Contrary to conventional wisdom, boxers are not just great with their hands. In order to make sure that they don’t end up laying on their backs, a good boxer must be great with both their hands AND feet. This means that footwear becomes a central element to the success of a boxer. Without the correct shoes, they will end up in a world of hurt. Whether it’s the tippy top tier of the profession or you are just getting your feet wet, you need to have a good pair of shoes that will help you go the distance. Today, our buying guide is going to be all about boxing shoes. We’ll then be ranking the most popular pairs out there on the market so that you can get a grasp on what you need to make you the best possible boxer that you can be. Ding ding ding! Let’s go!
Top Boxing Shoes Comparison Chart
|Name||Style||Material||Price||Where to Buy?|
|Otomix Men’s Stingray Escape Shoes||Mid Top||Suede||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Ringside Diablo Boxing Shoes||Mid Top||Nylon Mesh||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Reebok Men’s Boot Boxing Shoes||High Top||Leather & Textile||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Adidas Men’s Combat Speed .5||Mid Top||Mesh||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Venum Elite Boxing Shoes||High Top||Glossy PU Patent, PU Flex, Mesh Honeycomb||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Everlast New Elite High Top Boxing Shoes||High Top||Mesh||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Adidas Speedtex 16.1 Men’s Adult Boxing Trainer||Low Top||Mesh||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
Boxing Shoes Buying Guide
If you have ever tried to play a sport without the proper footwear you’ll know just how hard it could be. Imagine playing football with basketball shoes. Even playing a sport or doing an activity with old, worn out shoes that were intended for it brings consequences. That’s the case with boxing, too. If you want to be the best that you can be, you will need good, reliable shoes. You performance in the ring really does count on how well your shoes perform. They can be the difference maker between you being just ‘OK’ and good and can help you jump from good to great. Their unique characteristics make them the ideal shoes to help you navigate turbulent waters, so be wise and equip yourself wisely with a good pair of shoes. It could be your first or just the next pair, but regardless you will need a steady pair to keep you going.
Feet Not Hands
Ever watched Floyd Mayweather box? Love him or hate him, it’s a work of art. His technique is simply flat out amazing. It’s not all about the hands, which are also lightning quick but more about his feet. The footwork of a boxer is much more important than his hands. Your hands can be as strong and as powerful as you like, but without being in the right positions, you’ll never be able to land a blow to your opponent. On top of that, not being able to move will set you up for being knocked out. Nobody wants that to happen, either. This is why shoes are going to be so essential for you and why you need to invest in a good, solid pair of them to make you as good as you can be.
Response time- or more simply put ‘responsiveness’- is a key part of boxing shoes. A good pair of boxing shoes will be very responsive, allowing you to throw punches very quickly because they respond well to you. This term can be a bit confusing to some people, but it’s all about allowing you to pivot well. A shoe that does not let you pivot is a shoe that is setting you up for failure. So, what you are basically looking for is a shoe that has just enough traction to it without going overboard. If you choose a pair that has too much grip to them, you will be stuck in the mat. This also, though, should not be taken too far to the extreme. If you find that your shoes don’t grip at all, you will also be in trouble. This could set you up for slips, which could end up contributing to your esteemed opponent knocking you out or onto the canvas with one stiff shot, basically losing you the match simply because of your shoes. All boxers are different, so some shoes will suit you better than others. For all of these reasons, general athletic shoes- like so-called ‘tennis’ shoes or running shoes- are not going to be great for the job of getting in the ring. Make sure you test out the responsiveness of your shoes straight away when you get them, since it’s just so vital to you, your health, and your success in the ring.
Thickness of the Sole
Like responsiveness, this issue isn’t going to be one that is easily understood right off the bat for non-boxers. Yet it’s still a very big deal because it directly impacts the way you are able to fight. A pair of shoes that have very thick soles to them are going to feel much differently than a pair of shoes that are very thin. Today, we are going through a revolution where shoes are getting more minimal in nature. They are being made lighter and making us faster, all the while leaving protection behind a little. This is just a byproduct of the trend. To get the right amount of thickness for you, you just will have to experiment and find what you like.
A shoe that has a lot of thickness to it is going to make you more protected. Not only in the event that you get stepped but also not allowing you to roll an ankle as much. They make you more stable and locked in, and they will make you taller, too, by a little bit. Be careful not to go too far, though, since this thickness will make you feel too far away from the canvas and will have an adverse affect.
A thin sole is going to be better for boxers that want to feel like they are gripping the mat with their bare feet. This type is going to be more about grip and a lot less about protection. A lot of boxers want to have as little on their feet as they can, particularly smaller fighters, in order to have a better semblance of balance to their game. The downside to having a thin sole is that your feet can take a beating since there is a lot less padding to them.
If you want to favor being able to fly around the ring, then a light sole is going to be the way to go. This, like going with actual bare feet, is preferred by a lot of boxers but isn’t always the best when it comes to reducing stress on the heel, though, so keep this in mind. If you are a bigger fighter that is going to be throwing and landing haymakers, you might want to go with something thicker as it will ratchet up the protection just that extra bit more for you.
What About Those Ankles?
Just like your feet, your ankles play a key contributing role to your success in the ring. Without taking care of your ankles, depending on who you are and the situation you are in, you could find yourself on the losing end of the equation. To protect the ankles, boxing shoes are going to have a few types for you to take a look at. These types are referred to as ‘tops’ or sometimes ‘cuts.’ They refer to the positioning of the heel of your shoe. Some fighters prefer to have a lot of protection, while others like to go in with as light of a weight on them as they can find.
High tops are the traditional choice of boxers. While the top fighters in the world have always gone with a customized feel on their feet that has been designed solely for them, high tops have been the norm for decades now. They rise up high on the back of your heels, just like a basketball shoe would do. This makes them much more supportive than other ‘tops’ are, but it does come at a bit of a price. They make you sacrifice some mobility in so doing. The makeup of shoes has changed today to allow them to be much more mobile than ever before, but this is still an issue that needs to be pointed out. The other negative to high tops is that they are not great for anything but boxing and boxing training. You won’t be able to run very well in them, or do jump rope exercises or the such, either.
The low top are the new kid on the block in the world of boxing and in sports in general. The low top is starting to gain traction in all sports, even basketball, where it’s always been more important to protect the ankle that anything else. The reason that low tops are becoming so prevalent is because of their ability to make the shoe feel like there is nothing on your foot. This lightness means you can move around the ring easily with no restrictions. It also means your toes and feet are capable of moving around inside your shoes much better, too, leading to many to make this selection just based on that. Another reason they have become so big in boxing is because they also are good at letting you train in other things, like cardio, weights, jumping rope, and even running. You give up some protection, but you gain in all of those aspects.
The mid top is the splitting of hairs between the two. It seeks to blend the best of both and take away the extremes of each to give you a nice little compromise. They don’t protect as much as the high top does but they also don’t weigh as much, making you more able to move. This today is really the golden standard for not only boxing but a number of sports. It’s so widely spread today that I would go as far as calling the mid top the new high top. You just don’t see a lot of high tops offered anymore, so it’s almost like it has shifted a tremendous amount. Training is not always the easiest with this type of ‘cut,’ however. You can work on boxing and boxing adjacent exercises, but anything past that will be pretty tough to do for you because of the added bulk they have when compared to a low top.
When it comes to climbing in the ring, you want to be as light as possible. That’s why you don’t see guys fighting with lots of stuff on them. The more clothes, the more you weigh. That means you will be dragging around extra weight as the fight goes on, helping to make you tired even more. Bit by bit, you’ll be weighed down, so every single ounce you can shed is paramount to your survival in the match. This is why you will want to go with as light a shoe as you can possibly find. This will not only make you feel like you are right on the ground, but it will also make you very agile and mobile.
To get this lightweight, you should be looking toward shoes that are made out of mostly synthetics. Leather used to be the king of all shoes, but it’s been replaced. Synthetics mold to you better and are much lighter. Plus, they don’t get heavier and expand when you sweat, making them ideal for boxing.
While keeping your shoes light is important since it will reduce the workload put upon you, don’t take this to the extreme. Boxing companies are going to be duking it out over who offers the lightest shoes. If you are wanting a light shoe, just keep it within reason. Shaving off half an ounce or a couple of grams won’t make you that much better- or worse. So don’t be fooled with that sort of marketing, since the vast majority of boxing shoes are going to be very light anyway. In the old days, they were light when compared to those of other sports anyway, so you can only imagine that they have progressed since then.
This aspect is closely related to the responsiveness of the shoe, but it is not the exact same thing. It’s got to be said that you have to have some form of stability. Without that, you might as well just forget about wearing shoes entirely and go with your bare feet. But there is also fine line between stability and rigidity. Being too rigid is going to make it so that you are unable to move around freely. You need to be able to move your ankles and feet easily and efficiently. This, then, is going to be determined by all parts of the shoes. The upper, the sole, and the cut. A low top can be unable to flex, while a high top can flex a lot. It just depends on the specific pair of shoes. With that said, you can also see the opposite happen. A lot of times, a high top isn’t going to give you a lot of flexibility. This will make you feel locked in and trapped almost. Apart from size, this can be the one thing that terrifies you and make you feel downright claustrophobic. Make sure you have an ample amount of flexibility, so that you can execute all of your moves to perfection.
Training and Matches
Some of the shoes you will find out there are going to be great for training, while others are going to be preferred if you want to be your very best in matches. Others still will offer a blend of both. If you want to have something that is versatile, then think toward a low top. A lighter, smaller shoe with less protection is going to make it a whole lot easier on you as you try to train. A bigger shoe, meanwhile, will be best for going into matches alone. This is because it’s heavier and will make training just about impossible to deal with. Remember, your shoes are a training tool. If they don’t help you progress, they are doing their job. So keep this in mind as you look to make the best pick for you.
A big piece of the puzzle when it comes to any kind of shoe is how long will it last. Boxing, just like any sport, will levy a tax against the shoes over time. Every pair of shoes needs to be replaced at some time or another, but you will want to find that your shoes have gone the distance, so to speak, and provided you with good value. Materials used will be a big factor in how well they work and how long they will last. If a material is known for not lasting as long, then they will naturally not prove to be as durable. Leather, as discussed previously, used to be the go-to material for all shoes. But it’s just not very durable, especially when used a lot. As a result, synthetics have gained a foothold in the sports world. These typically last a long time. As always, you also have a big role to play in the durability of your shoes. If you wear them a ton, then you are going to see them fade away quicker than occasional wear. Boxers that wear their shoes for training and for matches will see them lose their effectiveness long before those that just use them for one or the other. Wearing them outside of the ring or training also will lessen their shelf life as well, so try to keep from doing that if at all possible. Most of this information is common sense, and it will come down to how well, or how poorly, you treat your stuff.
Style is still a very big part of any boxer’s ensemble. You can’t go to the ring without a coherent plan of attack, and you also can’t go out there without looking the part. The attire a boxer wears tells a story. Are you a flashy showman that is looking to make waves by showing off with the glitziest clothing you can? Or are you a no nonsense brawler that is all about taking care of business and getting out as soon as you can? If you’re the first of the two, you’ll want something that sticks out, like bright colors or sparkly looking features. If you’re the latter, then a single color or maybe just two classic colors, like black and white, will send the message of who you are. Always keep this in mind, too: if you look good, you feel good. If you’re down on yourself pre fight, you’re going to have more problems than if you are confident. Fighters can lose a match before it has even begun. This might seem silly, but getting something you like can be really helpful to bringing out the most from your own personal boxing ‘game.’
There is a lot more than meets the eye when it comes to boxing shoes, but this part is going to render all of the rest useless if you can’t get it right. Getting the proper size for you is the most crucial of all elements. A shoe can’t protect you if you aren’t wearing it in the right manner, so this section is going to help you learn a bit more about this aspect.
– Go check your size. It could have changed over the years, and you might need to make adjustments accordingly based off of that.
– Try to go in store to try on shoes. A lot of specialized items are harder to find in person nowadays, but if you can you should try on shoes in person. Certain brands will run larger or smaller than others, and this will give you an idea of what matches up best and how they correlate to your ‘true’ shoe size.
– When you try on shoes for the first time, make sure you do so when you are ‘warm.’ When you exercise, your blood flow will cause your feet and ankles to swell. This swelling will make you uncomfortable if you have not factored it in. A lot of people forget to do this and end up hurting once they get in deep with exercise since their shoes fit them when they were cold.
– Give yourself some room to wiggle your toes. But don’t go too far with this. If you are unable to move your toes, you will develop blisters on your feet. This will make you want to stop training and will hinder how well you will be able to do in your next fight. Shoes that have too much room also will be bad, since they will make your feet slide up and down inside of them. This can cause you to slip and fall and it will just cause you to form a strange way of walking (gait).
– Also, check for the width. If you are someone that has wide feet, you might not be able to squeeze in if the shoes run narrow. Also be aware that the answer isn’t always to go up a size. This will throw off your length by fixing your width, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. You want the whole package to be good, not just part of it.
– Check for reviews and do research if you play on buying online. We are going to point out any sizing difficulties in our reviews for you. By doing this, it will help you compare how you should order. This is absolutely necessary for you if you want to buy online and have the best fit available. A lot of wrestling shoes run small, and boxing shoes are fairly similar, so you have to keep an eye on that and make sure yours are going to fit you.
If you are unsure if you can afford a pair of boxing shoes, then you should do the smart thing and stay away from them. While it’s awesome to have the best pair out there, you can still find a great pair for less by getting bang for your buck. We’ll make sure to point out how shoes are priced on our list if it’s applicable to the situation for you. You can find all kinds of shoes in this realm. Some will be cheaper than others. That doesn’t necessarily mean they will be bad! In general, a higher price is going to yield a better product. But that doesn’t always mean durability is increased, contrary to popular opinion.
Best Boxing Shoe Reviews
Otomix Men’s Stingray Escape Shoes
Versatility. That’s the word of the day as it relates to these shoes. While they are not specifically for boxing, they are great for a variety of combat sports, as well as weight training, and martial arts too. The reason they make such a good shoe for both sparring, fighting, and training is because of their lightweight nature. They use suede on top cut down on the weight and have an awesome compound on the bottom for traction. Just the right amount to allow you to jab your opponent without getting stuck to the canvas. Thanks to having the tongue rise well above the heel, you are able to get a great deal of ankle support without being restricted in your movements, giving you an unlimited ability to punch and dodge the punches of your opponent. On top of all of that, they have several very cool colors to pick from, ranging from the outlandish to the unstated yet classy. They are on the higher end of the price spectrum, but this company is well known for their shoes in this niche, and they are well worth taking a look at if you need versatility.
- Great for multiple purposes
- Supportive but not restrictive
- Plethora of colors
- Tad bit pricey
Ringside Diablo Boxing Shoes
For a more boxing specific shoe, we have the Diablo from Ringside, another fine company that brings excellent shoes to the market. These shoes use a rubber sole that will ensure you don’t slip but is still slick enough to allow you to be able to move around freely. With lots of Nylon used along with mesh, this shoe is going to be breathable enough to give you the ventilation that you need, something the prior pair isn’t as readily available to do. The cut of the ankle has to be called a mid top- despite what they claim it to be- but it still will allow you to move easily while giving your ankle the extra support it would need over a totally low top shoe. The price is also something worth shouting about as they are pretty affordable to you compared to most of the others on the list. Some people don’t find them to provide as much support to their ankles as they need, but the majority of people don’t find that to be the case. Still yet, it is worth talking about. They also have some really obnoxious colors, good enough to please all of the main attractions!
- Lots of vents
- Great price
- Over the top colors
- Some claim a lack of ankle support
Reebok Men’s Boot Boxing Shoes
If ankle support is the chief feature you need, then this is a viable contender for you to go with. These shoes from Reebok have a high top look that will be awesome in the ring in regards to both looks and function. With that said, that also is going to be a detraction if you want something that you also can train in. As well as having that ankle protection, they have a strap that runs across the midfoot to give you further support and lock you in. This is the sort of shoe you want if you are a heavyweight in need of big time reinforcement or if you have had some injuries in the past. They do use the old traditional leather a little bit, so they will be slightly heavier. It doesn’t hold them back much, though, with so many supporters of them out there. The main problem with them appears to be the sole of the shoes, which seems to have durability issues relating to them coming loose.
- Lots of ankle support
- Midfoot strap locks you in
- Great for bigger boxers
- Soles aren’t the most durable
Adidas Men’s Combat Speed .5
For something more breathable and less restrictive of the ankles, look no further than the Combat Speed .5 from Adidas. As always, Adidas brings sleek, cool, and classy designs to the table with a multitude of styles to pick from. These are one of the most breathable pairs of shoes out there and are in a mid top design, so it would be possible to do both training and boxing in them. Their breathable nature means that you can last a lot longer than in others. The top of the foot is secured in place by a strap as well, helping to lock you in and secure your shoelaces, too, keeping you from having to bother with them constantly. The midsole uses EVA inside, which is going to make them comfy and cushy, all while helping to reduce the overall weight of the entire package. Depending on the price and color, you can either get a great deal or have to pay quite a bit, so it’s a toss up. The Velcro strap is a little short according to some and can be a little cumbersome for non-boxing activity.
- Style is never a worry
- Extremely breathable
- Light and freeing
- Best just for boxing
- Strap is short
Venum Elite Boxing Shoes
First off, these shoes just look brilliant. They have a color and a theme to them that just stand out and make you want to wear them. They look menacing, in a word. Apart from that, these shoes are among the most comfortable boxing shoes you’ll find thanks to the insole working to mold right to your own foot. This is also very much a high top, so you will be getting plenty of ankle support provided to you. It will lack a little when you try to do other exercises, but that is just the way it goes. The soles are great, gripping at just the right amount and giving you a stable base to stand upon. They are also quite durable, too, leading you to be happy with them for quite a long time. They do, admittedly, run larger and you will have to order a half size up to have the best fit.
- Devastatingly good looks
- Comfort is supreme
- Plenty of ankle support
- Not for training
- Runs larger than normal
Everlast New Elite High Top Boxing Shoes
This is mid top that makes the list comes from Everlast, a company well known by boxers all over. With that said, this mid top has been engineered to make it possible to work out in the gym and in the ring, making it lighter and more freeing than nearly all mid and high tops out there. One of their calling cards is that they developed them in conjunction with Michelin to make them grippy, durable, and flexible all at the same time. It also makes your movements from side to side much more efficient than ever before. The use of mesh is prevalent in them, while the shoelaces are secured by a strap to make sure you don’t have to worry about having any lack of support or having to tie your shoes. One of the frustrating things about them is that they are only available in full sizes, so you won’t be able to tweak with half sizes. They also are a little bit too understated, at least for my tastes, so there is that, too.
- Lateral movements improved
- Flexible and durable thanks to Michelin help
- Gym and in ring work doable
- A little plain
- No half sizes
Adidas Speedtex 16.1 Men’s Adult Boxing Trainer
Rounding out the list is a low top from Adidas that would be absolutely ideal for just training alone or if you want immense speed while in the ring. These shoes just look great, sticking out as they are white and gold. They’ve got a very breathable upper, using mesh all over to give your feet the chance to air out. The outsole has been laced with their ‘Adiwear’ material, which increases their durability and also makes them grippy and capable of being stable no matter which direction you are headed in. These shoes are not recommended for all fighters, but if you are smaller, more agile, or just want a good training shoe for the gym, you can’t go wrong with them. Despite how they might appear, they are still quite sturdy, so don’t just assume they are too light for serious work!
- Great for training
- Durable and grippy sole
- Outstanding looks
- Not for everyone in the ring
Conclusion And Final Boxing Shoes Recommendations
Whether you are a flyweight looking to do his best to develop the necessary skills to move up the ranks or a heavyweight that is seeking to knock his foe out in record time, you’ll have one thing in common: the need for superb footwork. With footwork, you will need to have great shoes beneath you. Without the right shoes, you’ll be unable to balance, unable to strike effectively, and will most likely never be the boxer that you could be. There are a lot of differences in boxing shoes than what you might see in other sports, but at the end of the day, it’s all about giving you an edge over the opposition. After our buying guide today, you’ll be much more confident in picking what is best for you, leading to more confidence in the ring!