10 Best Boxing Shoes Reviewed & Rated for Performance
It’s easy to believe that boxing is a sport of just punching. While it is true that punching makes up a large portion of the sport, there’s much more to it than just hitting your opponent. A big part of the technique lies in the footwork. Punching your opponent is as important as avoiding getting punched. Good footwork is a critical point to apply in the latter. A boxer who doesn’t move around properly not only is more likely to ge hit, but also less likely to land a hit himself.
Foot movement and rotation plays a decisive point in both offense and defense. Thus, an adequate pair of boxing shoes is necessary to get the most out of your performance. Unfortunately, boxing isn’t one of those sports where you can go in with any pair of shoes. Well, you could, but your performance won’t be anywhere near its peak.
Boxing shoes will offer you some of the most important qualities that you’ll need in the ring. These qualities, such as pivoting, grip, and rotation, are not generally found on an average pair of sneakers. Thus, the difference between a solid pair of boxing shoes and a random pair of sneakers is huge.
A pair of shoes alone will never make a great athlete, regardless of the sport. They do, however, help the athlete reach their best. Boxing is no exception. At the end of the day, boxing shoes are specially engineered and designed to optimize the performance in the ring. Don’t think of boxing shoes as an expense, but rather an investment to reach your true potential.
10 Best Boxing Shoes
1. Adidas Combat Speed 4
The flexible structure is reinforced with TPU 3-stripes in combination with an included lateral panel strap for integral support. This makes the fit much more efficient and delivers a sock-like experience.
Split-suede Leather Outsole
This great shoe meets with the ideal outsole materials for performance in a boxing ring. The weightless design and grip work in combination with the die-cut EVA midsole for optimized mobility.
The Combat Speed 4 offers a great price-to-efficiency ratio. Although it’s a bit over the average price of this list, this shoe is equipped with premium fabrics for the maximum performers.
- TPU Structure
- Firm leather outsole
- Lightweight build
- Very comfortable support
- Not suitable for wide feet
2. Asics Aggressor
The ankles are the very base of every motion in boxing; ASICS knows that, and thus they equipped this build with an ankle strap closure for extra support and a secure.
A major improvement in the outsole makes the Aggressor 2 a solid base for any motion. A firm grip delivers both stability and firmness regardless of the direction of each movement.
One of the best budget options out there. The Aggressor is considerably cheap considering its quality; not the best shoe around, but definitely a great piece going for a low price.
- Great cost
- Unique grip
- Great flex and mobility
- Reinforced ankle
- Reaches its optimal performance after a couple of uses
3. Reebok Boxing Boot
The foam insertion in the midsole makes each gait much lighter, making it considerably easier to move around. It also assists in delivering fast and strong movements thanks to its compression design.
Full Rubber Outsole
This model includes a full-rubber outsole that is not only durable but also very efficient. The grip is adequate for the surface of a ring, providing you with a firm grasp of the floor.
Reebok’s boxing boot offers the most optimal materials for professional-level performance, but it comes at a price. This item is considerably above the average price of the list but stands up for every cent.
- Enhanced rubber grip
- Foam midsole absorption
- Leather upper and synthetic sole
- Ankle and feet support
- Breaks in after a while
- Some sizes are too long
4. Adidas Adizero XIV
A slippery upper build grants an easier escape when wrestling on the mat. Maintaining a multi-use purpose, this slipping design doesn’t affect the boxing experience.
A series of rubber inserts provide a much better grasp of the surface. Although more effective on the mat, the extra grip indents are suitable for performance on the ring too.
Not the most expensive boxer shoe out there, but not the cheapest one either. The Adizero XIV is a bit pricey, but the quality of this Adidas piece stays true to its cost. It’s also a very durable build.
- Excellent mat and ring grip
- Ankle support for mobility
- Weightless design
- Quick-dry upper mesh build
- Narrow design
5. Asics JB Elite V2.0
ASICS has once again applied the rubber traction pods on the outsole of the JB. These pods augment the grip considerably, allowing you to rotate and pivot with great stability and flex support.
Integrated Lace Garage Technology
The JB Elite V2.0 meets the competition standards delivering a tongue slimmer version of the lace garage technology. This lacing system provides the optimal fit to reach the maximum performance.
ASICS delivers quality boxing shoes for an affordable price. The JB Elite V2.0 is yet another great performer that goes as one of the lowest prices on our list. Great cost in relation to the quality.
- Lace Garage technology
- Flexible traction pods
- Serradial grip
- The laces are not too durable
6. Otomix Stingray Escape
A slippery upper build makes it much simpler to slip off your opponent in wrestling. It also makes it harder for them to get a hold of your feet. Keeping in mind the multi-sports use, this feature doesn't affect boxing performance.
This shoe is a bit pricey, but it’s worth the purchase considering all the uses it has. If you’re looking for a multi-sports approach to avoid buying 2 or 3 different pairs, this is a good shot.
- Suitable for combat sports and martial arts
- Total flexibility
- Slim and lightweight build
- Ankle support for rotation
- Allows you to access multiple practices, but not an outstanding performance
7. Ringside Diablo
The Ringside Diablo is engineered after combat performance. It counts with the necessary features for a proper development in mat sports such as wrestling, MMA, boxing, and others. The reliable grip is precise and efficient in all of the above-mentioned practices.
Ankle support allows free rotation and movement at all times without loosening the fit. Thanks to the ankle mobility design, motions from all kind of martial art disciplines are much smoother and comfortable.
High quality for an efficient cost. The Ringside Diablo sits around the average price of the list, which is a fair deal considering its performance is well above average.
- Engineered for combat sports
- Strong surface grip
- Breathable and fresh upper build
- No arch support
8. Title Speed-Flex Encore Mid
The Speed-Flex Encore is specifically engineered after velocity and strength. The combination of materials, including cushioning, are ideal for efficient and fast feet movement. This comes in effective at striking, dodging, and pivoting.
This model provides you with the room you need to naturally rotate and move your ankles. The fabrics in this shoe are not only very flexible but also comfortable. The ankle flexibility allows you to move even faster and more naturally.
Pretty accessible pair. TITLE offers high-speed mobility and flexible engagement for a price below the list average. Although not a quality training shoe, it’s a very efficient fighting one.
- Outstanding mobility and flexibility
- Adaptive and comfortable materials
- Decent ankle support
- Lightweight build
- Great shoe for competitive fights, but not particularly resistant to intense training
- Shoe strings are short and tedious to tie
9. Ringside Undefeated
The high-top design offers a comfortable tight kind of fit, making the build feel as a second skin. An innovative lacing system delivers extra compression, keeping both feet in a neutral position without altering the stance.
Superb Ankle Support
The compression wear doesn’t stop the ankle from rotating and moving around naturally. This allows the user to attack and evade adequately in quick, efficient motions. Additionally, the fabrics count with flexible features to improve mobility.
Another of Ringside’s pieces that offer quality at an average price. This build consists of very durable materials and a high-quality design. You won’t need to worry about getting a second pair soon.
- Unique ankle support
- Flexible upper build
- Multi-sport outsole grip
- Compression fit
- Hard to put on and off as well as lacing
- Padding needs improvement
10. Adidas Box Hog 2
Adidas embraces a less-sticky compound for the sole of this model. The gum rubber sole provides a much better grip for indoor performance, excellent to prevent sliding and slipping.
A low-profile EVA midsole reduces the amount of stress placed on both the heels and the toes while moving around quickly. The cushioned heel plays a big role in improving both endurance and comfort during practices or competitive performances.
Adidas has quite a reputation for their quality-performance athletic shoes. The cost of this pair might be costly, but their durability and efficiency go undoubtedly.
- Breathable build
- Cushioned heel
- Reduced shock and foot stress
- Not ideal for intensity training
How to Choose the Best Shoes for Boxing
Just like in every other sport, athletes question whether specific gear is really necessary. Let’s get something straight; there is no necessary equipment for sports like boxing. For boxing, you don’t need a pair of boxing-specific shoes like you would need a ball for football. If you want to learn proper technique, you’ll have to get your hands on some gloves at most.
But, when we start talking about dedicating time to training and to the sport itself, you should consider the investment. Like we previously said, you are free to stick to the sport without spending a single dime out of what’s necessary. However, keep this in mind: boxing shoes are good for a reason–they’re made specifically for boxing.
The sole purpose of boxing shoes is, well, to enhance your boxing performance. Shoes or gloves alone don’t make a boxer, but they make the difference between the boxer who slips and the one who has good shoes. The equipment is not necessary for learning, but rather to develop your skill to the next level.
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Boxing Shoes
Pivot & Grip
Pivot and grip are two of the most basics things to look after in a boxing shoe. This will directly affect the quality of your boxing footwear; both pivoting and grip are essential basics of this sport. The thing about pivot and grip is that they’re somehow opposites. In simple words, the stronger the grip, the weaker the pivot. We’ll briefly explain the concept of pivoting for further understanding.
Basically, pivoting comes down to moving yourself around the same spot. It’s usually a rotation movement, and the “spot” you’ll move over is determined by the pivot foot (generally the front foot in your stance). It serves multiple purposes; dodging in a manner in which you can counterattack, or simply rotating to create an attack angle.
The movement consists of sliding your non-pivot foot to adjust your posture and angle. As you can guess, this whole concept of sliding and rotating isn’t too efficient when the outsole texture and grip don’t allow these motions. This means that too much grip isn’t convenient in a boxing shoe. Thus, it’s important to keep an efficient balance between grip and pivoting ability in a boxing shoe.
Generally, the outsole pattern includes a destinated area for pivoting motions. This area has a different texture or pattern, an area which is not so affected by the grip. Thanks to this design, athletes can increase their grip without hurting their pivoting ability.
This also means a regular shoe won’t provide you decent pivoting properties; a running sneaker, for example. However, there’s no standard to how much pivot or grip you should have. Some boxers prefer more grip on their shoes, some prefer greater pivot, and some prefer an equal balance. It ultimately comes down to your style, and how your performance gets along with these two factors.
For hybrid designs (a pivoting spot on the outsole), keep in mind that not all manufacturers are the same. The thing about these spots is that you need to learn how to move around them. Given that there’s only a specific zone of your shoe that is proficient for pivoting, you need to “memorize” that spot. Switching your shoes, later on, may require you adapting to a different outsole design.
It seems silly at first hand until you find yourself trying to pivot around the spot that you had in your old pair of shoes. This is one of the scenarios you want to avoid during a boxing match.
The sole thickness is one of the most underestimated elements in a boxing shoe. People tend to forget how important it is to find the right thickness for you. We’ll tell you one thing about performance shoes; everyone has a different taste. This is why you see so much variety when it comes to sole thickness and texture.
Thicker soles put some fabric between your toes and the boxing ring, which adds up to better protection. Although, you want to make sure you’re not going too thick on your sole. The more distance there is between the ring’s surface and your toes, the less balance you’ll have.
Thin soles, on the other hand, provide a much better grasp of the surface. Some veteran boxers consider barefoot performance to be the most optimal choice, but it’s a matter of preferences. The facts are though, that the slimmer the sole, the greater the balance. It’s the opposite case as a thick sole. The main downside to this may be the lack of cushioning and heel assistance.
Like we previously mentioned, some users prefer thick soles, and others prefer slim ones. We can’t tell you which one is the best because it’s up to you. We can, however, help you find the most adequate for you.
A thin sole provides much more mobility. We mentioned before that some oldschool boxers preferred to go barefoot (not including competitions). While this isn’t necessarily the most efficient method (in terms of endurance and heel stress), we can guarantee one thing; better feet control.
The closer you are to the ground, the better control you’ll have over your motor coordination skills, especially your footwork. This greater agility, however, comes at the cost of endurance. This is because of two reasons. The closer you are to barefoot, the better control you have, but this also implies a greater muscle activation, and thus earlier fatigue. The second reason is simple; shock stress on the heels, toes, and calves, which also leads to earlier fatigue.
The texture on the outsole is also a factor to keep in mind. Most people completely ignore the outsole design, not knowing how it can completely affect their sole and performance. These patterns are not decoration; they serve a very functional purpose. The shape, orientation, and thickness of this pattern can increase/decrease your grip, and thus increase/decrease mobility.
Just like sole height, the shoe height is a delicate subject. We’d like to start off by clarifying that no specific shoe height is the best one; they’re simply different approaches to the same target. Don’t forget that it all comes down to how each design feels on your feet and how it impacts your performance.
People often forget this one big factor that can mark the difference between good performance and an outstanding one. This factor is called personal preference. Now, functionality is hands down an elemental part of the shoe. No matter how good a pair of shoes sits on you, you shouldn’t lack grip, or flexibility, or ankle support. But offering the right features don’t necessarily make them the right pair for you.
Unfortunately, this is something you can’t always get right off the bat. You’ll likely have to try a couple of shoes before you know what’s your style. This doesn’t mean that you’ll never reach your peak if a shoe is not of your preference. However, the preference and comfort factors have a huge impact on performance.
Take as an example any of the greatest elite boxers that existed. Those boxers used by no means a generic retail store boxing shoe (and we say generic as in the base model). The greatest boxers had their shoe especially crafted based on their height preference and other factors. We can guarantee you one thing; it wasn’t for the looks. Professional athletes, not just boxers, know the importance of personal preference when it comes to their equipment.
This example is on a bigger scale, we’re not telling you to go get your shoes crafted to your perfection. Though, it should give you a hint on the importance of finding the right kind of equipment for you. We’ll provide you further insight on each kind of shoe height below.
The low top: The most mobile design. The low top build resembles the size of a normal shoe; average height and uncovered ankles. This design provides more ankle space and mobility for activities like training, which are not necessarily comfortable in high shoes. A low top is a great option while endurance training, weight training, rope jumping, and so on. However, these are not your best buy when going in the ring.
Medium top: The most popular option for actual boxing. You usually don’t wear this except you’re going in specific boxing action. Medium builds completely cover the ankle and generally go up to 1/3 of the shin. Though, like previously stated, height may fluctuate around both manufacturers and user preferences. If you’re going to train strictly with the sack or going in the ring, this is a solid choice. But, medium tops usually suck for aerobic training and anything that isn’t direct boxing.
High top: Similar to the medium top when it comes to functionality; it’s strictly a combat boot. These are by no mean a good choice for jumping or exercising unless they’re exercises that resemble a boxing fight scenario. High top builds generally cover half of the shin and the complete shin in some cases. They may look like they’ll restrict your motions, but they’re engineered not to.
During the last decade, there has been a huge reducement of weight in shoe designs. This, of course, had a big impact on athletic shoes. It makes sense to assume that a lighter build is more comfortable and easier to move around than a heavy one. Now, boxing shoes have always been lighter in general, or at least more so than other sports shoes like running sneakers.
There are multiple key points behind the importance of a shoe’s weight. In boxing, the most important one is really basic; lighter feet can move much faster. This is another of the reasons why the closer you are to barefoot, the better agility you’ll have. Modern boxing shoes try to mimic barefoot performance with ultralight materials with great athletic qualities. These materials are mostly synthetic, and some are specifically synthesized to deliver lightweight features in athletic shoes.
The thing about heavy shoes is that not only do they make you slower, but they also require more effort to move. Heavier shoes contribute to muscular fatigue much more than most people think. You may see manufacturers competing over who has the lightest shoe, offering some grams more or some grams less. Although every bit counts, 10 extra grams in a boot usually don’t decide a boxing match.
As long as a shoe aims for a minimalistic approach with the right materials, it’s fine. You don’t need the lightest one available. But most importantly, make sure the minimalist fabrics can endure what you’ll put them up to. Synthetic materials can sure be much lighter, but not as close as resistant as a full-grain leather build, for example.
Luckily for us, chemical synthetization has allowed us to access materials that are both lightweight and efficient. The most common materials for athletic shoes include traditional rubber, vulcanized rubber, blown rubber, vinyl, and polyurethane.
Each element of the shoe contributes to its weight (midsole, upper, etc). Thus, the boxing shoes should consist of light materials that can deliver appropriate features for their respective element.
For the upper build, you’ll need something flexible, durable, breathable, and that holds your feet in place. This is a great job for mesh and synthetic leather. On high-top shoes, it’s even more important for the upper to be lighter, as it composes most of the shoe.
The midsole is usually the heaviest element in a shoe. It’s often equipped with the thickest or more resistant materials to diminish shock and provide comfort. Although, EVA technology has made this possible at a much lighter perspective than ever before. EVA stands for ethyl vinyl acetate.
This is one of the little factors that can give you the upper hand on your opponent. It can also make you the underdog if you lack it. A rigid shoe is necessary to provide a firm stance and a strong base, that goes out of question. However, each motion is greatly affected by the flexibility of shoe materials.
Flexibility has a much greater impact than most people would normally think. It’s the very base of every rotation, every motion, every step forward and backward. It’s what allows you to move naturally; the sole flexibility should resemble the natural shape of your feet as they flex. Otherwise, both your speed and impulse will be affected because of your feet not moving naturally.
You would normally think flexibility is something that goes on the sole. The sole is indeed an element that crucially requires flexibility, as it is the base of every movement. However, flexibility is something that must be present in the whole build. This includes the upper structure materials, as high as the shoe goes.
The most important spots for flexibility are the arch (around the toe box) and the ankle. Think of it as if you were a runner. When you’re taking a step, your heel goes off the ground and the rest of the motion is performed by the arch and toe flex. When you’re at this point of the step, you use flexibility and momentum to impulse yourself forward. Try running without bending your feet and see how that turns out for your form.
Although this is the principle of running, it pretty much applies to every single discipline that involves footwork. No flexibility translates into a huge reduction of impulse and speed. Those are the two things you can’t lack in a boxing match.
Keep in mind that while the arch and ankle are the most important areas, they’re not the only ones. Your shoe should be able to provide upper build flexibility for as high as it extends. This is particularly important in medium-top and high-top boxing boots, where the shin is partially covered by the upper build.
The shin may not be the key point to rotation or impulse, but it’s also affected by inclination. You can’t lean forward properly without bending the knee and shin. A stiff upper build is not something you want in your shoe. You simply can’t lean forward for a punch if you can’t bend your legs freely. The higher the top, the more important this point is.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do wrestling shoes work for boxing and likewise?
A: Although they’re different designs, you might get away with boxing on wrestling shoes efficiently. Additionally, some brands deliver functional performance for both wrestling and boxing in a single pair of shoes.
Q: What’s the difference between mid and high top?
A: Higher designs deliver more support by covering your shin further. But, this may restrict your movements slightly in comparison to mid-tops. It’s also a matter of personal comfort and preference.
Q: Where to buy boxing shoes?
A: Online sales platforms such as Amazon unquestionably offer the widest variety of products. They usually feature the best prices too. Amazon’s return and refund policies make e-shopping very comfortable.
Q: What do boxing shoes do?
A: The first and most important feature is ring performance. The outsoles are specially designed for close-quarter performance, fast footwork, and stable pivoting.
Q: How do I know what shoe height suits me the most?
A: Well, the only accurate way to know is to wear them and try for yourself. However, our shoe height criteria section should give you some insight on what each height consists of.
Q: Can I use boxing shoes in the gym?
A: They’re not the most optimal choice for heavy lifting, especially the big compound movements. You can use low/mid ones at the gym, but high ones are likely to obstacle your shins (and some mids too).
Q: How should I tie my boxing shoes?
A: To get the most out of the fit, you should make sure the laces go through every loop. Loosen them to wear, and then tighten from the lowest end to the highest. The fit should compress the tongue against your shin.
Q: Can I throw these in the washer machine?
A: The washing machine/dryer may cause considerable damage to your shoes. Make sure to read the manufacturer’s washing instructions before tossing them in.
- Anatomy of an Athletic Shoe, Footwear Article, ,
- The Best Materials for Athletic Shoes, Footwear Buying Guide, Aug 06, 2013 ,
- Shoe Movement Flexibility, Footwear Technology Article, ,
- The Importance of EVA Midsoles, Footwear Article, Nov 02, 2015 ,
- Compression vs. Injection Midsoles, Footwear Article, ,