Best Wrestling Shoes According To Actual Champions (Buyer’s Guide in 2023)

When it comes to wrestling, having the right shoes is essential. Not only do they provide the traction and support you need to stay on your feet, but they can also give you an edge over your opponent. With so many different brands and styles of wrestling shoes on the market, it can be difficult to know which pair is right for you. In this post, I’ll discuss the different types of wrestling shoes available and offer some tips on how to choose the best pair for your needs.

To compile the list, I got responses from NCAA coaches and champs, state medalists and countless state qualifiers. I will also recommend the shoes I’m personally wearing (they’re obviously the number 1 choice, duh).

The Best Wrestling Shoes Ever Made

Now for the answers you’ve been waiting for. This list highlights the shoes by the responses I received. Due to a few ties, there are actually 8 shoes mentioned below!

ASICS Men’s Aggressor 4 Wrestling Shoes – Best Wrestling Shoes Of All Time

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ASICS Men's Aggressor 4 Wrestling Shoes, 11.5,...
  • EVA Sockliner -
  • Seamless Ecsaine Upper -
  • DuoSole Outsole - Reduces weight and enhances flexibility while maintaining traction and...

At $120, the Aggressor 4s are a great deal for amazing shoes that come in as our all-time favorites list. If you’re looking for good shoes, these are definitely worth considering! ASICS absolutely dominate the wrestling shoe game.

The ASICS wrestling shoe is one of the most comfortable and I would definitely recommend it to any other wrestler. The only problem that I have experienced is the deterioration of the front part from dragging my toe whenever I take a shot.

ASICS JB Elite V – Great Wrestling Shoe

ASICS Men's JB Elite V Wrestling Shoes, 4, Classic...
399 Reviews
ASICS Men's JB Elite V Wrestling Shoes, 4, Classic...
  • Jacquard mesh upper improves flexibility and support -
  • Flexible outsole design that moves more freely with the foot -

The ASICS JB Elite V wrestling shoe gets some of the highest ratings among all wrestling shoes and is also the pair I’m currently wearing as of writing this article (December 2022). The shoe has a split sole design that provides more friction, grip, and flexibility than non-split sole models. This type of sole makes the JB Elite V feel very versatile. It can be adjusted to a wrestler’s needs and abilities easily. This gives the wrestler an advantage over competitors with lower quality wrestling shoes.

The shoe has a thinner tongue than most alternatives. This prevents cramping by loosening the tightness on the front of the foot while retaining tightness throughout the ankle. Additionally, ASICS designed this shoe for quick lacing. However, one negative from our research is that the split sole tends to slowly peel off over time. Hopefully, ASICS will address this in later versions of the shoe or was an isolated incident. These shoes are a little on the heavier side as well, weighing in at 1.7 pounds for the pair.

ASICS Men’s Split Second 9 Wrestling Shoe – Best Wrestling Shoes for Wide Feet

ASICS Men's Split Second 9 Wrestling...
752 Reviews
ASICS Men's Split Second 9 Wrestling...
  • Performance-driven wrestling shoe in split-sole design featuring breathable-mesh upper

Get your wrestling career off to a flying start with ASICS Men’s Split Second 9 Wrestling Shoes. With features like a lightweight Hyperfuse upper, dynamic split sole technology and an internal ankle support system, these shoes guarantee total lockdown that keeps feet in place while maneuvering and ensures maximum stability during quick movements.

Not to mention their comfortable rubber sole– the low-profile design gives you the perfect blend of flexibility and cushioning.

Durable and breathable, they’re designed to keep up with your toughest training sessions so you can get the most out of every match. And for those with wide feet, you don’t have to sacrifice style or comfort–ASICS comes in two bold color combinations: cardinal/tang/white and red/silver/black.

Branded design with extraordinary features and fundamental decency. The performance of wrestling shoes, especially for wide feet with absolute sizes, makes it worthwhile. Simply fantastic and highly recommended, especially for wide feet!

Combat Speed.5 Wrestling Shoe – Best Wrestling Shoes for Boxing

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adidas Men's Combat Speed.5, Black/Silver...
  • Full-length one-piece outsole
  • Elastic ankle strap
  • Mesh upper with synthetic leather and suede overlays

Introducing Combat Speed.5 – the only wrestling shoe fit for a champion! I will will stress that boxing shoes are NOT wrestling shoes, although in this case, the opposite applies. Put your opponents down in style with this revolutionary shoe that’s all about performance and comfort. With its breathable mesh upper, Flexible TPU support stripes, and Integrated Side Panel, you’ll experience a snug fit that locks in your foot without restraining movement. Plus, its die-cut EVA midsole provides added cushioning for perfect attack stance. And the split-suede leather outsole delivers exceptional grip, so you can easily spin on the mat. So put on your Combat Speed.5 and show your opponents who’s boss!

adidas Men’s Mat Wizard 4 Wrestling Shoe – Best Wrestling Shoes for High School

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adidas Men's Mat Wizard 4 Wrestling Shoe, RoyalWhite,...
1,470 Reviews
adidas Men's Mat Wizard 4 Wrestling Shoe, RoyalWhite,...
  • Open Mesh Upper: Breathable Upper Material For Comfort And Stability

Attention wrestlers, these are the best adidas wrestling shoes! Whether you’re on the mat or off, adidas Men’s Mat Wizard 4 Wrestling Shoes are sure to make a statement. The two-layer mesh upper is airy enough for your feet to breathe, but snug enough to keep them locked in. As if that wasn’t enough, their offset lacing system improves lateral stability, while their rubber sole guarantees your feet stay planted during practice and tournaments. Plus, with sleek striping that alludes to those of traditional socks without being constrictive, this shoe gives a sure foothold during competitions. And oh, let’s not forget the awesome color choices – you can wear these bad boys all day long and look super stylish!

For competitors who will use every advantage to win, the Adidas Men’s Mat Wizard 4 Wrestling Shoe is the choice of elite athletes who demand flexibility, lightweight, support, and firm grip, especially for wide feet. The most recommended, comfortable and best looking wrestling shoes. 

So don’t wait – get yourself a pair of these wrestling shoes and come out on top of any match!

ASICS Men’s Matflex 5 Wrestling Shoe – Best Wrestling Shoes for Powerlifting

ASICS Men's Matflex 5-M, Black/Silver, 12.5 M US
2,458 Reviews
ASICS Men's Matflex 5-M, Black/Silver, 12.5 M US
  • Lace Garage technology - A pocket enabling the laces to be tucked in and unexposed.
  • Full Length Gum Rubber Outsole -

Wearing this light pair of wrestling shoes with high quality is like being barefoot. These allow you to perform highly without any burden. The perfect accessory to amp up your wrestling or powerlifting. These 9-ounce shoes may feel as light as a feather, but they pack all the stability and support needed to stop even your most serious opponents in their tracks. Manufactured with 100% textiles and synthetic material plus a rubber sole, Matflex 5s are prepared for the long haul of top-class wrestling. Plus, they come dressed to impress: the Lace Garage Technology lets you innocuously conceal your laces, so not even your competitors can trip you up. With remarkable traction provided by gum rubber outsoles, you’ll never have to worry about slip on sweaty mats anymore! So, what do you say? It’s time to take control of the mat with ASICS Men’s Matflex 5s!

ASICS MATBLAZER – Best Women’s Wrestling Shoes

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ASICS Women's MATBLAZER Wrestling Shoes, 8, White/Mist
140 Reviews
ASICS Women's MATBLAZER Wrestling Shoes, 8, White/Mist
  • Mesh Construction: Semi-transparent mesh underlays improve breathability
  • Flexible Outsole: Circular outsole pattern improves grip on mat surfaces

The ASICS Mat Blazer marks the long-awaited arrival of a wrestling shoe specifically tailored to our female athletes on the mat. Constructed with premier materials and technology, this revolutionary shoe will ensure that the mat is your domain.

The rubber split sole provides optimal combination of stability and flexibility; giving you the responsive grip needed to perform at your peak in any position — an indispensable tool in a top tier performance. 

An ultra breathable mesh work round up the upper area of this shoes ensuring you are surrounded by breathability without compromising durability. This is complimented by a layer soft foam near your ankle for further comfort — one tried it on and want to keep it on forever.

ASICS Men’s Matflex 6 Wrestling Shoes – Best Cheap Wrestling Shoes

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ASICS Men's Matflex 6 Wrestling Shoes, 10.5,...
  • EVA Sockliner: Removable sockliner that provides cushioning performance.
  • Mesh insole improves ventilation:
  • Equipped with a California lasting for superior durability:

The ASICS Men’s Wrestling Shoes are a fantastic combination of great price and quality. We always emphasize here on this site that both hard work and smart work are essential in any kind of training. Selecting trustworthy wrestling shoes like these allows you to attain maximum productivity each training session–something far beyond what plain feet or poorer constructed shoes provide. With excellent protection against injuries, your performance will certainly catapult to exceptional heights; achieving this is our goal as athletes!

How To Choose Wrestling Shoes?

If you’re a wrestler looking for the perfect footwear, it can be hard to pick between all of your options. But these wrestling shoes are different than standard gym kicks – and not just because they come in awesome colors! They were made specifically with wrestlers in mind, working like an extension of their body and keeping them flexible light on their feet. Not only do they keep toes safe from other opponents’ tight grips but also ensure that one’s own nails don’t dig into skin when rolling around – now THAT’S something worth investing in!

Wrestling shoes are better quality and a different style than normal running shoes. Most wrestling shoes go above the ankle. This high-top design style was made to keep the ankle from moving around or getting hurt when wrestlers do different wrestling moves. These kinds of injuries often happen when wrestlers lock their lower legs in different wrestling moves.

Split Sole

If you’re looking to get close to the feeling of being barefoot while still having some grip, split sole wrestling shoes are your best bet! Unlike regular rubber soled kicks that can be kind of clunky and constricting on a wrestler’s feet, split-sole wresling shoes feature two flexible pieces cut into the bottom. That means when you hold them in your hands they’ll bend right in half for maximum flexibility – no more grappling with uncooperative footwear during matches!

There are two main reasons to select a split sole wrestling shoe. First, they offer extreme flexibility. Second, these shoes allow the wrestler to be very light and quick on their feet. This provides faster responses to movement, which gives wrestlers an advantage over their non-split sole opponents.

Single Sole or Unisole

Wrestlers have the option to choose between split and non-split sole wrestling shoes. While not as flexible, non-split soles offer lightweight movement and robust durability that lasts longer than their counterpart alternatives. These single piece rubberized soles are often referred to as “unisole” footwear, which provide athletes with a reliable solution for maneuvering around the mat with confidence.

If you have a tight budget, and can’t replace your wrestling shoes every few months, buy non-split sole shoes. They are not as flexible as the other kind of wrestling shoe, but they are stronger and will last longer.

Both split sole and non-split sole shoes have their own pros and cons. It’s crucial to try on both and see how they make you feel, and how you can move in each of them.

What Do Wrestling Shoes Cost?

Factors such as design play a major role in how much wrestling shoes cost, with prices typically ranging from $50 to $200. Most major brands (Nike, Asics, Adidas) offer multiple models for each season, with cheaper pairs costing around $40-$60 and more expensive pairs running upwards of $100+.

Boxing Shoes are NOT Wrestling Shoes

I have seen this all too many times. For some solid clarification, boxing shoes and wrestling shoes are not interchangeable.

Boxing shoes are different from other shoes because they are flat and have a special kind of traction control. This helps boxers move around quickly in the ring. Boxing shoes don’t help with speed when elevating from the ground like other shoes might.

The patterns on the bottom of boxing shoes and wrestling shoes are different. Boxing shoes have different patterns because they need to grip the floor in different ways. Wrestling shoes have more circular patterns on the bottom. This helps the wrestler to get a good grip on the floor from different angles.

Boxing shoes have different patterns than wrestling shoes. This is because boxers need to be able to move differently than wrestlers. It might seem like you can save money by only buying one pair of shoes, but you really need a different pair of shoes for each sport.

Are Cheap Pairs of Wrestling Shoes Any Good?

Yes, all wrestling shoes are designed specifically for the sport. Some are better than others, but it really depends on what a person finds comfortable.

For example, Asics’ “Matflexes” have been trusted by world-class wrestlers since 2010. Throughout the 6 generations of this shoe, it has remained one of the most reliable and affordable options for athletes who appreciate comfort over flashiness. With NCAA All-Americans and World Champions alike wearing these shoes proudly on their wrestling mats, Matflexes remain an economical choice deemed worthy even by champions in the sport.

If the Shoe Fits, Wear It!

The fit of a wrestling shoe is different than the fit of other types of shoes. Wrestling shoes are meant to be snug and tight throughout the entire foot. If the shoe feels snug, like a glove, then you’re good. If you can fit your fingers between the shoe and your ankle, you’ll need a smaller size. The size fitting will be different than what you expect with normal shoes. This is something to keep in mind when making a purchase decision. In many cases, people purchase shoes that are about one half to one size smaller than their running shoe size.

Wrestlers must be aware of the importance a good-fitting shoe has on their performance. Without proper support, balance and stability are impeded; throwing off the rhythm needed to compete at one’s best. This means that when shopping for wrestling shoes, certain classes should take into account how it will fit them over time – lighter wrestlers need more snug fitting than heavier athletes whose roles may require less speed or agility as part of their routine.

Wrapping Things Up

Now that you know what to look for in quality wrestling shoes, it’s time to find a pair! By following the concepts, features, and reviews above, you can easily find a great pair of wrestling shoes that meets your specific needs. However, when doing so, it is important to take the time to try the shoes on and feel them out. This isn’t something you should balk at being picky about. Happy shopping!

FAQ

What is the best wrestling shoe brand?

Historically, Adidas, Asics, and Nike are the best wrestling shoe brands. However, there are now plenty of options to choose from. In terms of brands, I actually don’t have a favorite. I wear shoes from all different brands, and certain shoe models I like better than others, but no one brand stands out to me as making the best wrestling shoe.

What makes wrestling shoes different?

Wrestling shoes are designed especially for the sport, and they have certain features that make them special. They often have a single-layer sole, which is different from other sports shoes because it provides better contact with the mat surface. The soles also tend to be thinner and flatter than other shoes, providing better grip on the mat without getting too bulky. Wrestling shoes also have a special upper material that is lightweight and breathable, making them more comfortable for athletes to wear during long bouts in the mat. Finally, certain models feature built-in arch support, which helps with shock absorption and keeps your feet from getting too tired throughout the match.

All of these features help wrestlers stay light, agile, and have better control on the mat. It’s why wrestling shoes are specifically designed for the sport, and they provide extra stability that you don’t get with regular sports shoes.

How long do wrestling shoes last?

These shoes usually last for 1-2 high school seasons. If you’re an elite wrestler, you will probably get a year out of them, depending on how often you wrestle throughout the year. Just like running shoes, if you use them more often, they’ll need to be replaced more frequently.

Should you wear socks under wrestling shoes?

Yes. Wearing socks will help keep your feet dry and comfortable while you’re wrestling. Make sure to get a pair of breathable socks that don’t get too hot when worn over long periods of time. Cotton is not recommended as it absorbs sweat, which can lead to odors and blisters.

Are you supposed to tie wrestling shoes?

Yes. It’s important to tie your wrestling shoes tight before the match in order to provide extra support and stability during intense movement. Make sure you double knot the laces so they don’t come undone during a match, which can lead to an unnecessary timeout.

Why do wrestlers tuck their socks in?

Tucking prevents fingers from getting caught in loose clothing during practice and keeps the heat in when trying to get warmed up or manage weight.

Why do wrestlers wipe their feet on the mat?

It’s a sign of respect. They’re cleaning their feet before they do battle, so the ring is “clean.”

Why are wrestling shoes flat?

Wrestling shoes have flatter soles than other types of shoes, which enhances your connection to the ground. You’ll feel more balanced while squatting in wrestling shoes, and you’ll be able to produce more power and force.

Photo of author

Vlad

A black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, owner and writer of BJJ Bear.

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