Since we’re getting set to launch our first wrestling specific class in about 2 weeks I thought for today’s blog I’d do a review of wrestling shoes and which ones I feel are worth investing in.
Before you jump all over me and question my creditability let me assure you of two things:
First, I know a lot about wrestling and wrestling shoes. More then most.
Second, I collect wrestling shoes and have been for many years. I’m a bit of what you might call a “shoe snob”.
I like the good stuff and anything less gets a thumbs down.
Why would someone wear wrestling shoes you might be asking? In the sport of wrestling, shoes are required.
You’ll also catch a lot of high level MMA Fighters rocking wrestling shoes during their training.
Wrestling shoes can prevent mat burn and ankle injuries so it makes sense to use them. It’s very common in MMA to wear wrestling shoes.
Wrestling shoes are very different from a tennis or basketball show. Wrestling shoes are designed a lot differently then street shoes because they need to be worn while wrestling a match.
Have you ever tried fighting in a pair of bulky street shoes? Not easy huh.
Wrestling shoes have less overall padding and a thinner sole on the bottom.
The idea is to create a sock like feel when you’re on the mats, not a clunky heavy shoe like the ones basketball players have on.
Some wrestling shoes can be a bit thicker and beefier, that’s true. But for the most part a good wrestling shoe will be super lightweight, flexible and feel almost like nothing on your feet during takedowns.
Okay now that we’ve covered that stuff let’s move on to the brands, shoes and all that good stuff.
The wrestling show market really has only three major players in it, Asics, Adidas and Nike. They do however, make a crapton of models.
Yes there’s other brands too like Brute, Clinch and a few others but at the end of the day, the big three, Nike, Adidas and Asics rule with this market with an iron fist.
The old standby – Asics
Asics has been around the longest, I think. If not then it’s close between them and Adidas.
Asics top selling models include the Cael’s (named after Olympic champ Cael Sanderson) and the Aggressers.
Asics makes a mean shoe. People can say what they want but let me tell you them there Japanese know what they’re doing.
I’d actually have to say when it comes to overall quality of design and construction, Asics is #1.
Asics last a long time and are made super well…but with one drawback…
Asics is not a show made for the wide footed fellow.
That’s my only gripe with Asics. Awesome shoes, well made and all that but man most models are super narrow and if you’ve got fat feet like me, Asics won’t get the job done.
I’ve tried so many different models but time and time again, too skinny for me. So if you’ve got feet like me, avoid Asics.
Adidas, like Asics, has a lot of skin in the game. That means they’ve been around a while. That translates to “they know what their doing”.
My personal opinion is that Adidas has the most comfortably shoes on the market. Adidas tends to make a wider shoe in most models, which is great for me.
The quality isn’t there like with Asics, that’s the thing. Adidas will fall apart much sooner then asics.
But while you’ve got them, they’re pretty sweet. I like the Combat Speeds and the Adizero’s. Both are really nice shoes.
Yes Nike does in fact make wrestling shoes…good ones too!
Now where does Nike fall into all this? I’ll tell you what, I got a new pair of Nike Inflicts about a year ago and dude these shoes are freaking nice!
Very comfortably, a bit on the wider side, which as you know was right up my alley. I’ve gotta admit, Nike hit a home run with those Inflicts.
I would say Nike is the least known of the three kings but they stay popular year after year and from my test driving Nike got it right.
I heard Nike was getting out of the wrestling shoe business but as of right now that appears to be just an ugly rumor.
I hope Nike doesn’t bail on wrestling. My first pair of wrestling shoes were Nike’s and they were fantastic.
Who takes the cake in the wrestling shoe department?
So all this talk about wrestling shoes, now comes the big question…which is best?
Depending on who you ask people will say one brand is better then the other. Some swear by Asics, others Nike.
The most important thing is that the shoes fit you. Not them. That’s key and I can’t stress that enough.
For quality and craftsmanship, Asics by far. For comfort and I guess you could even say “style”, then Adidas.
Then the sleeper shoe, the Nike Inflicts or if you can find them, the “Freeks” combine a little style with comfort and quality.
I’ll let you make the decision. Choose wisely is my advice 🙂