10 Best Wrestling Shoes Tested for Performance

Wrestling has become a very popular sport in the last century, and no, we are not talking about staged wrestling (WWE comes to mind).  It is a sport that tests agility, strength, and endurance. To be able to excel at these traits, one has to invest in the physical equipment’s which are limited to shoes, knee pads and gloves.

Best Wrestling Shoes -freestyle-wrestlers-in-the-ring

The agility of a wrestler reflects on the efficiency of his wrestling shoes. The test of their strength is a replication of the traction and grip that their shoe provides them with. The endurance of the wrestler is also a reflection of their ability to overcome the grip of their opponents which is also a reflection on the flexibility of the shoes. The increase in popularity of this sport has also led to an increase in the number of wrestling shoes available in the market.

Last Updated: August 4, 2017
by :

The recent update has included our criteria for evaluation in determining the best wrestling shoes to buy. Also included are some frequently asked questions about wrestling shoes.

Featured Recommendations

Adidas Combat Speed 5
  • Adidas Combat Speed 5
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Spit Suede leather outsole
  • Price: See Here
Asics Split Second 9
  • Asics Split Second 9
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Breathable-Mesh upper
  • Price: See Here
Adidas  Response 3.1
  • Adidas Response 3.1
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Man-Made Outsole
  • Price: See Here

Many people participating in combat arts prefer wrestling shoes to any other sports shoes. This has catapulted these shoes into mainstream sports. As such, some of the best wrestling shoes may be popular for a different sport. To be able to overcome such issues and problems when searching for a reliable shoe, one must consider some features that the shoe can offer. A good wrestling shoe can provide comfort, flexibility and traction. An excellent shoe can offer comfort, durability, flexibility, cushioning, good traction, ankle support and versatility.

After the comprehensive review of the available wrestling shoes, have come up with a list of the best wrestling shoes. This list has been compiled on the basis of all the excellent traits available for wrestling shoes and customer reviews. Without further ado, let’s get on the list!

 

10 Best Wrestling Shoes

 

1. Adidas Combat Speed 5

The Adidas Combat Speed 5 is a lightweight and comfortable shoe. It offers excellent ankle support, is versatile and can be used both for wrestling and endurance sports and offers excellent grip and traction. This is a high-performance shoe that offers adequate propulsion and sufficient ankle support. Additionally, the lacing technique is reinforced with a Velcro strap to offer a better and exact fit.
Expand to see more
Upper Part
The upper part of the shoe is designed with leather and nylon fabric. The leather offers excellent durability while the nylon fabric offers adequate breathability. It is also designed with flexible, supportive TPU that has 3-stripes connected to a side panel to reinforce the fit.

Outer Sole
The outer sole is designed with industrial strength rubber that is patterned to offer excellent traction. The leather is also composed of a Spit Suede compound that reinforces the grip.

Cost and value
This wrestling shoe is quite affordable and retails for close to 80 USD. This price is incomparable to the value that the shoe presents with the unique and complimentary features.
Pros

Lightweight

Has excellent traction and grip.

Versatile

Has good ankle support.

Breathable and durable

Cons

Hard to break in.

Comes in two color combinations.

2. Asics Split Second 9

This wrestling shoe is a High-performance flexible option that offers good propulsion and foot support. Its versatility provides the user with a casual and sporting option. The sole is designed to offer great stability by enhancing the connection between the foot and the ground. The fabric used is extremely lightweight and plush which offers great comfortability and ankle support.
Expand to see more
Outer sole
The outer sole is unique in design because it is made with a split sole. This provides the user with excellent traction at the front and back area of the shoe so that they can get optimum momentum and propulsion when wrestling.

Lacing Technique
The shoe is designed with asymmetrical lace closure system that provides a lush and comfortable fit. The lacing eyelets are also punctured into the leather fabric on the upper part of the shoe to reduce the weight that comes with metal eyelets.

Cost and value
This shoe is quite inexpensive and retails for close to 30 USD. No other wrestling shoe can offer both ankle support and cushioning and be priced within this range. As such, it is one of the cheapest options for high-performance wrestling shoes.
Pros

Excellent grip and traction

Comfortable

Provides ankle support

High-performance shoe

Lightweight

Affordable

Cons

Reduced durability

Are not waterproof

3. Asics Aggressor 3

The Asics Aggressor 3 is an upgrade from the Aggressor 2 and is designed to offer maximum durability. It is often classified as the most durable and comfortable wrestling shoe in the market because of the industrial strength rubber sole, super suede ecsaine upper construction, unique lacing technique and rounded toe box. It also offers sufficient versatility flexibility, cushioning, and grip.
Expand to see more
Outer Sole
The outer sole is designed with Duosole® compound that is patterned to provide excellent grip and traction when wrestling. This compound is also lightweight and reduces the overall weight while enhancing flexibility.

Midsole
The midsole is innately designed to offer contact cushioning, plush comfortability and responsiveness. It is also made of buoyant material that supports the heel thereby providing adequate propulsion and momentum.

Cost and value
Many users have said that this shoe can last for more than one hundred matches. These customer reviews are based on the retail assessment of the shoe; as such, the price offers both value and reliability, which is rare to find in wrestling shoes.
Pros

Durability

Excellent grip and traction

Good fit

Sufficient ankle support

Excellent cushioning and responsiveness

Cons

Slippage on wet surfaces.

Narrow toe box

4. Asics Matflex 5

These shoes are affordable, lightweight and comfortable shoes. They offer ample flexibility and sufficient ankle support when wrestling. They are quite popular because of their unique qualities, prices and durability. They are quite versatile and can be used for wrestling, endurance sports, training and as a casual option. Their unique design incorporates leather and fabric to reinforce foot support and enhance durability.
Expand to see more
Inner Lining
The inner lining of this shoe is made of plush, moisture wicking fabric that creates a comfortable and lush feel and ensures that the feet are dry. This lining also creates excellent contact responsiveness.

Upper Part
The upper part of this shoe is designed with a combination of nylon mesh and leather to provide breathability and style simultaneously. It is also incorporated with a lacing garage that offers a unique lacing technique that offers a better and comfortable fit.

Cost and Value
This is an affordable shoe and it retails for close to 40 USD. It is quite inexpensive and it offers good value for your money. It is a worthy investment.
Pros

Moisture wicking lining

Breathable

Inexpensive

Excellent grip and traction

Ample Cushioning.

Cons

Reduced Durability

Have fewer size options

5. Asics JB Elite 2.0

This shoe was specifically designed to meet the specifications of Three-Time World Champion, Jordan Burroughs. This says a lot about the shoes ability to consistently provide quality performance for wrestlers. It provides adequate cushioning, responsiveness, high-friction resistance, flexibility and support. It is extremely lightweight and offers the user a sock-like feeling when worn. It can also be used as a casual shoe and for endurance sports.
Expand to see more
Split Sole
The Asics JB Elite 2.0 is designed with a rubber compound split sole that is split at the toe and heel area. It also has wrestling-specific traction pods at the splits. This design provides both traction and flexibility.

Upper Mesh
The upper part of the shoe is designed with an open nylon mesh that is unique to this shoe. This ensures that the feet are well aerated and facilitates the release of sweat to ensure that there is no moisture buildup in the shoe that can cause bacterial infections.

Cost and Value
This is another affordable wrestling shoe that is a good investment because it provides good value for your money. Its versatility substitutes for the extra money that would be spent on purchasing a casual shoe that can be worn to casual events.
Pros

Extremely Breathable

Excellent grip and traction

High friction elimination shoe

Excellent cushioning and responsiveness.

Cons

Reduced Durability

Not waterproof.

6. Adidas Adizero XIV

The Adidas Adizero Wrestling XIV is a legendary shoe that is named after a legendary sportsman Jake Verner. It provides the user with explosive propulsion, unique momentum, excellent balance and advanced traction control. The shoe is specifically designed for heavyweight wrestlers and is broken in right after you remove it from the box. It is quite versatile and can be used as both a wrestling and casual shoe.
Expand to see more
Outer Sole
The shoe is designed with a simplified rubber outer sole that has V-shape traction patterns. These patterns provide excellent grip, particularly when engaging in a wrestling match in an upright position.

Ankle Length
This shoe has a slightly elevated ankle length that provides the user with ample ankle support. This is a very important feature for a wrestler because the ankle support of any shoe determines how stable you will be on your feet.

Cost and Value
This shoe was an upgrade from the previous model. The upgrade came with a subtle increase in the price. Nonetheless, this is money well spent as it will ensure that you are mobile and flexible on your feet.
Pros

Good ankle Support

Excellent grip and traction

Offers adequate momentum and propulsion

Lightweight

Cons

Reduced durability

Does not have a lace garage.

7. Asics Cael v7.0

The Asics Cael v7.0 was made to the specifications of Olympic gold medalist, Cael Sanderson. The design of this shoe was a revolution and not an evolution from its predecessors. The shoe is perfect from any wrestler regardless of their level because of its unique and exclusive features. Every update in this shoe was targeted at making it more stable, flexible and lightweight.
Expand to see more
Upper Part
The upper part of the shoe is designed with a combination of ecsaine synthetic leather and air mesh for enhanced performance and breathability. It also has a new single layer breathable tongue that is designed with a lace garage™ technology for optimum comfort.

Split Sole
The outer sole of the shoe is split at the toe and heel area. This design provides targeted flexibility, enhanced grip and traction because of the dominance of the wrestling-specific traction zones.

Cost and Value
This is one of the expensive options in our list because it retails for close to 100 bucks. However, this is an extremely worthwhile purchase for a wrestler looking for a High-performance and consistent shoe.
Pros

Enhanced traction and grip

Comfortable

Breathable

High-performance shoe

Lightweight

Cons

Expensive

Hard to break in because of gusseted tongue.

8. Asics Dan Gable Ultimate 4.0

The Asics Dan Gable Ultimate 4.0 is also named after a wrestling legend Dan Gable. The newest addition to this collection is the new Dan Gable ultimate® 4 which features new integrated upper and sole. It is considerably lighter than the previous version and has a better and enhanced grip. It comes in three different color combinations and has a raised boot and ankle system.
Expand to see more
Boot Construction
The entire boot is uniquely and excellently designed with a conforming compression-fit bootie system that is encased in polyurethane support pods to offer improved and ample flexibility and exceptional fit. It also has a tongue that has a less bulky version of the lace garage which offers a place to tuck the shoe laces to avoid tripping while wrestling.

Outsole
The outsole is completely renovated and upgraded from the previous versions. It is uniquely designed with an exclusive rubber compound to provide wrestling-specific traction zones that offer improved elite performance on collegiate mat surfaces.

Cost and Value
The shoe retails for approximately one hundred dollars. It is quite expensive considering other options in this list. However, it is a worthwhile investment that provides good value for your money.
Pros

Lightweight

Offers exact fit through a Compression-fit bootie system

Has enhanced grip and traction

Extremely flexible

Cons

Expensive

Only available in a few range of colors and sizes.

9. Adidas Response 3.1

The Adidas Response 3.1 are designed for hard takedowns and quick reflexes and responses. They are designed with allover climacool® ventilation that ensures the feet are well aerated. This fabric provides 360-degree cooling to keep the entire foot dry. This feature is further reinforced with a porous nylon mesh. The midsole is uniquely designed to complement the outer sole and provide contact responsiveness and plush comfort.
Expand to see more
Outer Sole
The outer sole of this shoe is designed with Double Flex compound that provides enhanced traction and grip on the wrestling mat. A lightweight split-forefoot ADIWEAR™ Radial Curve has also been added onto the sole to make it easier for the wrestler to spin on the mat while maintaining his grip, stance and posture.

Lacing Technique
The upper part of this shoe is designed with an elasticized lace cover system that keeps the laces away and prevents tripping. The fit of the shoe is further reinforced with a hook-and-loop strap that also provides ample ankle support.

Cost and Value
This shoe is quite affordable and often retails for close to 30 dollars. It is a good choice for a wrestler looking for a quality wrestling shoe at a convenient and inexpensive price.
Pros

Ankle support

Breathable

Good grip and traction

Flexible on wrestling mat

Comfortable

Affordable

Cons

Not waterproof

Available in a few colors

10. Asics Dave Schultz Classic

The last item in our list is the Asics Dave Schultz Classic. This does not mean that this shoe is not competent or efficient on the wrestling mat. On the contrary, it is a High-performance shoe that is one of the original remakes of the classic wrestling shoes that were popular decades ago. They still retain the unisole design and are ideal for a heavyweight wrestler who is focused on power and strength wrestling.
Expand to see more
Unisole
The outer sole is a 360 degree stitch down sole that offers enhanced traction and great foot and ground contact. It is made of patterned rubber that contributes to provide excellent grip.

Upper Part
The upper part is constructed with a heel-to-toe Ultra suede fabric that offers optimum comfort and provides a better fit. This fabric also makes it easier for the shoe to be broken in and provides excellent flexibility.

Cost and Value
This shoe retails for just above 100 dollars. It is the most expensive option on this list. Nonetheless, it is quite ideal for wrestlers that are looking for extra flexibility and momentum on the mat.
Pros

Has unisole that offers plush feeling and enhances the fit.

Enhanced grip and traction.

Easy to break in

Rounded toe box that enhances comfort

Easy to clean

Cons

Expensive

Less durable  

How to Choose the Best Shoes for Wrestling

There are many companies that offer wrestling shoes. However, Asics and Adidas are predominant on this list because they have been on the market for manufacturing wrestling shoes longer than all the other manufacturers. As such, they understand the volatility and evolution of the sport that is encompassed in a variety of needs. They have tried to satisfy these needs by offering revolutionary, all-encompassing wrestling shoes that are quite affordable and contemporary. Because of the availability of numerous options for wrestlers, this list is based on shoes that can offer a majority of important features that can simplify wrestling and give you an edge on the mat, all in one shoe.

Best Wrestling Shoes -Two freestyle wrestlers in red and blue wrestling uniform isolated on black background

The shoes on this list are options for all types of wrestlers regardless of their level. There are both expensive options and inexpensive options to choose from. Many wrestlers buy their shoes based on their personal preferences and these shoes cater to a wide variety of preferences and features that are common in wrestling shoes. Before you make a decision on which shoe to buy, you should consider a number of factors that are all discussed above.  Additionally, you should ensure that you make the right decision because this can determine if you end up with a nasty foot injury and infection or if you win your match.

 

Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Wrestling Shoes

 

Traction

Best Wrestling Shoes -bottom outsole unisole.jpg

If you don’t have adequate traction in your wrestling shoes, your performance on the mat will suffer. Your footwear should really grip the ground when you’re taking a strong stance to take your opponent down, otherwise you’ll be slipping to the ground and giving your opponent an advantage. Certain types of soles in shoes can achieve this for you depending on your preferred wrestling style. If you mainly rely on power and strength to take your opponent down, a single sole wrestling shoe is your best bet. If you’re a wrestler who tends to utilize quick movements to get your opponent down, a split sole will be more beneficial in helping you make those moves.

Comfortable Fit

Best Wrestling Shoes -comfortable fit

When you’re lifting someone up off of their feet you’re putting a lot of your weight and some of the other person’s weight on your feet as well. With that kind of consistent stress, it’s important to have wrestling shoes that are a comfortable fit on you to ease that stress your feet will feel. Design can play a role in that, and you should notice how the uppers of the shoes you’re looking at are constructed. See if it’s made with soft material like suede or synthetic that can make for a very comfortable fit on your feet. Pay attention also if the sides are flexible, which can also make things easier inside of the shoe on your feet.

Ankle Support

Best-Wrestling-Shoes-ankle-support

In addition to your feet dealing with a lot of stress during a wrestling match, your ankles can bear the brunt of physical work in helping you take down your opponent. So it’s very valuable to have a wrestling shoe that gives you good support in that area. One feature that will help you with that is a shoe with high ankle length to it. It’ll wrap nicely around when you tie your shoe and it’ll help keep your ankles stable in your moves. Another way you can get this in your wrestling shoe is finding a pair that has velcro ankle straps. They’ll ensure a tight fit that’ll make your ankles feel secure in them.

Breathability

Best Wrestling Shoes -mesh

With a sport as physical as wrestling, you’re about to deal with a lot of sweatiness in your feet real quick. You want to keep your feet sweating as little as possible so your shoe doesn’t start to feel heavier. So wrestling footwear that keeps your feet cool is critical. Certain types of designs are great for giving you that. Find a wrestling shoe that has an upper mesh which allows for airflow into your shoe. It can also be helpful to see if the upper is made with nylon fabric, which gives more breathability.

Lightweight

You’re going to be carrying enough weight just trying to pick your opponent up, so you don’t need more of that to bear in your wrestling shoe. Fortunately, all brands of wrestling shoes are trying to be lightweight knowing this important advantage. Obviously looking at the ounces first will be a helpful tool for finding this criteria. It’s also important to see if the material is synthetic, which is lightweight material. Thin soles are also a great indicator that the wrestling footwear you’re looking at is lightweight.

 

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can wrestling shoes be worn as everyday shoes?

A: It’s best to just use these as wrestling shoes since they don’t necessarily provide the same arch support as a regular walking shoe. You’ll also wear out the soles faster causing you to need to buy new ones sooner than you desire.

Q: Can wrestling shoes be used for other athletic activities?

A: Wrestling shoes are quite similar to boxing shoes, so that would be one athletic activity you could perhaps use your wrestling shoes. Some have used their shoes for weightlifting as well.

Q: How do I find the right size?

A: It depends on which brand you’re buying a wrestling shoe from. First thing you have to do is to know your gym shoe size. After that, each brand either makes the shoes higher, lower, or true to size in comparison to your gym shoe size. It’s said that Adidas are typically true to size or a half size smaller, ASICS wrestling shoes are a half size smaller, and Nike’s are usually a full size smaller.

Q: How do I clean my wrestling shoes?

A: You should use a cloth with warm water to clean your wrestling shoes. Do not use any soap as it may damage the shoe and also be gentle rubbing the cloth on the shoe. Afterwards you can let them dry on their own. We have a full guide on how to clean shoes properly.

Q: Do I need to get different shoes for a female wrestler?

A: No. All wrestling shoes are made and sold the same. You just need to find the right size and pick out whatever color you like.

Q: Do I need multiple pairs of wrestling shoes?

A: It’s suggested if you’re just a beginner starting out, one pair is fine. If you start wrestling at a more advanced level, get one for practicing, and one for actual competition.