There is no denying that basketball is a tough game. Not only is it physically tough but also mentally. Players need to be effective shooters and possess enough stamina to carry the game for a few hours. However, one important factor that can stand between winning and losing is the grip.
A player has to be quick and in control while making his way through the defenders and putting the ball in the net. Therefore, if you are someone who is struggling with grip, we have some important tips to share.
Keep the Soles Clean for a Better Grip
The first important factor you need to consider when it comes to getting more grip from basketball shoes is keeping the soles clean. Although it is overlooked by many players but professionals regularly clean the soles. You might have come across players using a damp towel or licking their hands to wipe their shoes.
While cleaning the soles is the best way to remove buildup but doing it several times during the game can simply be tedious. Furthermore, using a towel or your hands can be a hit or miss. If you happen to use excess water, the rubber soles can become wet leading to slip-ups.
On the other hand, if the towel is not wet enough, it will not wipe the soles properly. And, while some areas of the shoes can easily be wiped using a towel, others will require more water and effort. The biggest drawback of this solution is that you never know the right amount of water to use.
Therefore, to keep the shoes clean, use a slightly wet cloth to always be on the safe side for cleaning the soles. In addition to that, make sure to thoroughly clean the soles before the game begins and once the game ends.
Clean the Court
Cleaning the court is another important factor to consider. If the court happens to be dirty, you will struggle to maintain grip even if you are wearing top basketball shoes. A clean court makes a huge difference and that is why you see the courts being regularly mopped during the break and before the game begins.
However, dry mopping is not going to make any difference. It will not effectively lift all the grime and dirt left behind. Therefore, wet mopping is the best way. A drawback to wet mopping is that you need a dedicated team that ensures timely mopping of floors, which is a time-consuming and expensive process. If you plan to dry mop, just know that it is used to dry and clean liquid spills or player sweat upon falling on the court.
Apply a Grip Gel/Lotion on Your Soles
Recently, players have been using and applying grip gel or lotion on their shoes. Even the best mens basketball shoes sometimes require extra grip and these lotions or gels do make a difference. However, according to some, it is just a waste of money.
To apply a grip gel/lotion, you have to sit down and apply it individually. Once you have applied on one shoe, you have to wait for it to dry since you cannot put your foot down. Once it dries, you apply it to the other shoe and wait for it to dry.
Grip gels/lotions work by removing the dust and dirt on the floor. This is why you feel additional grip but for a short while. Once the effect goes away, you have to sit down again and repeat the application process.
Unfortunately, this is a bit time-consuming process especially when you are in the middle of an important game. Therefore, it is advised to apply before the game starts or during the break.
Use Sticky or Traction Mats
Using sticky or traction mats is one of the best options for the best basketball shoe grip. These mats can regularly be seen at practice sessions provided by the management or brought by the players. These mats are placed aside the corners of the court so that the players can step on them and then enter the court.
These mats are designed to remove the dirt accumulated on the sole by sticking. Once the player lifts their feet, the dirt and grime stick to the mats. This is the most inexpensive and practical solution to the gripping problem nowadays.
Once the mats get extremely dirty, you can wash or replace them. These mats are made of high-quality materials and last for years before needing new ones. Therefore, buy a few, replace, and wash them to get more grip during games.
Get New Pair of Shoes
Basketball shoes are not cheap and not everyone can afford to buy a new pair. However, there will come a time when your soles will simply give up due to regular usage. Since soles are mostly made of rubber, the constant rubbing and friction against the floor causing them to wear out.
Similar to car tires needing replacement after several years, you will need to replace the shoes depending on your usage. One important thing you need to remember is that different types of basketball shoes offer different grip intensities. Your shoe selection should be based on whether you play on-court or off-court. Professional basketball games are played on mostly wooden floors that are polished to perfection.
Off-court games are usually played on concrete made playing areas. Therefore, you cannot expect to use the same type of shoes for both on and off-court. You will simply be wasting your money and the shoes as well. Before you proceed with buying a particular pair, consult with professionals and get a second suggestion or advice. Choosing the wrong shoe type has cost the players crucial games in the past.
Today, professional players such as Lebron James, Kevin Durant, and Stephen Curry suggest the youth to factor in their feet type, size and shape too. This ensures that the player goes for the perfect shoe-feet combination.
Getting more grip from basketball shoes is mostly related to cleaning the underside. If that does not work out, you should invest in some grip gels and sticky mats. And, finally, take your time in selecting the right pair of shoes. Make sure that your shoe fits perfectly and prevents you from slipping everytime you make it pass through the defenders or land after jumping to score.