a soapy solution onto the soles after each game you play, for the best results. Allow the shoes to air-dry after each application prior to putting them away.

Traction boards : 

There are boards you can purchase, which are specifically designed to help improve traction on your favorite shoes. Some have a glue-like area, others are similar to the grit in sand-paper, which help roughen up the soles of your shoes.

Regardless of the type of traction board you purchase, stepping on this and digging the soles into the board, prior to games, should help improve traction.

These boards have an adhesive base which you step onto. In doing this, you leave behind any dust and oil on the bottom of the soles, so you won’t bring this onto the court with you during play.

Rosin Powder : 

Another solution you might want to try if you’ve already exhausted the above methods is to use rosin powder on the soles of your favorite pair of shoes.

Simply place a small amount on the palms of your hands, and apply this by generously rubbing it onto the soles of your favorite shoes.

Make sure you recoat the shoes as needed during different points of the game. Like the traction fluids, this option might only work for 10 to 20 minutes at a time, so you will have to apply it several times during a game.

The powder is going to help cause friction on the bottom of your shoes, and help increase the heat on the soles, which will help you avoid slipping and falling all over the court while you are playing in a game. Keep in mind this solution is intended more for slick courts (indoor courts).


Although no two players are going to use the same exact methods to improve traction and grip, these are a few of the most common methods which players use.

Professionals have the luxury of being able to switch out their shoes every game, and many players do so at several points during any given game.

 But, for the average individual who plays occasionally at the park or indoor court setting, this isn’t something we can typically afford to do.

If you are looking or a solution on short-term notice, these are all methods which can help you improve traction on the court. You can always rely on the spit-shine method as well in some cases.

Simply take saliva and rub it between your palms (to create friction and heat). Simply run your hands along the bottom of the shoe’s sole, and this instantly increases traction when you run on the court.

Try out a few of these methods/products to see which works best. Sometimes a combination might work, and in other instances, you might choose a single product which works best for you.

Ultimately, trial and error will help you find the best product/solution, when you aren’t having luck staying on your feet during basketball games with the shoes you are wearing.

About the Author Michael Jordan

This is Michael Jordan, a 26 years old guy. Besides my study and part time job, I'm passionate about playing basketball, cycling and exercising. is the place where I'm sharing my thoughts on the internet and I love the way here!Follow Our Guide and Be a NINJA Basketball Player with US!Keep following my blog Post and enjoy playing basketball like a pro!

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