November 22

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All About Wrestling Shoes: What They Are and How They Help You

By Teddy

November 22, 2022


When you think about wrestling, the first thing that probably comes to mind is two guys (or gals) clad in nothing but spandex unitards locked in battle, trying to take each other down. And while that’s certainly a big part of the sport, there’s so much more to it than that! Part of what makes wrestling such an intriguing sport is the fact that there’s a great deal of strategy involved. For example, did you know that the shoes you wear can play a big role in your performance? In this post, we’ll take a closer look at wrestling shoes and how they can give you an edge on the mat.

What are Wrestling Shoes?

Wrestling shoes are specifically designed to provide wrestlers with the traction and support they need to perform at their best. Unlike other types of athletic shoes that are designed for one specific purpose (e.g. running shoes are designed for, you guessed it, running), wrestling shoes are designed to meet the needs of a wrestler in all phases of the sport: grappling, takedowns, throws, etc. 

Anatomy of a Wrestling Shoe

  • The outsole is the bottom part of the shoe that comes into contact with the mat. It’s usually made from rubber and has a tread pattern that provides grip and traction. 
  • The insole is the part of the shoe that your foot rests on and is usually made fromEVA foam or gel for cushioning. 
  • The upper is the part of the shoe that covers your foot and ankle. It’s often made from suede or leather and has ventilation holes to keep your feet cool during long matches. 
  • The tongue is the part of the shoe that goes over your foot and helps protect your Achilles tendon from getting scraped by the laces. 
  • The laces are, well, the laces. They hold everything together and can be tightened or loosened as needed. 
  • The heel counter is the stiff piece of material at the back of the shoe that reinforces the heel cup and provides support for your ankle. 
  • The heel cup is the deepened portion ofthe sole located at the back ofthe shoe that helps cradle your heel and prevents it from slipping out during intense matches. 

The best shoes for wrestling typically have a low profile and a lace-up closure system for a snug fit. They also have reinforced toes for durability and extra padding around the ankles for added support. Most wrestling shoes have flat soles to provide maximum contact with the mat (added grip = better control). Some sneakers have “split” soles, which means they have separate sections for the heel and forefoot. This design can provide wrestlers with extra traction when they need it most. 

How Are Wrestling Shoes Different

Aside from the features listed above, wrestling shoes tend to be very lightweight in order to reduce fatigue and enhance speed. They are also designed so they don’t slip off during takedowns and throws (a.k.a. the “slip-on” feature). Most importantly, wrestling shoes are flat-soled so that wrestlers can maintain maximum contact with the mat (grip = control). 

How Wearing Wrestling Shoes Can Improve Your Performance

One of the most important things a wrestler can do is maintain control over their body at all times. Wearing wrestling shoes with flat soles can help with this by providing better contact with the mat, which gives you more control over your movements. Additionally, wrestling shoes with split soles can help you execute moves more effectively by providing extra traction when you need it most. 

How Much Wrestling Shoes Normally Cost

Wrestling shoes are usually fairly affordable. You can find plenty of great options for around $50 USD, although you can expect to pay a little more for a high-quality pair (around the $100+ USD mark) for a pair with extra features or higher-quality materials. 

Can You Use Wrestling Shoes As Normal Shoes

Wrestling shoes are designed specifically for use during wrestling, so they are not meant to be worn as casual or everyday sneakers. While some wrestlers might wear their wrestling shoes off the mat, this is generally not recommended. The high performance features of wrestling shoes (e.g. grip, speed) can make them unsuitable for other activities such as hiking, running, and jumping. Additionally, the traction provided by the outsole can wear down quickly if you walk on hard surfaces (e.g. pavement) for long periods of time. 

For these reasons, it is generally recommended that wrestlers only use their wrestling shoes during practices and matches. However, if you do need to wear your shoes off the mat, it is important to be aware that they likely won’t perform as well as they do during a match.

As you can see, wrestling shoes are pretty different from other types of athletic footwear. They provide wrestlers with traction and support that they need in order perform their best and meet the demands of the sport. If you’re a wrestler yourself, it’s definitely worth investing some time into finding the right pair! And if you’re thinking about taking up wrestling any time soon, do your research and make sure to get equipped with the proper gear!

Do you want to improve your performance on the mat? Then consider investing in a good pair of wrestling shoes! These specialized shoes provide traction and support that can help you perform at your best and win more matches. Whether you’re a seasoned wrestler or just starting out, be sure to do your research and find the right pair for your needs and budget.

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