The 10 Best Wrestling Shoes
This wiki has been updated 11 times since it was first published in May of 2018. If you're hoping to make your high school team, or just want to stay in shape while tossing your friends around, these wrestling shoes can help protect your feet as you go for the pin. The options included offer a great deal of traction, while balancing flexibility and support. They are also lightweight enough that they won't feel like they are weighing you down by the end of a tournament. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
October 27, 2020:
While this update didn't involve a complete overhaul by any means, there were substantial changes made throughout, primarily removing outdated models and adding in new versions. ThiS of course affected rankings for a handful of shoes, as updates improved some models more than others. That said, you'll still notice the same reputable brands throughout the list, although a new brand has earned a place in the special honors with its Rudis KS Infinity shoes.
Features among wrestling shoes haven't changed significantly over the years, although a few trends do seem to be emerging. In the past, there was a pretty clear dichotomy between split sole shoes, such as the Adidas Combat Speed 5 and the Asics JB Elite IV, and unisole shoes like the Adidas Mat Wizard Hype and Adidas HVC. Now, however, we're seeing more shoes offering a kind of hybrid between the two, such as the Asics Cael V7.0, which places a third sole between the split heel and toe soles found in traditional split soles, or the Adidas Varner, which features a narrow strip connecting the two portions.
There does seem to be an increasing prevalence of lace covers as well, which are nice for those who don't want to worry about taping their shoes before matches. The Asics Snapdown 3 and Asics Aggressor 4 both use the company's lace garages that make it easy to tuck your laces away, while the Adidas Combat Speed 5 uses a velcro strap to cover them up. Either should be acceptable for most tournaments, although many prefer the look of a taped shoe anyway.
Any of these shoes would work well for wrestlers of all ages and experience levels, so the pair you choose will generally come down to preference. Make sure you select something that feels snug and supportive without being too constricting, grab your headgear, and you should be ready to hit the mat. And if you're looking to get in as much practice as possible, you might even consider buying one of these mats and building a wrestling room in your own home.
August 20, 2019:
Wrestling shoes are specifically designed to give you the support needed to keep you safe in the ring, while also remaining flexible enough not to hinder the ankle movement required for takedowns and grappling. They also have a thinner sole than traditional shoes to provide you with a good feel for the mat below your feet. Since these are the most important aspects of this kind of footwear, and the Otomix Stingray Escape offered the best balance of these for most users, they claimed our top spot.
If your feet tend to run hot during matches, you may want to consider the Adidas Mat Wizard David Taylor Edition, Adidas Combat Speed 5, Asics Cael V7.0, Asics JB Elite, Adidas HVC, and Adidas Adizero XIV, all of which feature a lot of mesh for superior breathability.
For those who don't want to deal with taping laces, you'll either need to get shoes that have a strap at the top, like the Adidas HVC2 Speed and Adidas Combat Speed 5, or one that features a lace garage, such as the Asics Cael V7.0, Asics Snapdown 2, and Asics JB Elite.
While you are equipping yourself with wrestling gear for the upcoming season, you may also want to check out our list of the best headgear.
Rudis KS Infinity This is a newer brand to the market, but they've already made a splash with their interesting outsole designs and targeted drive zones sculpted into the rubber bottoms. Their flagship shoe is build with support in mind and features cables within the body that stretch from the laces to the sole, offering strength and durability. They're also reinforced with a thin composite material, making them a solid option for those looking for something rugged. therudis.com