Boxing Shoes vs. Wrestling Shoes: The Similarities & Differences

Boxing Shoes vs. Wrestling Shoes

Both the sports of boxing and wrestling use specially made shoes for training and competitions. From a glance, it can be hard to tell the differences between different boxing shoes vs. wrestling shoes.

Let’s break it down and talk about the similarities and differences between boxing shoes vs. wrestling shoes. Check out how to tell them apart below and check out our recommendations for each type of shoe.

Boxing Shoes vs. Wrestling Shoes: The Histories

Before we get into the similarities and differences between boxing shoes vs. wrestling shoes, let’s talk about their histories. Here is how both types of shoes evolved over time.

The History of Boxing Shoes

Boxing Shoes History

Before the sport of boxing was regulated, practitioners would basically wear whatever shoes they had. If they had either cloth or leather shoes, those are what they wore when they boxed.

When the sport of boxing began to be regulated, specific boxing shoes were created. Although, early boxing shoes provided little to no protection and weren’t very durable.

Later on the construction would get better as many began to use tough leather shoes and boots for boxing. These boxing shoes were more durable and provided better protection but still needed to be improved.

As time advanced, shoe technology got better, which meant the quality of boxing shoes improved. Engineers began developing boxing shoes made of durable lightweight material, which protected a boxer’s feet.

Modern boxing shoes are nearly perfect as they include better soles, traction, and ankle support. All while being lightweight and durable so as to not way down boxers when they’re competing or training.

The History of Wrestling Shoes

Wrestling Shoes History

The history of wrestling shoes has a similar history to that of boxing shoes. Originally, wrestlers would wear whatever shoes they had or even no shoes to wrestle.

Like early boxing shoes, early wrestling shoes were bare-boned leather shoes, which offered little to no support. As different types of wrestling grew in popularity, the technology of wrestling shoes evolved.

To grip a wrestling mat during practice and competition, wrestlers need special shows developed. Shoes that would not only give them traction on the mat, but protect their feet and meet the demands of the sport.

Just like with boxing shoes, wrestling shoes improved in quality as time progressed. Today, there are many great wrestling shoes on the market that are made with the highest-grade materials.

Boxing Shoes vs. Wrestling Shoes: The Differences

From just a glance, boxing shoes vs. wrestling shoes almost look exactly the same. However, there are some differences between them that we have listed below.

Wrestling Shoes Are More Durable 

While boxing shoes and wrestling shoes look more or less the same, there is one big difference. Wrestling shoes are made to be a bit more durable than boxing shoes to meet the demands of the sport.

In wrestling, there are quicker movements and the opponent can grab onto your shoes. For this reason, wrestling shoes had to be made to be more durable.

Boxing shoes often have a sleeker design, with a thinner sole. Wrestling shoes have overall thicker soles and material than boxing shoes, with a bit more ankle support.

The Soles 

The soles of boxing shoes are generally smoother and have minimal tread patterns compared to wrestling shoes. This construction with minimal tread is to make pivoting and sliding easier for boxers.

Wrestling shoes have a more pronounced tread pattern to provide better grip when they’re on the mat. A more pronounced tread pattern enables wrestlers to get a better grip on the mat.

Ankle Support 

Wrestling shoes tend to have higher ankle support than boxing shoes due to the constant movement. However, many brands of boxing shoes have high-top designs to better protect a boxer’s ankles. These types of boxing shoes are a must for boxers with ankle problems.


While many of the materials are the same between boxing shoes vs. wrestling shoes, there are some differences. One of the biggest is that boxing shoes usually feature more breathable materials.

In boxing, the fight time is longer than in wrestling, so a boxer’s shoes need to provide good ventilation and circulation. This is to ensure that their feet are staying cooled and not getting any blood circulation cut off.

Wrestling shoes on the other hand tend to prioritize grip and durability over breathability.

Closure Systems 

The last big difference between boxing shoes vs. wrestling shoes is the closure systems. Boxing shoes, often feature the laces extending higher up, allowing for a tighter, more secure fit.

Wrestling shoes have a variety of different closure systems including laces, straps, or a combination of both for a tight fit. 

However, there are many types of boxing shoes, which have similar closure systems to boxing shoes.

Boxing Shoes vs. Wrestling Shoes: The Similarities 

You won’t be surprised to find out that when comparing boxing shoes vs. wrestling shoes, they have many similarities. Here are four of the biggest similarities that these types of shoes share.


Both boxing shoes and wrestling shoes are designed with lightweight materials that are durable. Easy type of shoe must be durable while being lightweight and enabling the user to perform quick movements.

Foot & Ankle Support 

As mentioned in the previous section, both types of sports shoes are made to give optimal foot and ankle support. Both boxing and wrestling are demanding sports and can damage an athlete’s foot and ankles.

This is why many designers have put an emphasis on their shoes giving the best foot and ankle support possible. Shoes with better ankle support will ensure an athlete’s safety and increase the chances of them buying the same shoe brand.


While the soles and traction of boxing shoes vs. wrestling shoes are a bit different, they share the same goal. That is to grip the mat/canvas in order to maintain stability and maneuver effectively in training and competition. 


Today, both boxing shoes and wrestling shoes are made with the highest-grade materials that are flexible. Both styles offer flexibility to allow for natural movement and improve agility.

Can You Wear One Type of Shoe For One or Both Sports?

There are certain types of wrestling/boxing shoes that have the construction or durability for both sports. However, it would be a better idea to purchase shoes that are specifically made for the sport you’re training in.

Boxing Shoe Recommendations

Boxing Shoe Recommendations

When choosing the best boxing shoes, try choosing from one of these six trusted brands.

  1. Title Boxing
  2. Ringside
  3. Everlast 
  4. Reebok
  5. Nike
  6. Adidas

Every year, these six brands are at the top of the list for most boxing shoes sold. Each has a variety of different lines and styles to meet your footwear needs and improve your performance.

Wrestling Shoe Recommendations 

Like, with boxing shoes, there are some great wrestling shoe brands out there that are a great choice. If you’re looking for new wrestling shoes, check out the great lines of shoes made by these respected brands.

  • Matman
  • Nike
  • Adidas
  • Cliff Keen
  • Brute

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