The best wrestling shoes

Sports Apparel

Some wrestlers prefer to purchase two pairs of wrestling shoes: one pair is used for practice while the other is reserved for matches.

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Which wrestling shoes are best?

Certain sports require particular gear. Wrestlers, for example, need to wear special shoes that are flexible, provide traction and offer support in key areas such as the ankles.

When looking for the best wrestling shoes, athletes in the know tend to stick with Nike wrestling shoes, Adidas wrestling shoes or Asics wrestling shoes. When it comes to manufacturing quality wrestling shoes, these brands are the top three in the market. For example, Adidas Men’s Combat Speed V Wrestling Shoes have a die-cut EVA midsole that is designed to give the wrestler superior traction on the mat.

What to know before you buy wrestling shoes

Why do I need wrestling shoes?

If two wrestlers were evenly matched in strength, endurance and skill level, the one with the best wrestling shoes would be the one who wins the match. Wrestling shoes are that important. They give the wrestler traction so they will have a solid base from which to execute their moves. However, besides making those feet stick, wrestling shoes need to provide support so the athlete’s ligaments are not damaged during a match. On another level, wrestling shoes can help prevent the spread of bacteria, viruses and fungal infections, such as ringworm, that may be common among wrestlers. 

What you can use wrestling shoes for

First and foremost, wrestling shoes are designed for wrestlers. The key characteristics of wrestling shoes are that they are lightweight and flexible, yet offer support and traction. These qualities make them suitable for other activities such as weightlifting and boxing. Some individuals may even use them for practicing martial arts. However, since wrestling shoes do not offer arch support, they are not recommended for activities such as walking, jogging or running. To learn more about shoes that are suitable for these activities, check out BestReviews buying guides for men’s running shoes and women’s running shoes.

What to look for in quality wrestling shoes

A good fit

The most important feature to look for in a pair of wrestling shoes is a good fit. This may mean different things to different individuals, but, in general, wrestling shoes should have a snug fit. However, if you purchase shoes that are too tight, they will wear out quicker because there will be excess pressure on the seams. Some individuals prefer to purchase shoes that are larger so their feet have room to grow – this is especially true for kids. Unfortunately, wrestling shoes do not last that long, so it is better to purchase shoes that fit this season and worry about next year when it comes around.

Split sole vs. unisole

A split sole wrestling shoe has two distinct soles: one under the ball of the foot and one under the heel. This split allows for maximum flexibility and traction in all situations. Conversely, a unisole wrestling shoe has one sole that covers the entire bottom of the shoe. While this option is lacking in flexibility and traction, it does excel in durability.

Lace garage

A lace garage is simply a place to stash your laces so they won’t trip you up while you are wrestling. Typically, this is a little pocket beneath a hook-and-loop fastener that keeps the laces secure.

Color

While color won’t affect your performance, it does allow you to display a little personal flair. Red, blue, orange, pink, turquoise and more colors are all possible options for the individual who wants to make a bold statement the instant they step onto the mat.

How much you can expect to spend on wrestling shoes

The price of wrestling shoes can range from $45-$150. However, most individuals will likely be able to find a shoe they like in the $50-$100 price range.

Wrestling shoe FAQ

Do wrestling shoes fit true to size?

A. Wrestling shoes are narrow and have a snug fit. They shouldn’t feel like typical shoes at all, instead, they should feel more like durable socks that allow complete freedom of movement while providing excellent traction on the mat. Regarding sizing, wrestling shoes tend to run small. When shopping, you will want to purchase wrestling shoes that are a half size to a full size larger than your regular sneaker size.

How long do wrestling shoes last?

A. While you might think the answer to this question will vary from brand to brand, wrestling shoes take a lot of abuse, so even the best offerings do not hold up very long. On average, most wrestling shoes will only last one to two seasons.

What are the best wrestling shoes to buy?

Top wrestling shoes

Adidas Men's Combat Speed V Wrestling Shoes

Adidas Men’s Combat Speed V Wrestling Shoes

What you need to know: This is a top-quality shoe that offers an impressive balance of fit, comfort and performance.

What you’ll love: The single layer of mesh on this wrestling shoe provides enhanced breathability to keep feet dry while the split-suede provides flexibility. The shoe also features a die-cut EVA midsole that gives the wrestler added cushioning and support.

What you should consider: While the majority of athletes find these shoes to be the best, a rare few feel the traction isn’t as impressive as they would have hoped.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Top wrestling shoes for the money

Asics Men's Matflex 6 Wrestling Shoe

Asics Men’s Matflex 6 Wrestling Shoe

What you need to know: If you are looking for one of the top options, but need to work within a budget, these shoes will be a good choice for you.

What you’ll love: The porous mesh insoles offer comfort while the mesh uppers help keep the wearer’s feet cool and dry. The EVA sock liner is designed to absorb both excess moisture and impact while the gum rubber outsole provides impressive traction.

What you should consider: Many individuals find these shoes to be tight and recommend sizing up at least one full size.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Worth checking out

Nike Kids' Speed Sweep VII Wrestling Shoes

Nike Kids’ Speed Sweep VII Wrestling Shoes

What you need to know: These wrestling shoes are a good all-around option for your young wrestler, offering a balance of traction, flexibility and comfort.

What you’ll love: Like other models, these wrestling shoes have a mesh design for breathability. The split-suede offers freedom of movement and the gum rubber outsole gives your wrestler the traction they need to perform their best.

What you should consider: While these shoes can hold up for two seasons with proper care, some individuals felt better only using them for a single season. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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