Are you looking to become the next Andre the Giant?
You're certainly not going to pull it off if you aren't wearing the proper kind of footwear.
When was the last time you ever saw your favorite wrestling here enter the ring in his sneakers?
Never, you puny excuse for a human being!
I'm gonna pounce & trounce you for even thinking about getting into the ring without a decent pair of manly wrestlers on your feet!
Haha, whoops... sorry, I tried not to break into my alter ego wrestling character, but I couldn't hold myself back.
Yeah, I've done some wrestling in high school.
I'm not proud of it... (cuz I sucked at it), but at least I had a great time and I never broke anything!
You're not going to become the next WWE star without proper shoes. So let's dive, er... body slam straight in, shall we!
Best Wrestling Shoes For Men - Reviews
1. ASICS Men’s Split Second 9 Wrestling Shoe
- An update to the popular all-around Split Second® wrestling shoe family
- Supportive synthetic and mesh upper
- Asymmetrical lacing design
- Integrated "lace garage" holds excess laces
- Lightly cushioned footbed
We might as well get this blurb out of the way: ASICS is well-represented on this list of the best 35 wrestling shoes and for a good reason. When Kihachiro Onitsuka founded the athletic shoe company in 1949 in Kobe, Japan, he set out to create sports shoes of unparalleled excellence at affordable prices. And wrestlers throughout the world will attest to his success, specifically because ASICS wrestling shoes are staples in gymnasiums everywhere, especially on the wrestling mat. The Men’s Split Second 9 Wrestling Shoe offers a unique feature with a split-sole which is brilliant as it gives grapplers much more flexibility. The innovative tread pattern also allows for better control and traction in the crucial pivot points wrestlers utilize when going for the pin. Even when a wrestler is at a disadvantage, the split-sole design allows for unparalleled performance. The mesh fabric is exceedingly breathable which adds a level of comfort unmatched in the upper in other wrestling shoes. It encourages a continual fresh air flow, keeping the athlete’s feet cool throughout training or during the match. The rubber is specialized designed to work well for the traction necessary on the rubber wrestling mats (though many modern mats are now made polyethylene foam and vinyl). The lacing is traditional.
2. SICS Men’s Snapdown Wrestling Shoe
- Mesh and synthetic upper
- Textile lining
- Rubber outsole with traction pods
- Lace entry
- Cushioned footbed
The ASICS Men’s Snapdown Wrestling Shoe is a marvel of innovation from the Kobe, Japan-based athletic footwear giants. The Snapdown is unique in that it is a mid-level shoe, which means the shaft runs from mid-top from the arch of the foot. It also is exceptional due to its feature of a full-length outer sole. This allows for the forefoot and rear of the foot to utilize a “serradial” traction pod (which is wrestling-specific) which provides outstanding grip and flexibility. The entirely new and innovative upper part of the shoe is made with a leather (suede) and synthetic (single-layer mesh) which makes it exceedingly comfortable, flexible, and breathable to keep the feet cool throughout training or the match. The lace garage is integrated, combined with eyelets and support slots throughout the garage and tongue to make the fit as personalized and comfortable as possible. Another cool thing about the Snapdown is the color choices, especially if you’re a coach or athletic director looking for specific school colors. And since it’s performance of any ASICS wrestling shoe is legendary and the Snapdown especially so, the company still manages to make a shoe like this one very affordable so as not to break the bank.
3. ASICS Men’s JB Elite Wrestling Shoe
- Mens Shoes
- Wrestling Shoes
The ASICS Men’s JB Elite Wrestling Shoe is special. It looks like a classic, retro wrestling shoe with sparkling colors (though other color options are available). The primary color design is true red, white, and Olympic gold. ASICS teamed up with world and Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs (his mark is on the shoe). It’s that rare shoe that meets (and exceeds) tournament regulations. It has a split rubber sole (split front and back) for incredible flexibility, cushioning, traction and control. It’s upper is constructed out of single-layer mesh and synthetic leather for comfort and breathability. The synthetic leather is a skin-suede for unmatched durability. The overlays are a seamless TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane elastomers) which allow for amazing ventilation, greater comfort, and outstanding fit. The lacing garage is integrated with eyelets and slots for functionality and a great personalized fit. It also sheds weight on a traditional lacing garage and has a thinner tongue and designed for quicker lacing. The shoe is about as advanced as you can make a wrestling shoe yet surprisingly affordable. ASICS is renowned for manufacturing and designing shoes that are durable, and the JB Elite certainly falls into that category while also allowing for lightning speed, a necessary trait for grapplers.
4. Adidas Wrestling Men’s Combat Speed 4 Wrestling Shoe
Adidas’ first entrant on this list of the top 35 wrestling shoes is the Men’s Combat Speed 4. It’s a shoe with an impressive 5.1-inch shaft (measured from the arch). The Combat Speed 4 is a classic, retro wrestling shoe that has been around for a while and considered as a go-to wrestling shoe by athletic directors and coaches the world over. It certainly looks the part as it simply looks like a durable and effective wrestling shoe should. Its outer sole is made with split-suede leather for incredible grip and has a die-cut, internal EVA midsole. It boasts of a “sock-like” fit made possible by a single-layer mesh upper body that makes it extremely comfortable and breathable. The supportive TPU has three stripes with a side panel that is integrated with an integral support strap for outstanding flexibility. As with any wrestling shoe, weight is important. So Adidas has made the shoe ultra-lightweight for lightning speed and agility. adidas also likes to let it’s customers in on the importance of choosing the correct size. The company claims that their wrestling shoes tend to run a tad small, so when ordering make sure to add half a size to whatever size athletic shoe (running shoe or gym shoe) that you currently wear.
5. Asics Men’s Aggressor 2 Wrestling Shoe
- Aggressor 2, ASICS, Best Sellers, Clearance Priced, Retired
ASICS Men’s Aggressor 2 Wrestling Shoe is a high top shoe that ASICS says is the “wrestler’s wrestling shoe,” and how can you argue? You certainly don’t purchase a wrestling shoe solely on how the shoe looks, but it doesn’t mean that looks can be discounted, either. The treaded leather sidewall is the first thing that grabs your attention when you see this wrestling shoe, and it allows for an incredible grip and traction whenever you need it, even for those split-second moves you make to counter your opponent in the heat of the match. The designers used a wrestling-specific last (foot shape), and with a form-fitting and super soft Escaine upper, it’s as comfortable, breathable, cool and durable as a wrestling shoe of this caliber should be. The lace garage has a front panel that allows for ideal personalization when it comes to fit, and the ankle tab is made with a hook-and-loop closure for even better comfort. The designers paid particular attention to the weight of the Aggressor 2 because they understand that a wrestler needs speed and flexibility, and with an ultra-lightweight and performance-enhanced shoe, you’re guaranteed to maintain the traction you desire and functionality when you need it.
6. Adidas Performance Men’s Adizero Wrestling XIV Wrestling Shoes
- Extreme Light Weight Upper
- New outsole for excellent grip
- "Broken-In" Feel - Right out of the Box
A wrestling shoe is the most important piece of a wrestlers equipment. Grappling successfully rests on footwork. One stumble or wrong move or a slippage or a stiff rubber sole can spell doom to a wrestlers chances in a match. So when Adidas designed the Performance Men’s Adizero Wrestling XIV Wrestling Shoe, they wanted to give wrestlers no cause to worry about any moves they make. Which is of vital importance between the ears for wrestlers of any skill level.
The Adizero XIV has a couple of significant upgraded features to boast of. One is how the upper textile materials have been designed. It’s engineered with a two-piece mesh that is lightweight and allows for maximum breathability. It drys and deflects moisture as quickly as a championship-winning takedown or pin. The mesh is made of a microsuede material that looks and feels exceptionally comfortable. The outer sole has been simplified to take advantage of the sticky yet sturdy gum rubber compound. The pads kind of work as suction cups on the wrestling shoe, since wrestling mats are made of rubber or a polyethylene foam and vinyl material, each of which is somewhat yielding, so you need a material that will stick buy not too much so, you can have cat-like quickness.
7. Asics Men's Dan Gable Evo 2 Wrestling Shoes
- ORTHOLITE sockliner
- Moisture Management Abilities
- More Responsive Rebounds
- Attractive Design
Are you looking for a comfortable and lightweight pair of wrestling shoes? If so, you should check out the Asics Dan Gable Evo 2. These Asics wrestling shoes will provide you with everything you need to be able to perform at your best, whenever you step onto the mat. They are designed to offer the best support, comfort, and breathability, without limiting your movement.
The uppers of these wrestling shoes for kickboxing are made of synthetic and mesh. These materials will allow airflow within the foot chamber, thus helping to keep your foot fresh, cool and dry. They also come with a traditional lace-up closure, designed to provide a secure and snug fit for your feet. Also, they are equipped with an integrated lace garage, which helps to tuck away the laces safely, so that you can give your best performance on the wrestling mat.
Inside these wrestling shoes, you will find an Ortholite sockliner, which helps with moisture management while a porous mesh insole helps to keep the shoes as breathable as possible. On the other hand, its split-outsole design will provide you with the grip and flexibility that you need to move efficiently and quickly around the mat.
8. Asics Men's Aggressor 4 Wrestling Shoe
- Ankle padding for added support
- Eva sockliner for additional comfort
- Seamless ecsaine upper reduces irritation
- Duosole Outsole reduces weight and enhances flexibility while maintaining traction and durability
The Asics Aggressor 4 is a lightweight and high-performance pair of wrestling shoes, designed to deliver comfort, support, and stability. They come with a textile and suede upper, which provides comfortable wear, breathability, as well as long-lasting durability. Just like other wrestling shoes, the Aggressor 4 comes with a lace garage, which ensures that the laces don’t come untied when you are in the middle of a fight or training session. Besides keeping the laces secured, the lace garage will also help to keep the laces clean.
These wrestling shoes for kickboxing come with a padded collar and tongue, which provide extra cushioning and support. They also help to keep the foot stable, making it easier for you to defend your position or attack your opponent. On the other hand, the breathable fabric lining will keep your feet dry and odor-free while the molded foam insole will help with shock absorption and impact attenuation.
Asics has also equipped these shoes with its proprietary DuoSole outsole, which provides traction and protection to the foot while maintaining flexibility. Their traction is consistent, their comfort is exceptional and their quality is great. From Krav maga training to cross-training, kickboxing to weight training, these wrestling shoes are remarkably versatile.
9. adidas HVC2 Speed Shoe
- adidas male wrestling shoe
- The adidas brand has a long history and deep-rooted Connection with sport. Everything we do is rooted in sport
- Driven by a relentless pursuit of innovation as well as decades of accumulating sports science expertise, we cater for all, from elite professional athletes and teams to any individual who wants to make sport part of their lives
The Adidas HVC2 Speed Shoe is a classic, innovative and affordable wrestling shoe with the retro look and feel wrestlers throughout the world love. The HVC2 Speed is built for hours of durability and comfort even during the grueling hours spent in training. The single-layer mesh upper is made to be ultra-lightweight with synthetic suede and synthetic leather materials meant to be durable yet flexible and comfortable. The material also allows for your feet to stay cool and dry with amazing breathability. The lacing garage is a combination of classic and new technology as the lace straps are elasticized, and the top area has a Velcro strap for greater control which helps for a personalized fit. The full-length rubber sole allows for traction and fantastic grip which gives the grappler the precise control for split-second moves and decisions when you need it the most. When Adidas when to redesign this shoe, they wanted to keep the things the shoe did best while adding newer technologies and innovations elite wrestlers demand. They accomplished that while keeping the shoe’s affordable price tag. Adidas wants its customers to know that when it comes to selecting the appropriate size, wrestling shoes tend to run a half size smaller than normal athletic shoes.
What You Should Know About Wrestling Shoes
When it comes to equipment, the sport of wrestling is about as simple as you can get. There's the required uniform or singlet, the headgear, mouthpiece and of course the shoes. And in all seriousness, wrestling shoes are the most important piece of equipment a grappler needs.
A great pair of wrestling shoes should be lightweight, fit exceptionally well, and the traction or grip of the soles should be sticky, but not too sticky.
The market has plenty of options to choose from nowadays, as brands like ASICS, Adidas, Nike, Reebok, among others make wrestling-specific footwear, sometimes designed with the help of stalwart wrestling legends like Jordan Burroughs, Cael Sanderson, and Dan Gable.
Of course, when it comes to choosing the right wrestling shoes, the skill level of the athlete does matter. For a weekend warrior who may just be wrestling for fun, buying wrestling shoes with super advanced features with an expensive price tag may not make much sense. Same goes for the youngster just starting out. A classic, dependable and inexpensive wrestling shoe should suffice.
But for the elite wrestler, either at the high school or collegiate level, careful consideration should be spent to determine the correct shoe for your particular skill level.
But what makes for a great wrestling shoe? Let's explore that question a little further.
What Makes A Good Wrestling Shoe?
First off, the sport of wrestling itself needs to be briefly understood to make sure you know the reasons why the shoe is such an important part of the uniform.
The wrestling we are talking about isn't the matches you see on TV known as professional wrestling. Pro wrestling is more theatrical whereas freestyle or Greco-Roman wrestling are the disciplines we're referring to.
The origins or wrestling have actually been dated to around 15,000 years ago as cave drawings in France have shown the importance of the pastime to those cultures.
Flash forward to modern times, and wrestling is a big-time sport for high schools and colleges throughout the United States and amateur federations throughout the world. It's a popular Olympic sport.
And freestyle wrestling has increased in popularity over the past decade thanks in part to the wrestling exhibited in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). MMA combines different disciplines like boxing, martial arts, and of course wrestling. So many grapplers are trying out wrestling to learn skills that could translate to better performance at MMA.
The sport is the built around the combination of technical skill and physical and mental strength. Many wrestlers will tell you they feel the training that goes into being a successful wrestler is the toughest part of the sport.
And it's a sport of lightning quick movements, so literally thinking rapidly on your feet and anticipating your opponents moves can be as important as the ability to physically overwhelm your opponent.
Wrestling is a sport where equipment choices don't provide too many competitive advantages, but shoe choice can be one, or at the least, the wrong decision can be a disadvantage you want to avoid.
And at this point, it's fair to point out the intrinsic value of wrestling shoes to a successful wrestler.
If a wrestler slips for a split-second or loses their footing because of an ill-fitted shoe, it could mean the difference between a win or a loss. Such is the nature of a sport where a quick takedown can spell doom to an opponent within a few seconds.
Two factors are usually considered to be of paramount importance when it comes to choosing the appropriate wrestling shoe: the fit and the sole.
First, let's take a gander at the material used to make the sole of a wrestling shoe.
Pretty much every wrestling shoe on the market utilizes a type of rubber compound for the soles. Rubber is important because it helps provide the proper traction for the different surfaces wrestlers will wrestle on.
Those surfaces tend to be a type of rubber mat (the old school variety, but made with a modern PVC rubber nitrile foam) but many current wrestling mats are made out of a polyethylene foam.
Why is this information important? Simple, the soles of the wrestling shoe must have the proper contact with the mat. Too sticky can cause missteps, and too slick, and the sliding can spell doom. Of course, an ill-fitting shoe can cause similar issues.
But the traction is the most important reason for the choice of material. Some wrestling shoe manufacturers will even add studs to the soles, for extra traction control.
There are actually two primary types of soles on modern wrestling shoes, the split sole, and the non-split sole.
The split-sole adds more foot flexibility, for the wrestler that likes more control. The split of the sole is generally front and rear, though some take it a step further by adding a third zone towards the front middle of the shoe.
The non-split sole is more traditional and is just one piece of rubber. Non-split soles tend to be lighter, and while more rigid, some wrestlers like that, especially because split-sole wears down quicker so isn't as durable as the non-split sole variety.
Ankle support is an issue for some wrestlers. You don't necessarily to have weak ankles or ankle soreness to like the high-top shoes. Some grapplers tend to like the added support and feel of a high-top wrestling shoe. But, indeed, for those athletes who have ankle issues, a high-top wrestling shoe can provide crucial added support for ankle issues which can affect performance.
The upper portion of the wrestling shoe is undoubtedly important, especially when you consider that a comfortable fit and upper materials that keep the foot cool and dry can make the world of a difference. Hot and sweaty feet can lead to problems like athlete's foot, foot fungal infections, or in the heat of the moment of a crucial match, hot feet or feet that become uncomfortable can affect performance.
So many modern wrestling shoes are now made with synthetic leather (suede) materials that allow for maximum comfort, fit, feel, and health. These materials can keep the feet cooler and dryer, and anything you don't have to worry about in the intensity of a match or the high focus of training can be significant.
The proper materials we've just mentioned can also play into infection-causing germs which you could pick up on the wrestling match, and conditions like athlete's foot or fungal infections can be caused by heat and sweat that goes unchecked. So materials used that maximum support breathability is a feature you should consider to keep your feet as cool and dry as possible.
The proper fit is extremely important and it is something any wrestler should take their time to find the exact fit. Ideally, a grappler should try to find a wrestling shoe that fits like a sock or fit like a glove fits the hand.
Many shoe companies caution their customers to know their normal athletic shoe size. Why? Well, some brands wrestling shoes tend to run a half a size smaller than regular athletic shoes. So a good rule of thumb if you are ordering online is to try a half a size larger than your street shoe or athletic shoe size.
And one huge disadvantage to a loose-fitting wrestling shoe is losing your footing at a crucial point within in the match. This can set back your development if you're losing because of ill-fitting equipment. In addition, a shoe that doesn't fit right can lead to injuries, particularly to the ankle, which you certainly want to avoid.
And with any shoe that you purchase, there's no true answer as to the right size, except for when you try them on and know they are right. Still, beginners will take buying a few pair before they know for sure what their typical size will be.
Elite and experienced wrestlers do tend to like their wrestling shoes to fit very snug. Why is this? Well, it's a powerful thing for your mind to gain the right amount of control over the feel of your feet with the right wrestling shoe. So being able to "feel" the precision and touch (pressure, more like) is something that experienced grapplers seek to gain an advantage of. Of course, this does take many years to develop. But the start of this development begins with your first pair of wrestling shoes.
Of course, if you've never ordered wrestling shoes only, you might want to go to a physical store, in person, and try them on first, get a good impression of your ideal size, then go home and order the wrestling shoe you desire.
What Else To Consider?
Another good thing to consider when purchasing any type of athletic footwear, especially if you aspire to become a serious competitor, learn everything you can about the wrestling shoe. From the materials used to why they are used.
It's a double-edged sword when you think about. Since wrestling is becoming so popular, the sports shoe market is inundated with choices. And of course, each shoe brand is going to make bold boasts and unsubstantiated claims of greatness.
That doesn't mean their right, and it doesn't say their wrong, either. But, truth in advertising allows you to dig deep and research yourself.
A good search engine on your browser and an inquisitive mind can provide you with the answers you need. Find out whatever you can about everything you can about this important equipment choice and eventual purchase, that way you are assured at making a wise decision and make sure you have one less thing to worry about when you step on to that wrestling mat and grapple with your opponent.
Now that we've discussed the importance of wrestling shoes to the performance of grappling successfully, it's important to know how to take care of your shoes.
How To Maintain Wrestling Shoes?
First off you're going to require a cloth, warm water, and a plastic tub or container.
Fill the plastic container with warm water. Adding soap or any type of chemical cleanser is unnecessary and could actually damage the materials of the shoe. Remember, your wrestling shoes are an investment, and proper care can help you extend the shelf-life of your shoe.
Place the cloth in the water and squeeze the water out, so the cloth isn't too soaked, just damp. Then using soft circular motions, simply clean all over the wrestling shoe, don't scrub too hard so as not to harm any of the materials. It's a good idea to change out your laces when they begin to fray, and take them off from time to time to clean them. Warm water works for laces. Don't use a brush or hard, coarse material on the materials of the wrestling shoe.
It's also important to consider how you treat your feet to keep from getting conditions like athlete's foot or fungal infections.
One additional step to take when cleaning your wrestling shoes is to clean the inside of them as well. Once again warm water can be used, and for the inside of the shoe, you can use a tiny amount of laundry detergent, but not too much as this can cause skin irritation.
You can start by shaking out any excess dirt, then taking a damp cloth with the warm water (and detergent if you like) or even use a soft-bristle brush with the water and clean the inside fabric of the shoe, then just let the shoes dry for a bit (around 30 minutes) before putting them on.
Socks are an important impediment to foot problems. Socks made to keep moisture away from the foot are a good choice, so purchase socks made with polypropylene and Capilene (instead of cotton) can be advantageous.
Also, keep in mind to change socks often if necessary. Dry feet tend to be safe feet. So keeping feet dry is important as is using an absorbent foot powder (several over-the-counter powders should work, some even medicated). Remember must fungi that affect the feet need moisture to thrive, so do what you can to keep your feet as dry as possible.