How to Use Alcohol to Soften Rubber Court Shoes


Court shoes typically have rubber soles because rubber provides excellent traction and will not damage the surface of the court floor. For maximum performance on a court, it is important to have comfortable court shoes. New court shoes can often be stiff, irritating or painful, which can inhibit your physical movements to some degree. Soften your rubber court shoes and ensure the comfort of your feet during the game by treating the shoes with rubbing alcohol. The rubbing alcohol helps stretch the shoes to fit, much like water on leather, but because it dries quickly, the alcohol will not cause the shoe materials to dry out or crack.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Spray Bottle
  • Two pairs of socks
  • Mix a solution of one part rubbing alcohol and three parts water in a spray bottle.

  • Saturate the insides of the shoes with the spray solution. Spray a bit extra in areas where the shoes felt extra tight.

  • Put on the shoes with two pairs of socks. Two pairs of socks will protect your feet and will add extra bulk inside the shoes for working out the stiffness.

  • Wear the shoes for the day, until the rubbing alcohol is dry.

  • Repeat this process one more time if the shoes have any remaining stiffness.

Tips & Warnings

  • Test the solution in an inconspicuous area of the shoe before applying to ensure it will not discolor the shoes.

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  • Photo Credit basket 24 image by Nathalie P from
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