Wrestling Shoes: What To Know Before You Buy

Wrestling Shoes: What To Know Before You Buy

A guide on how to purchase the right wrestling shoe for you.

Nov 24, 2023 by JD Rader

Stepping onto the mat is easy but achieving legendary status on the mat – that’s a different story and certainly requires much more effort. This begins with practicing the fundamentals, honing your skills, and putting in the work. It is also about choosing the right gear, including the correct footwear. The right pair of wrestling shoes are especially important for making an impact on the mat.

What to Look for When Shopping for Wrestling Shoes

In addition to adding fashion and flair to your game, wrestling shoes give a wrestler the support, comfort, and traction they need to take down their competition.

Traction – Wrestlers are constantly cutting and gripping on the mat with their would feet. If not for proper traction, they would slip and slide around on the mat and risk potential injury.

Support – Wrestlers train hard and put their shoes through a lot. Your shoe should be able to be put through the wringer and come out the other side to help you train the next day.

Comfort - Your muscles are already likely going to be sore from training. Your feet shouldn’t have to be in pain as well. Wrestling with pain caused by uncomfortable shoes could increase the chances of chronic pain or long-term injuries.

Companies That Make Wrestling Shoes

While there are more companies that currently and/or used to make wrestling shoes, the five main companies that dominate the market are:






Click on the name of a company to open up their current shoe options. One is not necessarily better than the other. It’s all about finding the right shoe for you.

Types Of Wrestling Shoes: Split Soul vs Unisole

The main category to separate wrestling shoes is by their sole. Split sole wrestling shoes have two distinct pieces of traction on the bottom - one on the heel and one at the front. Unisole wrestling shoes have one continuous sole heel-to-toe. While not always the case, unisoles are considered to provide greater grip while the split sole is generally more flexible. It is best for you to try for yourself to see which you prefer.

Split Sole


How Should A Wrestling Shoe Fit?

With how much quick movement and cutting is involved in wrestling, it is recommended to have a snug fit for your shoe. Not too snug that your feet are hurting, but not too loose that your feet are moving around in your shoe. Too much either way, big or small, can lead to an increased risk of injury.

It’s important to remember brand-size recommendations when buying wrestling shoes. For example, ASICS and adidas recommend trying on a shoe one-half size larger than your street shoe while Nike recommends going a full size larger.

Do Girls Need Special Wrestling Shoes?

While girls and women’s singlets differ from men’s, the only way in which “girl’s” shoes differ is “boy’s” is by color. You may be able to find some shoes that are traditionally feminine in color, but there’s no functional difference between those and shoes featuring traditionally male color schemes. Both genders are free to purchase whichever pair of shoes they desire!

Watch Jacob Kasper talk about his favorite wrestling shoes from his collection which is valued at $10,000.


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