When you go to a basketball game, it’s not uncommon to see basketball players wiping their shoes on the court before they play. This may seem strange at first, but if you look around the court, there are small dots (chalk) where the players have wiped their shoes on the floor and re-chalked to play their best basketball game.
Why do basketball players wipe their shoes? Here are five reasons why athletes wipe their shoes before playing the game.
12 Reasons Why Do Basketball Players Wipe Their Shoes?
Players wipe their basketball shoes many times before they play the game. They do it after they step off the bus or before they step onto the court. Some players even get up during their game, take a towel and wipe some spots on their shoes again.
Besides freshening up their sneakers, what are other reasons why do full-time professional basketball players wipe their shoes? Let’s find out!
1. To Remove Dust, Dirt
Athletes wear shoes that are not only sturdy and durable but also comfortable and lightweight. However, these qualities make them prone to picking up dust, dirt, and other debris while playing on the court. The dampness of the court makes the floor slippery and creates a perfect environment for dust and dirt to accumulate.
Basketball players need to clean their shoes regularly since it is one aspect that helps in their performance. When shoes get dirty, they become heavy, which affects the player’s speed and agility. Also, when the shoes become too dusty or dirty, it becomes difficult for players to grip the ball or ground properly. This can cause accidents or injuries to players or other people on the court.
2. To Show Respects To Opponents
Some players who are very polite and respectful to others will wipe their shoes before the game starts as a way to show respect to the opponent team. This is common for international basketball leagues like NBA or FIBA competitions.
I have never seen this happen in local amateur matches, though.
3. To Prevent Slipping
As mentioned above, wiping their shoes is an effective way for basketball players to prevent slipping. If they’re not careful, an opposing player might trip them, which can cause serious injuries such as damage to ligaments, muscles, or bones. That’s why they wipe their shoes whenever they notice that they’re sweating too much or any other sort of wetness on them.
4. To Look Smart
Another reason basketball players wipe their shoes is to look smart. It’s hard to concentrate on the game when you have a messy shoe that always gets on your nerves while playing. They would prefer to clean them than play with dirty sneakers.
5. To Focus
Wiping your shoes is a simple action that can help you focus on the court. It’s a habit that helps players maintain a sense of calm and control during games. You don’t have to do anything special about wiping your shoes before playing. Just do it every time!
6. To get Rid Of Smudges
This is one of the most common reasons why players wipe their shoes. On the white part of their shoes, you will see some dark marks placed on the court floor. Players wipe these marks because they don’t want to play with any smudges on their shoes. They want their shoes to be clean and shiny all the time.
7. To Make Sure The Shoes Look Brand New
Even though the shoes wear down as the game continues and are used day after day, players want the shoes to look fresh and brand new. This is where the shoe wiping comes in handy because it makes the shoe look much more appealing.
8. To Prepare For The Game
Wiping your shoes helps prepare you for the game by getting rid of sweat and dirt from practice or previous games so it won’t get stuck on your socks during game time.
9. To Hide Their Identity On The Court
Some players wear certain brands of shoes to show off their style and personality on the court so that fans will know who they are. However, some players do not want other people to see what kind of sneakers they are wearing when playing for various reasons such as sponsorship agreements or personal preference.
10. To Get Ready To Step Inside Arena
When players walk from one place to another, they pick up dust and moisture on their shoes. If they are playing in an indoor arena, that dirt can make their feet slip on the court. So by wiping off the soles of their sneakers, they can get more traction and play more efficiently.
11. To Benefit From An Easy Breathable Shoe
Shoes are made from many different materials, some of which are breathable and others not so, so you might want to make sure your shoes are clean before going out onto the court. If you see dirt or other debris on your shoe, use a rag or cloth to wipe it off before wiping your shoe again.
12. To Keep The Sole of the Shoe Dry
Wiping the sole of the shoes is essential because most of the top basketball shoes have a rubber sole. When you play on a wooden court, the friction caused by repeated movements can cause the bottom of your shoes to heat up. Wiping off the sole with a towel or a rag will help keep it dry and calm; it even prevents blisters from forming on your feet.
Some players even take the extra step of wrapping their shoes with tape. This prevents their shoes from heating up and ensures that they don’t get blisters on their feet.
Is It Bad To Wipe Your Shoes?
We want to tell you that it is not harmful to wipe your shoes. It is just an old myth that people use for their benefit, who want to sell the products like shoe polish. Shoe polish usually contains harmful chemicals that may cause irritation and allergies. If you have sued shoe polish and it dried, then it’s not a good idea to use a heavy amount of water to wash it off, as it may damage your leather shoes and irritate your skin.
So if you want to wipe, then don’t wipe too long. Try using clean shoe wipes instead of shoe polish.
How Does One Wipe Off Basketball Soles?
The best way to remove the stains and smudge on your basketball shoe soles is to soak them in warm water and baking soda for an hour and then scrub them with a soft cloth. Alternatively, you can also use rubbing alcohol, warm water, and detergent for an hour. After the soaking, you can scrub the soles with a toothbrush.
Why Do Basketball Players Take The Soles Of Their Shoes?
Some people say they put the tape on their shoes to increase the traction; others say they do it to prevent their feet sliding forward. In reality, basketball players don’t need to put the tape on the sole of their shoes because the soles of their shoes have non-slip rubber tread. The sole of the basketball shoe is called the outsole.
The outsole is the central contact point between the shoe and the court, so to make it more durable, some players choose to put the tape on the outsole. That’s why you often see basketball players wrapping the tape around the shoe’s outsole.
Why Do Basketball Players Touch Their Shoes?
There can be many different reasons why basketball players touch their shoes. Some say it is because their shoes have the power to protect them from evil or because it is their connection to the “power.” It is also said that if you put your hand on something precious to you, you will have the confidence to perform your best. This is why many athletes touch their head, helmet, heart, or a family member’s name.
Concluding About Why Do Basketball Players Wipe Their Shoes
To sum things up, wiping off your shoes will allow you to grip the basketball court better and keep yourself safe. If your game is slipping, take a look back at your routine. You’re as clean as you can be, so it’s time to get back to work.