The Science Behind Basketball Players Wiping Their Shoes: Why Do They Do It?

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Why Do Basketball Players Wipe Their Shoes?

It’s a common sight to see basketball players wiping their shoes on the court. But why do they do this? It turns out there are several reasons why basketball players wipe their shoes during games and practices.

Grip and Traction

One of the main reasons for wiping your shoes is to improve grip and traction on the hardwood court. Sweat from your feet or moisture from condensation can accumulate on the sole of your shoe, making it slippery when you move quickly. Wiping your shoe helps remove that moisture so that you have better control and stability when moving around on the court.


Another key reason is cleanliness, both in terms of personal hygiene as well as keeping the courts clean. Basketball requires a lot of running, jumping, diving, sliding etc., all which can lead to dirt build-up in your soles over time if not managed properly. By regularly cleaning off sweat or dirt with a towel or cloth eliminates any chance of spreading germs or bacteria onto other players’ equipment (e.g., ball) or even into open cuts/scrapes someone may have gotten during play resulting in possible infection risk. Additionally, by removing debris such as mud/dirt from one’s sneakers it reduces potential damage done to expensive hardwood floors that come at a high cost to maintain & replace over time – resulting in an overall cleaner environment for everyone involved!


Wiping down one’s shoes while playing basketball is an important habit every player should practice before getting onto the court; not only does this help keep them safe but also ensures that everyone else stays healthy too! Even though it may seem like an insignificant detail at first glance – taking care of our body & surroundings can go a long way towards creating enjoyable experiences for all participants involved