How to Clean Basketball Shoes

One of the most important parts of basketball is keeping clean basketball shoes. Not only do clean basketball shoes look good, they have better grip allowing for more stylish crossovers and quicker defense. If basketball shoes aren't kept clean and properly maintained they can quickly fall apart and no longer give the support needed for ankles to make quick cuts. Luckily, keeping clean basketball shoes is a simple process.

Before we get into the process, make sure you have these materials to help you keep clean basketball shoes:

Soft rag or cloth

Stiff brush

Non-abrasive leather cleaner or water


  1. Only wear basketball shoes when playing basketball. If they are worn outside of the gym they will quickly get covered in mud. It only takes one step into mud or a puddle to make sure those basketball shoes are never clean basketball shoes again. Wait to lace up until you are in the gym and ready to play. Also make sure that the shoes are stored in an open place, as stuffy closets can cause mildew to grow in the shoes and cause unpleasant odors. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
  2. Clean you basketball shoes regularly. It is inevitable that your formerly clean basketball shoes will become dirty and scuffed as play gets heated and feet get stepped on. It is pretty easy to clean these imperfections off of shoes as long as it is done on a regular basis.
  3. Clean the soles first. It is most important to keep the soles clean on your basketball shoes because they provide the traction during games. First use a rag or stiff brush to get any mud or pebbles off of the soles of the shoes.
  4. Clean the rest of the shoes. If the basketball shoes are leather, use a non-abrasive leather cleaner such as Williamsville leather cleaner to go over the entire shoe and rub off all the dirt and scuff marks. It is important to use a non-abrasive cleaner and soft rag so no scratch marks are left in the shoes. If the basketball shoes are not leather, using a soft rag soaked in water should do the trick. It is a simple process to keep clean basketball shoes, but it must be done regularly. Follow these steps and get your game up in no time while looking fresh.
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