How to Clean Basketball Shoes


Dirty basketball shoes bring both unnecessary and unwanted attention to your feet. Dirt makes your shoes look unappealing, and affects your overall performance, both on and off the basketball court. Dirt and soil cause adhesion and friction buildup just by simply walking around. This causes shoes to wear down faster. Cleaning your basketball shoes is a simple process that can prolong the life of your shoes.

Things You'll Need

  • Cloth
  • Sponge
  • Stiff brush
  • Polish
  • Olive oil
  • Foot powder
  • Remove dirt stains with a stiff brush or sponge using warm soapy water.

  • Dry your shoes using a towel. Make sure to fully dry them to prevent fungi from forming.

  • Remove the soles, if possible, and wash them in the washing machine using mild laundry detergent. Allow them to air dry to prevent shrinkage.

  • Polish your shoes with a stiff brush, using the appropriate polish for your shoes. Avoid over-applying the polish for a cleaner look. Allow the polish to fully dry.

  • Wipe your shoes with a little bit of olive oil using a hand cloth. This will shine your shoes.

  • Place the sole back inside the shoe, once fully dry, and sprinkle foot powder inside to prevent odors.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not machine-wash your shoes. This causes the material to wear down and will eventually make holes in the shoe.

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  • Photo Credit running shoes and drink image by Warren Millar from
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