Wrestling shoes are unlike any other shoe on the market today. Though they somewhat resemble basketball shoes, they are in their own class. Wrestling shoes are designed specifically so that the wearer has greater flexibility and stabilization while they're on the mat. More specifically, wrestling shoes are meant to replicate the feeling of a wearer being barefoot, while also providing superior protection for the toenails and toes.
As wrestlers are going to be up close to each other, they need to be able to move around each other with confidence, knowing that they can trust their shoes to give them the grip and versatility they need to get the edge on their opponent. Whether you're buying junior wrestling shoes for a child or looking for a pair for yourself, you'll need to know some of the main characteristics of a good quality wrestling shoe.
How Should Wrestling Shoes Fit? Do Wrestling Shoes Run Small?
As you're comparing wrestling shoes for yourself or your child, finding one with the right fit is crucial for success on the mat. Unlike a running shoe or footwear that you'd wear in your daily life, a wrestling shoe needs to have a tight and snug fit throughout the whole foot. For a comparison, you want the shoe to fit like a glove would on your hand.
To make sure that your wrestling shoe fits on your foot and ankle properly, you can try to put your fingers between your ankle and shoe. If your fingers can fit, you likely need to go down a size to get a tighter pair. Another good rule of thumb is to start with a shoe that's around one size to a half of one size smaller than your running shoe size.
The reason to have a tighter wrestling shoe comes down to its ability to provide greater stability and balance. A loose shoe can be the determining factor in a close match. When you're on the mat, you'll need to move in sharp, precise movements, and a tighter shoe gives you those qualities.
If your shoe's loose, your movements can be disrupted, throwing off your balance and causing you to lose your rhythm in the match. Though the shoe might feel uncomfortable at first, it will stretch with time and give you a competitive edge.
Proper Ankle Support
Along with selecting wrestling shoes that fit snugly, you'll also need to get a pair that has a significant amount of ankle support. When a wrestler spars, they place a great deal of force on their ankles. Due to this force, a wrestling shoe should have a high-top style that can withstand the pressure and weight that gets placed on your ankles during a match, especially when you change directions.
Do You Need Multiple Pairs of Wrestling Shoes?
If you have a child who's just beginning wrestling, they'll only need to have one pair of shoes, as they'll likely be growing out of them year after year. Once someone gets to more advanced levels of the sport, they'll need to start keeping two pairs of wrestling shoes. At a higher level, a wrestler should have one pair for practice and another for competition. The two pairs of shoes ensure that a wrestler has the highest level of traction when they face an opponent.
How to Put on and Tie Wrestling Shoes
To tie your wrestling shoes, start by lacing them up like you would with any other shoe. Beginning at the bottom, loop the laces from one side to the other, going through each hole. Then work your way up, looping the strings up and over, then back across.
You'll start lacing the shoes differently when you get to the last pair of holes at the top of the shoes. Rather than completing the pattern by crossing the laces and pulling them through the final holes, take the string and place it through the hole that's on the same side of the lace. Leave a little bit of slack on the laces so that you have two loops on either side that resemble bunny ears.
Next, you'll cross the remaining bit of the shoelaces, pulling them through the hoops you've left on the side. To complete the lacing process, you'll start by loosening the lower laces slightly, and then tighten the shoes by pulling each end of the shoelace from right to left. After tightening it, you'll tie the shoelaces in a bow, double-knotting them. At this point, your shoes will be ready to take out on the mat.
Types of Wrestling Shoes
Wrestling shoes can be split up into two main types: split sole wrestling shoes and non-split sole— sometimes referred to as unisole—wrestling shoes. Both both types of wrestling shoes are widely worn, coming with their own advantages and disadvantages.
What's the Difference Between a Split Sole and Non-Split Sole?
As you decide on a wrestling shoe, it's a good idea to know the difference between split sole and non-split sole wrestling shoes. The following information will help you tell the types of shoes apart:
Split Sole Wrestling Shoes
A pair of split sole wrestling shoes feature soles that have been cut in half. In appearance, the sole resembles the standard rubber sole of any other shoe. The primary difference will be that the manufacturer will separate the sole section into a front and back piece.
The main benefit of this type of shoe is that it gives wearers the feeling of being barefoot while still providing superior protection. The split sole allows for greater flexibility for the wearer. Wrestlers often choose this type of shoe for its lightweight design, which lets the wrestler move faster in a match. If an opponent is wearing a non-split shoe, you'll have an advantage in quickness if you're wearing a split sole shoe.
Non-Split Sole Wrestling Shoes
Like the name suggests, non-split soles wrestling shoes do not have a split in their sole. Instead, the sole is made of a single piece of rubber that stretches the entire underside of the shoe.
Though a non-split sole shoe will not have as much flexibility as a split sole shoe, they are still lightweight and offer more flexibility than a standard shoe. Often, wrestlers on a budget will pick these types of wrestling shoes, as they tend to hold up longer than split sole shoes. The added durability is a welcome feature for anyone who doesn't want to have to replace their shoes relatively regularly.
What Are Some Good Wrestling Shoes?
Asics and adidas wrestling shoes are some of the best wrestling shoes on the market today. Both brands are offering the top wrestling shoes for 2020. With either brand, you can be confident that they'll back you up on the mat, giving you an edge over the competition.
Asics Wrestling Shoes
Asics is one of the top brands on the market for wrestling shoes. There are a variety of Asics wrestling shoes available today, and at SVSports, we only carry the best. Of all our selection of Asics shoes, we've compiled a list of five of our top shoes below:
1. Matflex 5 GS Youth Wrestling Shoe
If you're looking for youth or high school wrestling shoes, the Matflex 5 GS Youth Wrestling Shoe is an excellent choice, as they give wearers high-level quality at an entry-level price. It's an all-around wrestling shoe that provides the wearer with the needed support and comfort to perform well. The shoe features a gum rubber outsole that offers users traction and breathability.
2. Boys Matflex 6 Wrestling Shoes
When it comes to youth Asics wrestling shoes, Boys Matflex 6 Wrestlings Shoes are ideal for young enthusiasts who are first getting into the sport. The shoe's padded collar and porous mesh insole will keep your child safe and comfortable. Coming in three different styles, you're sure to find a version that your child will feel confident in.
3. Men's Aggressor 4 Wrestling Shoes
For those searching for high school or college wrestling shoes, the Men's Aggressor 4 Wrestling Shoes are a great fit. These shoes come with a durable sole and solid grip that will help you get the edge on your opponent on the mat. The ASICS technology employed by the Aggressor 4 ensures that you have the ankle support and breathability needed in a competitive match.
4. Men's Dan Gable Evo Wrestling Shoes
Men's Dan Gable Evo Wrestling Shoes are named after the wrestler who ruled the sport for years. The shoes live up to their namesake, as they have several features that take the wearer to the next level. For example, they utilize a mono-sock technology fit system that features an internal elastic sleeve, giving you superior flexibility and a glove-like fit. Additionally, the Octipod sole provides significant traction for improved grip.
5. Men's Snapdown 2 Wrestling Shoes
If you want to hit the mat feeling your best, a solid option is the Men's Snapdown 2 Wrestling Shoes. These shoes feature a full-length outsole that incorporates Serradial Traction Pods to gain increased grip and flexibility. Additionally, the upper section is constructed with synthetic suede and a single-layer mesh. All these features add up to a shoe that's lightweight, highly attractive and versatile.
adidas Wrestling Shoes
Whatever your needs, adidas wrestling shoes deliver. As a proud carrier of one of the best types of wrestling shoes on the market, SVSsports stocks a vast selection of adult and youth adidas wrestling shoes for our customers. Below you can find some of the top options available today:
1. Kids' HVC 2 Wrestling Shoes
Kids' HVC 2 Wrestling Shoes are perfect for children looking to get involved with the sport. adidas takes pride in crafting these youth wrestling shoes with top-quality material so that beginners start their experience with the sport on the right foot. They're constructed with a mesh upper, synthetic leather and synthetic suede overlays. These materials maintain a high-quality look while also providing excellent breathability. The shoes also feature an elastic ankle strap to give the wearer a lockdown fit.
2. Men's Flying Impact Wrestling Shoes
For stylish men's wrestling shoes, there's no better option than Men's Flying Impact Wrestling Shoes. In addition to their visual appeal, the shoes come with a flexible foil on the forefoot to give the wearer superior grip and flexibility. The design incorporates a rounded suede midsole edge that helps the shoe maintain contact with the mat, providing a sturdy grip, even in a long competition.
3. Men's Varner Wrestling Shoes
Men's Varner Wrestling Shoes offer peak traction. The shoes do this by incorporating medial and lateral drive zones on both the heel and forefoot, along with featuring a rubber outsole to help you gain traction in any direction. They also incorporate a knitted mesh upper to help your feet stay cool while you're on the mat, giving you greater comfort and letting you stay focused on besting your opponent.
4. Men's Adizero Varner
The Men's Adizero Varner is Jake Varner's signature wrestling shoe, offering professional-level shoe performance to wearers. The shoe incorporates a revolutionary outsole design that boosts the speed and grip of the shoe. Additionally, the shoe is extraordinarily lightweight and features an EVA wedge.
5. Men's Mat Hog 2.0 Wrestling Shoes
If you need superior control over your stance, you should go with the Men's Mat Hog 2.0 Wrestling Shoes. They incorporate a tough outsole that grips the mat, keeping the wearer stabilized throughout a match. Along with gripping the mat, the shoes include synthetic leather and suede overlays that give the wearer greater support for dynamic movement. The mesh upper is exceptionally flexible while also keeping your feet cool and comfortable.
Find Your Perfect Wrestling Shoes at Schuylkill Valley Sports
In addition to the shoes listed above, Schuylkill Valley Sports has an even wider selection of wrestling shoes on our website and in-store. If you're still wondering where to buy wrestling shoes, you should start by browsing the selection of wrestling shoes on our website on our website to find a pair that matches your style and needs.
For those who like to shop in person, you can find the nearest Schuylkill Valley Sports location here. Contact us today with any questions about our selection or advice on the best wrestling shoes for you.