Wrestling, as a form of combat, is as old as mankind. Surprisingly, many of the moves and holds that we practice today have not changed one bit from the ancient times. They are exact as in some archaeological reliefs found in Egypt and France. So what has changed, in the period of nearly 15000 years of wrestling? It has changed its motives. Now, more than ever, wrestling is an entertainment sport, rather than a way to fix conflicts (however, that is most definitely still on the table). And in its journey from the mud arenas to the ring, there is one more modification that this sport has acquired- the wrestling shoes. Like any other amateur and professional sport, wrestling too has its specialized active gear, and the shoes are an important component.
They have to be extremely light and flexible. While wearing them, the wrestler should feel as if he is barefoot, so that the movement is free and unhindered, but At the same time, giving enough traction to the wrestler. They also provide support to the ankles. They are high topped for the ankle support. Another feature of wrestling shoes is that they have high arches which allow the wrestler to stay on their toes more. Your footwork becomes faster and agiler when you are constantly on your toes.
Best Wrestling Shoes Review
Adidas Mens HVC Wrestling Shoes
The HVC wrestling shoes are eye-catching and at the same time, extremely comfortable. Alongside that, there are overlays of two more materials, one of which is synthetic suede and another is synthetic leather. These help in making the shoes more durable and yet keeping them light weight. There is also a single layer of mesh for added breathability and endurance. There is another layer of protection for the tied up laces. There is an elasticized lace cover, which uses Velcro to secure your laces once tied. This prevents distractions and accidents, and makes the look sleeker. The cover strap is built for a cozy fit and improves the adjustability of the shoe by increasing the tension in the foot.
The outsole runs along the entire length of the shoe, giving you better grip and traction while standing on the mat. The sole is made of rubber and gives superior grip to you for your bouts. They give you perfect comfort because all the materials used are high quality and Adidas delivers on its promise of excellence in active wear. They are ideal for both training as well as competition. However, while training, you might want to avoid extremely hard ground, they work fine in the ring, though. They are light weight so you do not feel as if you are dragged down by heavy foot gear and allow for agility, at the same time, ensuring superior mat contact and grip.
They are highly practical and yet the signature Adidas triple strip adds a dash of glamor to the whole thing. Add to that, the texture of the suede and other features and we have a great combo of style and performance. However, you are advised to make yourself sure of the shoe size before buying because wrestling shoes fit a bit different than the regular ones.
ASICS Men’s Aggressor 3 Wrestling Shoe
The Aggressor line of ASICS wrestling shoes has been a favorite since long. They are really good shoes that keep on improving with every new version. The aggressor 3 is made of synthetic material and is breathable and, at the same time, durable as well. The upper part of the shoe is made from suede ecsaine and has been redesigned to look super classy, and also makes for a great fit and comfort. The tongue is made from mesh for superior breathability. Another added and improved upon feature is the lace garage.
The aggressor 3 offers extraordinary comfort for the wrestler on the move. The duo rubber sole has molded teeth on the sole that gives better balance and agility and also speed. The dual benefits of great grip and even greater flexibility make it a top choice for any wrestler who is serious about his game.
Although they are a bit steep, there are quite a few reasons as to why they are such a favorite. They are super comfortable and you cannot hope to find a better fit. This is not just a personal opinion, practically, everyone that I train with it has high praises of these shoes and they live up to them. They are also very durable and will give good results on the investment. The grip they provide is exceptional. Especially, the side grips which makes traction possible even when you are not perpendicular to the ground. For a sport like wrestling that involves so many positions and stances, this is a blessing. So they are durable, fit well and provide great grip. They tick off all the boxes in my requirement list and more.
ASICS Men’s Split Second 9 Wrestling Shoe
The Split Seconds from ASICS are a great shoe for a wrestler on a budget. They are moderately priced and provide a great experience. I have used a pair as a training-only pair and was highly satisfied with what I had. The material is both synthetic and mesh, combining durability and strength with breathability and comfort- a win-win situation. They are split soled shoes, meaning that they make for greater speed and agility. They are good for wrestlers who are very quick on their feet and very sure of their movement. The split sole allows the wrestler to move as if he/she is barefoot. This is very good, especially in quick-paced matches where every nanosecond matters and your movement should be quick as lightening.
The mesh upper which is extremely breathable helps in keeping your foot cool and sweat free. Perfection can never be achieved without comfort. They are good for wrestlers with flat feet and also help in keeping you on your toes. Since the split sole divides the area of the heel and balls from the area of the toes, the strain on your arch is minimal and you will not feel the pain of plantar fasciitis. Also they are very flexible, and the split sole does not hinder the movement of the feet in the least. Their grip on the mat is also commendable. They are a good recommendation for those who suffer from flat feet and overall a sturdy and dynamic specimen.
Adidas Wrestling Men’s Combat Speed 4 Wrestling Shoe
These shoes are a dream come true for the wrestling teams on the lookout for shoes that would match their team colors. These come in 27 different color combinations, and I don’t know about you, but the flaunter in me just did a mental jig. Variety is not the only thing that this shoe has to offer. These shoes are super-duper light, and the ones who have used them swear that they fit them like a glove, or in this case, like a sock. The mesh provides breathability and the leather gives support and durability. The complete shoe is a combination of mesh, single layered body, suede leather upper and synthetic leather wherever required. The outsole is made of split-suede and makes the best possible grip and allows you a great traction on the mat.
There are 3 TPU strips in the middle of the shoe that add to the integral support system, consisting of a strap in the upper part of the shoe, alongside the paneling. These two combined gives your foot the better-quality support it craves in a bout. It gives you the stability and the confidence to perform your best, without worrying much on the balance point of things. The mesh body allows the air to flow and helps to keep your feet cool.
The midsole has their patented EVA technology, which provides an arch to your foot and keeps you on your toes, ready for an aggressive attack. The grip of this shoe on the mat never falters and there is an added Velcro support at the ankle. The Velcro enclosure secures the laces so that they do not come in the way of your performance. These shoes have been recommended to me by many for their fit and their support. And after trying them, I have to say that they live up to the expectations.
Features of Wrestling Shoes
- Lightness- They have to be extremely light and flexible. While wearing them the wrestler should feel as if he is bare foot, so that the movement is relaxed for better flexibility.
- Traction- The wrestlers need good traction so that they can stay on their feet. The primary objective of wrestling shoes is to allow for friction between the player’s feet and the mat.
- Ankle Support- Wrestling shoes are high topped so as to provide ankle support to the wrestler. Ankle related injuries are quite inevitable in this sport and therefore, I’d advise you to look for a shoe with ample ankle support.
- High arches- Good wrestling shoes should have high arches. Why high arches? Because it helps enhancing your feet’s agility, resulting in faster movements.
Things to Keep in Mind While Shopping for Wrestling Shoes
Although you barely run in wrestling (read: do not) as compared to other sports, yet, surprisingly enough, shoes are a very important part of wrestling. The right kind of shows will let you move freely and at the same time provide necessary traction. Right footwork can either make or break the match point, and your grip on the ground is the crucial factor between winning and losing. You have to be very careful while choosing your wrestling shoes. Here are a few things you need to keep in mind to select the best shoes for you.
- Split Soled or Not– Wrestling shoes are of two kinds. Split soles and non-Split soles- the former have a full-length split in the sole, where it is made up of two different pieces of rubber. It mimics the natural movement of the foot better and is good for speed. The other one has one single piece of rubber along the entire length and breadth of the sole. It might be slower but is far more durable because no part of the sole’s less sturdy material is exposed. If you are low on a budget and not too much into competitive wrestling, the latter should work just fine for you.
- First-Timers– If you’ve never bought a pair before, it would be a good idea to observe, and if possible, try on the shoes of other friends or teammates. You can try out different kinds of shoes to see which one works for you. You will also get an idea about the sizing differences in different brands, and get a better idea of what specific size from a particular brand fits you well.
- Another sole related topic is spiked or not. On one hand, the spiked shoes are far better for traction and grip, but on the other hand, they make balancing a tad bit difficult. Are you sure enough of your balance to take the risk? Varies from person to person.
- Material of the shoes ranges from mesh to leather. Mesh is lighter and more breathable, and is good for you if you tend to sweat a lot. Leather is more durable and protective. Again, it may vary according to personal choices and you should try different varieties before settling down for one. Synthetic materials are the latest innovation in the field and incorporate both the traditional materials to give you the best of both worlds.
You can also have two pairs of shoes at a time, one for practice and the other for matches. Let the practice ones face the daily grind, and keep the better ones safe for matches. After a season, you can discard the now (hopefully) worn down practice ones, make the match shoes your new practice shoes, and buy a fresh pair for your matches. One thing is of paramount importance, do not buy a shoe unless if you are completely satisfied with it.
Wrestling shoes should be thought of as an investment. They are as important to a wrestler as learning a new move. Although they might be a bit expensive, they are necessary all the same. And any wrestler serious about his training should choose his shoes very carefully. But, just being expensive does not necessarily translate to being the best. You ought to do your homework before investing in a pair. As the more time you spend on the training mat, the sooner you will wear out your shoes, there is not much point in going for the really expensive pair. They will wear down regardless the price if you train hard in them. Do not hesitate to exchange or return a pair if it does not meet your expectations. Your performance depends on your gear and you should not take any chances with it. Hope this guide helps you in finding the perfect pair to fit your needs.