Basketball Players Touch Their Shoes

Why Do Basketball Players Touch Their Shoes?

Have you ever wondered why basketball players often touch their shoes during games? In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this common practice. Let’s delve into the world of basketball and find out why players frequently touch their shoes.

Why do basketball players touch their shoes?

Basketball players frequently touch their shoes during games for a variety of reasons. It helps them improve traction, enhance grip, check shoe condition, and find psychological comfort on the court. Touching their shoes has become a habitual practice for basketball players.

Basketball Players Touch Their Shoes

Improved Traction

One of the primary reasons basketball players touch their shoes is to improve traction on the court. 

When players touch their shoes, they remove any dust or debris from the soles, which can affect their grip. By ensuring clean soles, players can maximize their traction, enabling them to make quick cuts, stops, and changes in direction with confidence. This helps them maintain stability and reduces the risk of slipping, which is crucial for their performance.

Better Grip

Touching their shoes also helps basketball players enhance their grip on the court. The friction between the shoe’s sole and the playing surface is essential for maintaining control and stability. 

When players touch their shoes, they activate the grip-enhancing materials on the outsole, such as specialized patterns or rubber compounds. 

This ensures optimal traction and reduces the chance of sliding, allowing players to maintain their balance during intense gameplay.

Basketball Players Touch Their Shoes

Checking Shoe Condition

Another reason players touch their shoes is to assess their condition. 

During the fast-paced and physically demanding nature of basketball games, shoes can undergo wear and tear. By touching their shoes, players can quickly check for any signs of damage, such as loose stitching, detached outsoles, or worn-out cushioning. 

Identifying these issues beforehand allows players to address them or switch to a different pair if necessary, ensuring their performance and safety are not compromised.

Psychological Comfort

The act of touching their shoes can also provide psychological comfort to basketball players. It can serve as a pre-game ritual, helping players establish a sense of familiarity and readiness. 

Touching their shoes may help them focus, boost their confidence, and mentally prepare for the game ahead. 

It serves as a grounding and centering practice, allowing players to enter the court with a clear mind and a positive mindset.

Loose Laces

Sometimes, players touch their shoes to ensure their laces are properly tightened. Loose laces can be hazardous, as they may cause players to trip or lose their footing during high-intensity movements. 

By touching their shoes, players can verify that their laces are secure and snug, reducing the risk of accidents and allowing them to play with peace of mind.

Basketball Players Touch Their Shoes

How Do NBA Players Break in Their Shoes?

NBA players often break into their new shoes before wearing them in games. This process involves wearing the shoes during practices, workouts, and shootarounds. By doing so, the shoes gradually mold to their feet, becoming more comfortable and responsive. 

Breaking in the shoes allows players to adapt to the fit and feel, ensuring maximum comfort and reducing the chances of blisters or discomfort during games. It also helps them assess the shoes’ performance and make any necessary adjustments or modifications.

What Do NBA Players Do with Their Shoes After a Game?

After a game, NBA players have various practices regarding their shoes. 

Some players choose to keep their game-worn shoes as memorabilia, showcasing significant moments in their careers. Others may exchange their shoes with fellow players as a sign of respect or collect shoes from notable opponents. 

Additionally, many players participate in charitable initiatives and donate their shoes to organizations or give them to fans as souvenirs, spreading goodwill and making a positive impact beyond the court.


In conclusion, the act of basketball players touching their shoes serves several purposes. It improves traction, enhances grip, allows for a quick assessment of shoe condition, provides psychological comfort, and ensures proper lacing. Next time you watch a basketball game, pay attention to this seemingly simple action and appreciate its significance in the players’ performance.

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