While you might think you can get ‘buy’ (bad pun intended!) with without a pair of specialized shoes for boxing (such as a pair of running shoes or sneakers), boxing shoes make a world of difference. There’s a reason why boxers wear these shoes, and if you are serious about boxing, then one of the best investments you can make after getting the best pair of boxing gloves you can afford is to get a (good) pair of boxing shoes.
I’ll go as far as to say that any pair of boxing shoes (as long as they fit right) are better than NO shoes at all, and superior still to wearing running shoes, basketball shoes, or sneakers for boxing.
I’ve updated this list for 2017 so the shoes all reflect my current picks (and updated models) for what I consider the best boxing shoes worth buying, depending on your needs.
And yes, before you throw up your hands and say ‘not another bullshit review by some random guy on the internet’ let me state that I currently have three different boxing shoes and I make a point to try out new pairs every year. And for the new year, I’ve ordered two more pairs just to test out for you guys.So yes, I do use boxing shoes myself.
Let me say it’s not cheap buying multiple boxing shoes ever year to try out, but at least I can write this detailed article because of my ridiculous obsession with finding the perfect boxing shoe. So this is an article about a topic that I know quite a bit about, and it’s by far best boxing shoe buyers guide you’ll find online, without a doubt.
So yes, I do use boxing shoes myself. Let me say it’s not cheap buying multiple boxing shoes ever year to try out, but at least I can write this detailed article because of my ridiculous obsession with finding the perfect boxing shoe. So this is an article about a topic that I know quite a bit about, and it’s by far best boxing shoe buyers guide you’ll find online, without a doubt.
So yes, I do use boxing shoes myself Let me say it’s not cheap buying multiple boxing shoes ever year to try out, but at least I can write this detailed article because of my ridiculous obsession with finding the perfect boxing shoe. So this is an article about a topic that I know quite a bit about, and it’s by far best boxing shoe buyers guide you’ll find online, without a doubt.
This is a very long article — over 14,000 words! I’ve given you a table of contents below to help you navigate through, for the impatient. If you want to know why you should buy boxing shoes, what to look for, and how to select the right one, keep reading.
If you didn’t know too much about boxing shoes before, I promise you, by the time you finish this entire article — provided you haven’t run away screaming part way through — you’ll be an expert about boxing shoes…and you’ll have a pretty good idea what to look for in a pair of good boxing shoes and what style of shoe you might want to try out yourself.
If you want to skip straight to our actual detailed list of boxing shoe recommendations that I feel stand out as the best you can buy, then go here to see the list…or keep scrolling down through the general ‘about boxing shoe sections’ until you find the Best Boxing Shoe Picks.
Table of Contents
Here’s our table of contents to help you navigate this article
- Why You Should Wear Boxing Shoes
- Three Categories of Boxing Shoes
- Benefits of Boxing Shoes
- Wrestling Shoes Vs Boxing Shoes
- How to Choose the Perfect Pair of Boxing Shoes
- Main Features to Look for in Boxing Shoes
- Boxing Shoe Brand Overview – What Brands are Decent and Which are not
- The Best Shoe for Most People (for beginners & intermediate)
- The Best Premium Boxing Shoes
- The Best Budget Boxing Shoes (for the penny pinchers)
- The Best Low Top Boxing Shoes
- The Best High Top Boxing Shoe
- The Best Pro-Level Boxing Shoes (for advanced boxers & fighters)
- The best Hybrid Wrestling-Boxing Shoe
- The Best Combat Shoe for MMA
- The Best Ultralight Boxing Shoe
- Best Boxing Shoes for You Never Heard Of
- The Best Boxing Shoe for Wide Feet
Buyers Guide: All You Need to Know About Boxing Shoes
This is our boxing shoe buyer’s guide. We break down what boxing shoes are, why you should wear them, the main features to look for, and how to choose the right boxing shoes. After this (big) section, we list our specific boxing shoe recommendations to give you some good suggestions.
Why You Should Definitely Wear Boxing Shoes
Spending money on a pair of boxing shoes might be the last thing new boxers will want to do. And yes, boxing shoes are not exactly cheap, costing roughly the same as a decent pair of shoes. But it’s an investment you’ll want to make eventually. For raw beginners, you don’t need to buy boxing shoes. But if you have been boxing for more than a few months and are putting in hours every week into boxing, then investing in a pair is a very good idea indeed.
Your boxing shoes are one of the most important pieces of boxing gear you can purchase, second only in importance to your choice of boxing gloves (read our guide to the best boxing gloves for some good glove suggestions).
Why? Because boxing shoes allow you to move more efficiently in boxing-specific stances. It’s a highly specialized shoe designed to provide mobility, support, and efficient foot speed.
If you are going to be using a pair of shoes day in and day out during your training, you want to get the BEST pair of boxing shoes you possible can. I don’t recommend cutting corners and buying a cheap ass pair of boxing shoes that don’t fit you properly, just because you saved a few dollars on an internet sale. Buying a pair of boxing shoes that don’t fit right can give you chronic foot pain problems, such as plantar fasciitis. This is a bad, bad thing, and will derail your training in a big way. So don’t.
Can I Use Running Shoes / Basketball shoes instead of Boxing Shoes
You can, but they won’t feel the same, and they are not ideally suited for boxing. Real boxing shoes make a difference.
For example, running shoes have a lot more ‘grip’ at the bottom of the shoe. When pivoting on your feet to create angles or when simply turning in your front foot during hooks or your rear foot during a straight right, running shoes grip the floor preventing a smooth rotation of your foot.
Boxing shoes don’t do this. Running shoes are also designed to stabilize your feet during back and forth motions, but not side to side. Boxing shoes do provide support when moving your feet laterally.
There is no comparison: boxing shoes make a difference. Outside of wearing a running shoe, tennis shoe, or basketball shoe, so your feet don’t slip on a smooth surface, there is no advantage to wearing non-boxing shoes over bare feet when boxing.
In fact, I’ll even go as far as to say that boxing shoes are one of the easiest ways to improve your overall boxing performance as a beginner. It’s not many sports that by simply wearing a pair of shoes will make you better at the sport. But in the case of boxing, well, this is the case. Your overall foot grip, foot support, and footwork WILL improve.
Three Basic Categories of Boxing Shoes to Consider
Before we begin, there are three categories of boxing shoes that I classify. This is just my own classification — not an official set of categories by any means, but for helping you decide what type of boxing shoe should buy, and how much you’ll expect to pay, it’s a handy reference to follow.
Beginner/Intermediate Boxing Shoes
These are the boxing shoes that are great for casual boxers, complete beginners, or intermediate boxers who just need a second pair of shoes for non-sparring training. For most people looking for their first pair of boxing shoes, these are the shoes you will likely look at.
You can expect to pay about $30 to $60 for one of these. While these shoes are suitable for casual use, general training, don’t expect the durability, support, or features you get in a more expensive boxing shoe. I recommend these as entry level boxing shoes or starter boxing shoes.
Pro Level Boxing Shoes
IF you are an intermediate or advanced boxer looking to do some hard sparring or you need shoes to fight in, then you’ll want to look at the more performance-based boxing shoes that have better support, are far more durable and are used by pro fighters on a regular basis.
These are also the shoe you should be looking at if you want a second pair of boxing shoes OR you are looking to upgrade your current basic pair.
These are much better shoes in every way to the basic entry level boxing shoes, but you’ll pay about $120-$200 for these. You’ll also have to buy them online as you won’t find them at your local sports store. Pro level boxing shoes tend to be mid top or high top boots due to the extra support offered.
Specialty Boxing Shoes
Finally, there are specialty boxing shoes that service specific needs. Ultralight boxing shoes, low cut boxing shoes, boxing shoes suitable for wide feet, hybrid shoes (wrestling shoes that you can swap in for boxing), MMA boxing shoes and so on. You can certainly use many of these shoes for general training — even sparring — but this really depends on the person and what you need in a shoe.
The price you pay can range anywhere from $50 bucks to $150 bucks (the ultralight boxing shoes, for example, tend to be in the $100+ range). These are recommended as a secondary boxing shoe to buy, once you’ve used your basic boxing shoe for a while. You may find you want something that’s better in a specific way — and that’s where specialty boxing shoes come in.
The Boxing Benefits of Wearing Boxing Shoes
Here are some of the major benefits of wearing boxing shoes over your bare feet and regular non-boxing shoes.
One of the biggest improvements wearing boxing shoes gives you is an improved floor grip with your feet. This is especially apparent on smoother surfaces (such as in the boxing ring).
One reason why shoes are better than bare feet when boxing is there is less chance of foot slippage — especially on moist surfaces (which can happen when people are sweating). Running shoes/basketball shoes and tennis shoes all deliver better grip over your bare feet.
This is why any sport style shoe is superior to bare feet. But non-boxing shoes also come with a lot of other disadvantages such as lack of angle support (especially for boxing style movements) and too much ‘grip’ which can interfere with foot pivots.
Boxing shoes, on the other hand , give you all the benefits of shoes (better grip) without the cons (grip interfering with foot pivots and lack of ankle support).
You’ll probably notice the biggest difference in your boxing ability here: your feet have more grip and stability, giving you better leverage for strikes and foot movement. This means better balance!
Wear a pair of boxing shoes and one thing tangible thing stands out no matter the brand of boxing shoe: better pivoting ability.
This is incredibly important for boxing and something you’ll notice right away when you first start wearing boxing shoes. Proper foot pivoting, such as when you turn your front foot inwards for lead hooks and your back foot for overhand rights and straight rights, help increase your punching power and punch distance.
With regular shoes, trying to pivot your foot can feel like there’s glue holding your foot down. This is because the traction at the bottom of non-boxing shoes is designed to grip while the outside sole a boxing shoe is designed to grip yet also allow rotational pivots.
It’s a bit of a balance providing the ability to both grip and allow pivots, and it’s something that a good boxing shoe allows that regular shoes won’t.
Better Ankle Support
Regular shoes are not necessary designed to support lateral motions, especially not the small, often jerky side to side motions of a boxing stance in motion. Boxing shoes specifically offer ankle support for lateral, front to back, and back to front movements. The degree of support will vary depending on the height of the shoe which can range from right above your angle (low cut boxing shoes) to full shin + angle support with high boxing shoes.
Better Toe Grip
Boxing shoes either offer a thin sole or a medium thick sole. However, the sole is NOT rigid, and you have a lot of flex and ‘toe’ grip with the ground. This allows for better stability, better grip, and better foot control. When you put on a pair of running shoes, you won’t feel a connection with the ground due to the thick, rigid soles. With boxing shoes and the thinner, less rigid soles, you will, however.
The better grip, better pivoting ability, and superior angle support allow you better stability on your feet. This means you can keep your balance better, throw better punches from different angles, and deliver faster, more powerful punches from any position. Your base is your feet, and by having a better base — which boxing shoes give you — you have a better platform for which to deliver punches.
Wrestling Shoes Vs Boxing Shoes
Wrestling shoes are far more popular than boxing shoes. As such, you can easily find wrestling shoes in retail stores by some of the global shoe brands like ASICS, Nike, Adidas, and the like.
We’ve created a full guide to the best wrestling shoes. If you are specifically interested in wrestling shoes for wrestling, MMA, or working out in, please read our Ultimate Guide to the Best Wrestling Shoes.
Can you use wrestling shoes as boxing shoes?
The short answer is yes, but the long answer is ‘only in some situations and for some surfaces.’ There are some key differences that you should know about when it comes to boxing shoes vs. wrestling shoes that might make wrestling shoes less than ideal for some boxers.
Wrestling shoes are similar to boxing shoes (especially the Adidas Combat Speed 4 wrestling shoe model, which are also one of our favorite picks for the best wrestling shoe) in that they are lightweight, offer side-to-side stability, feature vent mesh material and have a specialized sole designed for a solid grip.
However, they are not exactly the same. Wrestling shoes are designed to be used for wrestling — particularly on wrestling mats. The soles are engineered to offer superior grip on this surface.
Boxing shoes, on the other hand, are designed for the boxing ring which is an entirely different surface (more slippery). Boxing shoes are also designed to give your more foot pivot freedom when you punch — something that wrestling do not with the extra grip.
Just realize you are going to have a lot more ‘grip’ under foot and less pivot ability. Wrestling shoes are also not IDEAL for the ring. If you box on the floor or foam surface, they are fine, but they are inferior when boxing with them in the ring.
However, wrestling shoes can also be used as weightlifting shoes or for general conditioning work in a cross fit gym. As such, they are better than boxing shoes for multiple activities.
So, given the differences, you still can use wrestling shoes. They are quite good for those boxers who are less concerned about quick footwork; that is, those who really pivot the feet when punching and who tend to plant their feet on the ground for extra punching power (for example, if you like to throw a lot of overhand rights or looping left hooks).
How to Choose the Perfect Pair of Boxing Shoes
Choosing the best pair of boxing shoes is complicated, made more so by the fact that boxing shoes are not easy to find. Getting the perfect boxing shoes for your feet is, therefore, a bit of a challenge and one that usually takes some time. It’s not like you can easily walk into any sports store and find boxing shoes. You usually have to search out a specialty boxing supply store or order shoes online. Either of these takes time.
This section is to help you save time on finding the best shoe. We give you the information to help you decide if a boxing shoe is good or not and what specifically to look for. Understand that like all shoes; there’s a lot of personal preference involved.
What’s good on my feet might not be ideal for yours. However, this guide should help point you in the right GENERAL direction. After this guide, we give a list of what we consider the top five boxing shoes, based on specific categories.
Here’s a list of the major feature choices you have between boxing shoe models. This covers most of the feature choices offered by boxing shoes. The exact combination of features will vary from brand to brand and shoe model to model. Some feature are only present in the more expensive shoes.
For those who want more control and grip, you can find boxing shoes with thin soles. How thick a sole depends on the fighter’s preference, and while boxing shoes are thinner soled than other shoe types, there is a continuum between very thin to medium thin.
Some of the shoe brands advertise special shoe sole technology for some of the models and claim more durable, more rigid, and more supportive boxing shoes — but these are advertisements, and you’ll have to vet this yourself.
Extra Cushioning Near Midsole
Some boxing shoes have extra cushioning near the mid sole area. This provides more arch support and better stability when for the bouncy footwork (bouncing during sparring, jump rope training, etc).
Provide extra support in this area for additional ankle support.
Some boxing shoes offer better venting and breathability by offering mesh vents built into the shoe. This can help your feet ‘breathe’, and reducing the temperature inside the shoe (which can, in turn, reduce how much your feet sweat during training). More ventilated shoes also mean the shoes will dry out quicker, something you should consider if you are training in warmer climates.
My boxing shoes, for example, often get absolutely drenched when training in them for a two-hour session in Thailand. The ventilation helps them dry quicker. So if you get sweaty feet, go with mesh vented boxing shoes.
Some of the more expensive boxing shoes are advertised as ultra light. That is, the shoes are engineered to be as weightless as possible through specialized materials.
As well as being light, these shoes are also designed to provide stability and support. Ultra light boxing shoes are usually only available at the upper end of the price spectrum and are advertised as being extra light. Note that most boxing shoes are much lighter than regular shoes anyways, but ultra light boxing shoes are designed to be even lighter than regular boxing shoes.
You get soft leather, sued or sometimes other fabric types or layered fabrics or even a vented-mesh container. Pure leather is the softest and most comfortable feeling against the foot but often does not offer the rigidity of the more engineered materials.
Most traditional boxing shoes will have regular shoe strap lacing. However, some of the more modern designs may offer alternative ‘tie’ solutions with special straps or hybrid lace + straps to speed up how long it takes to lace up or unlace the shoes.
Shoe Height (low, mid, high top)
You can get shoes in high top, medium top, or low top. Low top shoes allow for more freedom of movement and are lighter. Taller shoes give more ankle support but are more restrictive. Low top boxing shoes are often used interchangeably with wrestling shoes (which have more grip than boxing shoes).
There are THREE typical heights you find boxing shoes in:
Low Top: Low top are about the same height as a pair of running shoe, with maybe half an inch more height, depending on the model. These are popular for casual boxing, general boxing training or to be used for weight lifting or general training (crossfit say, strength and conditioning). If I am doing some general work in the boxing gym that includes some bag work, lifting some weights, pull ups, rope work, these shoes are great. For sparring, not so much.
Mid Top: Mid Top boxing shoes are about 2 to 3 inches above the end of your ankle and the most popular type of boxing shoes for most usage. These shoes range anywhere from $30 to $150.
High Top: High top boxing shoes (also called boxing boots) are usually 4 to 6 inches above the ankle (depending on the brand and model of shoes/boot) and offer the MOST stability and ankle support. These are not as popular for regular boxing training but are more popular for serious sparring sessions and actual boxing fights. The are usually the more expensive type of boxing shoe, costing between $100 to $200.
The look of a shoe does not affect performance, but it’s still an important part since people will see the shoe and boxing is a spectator sport. You typically can choose between flashy colors and more sedate, minimalist styling. The shoe aesthetics are a highly personal choice, but one that’s important to consider. Fortunately, there’s a wide range of style choices within brands and among different brands to provide plenty of options for every taste.
How to Select the Right Boxing Shoe
There are seven general categories to look at when choosing a shoe. And like most shoes, each person will have a different set of preferences. Some boxing shoe brands (and models within a brand) offer more in one area and less in the others. So finding the right shoes is a matter of determining what qualities you like best and going with a shoe that offers that.
1. Find the Right Boxing Shoe Pivot & Grip Control
The first thing you’ll want to look at in a boxing shoe is the actual grip offered by the shoes and the amount of free pivot.
There’s a spectrum here with Pivot on one end and grip on the other end. The more ‘pivot’ your shoes allow, the less grip they will offer. The more grip your shoes have, the less easy of a pivot you’ll have.
However, any pair of boxing shoes will give you better pivot than running shoes, tennis shoes, or basketball shoes.
More pivot ability simply means there’s less resistance when turning your foot inward during punches or when you rotate your body. More grip means the shoe sticks to the ground resisting movement. You want some grip, but you also want some pivot.
Here’s a rule of thumb: if you are a very movement orientated (defensive boxer say), you might want to opt for shoes that are a bit more on the grip side. If you are a power puncher, you might want a shoe that offers more pivot ability for maximum power. This is only a GENERAL rule of thumb and is not by any means a golden rule. There is NO better shoe type because it depends on your style of boxing and how the shoes feel on you.
2. Find the Right Sole Texture & Thickness
The texture and boxing sole thickness play significant role in how your shoes feel. There’s a wide range of different sole thicknesses and textures.
The texture is basically the traction on the shoe. Some shoes give your more of a grip but give up a bit mobility for pivots. Some shoes give you better pivot ability but have less traction so offer less grip. And some shoes offer a compromise. I prefer a bit more pivot then grip myself.
The sole thickness gives your toes a bit more connection to the ground. Thinner soles allow for more ‘grip’ and ‘minor control’ of your foot when you are wearing boxing shoes. But you’ll find thinner soles will often tire our your feet more than thicker soles. This is because you are affording more ability to control your foot (and toes), but this using more muscles. You may or may not like this. I personally prefer more toe grip for maximum foot control, but this comes down to personal taste.
3. Find the Right Boxing Shoe Height & Ankle Support
Shoe height is probably the most significant factor to look at when buying boxing shoes. The height of the shoe will determine how the shoe ultimately feels when you put it on and use it. While I feel boxing shoe pivot and grip make the most ‘difference’ to your actual boxing and footwork ability, the shoe height make the most difference on HOW THEY FEEL when you wear them and how much ankle support is offered by the shoe.
Low Top vs Medium Top vs High Top Boxing Shoes
You can choose boxing shoes in three different styles: low top (basically the height of a regular shoe), medium top (height extends slightly above ankle), and high top (boot length boxing shoes).
Everyone has a preference. The old school boxing shoes of yesteryear were all high cut styles. The high top style offers the most support for your ankles. However they are quite rigid; some boxers like this style, some don’t.
Medium Top shoes are the compromise and probably the most popular style of boxing shoe.
However, these days you can buy boxing shoes in the low top format, where the shoe is about the same height as a regular shoe, making them more ‘discrete’ — you can bring them to your regular gym and use them for weight lifting and for some boxing without looking like ‘that guy’ at the gym. Low top boxing shoes are often confused with wrestling shoes which are similar (and can in a pinch be used for boxing) but are designed for different use.
Personally, I prefer the medium top which is a compromise between more ankle freedom and support. I also think they look the best too, but that’s just me. I do like low top shoes for general training, though — for lifting weights at the gym — it’s a good fill in ‘general’ workout shoe that you can also use for boxing.
4. Find the Right Boxing Shoe Weight
One thing that’s important to look at when investing in boxing shoes is the weight. In general, boxing shoes are all designed to be fairly light — more so that running shoes. But some models, especially the more expensive ones, are designed to be super light. Lighter shoes mean faster feet.
The weight is often in the thickness of the shoe sole and the type of materials used in construction. I find some of the fancier models that use better, more engineered materials can often give you less weight while still providing good rigidity, but you pay more money for this.
Light vs. Heavy Boxing Shoes
Lighter shoes can mean quicker foot speed and possibly, more power if you capitalize on this when you punch. However, like most things, this comes with a trade-off of less rigidity and support.
Heavier shoes, however, may give some fighters a better punching base, locking down foot, ankle and leg into a single unit which the arm rotates around for punch; a more stable base means more punching power.
Some boxers prefer light while some prefer heavy and I can’t tell you specifically which you might prefer. A rule of thumb is that if you are a quicker fighter who focuses more on defense, counter punching, or you simply move a lot, lighter shoes are probably better. If you are a power puncher or you like to stand your ground, heavier shoes might give you a better base.
Personally, I prefer lighter, less rigid over heavier, more rigid boxing shoes.
5. Find the Right Boxing Shoe Foot Thickness
Another factor that will affect the shoes is how thick the shoe width is. Some people have wide feet, and some people have narrow feet. Not all boxing shoes are sized the same in width. If you’ve got wide feet, you might find many of the models are uncomfortable and squeeze the side of your feet a bit too firmly. I’ve had boxing shoes like this and this tires out your feet.
Shoes that are too loose (i.e. the shoe is too wide for your narrow feet) or shoes that are too narrow (i.e. the shoe is narrow, and your feet are too wide for the shoe) may affect your overall balance.
How to Find the Correct Width Boxing Shoes
You might not think of the shoe width as something important, but it is! Shoes that are too wide or too narrow will make wearing the shoe a nightmare, so you want to get this RIGHT.
If you can shove your feet into a pair of shoes at your boxing gym, you might be able to get an idea how a brand of shoes feel. Another idea is to buy on Amazon where there is a hassle-free return policy if the shoes don’t fit correctly. To save time, you might be best off buying 2 to 4 different pairs of boxing shoes from Amazon at once, trying them all on, and choosing the best fitting while returning the others.
You can also hit up a local fight gear store or boxing supply shop, but these are hard to find in some areas, and the stock of boxing shoes is usually pretty limited in physical stores.
It’s also important to look at how comfortable the shoes are on your feet. Boxing shoe comfort comes down to a lot of different factors mentioned:
- properly sized
- shoe width matching your foot width
- sole thickness & rigidity
- type of material used inside the shoe
- shoe height
Boxing shoes should be comfortable. If you put the shoe on and it does not feel comfortable, then it’s the WRONG shoe for you, regardless of how good the other qualities are about the shoe. DO NOT BUY A SHOE THAT DOES NOT FEEL SUPERBLY COMFORTABLE.
Boxing shoes are there to enhance your boxing, not inhibit it. So keep this in mind. If the shoe inhibits your foot movement in any way and/or feels uncomfortable to wear, then that’s NOT the right shoe for you. If it doesn’t feel good when you put it on as a test, it’s not going to get ANY BETTER using it for hours during training. There is a bit of a break in period of a week or two where the shoe molds to your foot, but unlike running or hiking shoes, boxing shoes don’t need a significant break in period.
7. Boxing Shoe Shoe Quality & Cost
The shoe quality is something you’ll need to think about. It’s possible to get a bare bones boxing shoes for a reasonable price. But cheaper boxing shoes may not be manufactured with higher quality, more durable, lighter materials that you get if you buy a more premium boxing shoe.
That’s not to say that cost = quality. There are some boxing shoes that are overpriced for what you get and some shoes that are a remarkably good deal for what you get. Just keep in mind that price does not always mean quality.
When looking for shoe quality, you’ll mainly want to access how the shoe soles are constructed and the quality of the fabric.
A few questions to ask:
- is the shoe sole flimsy or does it feel firm with even traction
- is the shoe stitching even with double stitching with the threads tightly stitched and not hanging loose
- does the shoe look and food good in your hand
- how light does the shoe feel
The Best Boxing Shoes
Here’s my ultimate selection of the best, with detail explanations for WHY I’ve picked out that boot. I’ve seen a lot of so-called ‘best boxing shoe lists’ on the web, and every single one of these lists completely suck, written by people who have never put on a pair of boxing shoes or gloves in their life, let alone trained or actually fought matches with a pair of shoes!
Why Trust Me?
For this list, I’ve done weeks of research, read every review I could on each model to see what other people thought about each, pulled from my years of experience with boxing and wearing boxing shoes, put down my own thoughts for the shoe models I do own, AND I’ve even ordered a bunch of these shoes (the ones I didn’t own) to test them.
I’ve also been boxing for over five years — even though I live in Thailand and train at a Muay Thai camp, I do mostly boxing (in fact, that’s all I do these days – 6 days a week!). I’ve sparred thousands of guys in boxing over the five years I’ve been training in Thailand.
I’ve sparred Russian boxers, Thai trainers, Kickboxers, UFC fighters, pro boxers, and more. Hell, I’ve even fought a few boxing matches. And yes, I actually do own many boxing shoe pairs, and I usually wear my different shoes when training.
The point of all this is simply to tell you that I actually know quite a bit about boxing shoes, how to choose them, how they should feel, what’s good and what’s not.
Note: As of this publishing, I’m still waiting to get my hands on a few of the shoes listed so I can give them a good test. I’ll update the article once I do. I currently own 4 different pairs of boxing boots, and I train in boots every day.
The Best Boxing Shoe for Most People
Picking out the best boxing shoe is a challenge because there’s a number of different shoes that are at a number of different price ranges. Even more so, many people use wrestling shoes as boxing shoes. It’s also very difficult to get your hands on a pair of boxing shoes — most retail stores don’t stock them.
You’ll have to order boxing shoes online or find a specialty boxing store. As such, we take availability into consideration — what’s the point of a recommending a pair of boxing shoes you can’t get your hands on?
My pick for the best boxing shoe is the Adidas Box Hog 2. I’ve tried out multiple boxing shoes over the years, but I keep coming back to one shoe that seems to be the ideal intersect point of price, comfort, foot support, pivot & grip, and availability. And yes, I own these myself. In fact, I own at least 3 different Adidas boxing shoe models!
These shoes offer a lot of bang for about $50, which is why I recommend them as the best for ‘most’ people. They are slightly more expensive than say the ‘best budget’ recommendation, but if you can swing the $10 to $15 more (and really, this is a couple of Starbucks lattes), get the Adidas Box Hog 2’s over the budget pick.
Adidas makes some of the best, if not the best, boxing shoes on the market. When it comes down to boxing shoes, Adidas and Nike are the two best companies in my experience.
There are other premium ‘boxing glove’ companies like Cleto Reyes and Grant that do make specialized boxing shoes, but frankly, I put a lot more trust in companies that specialize in shoes to make the best shoes over boxing glove companies making shoes.
The Adidas Box Hog 2 offer good grip and good pivot — a nice balance between the two. As such, for the average boxer, this is probably ideal.
Unless you are a competitive boxer or an advanced boxer, this style of grip+ pivot is probably the best choice unless you really know what you need in a pair of boxing shoes (which only comes from a lot of experience and trying out more than a few boxing shoe types).
The shoes, given the low price of $50, are quite light as well. There are lighter models offered by Addidas, but you’ll pay more money for this.
The Box Hog 2 are lighter than any running shoes you’ll wear and feel a hell of a lot better on your feet. You’ll feel like you are floating around the ring in them, something that you won’t feel in a pair of running shoes, sneakers, or even your bare feet.
I’ve tried out the Speed Champ III model (another pair of Adidas boxing shoes that I own) and these offer a bit more grip than do the Speed Champ’s, which are more pivot friendly, but are quite slippery when you jump into the ring, especially when you’ve been using them for more than 6 months, and the grips have worn down a bit.
All in all, for beginners and intermediate boxers who just want a basic, reliable boxing shoe without too many frills, and for a dirt cheap price, these are the best shoes out there that meet those qualifications!
Cons: The shoes absorb a lot of moisture, which is my primary complaint about them. If your feet sweat a lot or it’s quite warm, there may be some breathability issues — and as such, the shoes will get soaking wet (and heavier).
This is where buying some of the lighter, more ventilated models by Adidas (and other brands) provide a big advantage over the Box Hog 2. It’s not that big of an issue, but just make sure you air them out to dry and, occasionally, throw them in the washing machine. If you don’t, the shoes will begin to stink badly.
How to choose the right size with this model: Note that unlike some of the other shoe models/brands, the listed size is the correct size. So if you are a size 10, get a size 10 and it should fit correctly. They are not too big or too small, which makes selecting the right shoe easier. These shoes are also not too narrow or too wide.
If you have very wide feet, they may be too tight, but for average to wide feet, they should fit. There is a bit of an excess at the front of the shoe (i.e. a space after your big toe to the end of the shoe), but this is something I notice with all boxing shoes I’ve tried — it’s not a problem as long as the shoe fits and the gap is less than 1/2 and inch.
The Best Premium Boxing Shoe
For more advanced boxers who want a bit more support, higher quality materials, and more durability, or for something you want to fight in or spar in, you might want to look at the pro-level premium boxing shoes.
Expect to pay between $100 and $200 — at least double, maybe triple, of the start boxing shoes. But you get a LOT more support, comfort, and durability. The quality of materials is definitely higher.
For beginning boxers, for casual boxers, or for people who are not serious about competing, these shoes are likely overkill. Stick with the basic, cheaper boxing shoes.
If you want to move up a few notches though or you are serious about your boxing, you might want to look at the premium boxing shoe offerings.
The best ‘buy’ are the Reebok Boxing boots. These are highly supportive, light as a feather, and look awesome. They are about $120 — more expensive than the usual boxing shoe, but are significantly cheaper than some of the other offerings which cost nearly $200.
Because of the price and the wide availability, I recommend these as the top pick for a premium boxing shoe. For a slightly better shoe that’s a bit better quality, you might want to look at the Nike HyperKO boxing boots. However, because it’s nearly double the price AND the fact that it’s very, very hard to find them, I recommend the Reebok boots instead.
The Best Budget Boxing Shoe
Boxing shoes range from about $26 for the ultra-budget (from some of the economy brands) to several hundred dollars. The more you pay, the better materials you’ll get (suede leather, breathable mesh, lighter shoes, better soles, etc.).
However, if you just need a basic pair of boxing shoes for your very first pair (say you’ve only been using running shoes or bare feet) or you are starting out in boxing, you certainly don’t need to invest in a pair that’s $70+.
The truth is that a basic starter pair of boxing shoes will probably do you just fine and will be a remarkable improvement over your basic pair of running shoes or bare feet.
Given the choice between a cheap budget pair o boxing shoes or no boxing shoes, cheap is the better choice!
My recommendation for the best budget pair of boxing shoes are the TITLE Lo-Top Boxing shoes. These will run you about $39 for a size 9 or 10. The low-top allows you to easily slip your feet in and out of the shoes (high tops are a nightmare for this).
However, you are getting budget here with these — make no mistake about it. The durability is not very good (expect a few months, but not years, of usage before they start coming apart) and the soles are on the hard side and may give you blisters until your feet harden. These have minimal grips and favor those who want a more pivot friendly shoe. Compared to the other major budget offering (ringside Diablo), these are cheaper and more sturdy given the price.
TITLE products are sort of the McDonalds of boxing — it gets the job done in the short term, but it’s certainly not good for you over the long run.
For casual boxing or if budget is your major concern, the Title Lo-Top shoes are the best budget boxing shoes I’ve found for the price. However, if you want a more durable, lighter, and comfortable shoe, then you might want to look at spending about $20 to $30 for a better boxing shoe by the likes of Adidas (some of their entry level boxing shoe models), which are, frankly, far more comfortable to wear.
Ringside Diablo Boxing Shoes (Alternative Choice)
Another budget pick, if you don’t mind spending a bit more, then you might consider is the Ringside Undefeated Boxing Shoes. These are just about $50 bucks, and frankly, a better shoe quality-wise than TITLE. However, considering the Ringside shoes are just about as expensive as my top recommendation, the Adidas Boxing Hog 2, it’s a no-brainer to choose the Adidas shoe instead, which is a better made, more comfortable, boxing shoe. However, if you can find the Diablo shoes on sale for under $50, then it’s a pretty good deal. But I wouldn’t pay more than $50 for them — if you do, go with my top recommendation (Adidas Boxing Hog 2).
Best High Top Boxing Shoes / Boots
High top boxing shoe are the ‘original’ boxing shoe design. In fact, boxing shoes is a rather new term. The original term is ‘boxing boots’ because all old school boxing footwear was pretty much a boot, with the sides of the shoe running well up over the shin area, offering maximum stability (and some say rigidity).
These days the mid-top and low-top shoes are by far the more popular boxing shoe design. However, there are still some ‘boot’ designs kicking around, and some boxers do prefer this style.
The boot design offers a lot more ankle support than the mid and low top shoes. However, that support comes at less mobility of the angle. Your feet, ankle, and shin function more as a single unit rather than discrete units.
This may aid you in throwing more powerful punches, however, you won’t have as much ‘freedom’ to move your ankles and feet around separately. If you are a boxer who likes to crouch down low or seek out unusual angles to throw punches (or to avoid punches), the boot style may be a bit restrictive and limit those motions.
However, some of the best boxers in the world used boxing boots, so there’s a lot of merit to this design.
The best high top boxing boots are the Cleto Reyes Boxing Boots. You’ll see a number of high-level Mexican boxers wearing these boots during train and actual fights. So they have a proven track as pro-level boots.
These are true high top boxing boots, and the shoes ride high up onto the shin. But they offer incredible stability and support. The material too is not rigid, being constructed from pure leather. As such, the sides of the shoe are soft, subtle, and comfortable — even though they are high top. The shoes will cost you anywhere from $100 to $150 depending on your foot size, however. So cheap boxing shoes these certainly are not. You may or may not like the look with the plain monotone color.
Adidas Tygun 2 (Alternative Choice)
I personally own this model and generally find they offer a lot of support and comfort, though are a bit on the heavier side. A few years ago I replaced these with the far lighter (and shorter), Adidas Speed Champ III’s.
Overall, I like the Tygun’s. The main strength is the firm ankle support these offer. I wore them in a boxing match, though at the time, the shoes were about 2 sizes TOO big for me which hindered my movement quite a bit. While I do find them comfortable and a pleasure to use, they are not my favorite boxing shoes (I’m not a general fan of the high top style boxing boot).
These are not as ‘high’ top as the Cleto or the TITLE recommendation but are still ‘higher’ than most mid top boxing shoes. SO if you want something a bit more supportive than the usual mid top boxing shoes but not as supportive (or as tight) as the high top model, the Tygun style is a good compromise, being squarely in the middle — height wise. I would call these medium top boxing shoes/boots.
However, the shoes are on the heavier side, especially when the material soaks up your sweat. I prefer them to the TITLE high top because they are far more comfortable and they are more durable (I still have mine 3 years later).
TITLE Hi-Top Boxing Boots (Budget Alternative Choice)
If you are just looking for a budget boxing boot, look at the Title High Top, which are inferior in just about every way but the price; however, at $50, you can’t complain too hard. These are budget boxing shoes but are better than wearing shoes or bare feet.
Best Low Top Boxing Shoes
Most boxers prefer mid-top boxing shoes which offer the best combination of support and mobility. However, a new trend in boxing footwear has been taking place over the past few years: low top boxing shoes. These shoes are, as the title indicates, low top. Essentially, these shoes are about the same high as a pair of sneakers, higher top running shoes, or hiking boots. There’s a good 2 to 3 inches less height over mid-top boxing boots.
The advantages is that low top boxing shoes are often lighter than mid or high top boots. The reduced weight and shorter top allow for more overall foot mobility and more freedom for boxing stances (especially non-standard ones) during combat. However, the trade-off is that the lower top offers LESS ankle support than mid or high top boots.
One advantage the low top boxing boots have is the low profile look: you can use these in the gym or for non-boxing activities (jump rope, weight lifting, strength & conditioning), though you may be better off with wrestling shoes over low top boxing shoes for these non-boxing activities as wrestling shoes have more grip, which may be advantages to these activities.
The Adidas Boxfit 3 looks great and, even better, feel great. I’m personally a bit on the leery side when it comes to Low Top’s — they don’t offer anything like the support for your ankles, and because your ankle is not secured, you often get less punching power.
However, you get more freedom of movement out of this and some boxers like this. Low tops are also great for general workouts that don’t necessary involve boxing. By far, low tops are the most comfortable sort of boxing shoe, and I do recommend them as a good ‘secondary’ boxing shoe/workout shoe to own.
So far, the Boxfit 3’s are my favorite low tops. The shoes are made from a vented mesh to reduce heat buildup in the shoe. They are fairly light (but not as light as the dedicated ultralight Adidas models). The real advantage of these over the other Adidas boxing shoe models is the low top.
This gives a lot more ankle mobility. However, the danger here is that the reduced support means it’s easier to roll your angle when boxing — which is not necessarily a good thing, depending on how you move around.
My feeling is that these are great for lighter boxing training where you are mixing in your boxing work with other strength and conditioning actives (kettle bells, weighted balls, push-ups, jump rope, bag work, pads, etc.specially).
Mid-top boxing boots are not comfortable to use for weight lifting or strength & condiespeciallywhen you need to squat down, do pushups, and other non-boxing activities. This is where the low top — and specifically these Boxfit 3 boots stand out.
As such, these are a great ‘second pair’ of boxing shoes to have on hand for casual boxing, gym work, and strength and conditioning or for cardio class / boxing fit class that includes some boxing (pads, bags, etc).. Don’t buy these as your own pair of boxing shoes, but as a secondary pair to supplement your more ‘supportive’ shoe. For bagwork or light pads, these are great. For sparring, however, I prefer more supportive shoes.
Rival Low Top Boxing Boots (Also Good)
Rival offers a low top boxing boot that looks just like a wrestling shoe, but is in fact a boxing shoe design. Compared to the Adidas low top boot, these are a bit higher — so those wanting a lower top should go with the Boxfit 3.
These are also not ultra-lightweight at about 390 grams (some of the ultralight Adidas boxing shoes are under 200 grams) which is a bit of a disappointment as I would expect low top boxing boots to be some of the lightest boxing shoes. As such, Rival’s model is on the heavy side.
However, the Rival’s do offer good stability and support, especially considering the low top. Note that these will take you a few weeks of usage to break in. They may be uncomfortable until then.
The shoes are not very grippy, however. You may find they slip inside the ring. For non-ring usage, however (on mats, at the gym, etc),. there are no issues with grip.
Overall, a good mid-range boxing shoe for under 70 bucks. Not as good as the Adidas, but also cheaper and perhaps a bit more supportive.
How to Size Them: Make sure you puchase these about 1/2 a size smaller than your usual foot size as they run on the smaller size.
What do I mean by ‘pro-level’ boxing shoes? Technically ANY of the shoes on this list can be used during competitions and actual boxing matches. And I maintain that any decent boxing shoe is better than running shoes, sneakers, or your bare feet for sparring or match fights. Just by putting on a pair of boxing shoes, you’re boxing will get better (yes, boxing shoes are one of the easiest ways to improve your boxing without doing any extra work).
However, by pro-level, we are talking about boxing shoes that offer extra support, are light-weight, and designed specifically for match fights.
Even more, these are boxing shoes that many of the top pro boxers actually use during matches and as a result ‘TESTED’ by real world usage in fights.
As such, pro boxing shoes are the boxing boots intermediate, advanced, and/or competitive boxers will want to wear for training and fighting in.
For best results, you’ll probably want a few different boxing shoes in your closet. For example, you might want to use a lighter, lower-top boxing boot for casual training and bag work. But for hard sparring or boxing competitions/matches, you might want to opt for one of these more premium boots that offer extra features and more support.
Most ‘pro’ boxing shoes are High Top, though you’ll find a few boxers (such as Canelo) do wear low top or mid-top boxing shoes in matches. So there is NO firm rule here, though taller shoes are preferred because of the additional support they offer (less chance of rolling an ankle or such in a match).
If I could pick out the best looking boxing shoe award, that award would definitely go to the Reebok boxing boot. This shoes has been made famous because Floyd Mayweather has been wearing them for years, both for training and in his actual boxing matches. These shoes, up until recently, were hard to get and were not available to the public outside of custom orders. However, Reebok, due to the popularity and demand, finally made these available to the public.
These things offer some serious looks with the tone white and black. These shoes are pro shoes — some of the top boxers wear these in actual matches. Floyd Mayweather, for example, has used this model for more than a few of his boxing matches (though a customized version of them it seems).
The Reebok shoes offer a lot of stability. They are mid-cut and feature vented meshes on the top, sides, and front of the shoes. I love this feature as they allow for a bit more breathability. This is a great feature and helps prevent one of the biggest problems with wearing shoes while boxing: moisture buildup.
The one thing I dislike about boxing shoes, especially if you wear them in a somewhat tropical climate, is your feet sweat a lot. This makes keeping them light during training difficult as wet shoes get heaver the more moisture they hold. These vented meshes help prevent that. Shoes that tend to soak in the sweat also have odor problems unless you air them out and wash them semi-regularly.
This model offers additional stability with an extra strap to cliche tight after you’ve tied them up. This helps tighten the shoe right below the ankle, giving just that extra little bit of foot support — but a noticeable one at that.
All in all, if you want a good look pair of boxing shoes you can use for competitions (or just for showing off), these shoes will do that for you.
The best thing about these shoes is that they are AFFORDABLE! They offer just about the same level of performance as the main competing rival brand models (Nike HyperKO and Adidas ADIPOWER), but these are priced significantly lower at just over $120. The ADIPOWER, for example, are about $190. The Nike HyperKO shoes are over $200 and are practically impossible to find. So for the price you pay, Reebok is the best.
Cons: the shoes are not the lightest, and the almost bleached white color quickly turns beige color after a few weeks. The front part of the shoe also can get some scuff marks — I wish it were of slightly different design. However, these shoes look pretty sweet; I can see why boxers might like to show up in a match using a new pair. However, the sleek white turns an off color in time. The shoe support, breathability, and grips are excellent though, and the shoes last for a long while.
Nike HyperKO Boxing Boots (Alternative Choice)
I’ve seen a number of boxers using HyperKO boxing boots (Manny Pacquiao, for example). I’ve made this list with mostly some of the non-Nike brands, in part because Nike doesn’t seem to sell many boxing shoes — it’s a challenge to buy them, and you often need to find a specialty store.
These are sort of an interesting cross between a sneaker and a boxing boot. I’m not sure there is anything else quite like it on the market.
The Nike HyperKO is similar to the Reebok Boxing Boots and Adidas Addipower. It’s roughly in the same range and the Addipower (over 150 bucks), though the Reebok is cheaper.
For supportive boxing shoes you want to compete in, the Nike HyperKo Boxing Boots. They are optimized for better punching power by designing the boots to offer more support in the key areas that you generate torque from (Nike calls this Flywire technology). The shoes are made from a mesh material — something you’ll find in most of the boxing boots that are any good. The shoe sole traction is also optimized for better grip in the key areas you need it.
For foot pivoting, this technology — whatever it is — does work. It helps by locking your foot into a single unit, which is great for left hook front pivots on your foot. The grip at the bottom is a nice balance between grip and smooth for pivot. Keep in mind the shoes will wear out though and they are tight fitting, especially if you tie them up too tightly.
Overall, these are some pretty snazzy boots, but they are not cheap, costing nearly $250 and very, very hard to find.
The price and the availability issues are marks against these shoes, but if you do find them and to pay the price, these are some of the best boxing shoes you can get.
Great for sparring or matches with the excellent support, lightweight, and good grip. However, They are extremely light and extremely comfortable. The ultra-lightweight is surprising because, from the images, the shoes look like they are heavy. But they are not. They are not as light as say the lower top Adidas Speedix, but for a high top boot, amazingly light, and lighter than anything by Title or Rival.
Overall, these boxing shoes are certainly one of the best boxing boots, and certainly, you can wear in competitions, sparring, and for just for general training.
What’s especially stand out about these shoes is the particularly strong support, especially near the rear and side of the boot. This same feature also make this an excellent shoe for jump roping with. I’d even go as far as saying that these ARE the jump rope shoes I prefer!
The closest boot in the Adidas lineup to this boot would be the Adidas ADIPOWER boxing boot (which I discuss next) which is about the same height, but more a traditional high top boxing boot made from mesh material and does not have the sneaker genome spliced in. Both shoes are priced around the same.
Preference would go to what brand you like better and how each boot fits. I personally and more of a fan of the Nike HyperKO, and the HyperKO’s seem a bit more popular with the pro boxers. However, a LOT of people swear by the ADIPOWER as some of the best boxing boots you can buy, so you should consider them, especially if you can’t find the HyperKO’s for sale.
Adidas ADIPOWER Boxing Boot (Also Good)
The ADIPOWER are a higher quality, higher priced Adidas boxing boot aimed at competitions. These are popular with Olympic boxers, though some pro boxers use them in matches too.
This one is made from a vented mesh that covers the entire body to really allow breathability. The stand out feature is a sort ribbed supportive mesh that’s arrayed in a semi-circle along the back of the shoe. I’m not sure how this works, but it adds a lot more stability to the back area of the boot and the angle.
This makes these very good for support when pivoting the foot and unifies your entire foot into a single unit when you need it (for say, punching at angles).
Adidas has a (less popular) alternative that’s made from pure leather called the Adidas Pro Bout Boxing shoes. Those shoes are perhaps, a bit more comfortable, but the leather is not as breathable.
Compared to the Adidas Pro Bout Boxing Shoes, The ADIPOWER is a more rigid boot, a bit lighter, a bit higher topped, and grips your entire foot for more power when you throw your punches. However, if you want a more traditional, pure leather premium boxing boot, then look at the other model talked about below.
The ADIPOWER are probably Adidas’ most popular ‘pro level’ boxing boot and, if you want to go with Adidas for serious boxing boots, are my first recommendation for the boots you buy.
Adidas Pro Bout Boxing Boot (Also Good)
This model eschews any fancy new technology, vented meshes, or flashy designs. They are, however, a great shoe. The bottom sole is designed in such a way to allow a bit of flexibility and are durable (a problem some of the other models have with the traction wearing thin after only a few months of good use).
The shoes are also comfortable, as they are crafted from real leather, something you don’t see in most of the modern boxing shoe/boots, outside of the old school traditional boxing boots of yesteryear.
The shoes might not look that soft, but they really are. Once you put them on, they feel more like socks or a glove than shoes. You may or may not like this if you are used to more rigid boxing shoes (which means most of the other boxing shoes on the market). The shoe soles are outstanding, however, with extra support in the forefront and heel areas (those key areas you place most of your weight in boxing).
Cons: the shoes are not as light or as thin as some of the other models. If you want the lightest boxing shoe you can find, these shoes, even though they are expensive, are not designed to be extra lightweight or thin. Some boxers want a thicker, more weighty shoe for a bit more stability — and these shoes are that. The non-suede part, however, is soft and comfortable and wraps around your entire foot like a glove. You might not like the boring black color. Some of the other Adidas models are more flashy. The Pro Bout model is more minimalist in design. If you want to stick with Adidas and want a more modern version of a premium boxing boot, look at the ADIPOWER boxing shoe model.
Best Hybrid Wresting Shoe for Boxing
Wrestling shoes can often be used as boxing shoe, especially for the brands that ALSO make dedicated boxing shoes. The general design is often quite similar between boxing shoes and wrestling shoes (especially the shoe brands that offer both, such as Nike and Adidas). Boxing shoes have some differences that mean you might want to opt for pure boxing shoes when it comes to sparring or competitions, but for general training, pad work, and bag work, you should be fine wearing wrestling shoes. Note that wrestling shoes are often a better deal than boxing shoes and priced CHEAPER.
If you are looking for a wrestling shoe that can be substituted in for a boxing shoes, the best recommendation is the Adidas Combat Speed 4. These shoes are even marketed by the company for both wrestling and boxing.
However, they are more wrestling shoes than they are boxing shoes…and as WRESTLING shoes, they are not as ideal as pure boxing shoes for ALL aspects of boxing because the sole has more grip than a boxing shoe.
However, some boxers do like the added grip, though you will sacrifice the easier pivot ability of a pure boxing shoe. However, I find wrestling shoes better than running shoes for boxing. Wrestling shoes are also a more general shoe — you can use them for weight lifting, cross fit, or other such activities. If you are looking to do MMA, then a wrestling shoe is superior to boxing shoes (more grip for take downs).
The combat speed 4 are a basic wrestling shoe — there’ nothing ‘fancy’ about them in terms of feature or construction. However, this is why I recommend them: they are good quality, feature a mesh overlay to vent air and cool your feet, and they are lightweight. The gum shoe soles provide a lot of grip and stability — again, something you may or may not like in a boxing shoe, depending on your particular style of boxing. At about $40 they are a very good deal and cheaper than most boxing shoes you’ll find that are of similar quality.
For a good all round wrestling shoe you can use for boxing, MMA, and gym workouts, these are the best shoe you can get, given the reasonable price. There are better wresting shoes out there, but those better shoes are more pricey and better suited for MMA or pure wrestling rather than boxing. The Combat Speed 4’s, due to their design (which are very similar in construction to the basic Adidas boxing shoe) can be used as boxing shoes without issue, though I maintain pure boxing shoes offer a slight advantage in the heel grip, pivot, and stability for a boxer over the Adidas wrestling shoe.
Best Ultralight Boxing Shoes
Boxing shoes are lighter than running shoes. But even among boxing shoes, you can go from lightweight to ultra lightweight. Typically, the ultra lightweight are made from a mesh material and other special fabrics. The soles tend to be thinner, the height low top or mid top and the shoe thickness less. You often trade stability and support for lighter weight — so keep that in mind.
amazon text=Adidas Speedex Boxing Shoes&template=generic best product fullsize medium&chan=best boxing shoes affiliate link&text1=Best Ultralight&text2=Super light with extra stability and support built in&text3=My pick for the best ultralight boxing shoe on the market. This shoe is under 200 grams, making it less than half the weight of some of the regular ‘light’ boxing shoes. You won’t even feel these on your feet, though they cost double what you might pay for some of the cheaper starter Adidas brands&asin=B01J92WGZ6]
My favorite pair of ultra light weight boxing shoes are the Adidas speedex. They are a more premium version of the Adidas Combat Speed IV’s, but with a more sturdy design, better pivot, and additional support built in. However, you’ll pay quite a bit more for these as they are about $150. I feel it’s worth the cost, especially if you want the lightest boxing shoes you can get and you put a lot of emphasis on boxing footwork.
To improve support around the ankle area, the Speedex has ankle straps you pull tight after you tie up the shoe. You also get an outsole design (shoe sole wraps around the part of the shoe sides) which gives you a bit more support on the lower parts of your foot. The shoes are made from a mesh material to help vent air — and this actually does work I’ve found, which is not always the case with some of the other models).
Another feature is the AdiWear which is basically a more sturdy rubber material used for the sole over the cheaper models. For example, the Speed Champ III wears out within months of usage.
I’ve had the Adidas Speed Champ III’s and compared to this model, the Speedex model is superior — it’s a little bit lighter, offers more support, and the sole is more durable — and it’s designed to allow more air to pass through the mesh, something that the Speed Champ III struggles with (my feet always get and stay wet).
Overall, a fantastic boxing shoe and one of my favorite, if somewhat pricey shoes. Excellent if you want ultra lightweight shoes for footwork and or movement speed. Also, these shoes are excellent if you want to jump rope! I also love how there’s some snazzy, flamboyant color styles to choose from, though if you want a more minimal color combo, you are out of luck.
Adidas Combat Speed IV Shoes (Budget Option)
These are about the same weight (also an ultralight boxing shoe design), but offer less overall support and stability. Also note, they are wrestling shoes, not specifically boxing shoes. I prefer paying a bit more to get the Speedex model which is far more durable and gives more support and better pivot ability, but if price is a concern, the Combat Speed IV model gives you something lightweight for under $60.
Another choice to look at, if you don’t mind spending more money, are the Adidas Speed Champ III, which is also an ultralight boxing shoe. However, it’s difficult (nearly impossible) even to find this model for say now. And it’s over $100, which I don’t consider a budget option.
Best Combat Shoe for MMA
For pure wrestling shoes, we give the node to the popular ASICS Split Second 9 Wrestling Shoe model. At under $50, it’s a steal of a deal and the excellent grip, good stability, light weight, and vented mesh make these an overall ‘use for anything’ shoe. For a general MMA shoe that you want to use for wrestling and also stand up boxing, these are fantastic shoes.
In fact, the awesome ASICS Split Second 9 shoes made our Best Wrestling Shoes list for a few different categories! There are better ‘pure’ wrestling shoes out there among the wrestling shoe brands, but very few models will give you the bang for buck you get with the $40 Split Second 9’s, and the shoes remain great for beginner wrestlers, MMA training, and casual workout shoes.
For pure boxing work, however, these shoes offer a bit too much grip on the undersole area. They are clearly designed for wrestling and not boxing. While you still can use them, they don’t offer very good pivot and give a bit too much stability to your feet. You may find this does not affect your particular style of boxing, but as someone who’s light on their feet, loves to work angles and footwork, and who likes to pivot the lead foot when throwing front hooks, these shoes grip the ground too much.
But for MMA — where you need to jump between take-downs and boxing from second to second, these shoes are fantastic.
Even better, the price is a steal at under $50. There’s better wrestling shoes on the market with more features, more durability, more support, but taking in the price and what you get, I find it hard to recommend a better fight shoe for MMA…or general training in the gym. If you want to work mostly pure boxing (as opposed to MMA with take-downs added in) and want to use a wrestling shoe, go with the Adidas Combat Speed 4 instead, however.
Cons: Too much grip which can affect foot pivot for pure boxing.
How to Size These Shoes: The shoes fit a bit big. I recommend you buy one size bigger than your shoe size. So if your feet are size 10, buy size 11.
Best Boxing Shoes You’ve Never Heard Of
Adams Boxing Shoes
These are some of the most comfortable boxing shoes you’ll ever wear. Adams has made custom shoes for Pacio and some top level fights swear by them. However, it’s difficult to get your hands on these as they are all custom made to order by one single guy. For those who want something special, don’t mind waiting a few months, give these a go. They are supremely comfortable.
I’ve only hear good things about these, and I’m in the process of trying to get my hands on a pair for a proper hands-on review. But there’s nothing but praise for these and I have a lot of respect for one guy going up against all the big corporations.
However, getting your hands on a pair of Adams Boxing shoes are not easy. You need to contact the owner on his Facebook page, and request a pair — something which costs over $150 and takes months of waiting.
And hey, if Manny is ordering a custom pair, they have to be somewhat decent right?
Best Boxing Shoes for Wide Feet
Some people have wide feet and this can make for some uncomfortable fits as the typical boxing shoe caters people with the average foot width. I personally don’t have wide feet, so this recommendation is from what I’ve heard other people talk about (and a bit of research on my part). Adidas, Nike, and Cleto Reyes do not make wide-foot friendly shoes from what I’ve seen in my own boxing shoes.
These shoes have a very wide frontal area making them ideal (and affordable) for wider feet. Rival make a decent mid-range boxing shoe. Personally, I prefer Adidas or Nike boxing shoes over Rival, but Rival shoes beat out TITLE, Everlast, and Lonsdale — the other mass market boxing brands — in terms of quality. They are also better looking, I feel, than the Londsale. Get a pair of these and you’ll save a huge pile on having to try and order a custom boxing shoe for wide feet.
Lonsdale Boxing Shoes (Also Good)
I’m not a fan of the Londsale boxing brand. They’ve gone the way of Everlast and produce mass market, crappy quality boxing gear. They used to be a legit company, but not anymore. However, from what I’ve heard and from what I’ve read, Lonsdale makes their shoes quite wide. This means if you have wide feet and you don’t want to pay a premium for custom shoes (or a hard to find, expensive brand), you may want to go with Lonsdale for your boxing shoes. This is probably the most affordable option.
ASICS Split Second Wrestling 9 (Also Good)
If you don’t mind wearing wrestling shoes for your boxing, then get the ASICS Split Second Wrestling. These are great workout shoes, great for MMA training, and decent boxing shoes (though a bit on the grippy side which may affect your foot pivots). I’d rate this better than the Rival and Lonsdale choices above on quality, though I wish they made a pair of dedicated boxing shoes (while I prefer wrestling shoes over running shoes for boxing, boxing shoes are still better for pure boxing over wresting shoes). Still, if you don’t mind the extra grip at the bottom, or you want shoes for MMA or some casual boxing and you have very wide feet, these will do wonderfully.
The Final Word
This list has just about a boxing shoe for every person out there, no matter what you are looking for. If you’ve never worn boxing shoes before, well, you are in for a real treat.
Putting on a pair of boxing shoes — ANY — is probably the easiest way to ‘improve’ your boxing footwork right away, which will improve your overall boxing. It’s not going to make a bad boxer a good boxer, or even a passable boxer, but it will make you better than you are.
I recommend most people who start out to get one of the cheaper, starter boxing shoes recommended here. You don’t need to spend more than $60 or so bucks on a pair of boxing shoes. For more advanced boxers, competitive boxers, or for people who are looking to upgrade their boxing shoes to something ‘better’, then you might want to invest in one of the premium boxing shoes that are over $100 to get a more supportive, lighter, and generally better constructed boxing boot.
If you have any specific recommendations or picks you like, please share them in the comments! I will keep this list updated as new models come out.