Volleyball shoes having decent traction on the court play a crucial role in an effective and smooth experience on the court. This is because a volleyball athlete has to control the ball on a smooth PVC floor, and the shoes significantly affect the players’ movement, agility, performance, and the risk of injury.
This comprehensive guide on how to make your volleyball shoes less slippery or more sticky is for you, If you’re a volleyball athlete and looking for any of the following:
Considering these questions/queries I have listed 12 practical tips and tricks to handle the situations. So let’s start!
How to Make Volleyball Shoes Less Slippery or Sticky Again: 14 Practical Tips
After purchasing the best available volleyball shoes, you will notice that after some time, as the shoes start to wear out, they will also become slippery.
This is of course the most concerning issue with volleyball shoes. But don’t worry I have given here some practical tips and tricks to handle the situations. These tips cover the easy to difficult and cheap to costly methods.
1. Avoid Outdoor Use
If you want to keep your shoe grip intact and prevent it from getting lost then avoid using it outside. Do you know why? here are the reasons:-
- Volleyball shoes are crafted according to the court surface. The shoes’ outsole is made up of gum rubber to give adequate traction on the indoor court simultaneously maintaining the integrity of the court.
- The outsole rubber is made to deal with the indoor court rather than the outdoor hard surface. So the use of indoor volleyball shoes for running, walking, or playing outdoors makes them slippery.
Therefore, it is recommended to avoid the use of court volleyball shoes outside like running or playing outdoor volleyball, rather dedicated shoes be used for these purposes. Assigning specific shoes for different activities not only keeps them clean but also prevents premature wear on the soles.
2. Keep the Floor Clean
Keeping a clean playing surface is vital for optimal traction on the court. Before stepping onto the court, take a moment for a quick wipe-down to eliminate any dust or moisture.
A clean court not only enhances the overall playing experience but also minimizes the chances of particles adhering to your shoe soles. This ultimately helps your footwear to maintain optimal traction.
3. Wipe Shoe Outsole/ Clean Shoes Regularly
Wiping the shoes’ outsole before entering the court enhances the traction and makes them more grippy. This is because the washing enhances the efficiency of the gum rubber by removing the dust particles on the outsole.
Therefore it is recommended to regularly clean your volleyball shoes after each game or practice session.
For this purpose use a mild soap or detergent, a brush, and warm water to remove dirt and debris from the outsoles. Ensure the tread pattern is free from any buildup that might compromise traction.
4. Rotate Usage of Shoes
Rotating between multiple pairs of volleyball shoes extends their lifespan by minimizing wear on a single pair, preserving optimal traction.
Switching between shoes allows each pair to rest and recover, which maintains the integrity of the outsoles and ensures consistent on-court performance.
5. Use Sandpaper
Gentle scruffing of soles with fine-grit sandpaper helps to roughen up the soles which improves the grip on slippery courts.
The texture adds more contact points between the shoe’s surface and the playing field, which reduces the risk of slipping and sliding during dynamic movements.
However, be vigilant that shoe material might not get damaged.
6. Double-sided tape
Applying small strips of double-sided tape with good adhesion on the ball and heel can help to improve traction. But make sure that it is not adding too much bulk to the shoes.
7. Athletic Tapes
There are tapes especially designed for athletes. By using them, one can temporarily reduce the slippery condition of shoes.
8. Trace the Tread Patterns
Start by checking the thickness of the insole. If it’s too thin, it’s time to buy a new shoes. If the insole is still thick enough, draw a rough pattern of the shoe outsole with a pen.
Take a sharp blade and make the slits as per the drawn lines. This will create the land and groose in the shoe outsole and help to improve traction.
9. Non-slip Mats
Non-slip mats like the ones used in drawers are also a great way to reduce the slippery conditions of shoes.
Cut small pieces from the mat and adhere them to the sole of the shoes with strong glue. This undoubtedly provides great traction but the biggest drawback is, that it adds bulk to the shoes which can negatively affect performance.
10. Use Hair Sprays
Hairsprays are considered one of the easy makeshift solutions. Aerosol in hairspray creates a temporary tacky layer that helps to improve grip on the court. But it has the following drawbacks:-
- Reapplication after some time
- Leaving some marks on the court.
11. Spitting or Licking
pitting or licking the outsoles involves moistening the rubber surface with saliva. In this method, you either directly spit onto the shoes outsole or lick your hand and then use it on the shoe outsole. This also one of the least recommended by me due to:-
- Hygenic Concerns
- Short-lived effects
- Unreliable performance
- Unpleasant Odor
12. Buy New Shoes
If shoes are not properly inflated and soles are worn out then you must replace your shoes instead of opting for such temporary solutions. It may be sometimes costly, but one of the best solutions. However, when to buy a new pair is important. Here are a few considerations to look for
- Lost tread thickness on the outsole,
- Decreased insole thickness
- Increased creasing in the heel area
For a detailed insight into the factors affecting the lifespan of volleyball shoes read my article on: How long do the volleyball shoes last?
13. Traction Mat or Gel mat
This product is designed to give you an amazing experience of extra grip on slippery surfaces. It clears dust from your shoes and enhances the grip. Our favorite traction mat is the StepNGrip Traction board.
It is not only my favorite but also very popular among athletes as it is non-toxic and safe for the skin. Some features of this mat are the following:
This can be one of the best alternatives to save money from buying new shoes and prolong the use of your favorite sneakers.
14. Grip Sprays/ Lotions
To improve grip on the volleyball court, we have tried many grip Sprays and lotions that are available in the market. These sticky substances can improve the shoe grip. Best among them and our top priority are the following three:
- Grip Spritz Volleyball Court Grip Spray
- Gripexxx shoe cleaner wipes
- Spin it Gripping Solution/ Grip it hand gripping spray
1. Grip Spritz Volleyball Court Grip Spray
It is easy to use and gives us effective results in providing traction. It can also be used for other court games like basketball. Here is the way to the spray:-
2. Gripexx Shoe Cleaner Wipes
Another pocket-friendly option for volleyball players to keep their shoes nonslippery is Gripexxx shoe cleaner wipes. It is a great choice for removing dirt and grime from your shoes.
3. Spin it Gripping Solution/ Grip it hand gripping spray
Another popular choice of mine which is also liked by athletes to improve hand and shoe grip is Spin it Gripping Solution/ Grip it hand gripping spray. It is non-toxic and alcohol-free.
It can be used on hands as well as for shoes to improve grip in sports like volleyball, basketball, etc. It works by developing a tacky layer which helps to increase friction and decrease slip and slide. It is easy to use and dries quickly without wasting any time.
Why Volleyball Shoes Become Slippery? 6 Reasons
1. Inadequate Cleaning and Maintenance
When the shoes aren’t regularly cleaned, all sorts of dust and debris start piling up, especially on the soles. And guess what? That mess compromises the grip of your shoes on the court.
Now, if your shoes can’t grip the court properly, you’re setting yourself up for a slip-and-slide session during a game. Not ideal, right? So, the key here is to make a habit of cleaning those shoe soles regularly.
It’s not just about keeping things spick and span; it’s about making sure your shoes provide the grip you need for those quick moves and dodges on the volleyball court.
Think of it as a little TLC for your footwear. By keeping your volleyball shoes clean, you’re not just maintaining their performance but also making sure they last longer. After all, who doesn’t want their kicks to be in top-notch shape for the next game?
2. Extensive Use
The more extensively you use your shoes, the quicker it wears out. It’s like a general rule that goes for every volleyball gear, you use as an athlete.
for instance, having two pairs of Asics Gel Rocket – one clocking in at 2 days a week and the other pushing it to 5. It’s a classic case of wear and tear. The pair on the heavy-use roster? Well, it’s going to show signs of fatigue quicker than its counterpart.
Now, here’s a pro tip:
Normally, a volleyball shoe pair lasts for about one season and even goes for two depending on the care maintenance.
3. Court Quality
The court quality is a big deal because it directly affects how your game plays out. If the court surface is well-maintained, clean, and free from dust or spills, it’s like your personal performance stage. You get the grip you need to pivot, jump, and dive without worrying about unexpected slips.
Conversely, a neglected court with dusty surfaces or mysterious wet spots is a recipe for disaster. It’s not just about the game; it’s about safety too. Nobody wants to risk a sprained ankle or a clumsy fall because the court was less than stellar.
Picture this: you’re in the middle of a nail biting match with one point difference, and suddenly you feel like you’re ice-skating instead of playing volleyball. Not cool, right? That’s where court quality comes into play.
So, whether you’re a player or the one responsible for court upkeep, giving that volleyball court some attention is a win-win. Players get to showcase their skills without the slip-and-slide drama, and everyone stays safe and sound.
4. Incompatible Court Surface
As mentioned earlier the volleyball shoe outsole is made of gum rubber which is suited for indoor court surfaces. This rubber can’t withstand the hard outdoor surfaces and starts wearing off with time which ultimately lessens the tread thickness and grip of the shoes. As a result, the volleyball shoes become slippery.
5. Shoe Outsole Quality
The materials used in crafting the outsole significantly impact its durability and grip. Normally lower-quality materials wear out quickly, which diminishes the shoe’s ability to maintain traction over time.
Therefore, Opting for shoes like Asics Sky Elite FF2, Mizuno Wave Momentum 2 or Nike Hyperset having high-quality, durable outsole materials is essential for long-lasting grip and performance.
6. Shoes Sizing and Fit
Shoe size and fit could also be the reason for the lower grip of volleyball shoes. If you are wearing loosely fitted shoes, your foot will slip inside the shoes which ultimately decreases the lateral stability and hinders the quick movement.
Summarizing It All!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Cheap Volleyball Shoes more slippery?
This isn’t always true as there are plenty of options in the market that are cheap as well as offer good traction on the court e.g. Asics Gel Rocket and Upcourt series. Similarly, adidas shoes also have decent traction at affordable prices e.g. DON Issue 3, crazyflight X Bounce 03, and Dame 8 offer good traction. However, the only thing that is needed to focus on while buying cheap shoes is ensuring the quality of the shoe outsole material, its durability, and the performance on the court.