When you’re thinking about buying boxing gear, the first thing that probably comes to mind is your gloves.
While it’s true you won’t get far without a decent pair of boxing gloves, you can’t neglect to think about what’s on your feet. The shoes you choose to use when training can play an instrumental role in how you perform.
Running, lifting weights, and boxing, are entirely different activities, and you can’t expect the same shoes to be used for everything. The movements and forces on your feet are different in each activity, and if you want to excel in boxing, you need footwear specifically designed for the task.
Our guide covers the importance of boxing shoes, explains their function, and will provide you with a selection of the best boxing shoes on the market.
Full reviews of all boxing shoes can be found at the bottom of this page. If you can’t wait that long, here’s our pick of the best shoes for boxing.
Best Boxing Shoes Comparison Table
Why You Need Boxing Shoes
Your clumsiness in the ring could be down to something as simple as the shoes you wear.
Let me explain…
A good pair of boxing shoes will instantly improve your footwork.
Unlike running shoes, where a thick sole is required for shock absorption, boxing shoes have a thin sole that helps you to remain sprightly on your feet. You’ll be able to push off the ground with ease, and when combined with the lightweight materials used in boxing shoes, you’ll be able to advance and retreat quickly.
You’ll also have more balance as boxing shoes have a flatter sole unlike the ergonomically curved sole found in most running and sports shoes.
Boxing shoes can also add power to your punches. Your feet have a solid connection with the ground which is extremely effective for transferring power from the legs, through the body, and out through the fist. Without a thick sole, there’s no dulling of the force when pushing off the ground.
Boxing shoes also allow your feet to pivot while restraining against sliding. This is essential as the pivot is how you wind power into the hook.
Benefits of Boxing Shoes
While boxing shoes don’t make good hiking boots, that’s about where the drawbacks end. Investing in a good pair of professional boxing shoes has many benefits including:
Boxing shoes can improve your sense of balance and control in the ring dramatically, which can lead to a boost in overall performance. The shoes feature flat, patterned soles that allow you to twist, turn, and push off quickly.
Part of the reason boxing shoes improve your footwork is due to the shoes being extremely compact and lightweight. They are designed using materials that are strong, durable, comfortable to wear but weigh next to nothing.
Used for Other Gym Activities
Shorter-cut boxing shoes can actually be fantastic for the gym; particularly during exercises where having a great grip is of paramount importance.
Boxing Shoes Vs. Wrestling Shoes
Boxing shoes and wrestling shoes are often used interchangeably between the two disciplines. The shoes look the same and perform pretty much the same function, but there are subtle differences between the two.
Old school boxing shoes are high-cut (often reaching just below the knee), whereas wrestling shoes are cut closer to the ankle.
Another key difference between the two lies in the construction of the soles. In wrestling, a lot of the movements require pushing off the legs. The soles of wrestling shoes therefore have a much better grip. In boxing, a lesser degree of friction is needed and the soles are smoother and flatter to allow greater mobility and a little bit more sliding (required for pivoting).
While there are certainly differences between the shoes, they are still very alike, and many wrestling shoes are suitable for boxing. With modern boxing shoes now opting for a low-cut style, wrestling and boxing shoes are becoming more similar, and some manufacturers (such as Adidas) don’t even make a distinction between the two.
Things to Consider
So now you know which type of shoes you should be training with, there are still differences between manufacturers and models you need to consider.
It’s worth being pernickety. You’ll be using your boxing shoes as much as you use your gloves, and you want a pair that is comfortable to train in and that will enhance your performance.
Three factors to be aware of before making your purchase include the support the shoes provide, the material they are constructed from, and the type of sole. Finding the proper balance between these three elements will lead to shoes that assist your development as a boxer.
Let’s take an in-depth look at each of the elements below:
Firstly, you need to consider how much support you require.
Some people like the added support traditional high-cut boots provide. However, others find these shoes too cumbersome, restrictive, and uncomfortable for daily use. They would rather have low-cut boxing shoes that are extremely lightweight and allow greater rotation of the ankle.
One style is not better than the other, and it comes down to what feels most comfortable to wear.
If you can, try on both styles at the store before purchasing, or ask friends at the gym for a quick trial of their shoes (preferably before training).
The materials your boxing shoes are made from influence your comfort, performance, and the durability of your shoes.
Most manufacturers opt for leather or suede for the body of the shoe, but many other synthetic materials can be used. Leather and suede are popular as they are flexible and very lightweight.
No matter the material, you want the shoes to be an extension of you and almost feel as if you’re not wearing anything at all. Ideally, your shoes should be extremely comfy, be tight when laced up, and have ample breathability.
Finally, you need to consider the part of the shoe in contact with the ground.
The material used and the design of the sole is going to have a significant influence on how quickly you can change posture and direction and your overall mobility. Most soles are rubber-based, with some utilizing another form of non-stick material.
The best soles are thinner than your average walking shoe, have full-contact with the ground, and stop you from slipping while still allowing you to pivot on the balls of your feet.
Our Top 8 Best Shoes for Boxing
8. TITLE Hi-Top Boxing Boots
Title is world-renowned for producing superior fight gear that remains affordable. The Hi-Top line is the perfect embodiment of this reputation being a good-quality shoe available at a reasonable price. For this reason, they’re ideal for beginners and anyone who wants a decent training shoe without damaging their back balance.
With a 12-inch cut, these shoes have a classic style. The design is somewhat plainer than other boxing shoes, but they are still well and truly fit for purpose.
The synthetic leather provides ample support to the calves and ankles while still allowing plenty of movement.
The soles are sculpted polyurethane, offering superb mobility and a solid connection with the ground.
7. Ringside Undefeated Boxing Shoes
Ringside Undefeated lines are professional high-cut shoes offering solid support along with some serious style.
The jet-black patented leather vinyl finish is striking against the silver lines present throughout, making for a standout design that commands attention.
These shoes not only look good, but also offer superior performance. They are extremely lightweight, and the soles provide adequate traction making for swift and responsive footwork.
The material allows for excellent manoeuvrability and ventilation, and many users have likened using the shoes to “walking on air”.
6. Asics Matflex 5 Wrestling
Asics is a Vietnamese manufacturer that continuously outdoes themselves and the competition when it comes to producing high-quality boxing shoes. The Matflex 5’s are a prime example, offering amazing, low-cut comfort and performance at an entry-level price point.
A full-length rubber sole provides incredible traction, and the synthetic material the shoe is constructed from is extremely breathable.
The only “drawback”, is that many users who have purchased this shoe have pointed out that they run quite small; it might be best to purchase a size up for a comfortable fit.
The shoes come in black or red, both with silver highlights, and both equally stunning.
5. Cleto Reyes Leather High Top Boxing Shoes
Cleto Reyes is acknowledged as being one of the leading manufacturers of boxing equipment globally. These boots showcase their talents offering superb support, flexibility, comfort, and a lightweight design that leads to increased performance in the ring.
These boots opt for a traditional high-top style and combined with the leather finish, they have a classic and elegant feel. The tough leather exterior also means that you’ll have these boots for years to come.
They have a fully rubberized sole that allows quick manoeuvrability and specially designed laces that eliminate flexion strain.
They fit amazingly well and are easy to get on and off thanks to the side zippers that flank both of the boots.
4. Asics Split Second 9
Another fantastic shoe from Asics, this mid-cut design is marketed as a wrestling shoe, but works just as well (if not even better) when used for boxing.
The Split Second 9’s are one of the lightest weight shoes on this list, and that lightness gives them an edge over much of the competition. Moving and boxing in these shoes is effortless, and your feet feel more responsive.
The sole is actually split into two parts to provide increased flexibility, but also providing grip where you need it most. The split offers a solution for those who suffer from cramps and pains in their feet when training.
The body of the shoe is covered in mesh which does an excellent job of keeping your feet cool.
The Split Second 9’s come in four awesome colour schemes that are sure to turn heads at the gym.
3. Adidas Box Hog 2
Taking the third spot on the best boxing shoes list is one of the all-time classics. If you’ve ever been a fan of Adidas design and performance, you will absolutely love these shoes.
They feature a classic, high-cut style that provides great support while still offering uncompromised mobility – a balance that many lesser manufacturers fail to achieve.
Other notable features include a timeless design, lightweight construction, and sizing that is spot on and provides a snug fit.
If you are looking for a classic boxing shoe that won’t ever let you down, the Adidas Box Hog 2 has you covered.
2. LONSDALE Quick Boxing Boots
Based out of the British capital, Lonsdale is well known for supplying quality boxing gear to not only British fighters, but to boxing communities all over the world. Their equipment is durable and built to withstand heavy-duty professional use.
Staying true to the Lonsdale brand, these boots are highly durable, featuring a ripstop textile and leather base construction and an EVA midsole. Simply put, these shoes will be with you for the long haul.
The waffle outsole provides a firm grip whether you’re training on mats, timber floors, or you’re taking front and centre stage on the canvas.
Offering a range of sizes and two distinctive color choices (blue/black or red/black), not only do these boots feel great in the ring, but they also look great too.
1. Adidas Combat Speed 4 Wrestling
If you are looking for something lower-cut than the Box Hog, look no further than the Wrestling Combat Speed 4.
Also from Adidas, these best-selling shoes are marketed as wrestling shoes. But don’t let that dissuade you; these shoes are more than suitable for boxing being extremely lightweight and having a split rubber sole that provides amazing grip while allowing quick pivots.
The Combat Speed 4’s are made from a combination of mesh, suede leather, and synthetic leather making them incredibly comfy to wear and providing adequate airflow. The rubber sole allows you to really feel the ground beneath your feet and users compare the feeling to training in socks.
The distinctive three-slash Adidas design lets everyone know you’ve chosen to train with quality footwear, while the many different designs available lets you retain your uniqueness.
For all the reasons above, along with Adidas’ long-standing reputation for producing high-quality boxing gear and the very reasonable price of these shoes, we consider The Combat Speed 4’s the best shoes for boxing.