Basketball players are constantly wiping the bottom of their shoes, even though the court is clean from end to end. Why do they do that? Have you ever wondered why basketball players and other athletes wipe the bottom of their shoes before starting their sport? For example, have you ever seen a basketball player wipe the bottom of his shoe and suddenly think, Why did he do that? If you’ve ever been curious about this question, you’re not alone! The reason basketball players and other athletes do this may surprise you is not what you might think!
Why Do Basketball Players Wipe The Bottom Of Their Shoes? 9 Major Reasons
Basketball players have been wiping the bottom of their shoes on the sideline for years. Still, this simple act can be confusing to spectators at first glance. Why would they stop mid-game to fix something that doesn’t seem to be broken? As it turns out, there are quite a few different reasons why these players wipe the bottom of their shoes. Read on to learn more about this phenomenon and how it can help improve your own game!
Wiping the bottom of your shoes as a basketball player is a process that will leave you wondering what is happening. Here are the answers you’ve been looking for.
1. To Maneuver Quicker
The first is that wiping the bottom of their shoes allows them to move quickly and have more control when making sudden stops or changes in direction. When a player can quickly stop, change direction, or make quick cuts, it throws off the defender, who has to reorient themselves, leading to an open shot or foul.
2. To Have Better Balance
While some players wipe off all of the dirt and moisture from their shoes to have better balance, others do the exact opposite by spreading dirt and moisture onto the soles of their shoes through wiping so that they have better balance. This can be done because most basketball courts are made with wood floors, so they can improve their traction while they are on the floor by adding dirt and moisture.
3. To Maintain More Control Of The Ball
A minor part of wiping off your shoes is maintaining control of the ball when you dribble it. The dust and dirt can make your fingers less sticky and less able to grip the ball when you are dribbling it up and down the court.
4. To Maintain Grip On The Court
Basketball is a game where you need to be able to stop and start quickly and sprint after loose balls and rebounds. Players must have fast reflexes and good agility to be in a position to steal the ball or block an opponent’s shot. They also need a firm foothold when they plant their feet to take a jump shot or drive toward the basket. In addition to wearing rubber-soled shoes with soles designed for basketball, players wipe their shoes before play begins. At timeouts, they don’t lose their grip as they move around the court.
5. To Reduce Slip-Ups
In addition to the increase mentioned above in traction, a dirty bottom also decreases the likelihood of a slip-up during competition. While it would be impossible to keep shoes squeaky clean while playing basketball, players will wipe their shoes off before taking a free throw or other essential shots.
When players are standing at the free-throw line, their feet are planted firmly. The bottom of the shoe remains in contact with the floor for an extended period, allowing dirt and dust to accumulate. When players attempt to shoot from this position, they could easily slip and miss the basket entirely if their shoes are too clean. Cleaning this dirt off helps to prevent these accidents from occurring.
6. To Keep Their Shoes Clean
A simple one to start with. Wiping the bottom of their shoes on the court keeps them clean. If you’ve ever worn basketball shoes, you know that they can get dirty very quickly, especially if you wear them outside the gym. NBA players don’t want their shoes to get dirty, and their shoe brand doesn’t want the NBA players to get dirt all over their signature shoes either. It’s just an intelligent thing to do.
7. To Remove Dust From Their Shoes
Dust and sweat can make shoes slippery, so this is one of the main reasons basketball players wipe the bottom of their shoes. It prevents them from slipping on the court, but it also prevents their shoes from ripping apart.
8. To Prevent Slipping
Slipping on the court can result in sprains and other injuries that might keep a player out of action for weeks or even months. So, wiping the bottom of their shoes helps players avoid injuries.
9. To Reduce Germs
Another reason is to reduce the chance of spreading germs. People assume that it is only athletes who are wiping their shoes. But, most people do it at some point in time without realizing it. A recent study found that most people wipe their shoes against mats and carpets.
This is why you see people wiping their shoes on the bottom of mats or carpets. If you have a long-haired carpet, the chances are high that the dust and dirt will get stuck in the hairs of your carpet. So, if you have a long-haired carpet at home and someone wipes their shoe against your carpet, you may want to remove the hair from your carpet.
10. To Create Slippery Shoes
The second theory is that wiping the bottom of your shoe allows you to grip the floor better and thus move faster or make quick changes in direction. The problem with this theory is that players often wipe their shoes on a towel on the sideline, which gets rid of most of the dust but doesn’t create slippery shoes.
- How To Make Shoes More Comfortable For Standing?
- Leather Vs. Suede Skate Shoes: Which Material is Best?
Common Questions About Why Do Basketball Players Wipe The Bottom Of Their Shoes
Why Do Basketball Players Take The Soles Of Their Shoes?
I have always wondered why basketball players rub their shoes on the ground before their free throws. I thought they were trying to get a better grip, but I was told they are trying to let the air out of their shoes so that it is easier to balance. Is this true? Why not just take off their shoes?
Well, it is not about letting air out of the shoes. It is mostly about getting better traction on the court, which helps players in two ways:
Wiping the sole gets rid of dust and dirt accumulated during play, resulting in a more solid base for feet to stand on.
Because there are some small holes in the soles of basketball shoes (or most athletic shoes), wiping them will help reduce any moisture build-up inside the shoe, again allowing for a more solid base to stand on.
This, in turn, allows a player to have greater control over their body movements, improving things like balance and agility.
Do Basketball Players Crease Their Shoes?
If you’re a sneakerhead, you’re probably aware of creasing, where you pull the sides of the sole apart to get a more aggressive grip when you pivot or stop. This is a tactic that many players use, especially in the NBA. They’ll crease the rubber on the outsole with a knife to make themselves better players.
Why Do Basketball Players Walk Weird?
Basketball is a very fast-paced game, and hence players need to be agile and move quickly. This might be the reason why the movement of basketball players looks a bit awkward and funny to people who have never played the game. Let us look at what you need to do to move in the court like a pro.
Why Do Basketball Players Lick Their Shoes?
Most players lick their basketball shoes for good luck. As you may know, the shoe industry has been going through tough times due to its recent failure to keep up with fashion trends. So, the shoe companies need to rely on luck for their survival. They pay thousands of dollars to NBA players to lick their shoes during games. The players then spread the word about the shoes and give them favorable reviews to the media. This is how the companies survive.
Concluding About Why Do Basketball Players Wipe The Bottom Of Their Shoes
So, why do basketball players wipe the bottom of their shoes? The purpose is simple: to keep their feet from sliding forward when they take a specific type of jump shot. This can be accomplished by using one or two consecutive wipes, depending on personal preference. And now you know—and knowing is half the battle!