One of the best physical contact sports for children is wrestling. While this can seem like a scary sport to have your child in for parents, it’s one of the most beneficial sports your child can be involved with. Wrestling will help keep your child physically active and gain confidence which will over all help your child’s self-esteem. For your child to partake in wrestling safely, they need the proper equipment. One of the items that your child will need before they endure in the world of wrestling is a pair of the perfect wrestling shoes. We came up with a top ten list below of the best wrestling shoes of 2019.
Our Top 3 Picks
- Asics Aggressor 2
- Great Ankle Support
- Adidas Combat Speed.5
- Breathable Mesh Upper
- ASICS Matflex 5 GS
- Rubber sole
Our Picks of the Best Wrestling Shoes for Kids
Criteria Used in Evaluation of the Best Wrestling Shoes for Kids
Fit and Feel
This was our most important criterion since wrestling shoes have to stay on the feet for hours at a time. In addition, each pair of shoes and a pair of feet are different in shape, texture, and condition. Paying attention to the unique features of your child’s feet is extremely important as he or she begins a sport that is notoriously tough on the feet. Flat feet, for example, may need the extra flexibility and the cushioning of a reinforced split sole. Feet with high arches may be better off with a flat unisole in order to keep them more stable on the mat.
However, the real judge in the “fit and feel” contest is your child. After all, they will be the ones wearing the shoes, so they will have to decide whether it feels good, bad, right or wrong. Granted, shoes do need a bit of breaking in, but high-quality wrestling shoes should begin to accommodate and mold around your child’s feet from the very first practice. We should disclose that unisoles may take a bit longer to break in, but wearing them at home (on soft or smooth surfaces) and at the gym can help break them in faster.
Since the right fit and feel is so subjective, we included a variety of shoes with different textures, stretch levels and reinforcements. However, shoe shopping–from sports to everyday wear–is a process of trial and error when it comes to children.
For any sport we want equipment that’s going to last. Especially when it comes to wrestling because we know that with this physical contact sport it can be tough on the soles of the shoes. You’re going to want a shoe that has the ability to stretch and move while you’re wearing them so that your shoes don’t become too stiff and start to tear. You want something that you know will be able to handle every match and practice that your child attends. When coming up with our top ten list above this is something, we paid extremely close attention too. We wanted to make sure we only had the best shoes on our list, and we paid very close attention to each shoe’s material and texture.
Most of the shoes on our list are made of leather and suede which have been proven top choice materials when it comes to wrestling shoes at a professional level. Anything synthetic will work so parents shouldn’t feel discouraged if they want to make sure they have a synthetic based material for their child’s wrestling shoes however you should make sure that they come from companies like Adidas and Asics so that you know these companies can be trusted.
All in all, durability, is one of the most important things to consider when it comes to a physical contact sport. A helpful tip for parents is to also pay attention to designs. Much like the 3-stripe design that’s known by Adidas. This is usually referred to as a TPU overlay, TPU stands for thermoplastic polyurethane. It’s known material for elasticity and resistance to oil, grease and abrasion.
We wanted to make sure that every item on our list there was something for everyone. We made sure we found stylish, trendy, and shoes that had cool colors and patterns. For teenagers, having a fashionable shoe is important to them even if it’s just for their favorite sport. We wanted to make sure that each shoe was also had certain features such as how comfortable the shoe was, breathability, motion range and grip.
For example, the Cael V6.0 by Asics are lined on the insides with a Comfordry mesh, which works like an absorbent layer to pull sweat away from the socks. That means cooler and drier feet, which can make a world of difference during long practices. Innovations like these are proven features among college and professional wrestlers, so we know they can help your child no matter what level they’re at.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are weightlifting shoes the same as wrestling shoes?
A: The general answer is no, mainly because weightlifting shoes are specifically developed for extreme lifting movements that put tons of pressure on the feet. The focus with weightlifting shoes is to keep the lifter stable on the ground while providing extra heel support (many of them have raised heels). Wrestling shoes, on the other hand, tend to have thin, flat unisoles or split soles that focus on grip and flexibility.
Having said that, a few companies such as Otomix makes shoes that can be used for both purposes. We chose to go with Otomix because the materials, construction, and design are clearly appropriate for wrestling. Furthermore, their shoes have been approved by countless wrestlers and coaches, as well as athletes in other combat sports such as kickboxing and mixed martial arts (MMA). Regardless of which brand shoes you choose for your child, make sure to look for the following elements: enhanced ankle support, flexible sole and superior grip/traction. Once those requirements are met, you can choose based on your child’s personal needs and preferences, such as material, dry-fit lining, reinforced side panels, etc.
Q: What is the size adjustment if I’m buying these for a girl?
A: The good news is that quite a few brands nowadays, including Otomix, have female sizes. Still, the vast majority of wrestling shoemakers only have male sizes, so it can be rather challenging to find the right fit for girls. In the case of Adidas wrestling shoes, we know for sure that Adidas advises going down one to one and a half sizes down from the male size. For wide feet, especially, you may want to go down one full size.
Desired wiggle room in the toe box is another factor in how much to size down. This is really dependent on the “feel” your child wants from a shoe. If she prefers a tight, fitted feel, then perhaps she should go one to one and a half sizes down. If she maneuvers better with more room in the toe area, you may want to go down by one or half size. Unfortunately, it is a bit of trial and error with girls, but a great source of information is your child’s wrestling coach. Coaches, after all, have extensive knowledge of shoe specifications and how they fit on young wrestlers. They can also recommend shoes that develop your child’s strengths while helping her through some of her weaknesses.
Q: Are leather shoes more durable than synthetic ones?
A: There was a time when the answer would have been “yes,” but synthetic materials nowadays are extremely durable and functional, thanks to advances in science and technology. In fact, many companies develop specialized synthetic materials which they call “performance fabrics.” These materials address specific needs such as enhanced grip and traction, superior breathability and a lighter feel on the feet. Lightness, in particular, is a common reason for choosing synthetic, or mostly synthetic shoes. However, some wrestlers perform better with heavier, more “grounded” shoes, so it’s really a matter of preference.
Durability was one of the criteria for our list, so you can be sure that all our choices are tough, well-built shoes that are made to last. However, our list does represent a wide variety of materials, colors, and designs in order to your appeal to your child’s individual tastes.
Q: Which is better – unisole or split soles?
A: Ah, the unisole or split sole debate! While wrestlers love to argue the pros and cons of sole construction, the basic answer to this question is: it depends on your child’s needs and preferences. To clarify, a unisole is a one-piece sole that goes from heel to toe, while a split sole is made of two distinct pieces. The unisole’s primary purpose is grip, which can be helpful for beginning wrestlers who are still working on strength and stance. The superior grip is especially important for pushing off the mat since even the strongest wrestler can slip and fall without sufficient traction.
The split sole, however, may give a greater range of movement due to the increased flexibility. In addition, the split sole design can accommodate integrated features such as an EVA midsole, as you see in the Adidas Mat Wizard 3. These kinds of features can help alleviate pressure on certain areas of the feet. So it’s really a matter of what your teen needs from a wrestling shoe, and how they feel on his or her feet during practice.
Q: Should I buy a size up for a teen?
A: This isn’t necessarily a bad idea depending on your teen’s age. On average, girls feet stop growing at around the age of 14, while foot growth for boys usually stops around age 16. So it’s understandable that parents think of sizing up, depending on what age their kids start wrestling. The downside to sizing up is that the shoe may not fit securely, which can definitely lead to injuries. While a bit of wiggle room in the toe area can be helpful to some teens, loose shoes may compromise ankle stability, and that’s the last thing you want.
Sizing up by a half size is probably safer, though we recommend you speak with your child’s coach before making a final decision. You can also speak with a podiatrist, who can examine your teen’s feet and make recommendations based on factors such as the shape and size of the toes, and previous injuries to the feet or ankle areas. The other option is to buy a half to full size up as a spare, which brings us to the next question.
Q: Should I buy more than one pair at a time?
A: You certainly don’t have to, although many parents do. In the beginning, one pair would be wise, just in case, your child decides not to continue wrestling past the first season. Once they’re sure about going back for season two, we recommend two pairs–one for practice and one for competition. Whether they should be the exact same pair is largely up to your child, though many children do get used to a certain fit and feel. Overall, we recommend sticking with shoes that at least have a similar build and design, so that your child isn’t thrown off between practices and competitions. You can also choose to buy a fitted pair, and a half or full size up to have as a spare. Foot growth seems to happen practically overnight for some children, so thinking ahead may save you the aggravation of trying to secure shoes right before a tournament.
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