How to Restore Basketball Shoes: Tips for Bringing Back Their Game-Worthy Performance

Morgan Wolf

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Restore Basketball Shoes

Basketball shoes are an essential piece of equipment for any player. They provide the necessary support, cushioning, and traction needed to excel on the court. However, over time, even the best basketball shoes can show signs of wear and tear, affecting their performance and longevity.

So, how to restore basketball shoes? Thankfully, with a little care and attention, it’s possible to restore basketball shoes to their former glory. In this article, we’ll explore some effective tips on how to restore basketball shoes and bring back their game-worthy performance.

How To Restore Basketball Shoes?

Keep your heels capped if you’re cleaning or repairing them- this will prevent scratches and other damage. Use a glue application to fix screws in place when necessary- avoid using excessive force, as this could cause the screw to break.

Screws can become loose over time; apply a small amount of thread locker around the heads before tightening for extra security. If your heel is cracked or broken, replace it with an identical part from a shoe repair store- be sure to measure first.

Cleaning & Repairing

Cleaning and repairing basketball shoes can be done with a little bit of know-how and some basic supplies. Follow these tips for cleaning and repairing your basketball shoes: Repairs on basketball shoes should only be done by someone who is familiar with the process, as they can be expensive.

Be sure to have all the necessary supplies before you start working on your sneakers—this will save time in the long run. Always wear protective gear while cleaning or repairing any sports equipment, as accidents happen.

Address Scuffs and Scratches

Scuffs and scratches are common on basketball shoes, especially around the toe area. To address these imperfections, use a magic eraser or a gentle abrasive cleaner. 

Gently rub the affected area in a circular motion until the scuff or scratch diminishes. Be cautious not to rub too aggressively, as it may damage the shoe’s finish.

Repair Tears and Rips

If your basketball shoes have tears or rips in the upper material, it’s crucial to repair them to prevent further damage and maintain structural integrity.

Depending on the extent of the damage, you can use a shoe repair adhesive, such as Shoe Goo, to seal the tear or consider taking them to a professional shoe repair service. Follow the instructions provided with the adhesive for the best results.

Restore Cushioning

Over time, the cushioning in basketball shoes can lose its responsiveness and support. To restore cushioning, you can consider replacing the insoles with new ones specifically designed for basketball shoes.

Additionally, if the midsole has compressed or lost its springiness, you may need to invest in a new pair of shoes, as restoring the midsole is often challenging and not recommended for DIY repairs.

Enhance Traction

Traction is crucial for basketball shoes to provide the necessary grip on the court. If the outsole has worn down, making it slippery, you can attempt to restore traction by using a traction pad or applying a traction-enhancing product.

There are various traction solutions available in the market, such as sticky mats or grip-enhancing sprays, which can help restore grip to some extent.

Protect and Maintain

Once you have restored your basketball shoes, it’s essential to take proactive steps to protect and maintain them. Apply water and stain-repellent spray to protect the shoes from spills, dirt, and moisture.

Additionally, store them in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight, to prevent the materials from deteriorating. Regularly clean and inspect your shoes to address any issues promptly.

Consider professional Refurbishment

In some cases, restoring basketball shoes may require professional assistance. If you have valuable or high-end basketball shoes or if the damage is extensive, it’s worth considering taking them to a professional shoe refurbishment service.

These experts have the necessary tools, materials, and expertise to repair and restore your shoes to their original condition.

How Do You Fix Worn Basketball Shoes?

fix worn basketball shoes

If your basketball shoes are worn out, there are a few steps you can take to try and fix them and extend their lifespan. Here are some suggestions:

Clean the Shoes

Start by thoroughly cleaning your basketball shoes. Remove any dirt, debris, or stains from the upper material. Use a soft brush or cloth and mild soap or a specialized shoe cleaner. Allow them to air dry completely before proceeding.

Replace Worn Laces

In case your shoelaces are frayed or damaged, replace them with new ones. This will not only improve the appearance of your shoes but also ensure a secure fit.

Patch up Small Holes or Tears

If your shoes have small holes or tears in the upper material, you can try patching them up. Use a shoe adhesive or strong fabric glue to attach a small patch of matching material to cover the damaged area. Ensure the patch is secure and let it dry thoroughly.

Use Shoe Repair Glue

If the soles are separating from the upper part of the shoe, you can apply shoe repair glue to reattach them. Clean the surfaces thoroughly, apply the glue according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and press the sole and upper together firmly.

Use clamps or heavy books to hold them in place while the glue sets. Allow sufficient drying time before using the shoes again.

Replace Insoles

If the insoles of your basketball shoes are worn out or lacking cushioning, consider replacing them with new ones. This can help improve comfort and support while playing.

Consider Professional Repair

If your basketball shoes have significant damage or if the soles are heavily worn, it might be worth taking them to a professional shoe repair shop. They have the expertise and specialized equipment to fix more extensive issues, such as resolving or restitching.

Remember, while these steps can help prolong the life of your basketball shoes, there may come a point where it’s necessary to invest in a new pair for optimal performance and safety.

How Do You Clean Basketball Shoes Without Ruining Them?

To clean your basketball shoes effectively, follow these steps:

Remove Excess Dirt

Use a soft brush or cloth to gently remove any loose dirt or debris from the shoes. This will make the cleaning process easier.

Prepare a Cleaning Solution

Mix a small amount of mild soap or a specialized shoe cleaner with warm water in a bowl or bucket. Follow the instructions on the cleaner if you’re using a specific product.

Clean the Upper

Dip a soft brush, sponge, or cloth into the cleaning solution and gently scrub the upper part of the shoes. Pay close attention to areas with stains or dirt buildup.

Avoid using abrasive materials or excessive force that could damage the shoe’s materials. For tougher stains, you can apply a small amount of cleaner directly to the stain and gently scrub.

Clean the Laces and Tongue

Remove the laces from the shoes and wash them separately in the same cleaning solution. You can use a brush or your fingers to scrub them. To clean the tongue, gently wipe it with the soapy solution and remove any dirt or stains.


Once you’ve finished cleaning the shoes and laces, rinse them with clean water to remove any soap residue. Make sure to remove all the soap from the shoes to avoid any potential damage.

Air Dry

Place your basketball shoes in a well-ventilated area and allow them to air dry naturally. Avoid direct sunlight, heat sources, or using a hairdryer, as excessive heat can cause damage to the materials. Stuff the shoes with crumpled paper or clean towels to help maintain their shape as they dry.

Apply a Protective Spray

After the shoes are dry, you can consider applying a shoe protector spray. This can help repel dirt and liquids, keeping your shoes cleaner for longer.

It’s important to note that some basketball shoes have specific cleaning instructions based on the materials they are made of. Always check the manufacturer’s recommendations or any care instructions that come with your shoes to ensure you clean them properly without causing any damage.

How To Prolong The Life Of Your Basketball Shoes?

To prolong the life of your basketball shoes, here are some tips to follow:

Rotate Your Shoes

Avoid wearing the same pair of basketball shoes every day. Rotating between multiple pairs allows each pair to rest and recover between uses, reducing wear and tear.

Use Them for Basketball Only

Reserve your basketball shoes exclusively for playing basketball. Avoid using them for other activities like running or casual wear, as different movements and surfaces can cause additional strain on the shoes.

Properly Store Your Shoes

When you’re not using your basketball shoes, store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid leaving them in a damp or humid environment, as this can cause damage to the materials.

Untie and Loosen the Laces

Before taking off your basketball shoes, make sure to untie and loosen the laces. This helps prevent unnecessary stress on the shoe’s construction and maintains the shape of the shoe over time.

Clean Them Regularly

Regularly clean your basketball shoes to remove dirt, sweat, and stains. Follow the cleaning instructions mentioned earlier to keep your shoes looking and performing their best.

Replace Worn-Out Insoles

The insoles of basketball shoes can wear out over time, losing their cushioning and support. Consider replacing the insoles with new ones to maintain comfort and minimize the impact on your feet.

Avoid Excessive Moisture Exposure

Moisture can deteriorate the materials of your basketball shoes. Avoid playing in wet conditions whenever possible and promptly dry your shoes if they get wet. Stuff them with newspaper or use a shoe dryer to absorb moisture and aid in the drying process.

Protect the Outsole

The outsole of your basketball shoes can wear down quickly due to the friction and impact on the court. Consider applying a sole protector or traction pad to extend the life of the outsole and improve grip.

Regularly Inspect and Maintain

Check your basketball shoes regularly for any signs of wear or damage. Repair small tears or loose stitching promptly to prevent further damage. Keep an eye on the traction pattern of the outsole and consider replacing the shoes if it becomes significantly worn down, as it can affect your performance and increase the risk of injury.

Remember, even with proper care, basketball shoes will eventually wear out over time. It’s essential to monitor their condition and replace them when necessary to ensure optimal performance and support while playing.

Does Hairspray Help Grip on Shoes?

Hairspray can help to grip on shoes, but it’s not a permanent solution. You’ll need to apply hairspray every time you wear your shoes and keep them clean.

  • Hairspray can help keep your shoes tacky, which makes them easier to grip when you’re walking or running. It’s important to test a few sprays in different locations before applying it to your shoes so that you get the results you want. Allow hairspray time to dry for maximum effectiveness.
  • Some types of shoes may not be compatible with hairspray, so be sure to test a few sprays in different areas and make sure they work well before wearing them out on the town. Be careful when wearing heels after applying hair spray – too much can cause damage.
  • When using hairspray, be cautious about contact with eyes and other sensitive skin areas as this product contains alcohol-based ingredients that could irritate these areas if applied incorrectly.
  • Hairspray is effective at keeping your feet sticky but it won’t last forever – especially if you wear high heels often. To prolong its effects, try spraying some hairspray onto your sneakers or boots before heading out for an adventure..
  • Be safe and use caution while using any type of hair spray – even those designed for personal care purposes – NEVER leave home without testing a small amount first in a hidden area like underarms or behind the ear.

Does Rubbing Alcohol Damage Shoes?

Yes, rubbing alcohol can damage shoes. It can cause them to become dry and brittle, which can make them difficult to wear and even dangerous if they break.

When you’re trying to clean your shoes, be sure not to use rubbing alcohol, bleach, scent-free laundry detergent or fabric softeners.

These products can damage the delicate materials that make up a shoe’s sole. They will also leave greasy residue behind which may dry out and crack the soles of your shoes over time.

rubbing alcohol damage shoes

How Long Do Basketball Shoes Last?

Basketball shoes should be replaced every 350-500 miles or so, depending on the type of shoe and how often you use it. Running shoes can last up to 70 hours before they need to be replaced, while basketball shoes usually need to be replaced after 500 miles or so due to their sole and midsole losing structure over time.

When trying on a new pair of basketball/running shoes, feel for obvious damages like tears in the fabric – these will likely mean that your shoe is not going to last very long and may require replacement prematurely. It’s normal for a basketball shoe to feel clunky when you first try it on; however, if there are any obvious signs of damage (like tears), then your shoe probably won’t make it very far before failing prematurely.

Finally – always store your sneakers properly by putting them in an airtight container or bag when not being used; this will help keep them looking good for longer.


Can I use regular household cleaners to clean my basketball shoes?

It is generally recommended to avoid using harsh household cleaners on basketball shoes as they can damage the materials. Instead, opt for a mild soap solution or specialized shoe-cleaning products designed for sports shoes.

How often should I clean my basketball shoes?

The frequency of cleaning your basketball shoes depends on how frequently you use them and the conditions you play in. 

As a general guideline, it’s a good idea to clean them after each use or at least once a week if you play regularly. Regular cleaning helps maintain the shoe’s performance and prevents dirt buildup.

Can I restore the cushioning of my basketball shoes on my own?

While you can replace the insoles of your basketball shoes yourself, restoring the midsole cushioning is more challenging and usually not recommended for DIY repairs.

Once the midsole has compressed or lost its responsiveness, it’s often best to invest in a new pair of shoes for optimal performance and support.

Are there any specific tips for maintaining the shoe’s traction?

To maintain traction, it’s essential to keep the outsole clean and free from dirt and debris. Regularly inspect the traction pattern and remove any accumulated dirt with a brush or cloth.

Additionally, avoid wearing basketball shoes outdoors on abrasive surfaces like concrete, as it can wear down the traction quicker.

When should I consider professional refurbishment for my basketball shoes?

Professional refurbishment is recommended for significant damage or if you have high-end or valuable basketball shoes that require expert care.

If you’ve attempted repairs but the shoes still have issues, or if the damage is extensive (e.g., severe tears, structural damage), it’s best to consult a professional shoe refurbishment service to ensure proper restoration.

To Recap

That was all about how to restore basketball shoes. Restoring basketball shoes can be a rewarding endeavor, breathing new life into your favorite pair and extending their usefulness.

By following the tips mentioned above and giving your shoes the care they deserve, you can restore their game-worthy performance and continue to excel on the basketball court.

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Morgan Wolf

Journalist with experience covering the intersection of sports with business. Demonstrated expertise in digital, video and social media content covering major sports including soccer, NBA, NFL, MLB, tennis and Olympic sports. But basketball is his passion. Specialties: expert for sports related content management LinkedIn

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