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Can You Wear Wrestling Shoes for Boxing?

can you wear wrestling shoes for boxing

Wrestling shoes and boxing shoes have many similarities and comparatively fewer differences. However, these differences are not subtle and can make all the difference. Read below to find out all about the footwear options for all your training needs!

can you wear wrestling shoes for boxing

The Basics: Design and Purpose

Boxing shoes are specifically designed to provide adequate support to your ankles and to prevent them from rolling which is one of the worst things that can happen during a boxing match. To counter this, boxing shoes sit higher than regular shoes.

They are also designed to maintain balance in forward and backward movement and therefore do not have as much grip. Boxing requires haste footwork, so boxing shoes are incredibly lightweight to ensure quick footwork and also have a snug fit.

Boxing shoes tend to have thin soles that are sometimes flexible and other times rigid. Some models also come with an ankle strap for more support.

Wrestling shoes are also designed with wrestling and grappling in mind, they are designed to feel like you are barefoot but with more support and grip. As opposed to boxing shoes with a grip only for forward and backward movements, wrestling shoes have a grip for movement in all directions.

These shoes are also lightweight, extremely flexible, and made from highly durable and breathable materials. They are also much tighter than boxing shoes and have soles on the sides of the shoes designed to help you push from your toes and sides while upright and on the mats.

The main purpose of wrestling shoes is to give you more grip and balance without limiting flexibility in any direction. As for boxing shoes, their main job is to prevent your ankles from rolling thus preventing you from falling. Both wrestling and boxing shoes serve their purpose!

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Boxing Shoes vs. Wrestling Shoes: What’s The Difference?

Between boxing shoes and wrestling shoes, there are a few key differences to consider. First of all, the sole of boxing shoes tends to be thinner and more flexible compared to wrestling shoes. This allows boxers to have better footwork and swifter movements in the ring during training and matches.

On the contrary, wrestling shoes have thicker and more rigid soles to provide stability and grip on the mat. Another major difference is the ankle support.

Boxing shoes typically have a low-top design, providing freedom of movement for the ankles. Wrestling shoes are designed specifically to give ample support to your ankles and prevent injuries during intense grappling. Additionally, the materials used in both types of shoes differ.

Boxing shoes are usually made of lightweight and breathable materials to keep the feet cool during intense sparring and boxing matches, while wrestling shoes are built with durability and grip in mind.

Both wrestling shoes and boxing shoes have their major and minor differences that are versatile for their own respective combat sports. You should choose the shoe that matches your training needs and sports requirements.

Can you wear wrestling shoes for boxing?

While you can wear wrestling shoes for boxing, it’s not the most recommended choice. This is because of the differences in the types of shoes meant for wrestling and boxing. Wrestling shoes are designed specifically for the unique demands, needs, and requirements of wrestling.

This is thanks to features like high grip, a thicker sole for stability on the mat, and a higher-top design for necessary support for your ankles. This higher amount of grip can limit subtle and quick footwork in boxing.

In contrast, boxing shoes are specifically tailored to the needs of boxing, with a thinner and more flexible sole for quick footwork and a low-top design for freedom of movement in the ankles. Wearing wrestling shoes for boxing may not provide the same level of comfort, agility, and support that boxing shoes offer. The reduced ankle support in wrestling shoes can make you prone to ankle-rolling boxing.

So, if you’re serious about boxing, it’s not recommended to use the wrong type of shoes, instead, invest in a pair of proper boxing shoes to optimize your performance and reduce the risk of injury. However, if you do not intend to pursue boxing as a pro, and just prefer to train for fun, wrestling shoes will get the job done if they are all you have. If you do use boxing shoes, you will feel all the difference too!

can you wear wrestling shoes for boxing

Importance of Choosing the Right Footwear for Combat Sports

Choosing the right footwear for combat sports holds great importance for several reasons. Firstly the right footwear can greatly enhance your performance and overall experience in the sport as they are tailor-made and designed to cater to the needs of that specific sport.

Whether it’s boxing, wrestling, or any other combat sport like Muay Thai, having the respective footwear can provide you with the necessary support, stability, breathability, and grip to execute your techniques effectively and make all the difference.

Different combat sports have specific footwear requirements, such as the flexibility and ankle support needed for boxing or the traction and durability required for wrestling. Wearing the wrong type of shoes can lead to discomfort, lack of mobility, and even an increased risk of injury.

Additionally, proper footwear can also help maintain the hygiene and cleanliness of the training environment by preventing the spread of bacteria and germs. So, taking the time to choose the right footwear for your combat sport is essential for your performance, safety, and overall enjoyment of the sport.

What’s the Difference Between Boxing and Wrestling Shoes?

There are multiple differences between boxing shoes and wrestling shoes, these differences are what make each of these shoes better for their respective combat sports.

It is always recommended to use the right gear for the sport you are interested in pursuing. This will ensure you get the best experience and the most out of your training sessions.

Both sports are technically and physically different with a whole plethora of different rules and regulations, which is why the right pair of footwear is important.

wrestling shoe

Wrestling Shoes

Sole Design

Wrestling shoe soles are thin and flexible, aimed to mimic the feeling of training bare feet but providing more grip and agility on the mat. Special patterns and grooves enhance traction and prevent slipping on the mats. Wrestling shoes provide better grip in movements in every direction by having round and curved sides on the entirety of the shoe.

Ankle Support

Wrestling shoes provide your ankles with ample support to keep them stable and safe but have a lower cut compared to boxing shoes. This is because in wrestling, you are mostly on the ground and your ankles and feet hold great importance in gaining control over your opponent. Having a low-cut shoe ensures the range of motion of your ankles is not restricted at all.


Made of lightweight and breathable material to ensure energy-efficient and quick movements in the lower body.


Wrestling shoes are made with highly durable materials, as they are abused more by being constantly pushed and dragged against the mats. They are mostly made of synthetic materials with mesh uppers and super flexible rubber soles. Higher-end wrestling shoes are sometimes made of suede for added durability.

Closure System

Wrestling shoes usually have a velcro strap at the top for closure and laces to tight as per the user’s need. The closure system is very secure and ensures a tight fit!


The main purpose of wrestling shoes is to ensure ankle mobility without any sort of movement being restricted. They also provide the maximum grip in all directions needed for you to push and pull your opponent whenever and wherever needed.

wrestling shoe or boxing shoe

Boxing Shoes

Sole Design

The sole design on boxing shoes is quite different, as boxing as a sport requires fast footwork and precise movements, so grip is not as important, the sole on the shoe is usually thicker and smoother or has a little texture to provide enough grip. The grip is light enough such that subtle and quick footwork is not compromised. The sole design also gives you a wider toe box to further ensure stability when standing upright.

Ankle Support

Boxing shoes are higher cut than wrestling shoes, this is because, in boxing, ankle stability is key to staying upright. The worst thing that can happen to you in boxing is for your ankle to roll, with lower-cut shoes you are much more prone to this. Boxing shoes also often come with an ankle strap to add to the stability and rigidness.


Boxing shoes are made from extremely lightweight material to allow for lightning-fast footwork. The negligible weight of the thin sole of these shoes allows for subtle sliding movements as well.


Boxing shoes are also mostly made with synthetic materials and more expensive options are made from real leather. They also feature mesh uppers and rubber soles that are more rigid to increase stability which is very important in boxing.

Closure System

Traditional boxing shoes come with laces to the top of the boxing shoe, and sometimes an ankle strap as well. This ensures a snug and secure fit throughout your foot, especially at your ankles.


The main purpose of boxing gloves is to provide just the necessary grip needed for the sport alongside unmatched ankle stability and be lightweight enough for quick footwork and boxing movements.

Final Thoughts

Overall boxing and wrestling shoes have their many similarities and few but major differences. These aspects make both a good pair of footwear for their respective sports.

Wrestling shoes can be used for boxing however the increased grip and lower ankle stability can be a potential deal breaker for boxing enthusiasts. Therefore it is recommended you use what is intended for each sport to ensure optimal performance. If you buy boxing shoes, you will definitely feel the difference!

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