10 Best Wrestling Shoes for Kids Reviewed in 2023
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 overall 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 perfect wrestling shoes. We came up with a top ten list below of the best wrestling shoes of 2019.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 52 hrs of research
High-top wrestling shoe featuring treaded sidewall and outsole
Grip provides advantage from every angle
Comfortable and soft upper
The front lace-up panel provides a customized fit
Best traction with the super-durable sole
10 Best Wrestling Shoes for Kids Reviewed
1. Asics Aggressor 2
High-top wrestling shoe featuring treaded sidewall and outsole
Grip provides advantage from every angle
Comfortable and soft upper
The front lace-up panel provides a customized fit
Best traction with the super-durable sole
Sizes run small, snug fit
Stiff upper until broken in
Get your little wrestler ready to hit the mats with these wrestling shoes. They offer great support with sidewalls that have been created out of rubber. This gives wrestlers the upper advantage when they are able to get a grip at every angle and during every move.Read more
The upper is constructed from a form-fitting and soft material that is durable, giving the wrestler an excellent fit each time they lace up. The laces of the shoe come together in a panel that laces up, giving the shoe a more-customized feeling. Around the ankle, the strap is a hook-and-loop-design closure that keeps everything in place and secure. This wrestling shoe provides a lightweight, flexible, and durable design that helps maintain traction and never weighs them down.
With a sole of rubber that covers the complete outsole of this wrestling shoe, it provides some of the best traction that they can get. The treaded sole and sidewall give strength and traction that will ultimately allow a smooth transition through every move.
The colors of these wrestling shoes really make you stand out. They look awesome and feel comfortable. The bonus is the treaded sidewalls and soles on this shoe, really a great pair for traction on the mats.
2. Adidas Combat Speed
Original wrestling shoe, standard from which others were created
Lightweight and durable design
Breathable, mesh-layer upper
Flexible side straps
Leather outsole for great traction
Run small in length and width
Bottoms attract dirt, hard to clean
Don’t let your kids settle for anything but the best original wrestling shoe on the market. These wrestling shoes are the pair that set the standards for how other shoes are made and designed.Read more
They feel like a sock and grip like a shoe but are super lightweight. The single-layer body of the shoe has been constructed out of mesh giving it a real sock-like feeling but is durable and flexible during matches. The side panels have integrated logos with supportive and flexible support straps. On the outsole, you will find a suede leather that overlays, giving the grip of the shoe just the exact amount that is needed without having to plant your foot down and dig in. Why settle for anything but the best original wrestling shoe on the market? This is the shoe that made the mark.
Breathable shoes are ideal for many sports, but in wrestling, it is a must-have. The mesh layer that this shoe has been constructed from makes it feel like you are wearing a sock, but it has all the traction of a running shoe. It is a single-layer mesh that is breathable and flexible giving a great lightweight feeling.
The design is simple and these shoes have been worn by wrestlers around the world for many years. It gives you the traction that you need, a comfortable fit, and lightweight design that cannot be redone by any other shoe company.
3. ASICS Matflex 5 GS
Integrated laces are rule compliant
Full-length rubber outsole
Form-fitting and flexible
Sizing runs small, reviewers recommend buying 1-2 sizes larger than needed
Coloring on toe can wear off over time
If your child has expressed an interest in wrestling, this is their first year, or if they just need an extra pair of wrestling shoes, then the Matflex 5 GS is the shoe for you. This classic wrestling shoe is crafted by ASICS, a well-known maker of athletic footwear.Read more
Anima Sana In Corpore Sano or ASICS started in 1949 and is dedicated to the idea of “A Sound Mind in a Sound Body”. They keep these ideals by providing the same high-quality craftsmanship in their youth shoes as they do in their professional line. One of the biggest concerns as a parent when your little one talks about trying a new sport is the cost, especially when it comes to shoes. Kids can outgrow their wrestling shoes more than once in a season, so it’s important to find a quality brand for a budget price. That is exactly what ASICS offers.
The Matflex 5 GS features a full-length gum rubber outsole for increased traction. The breathable fabric reduces sweating and provides a better form fit. These shoes tend to run a bit narrow in the arch so most reviewers recommend purchasing between 1-2 sizes larger than your child’s street shoes to maximum comfort. The Matflex is a tied-lace shoe which can allow a smooth transition from velcro and provide more opportunities to practice lace tying. They are designed to withstand daily practice without splitting or fading.
This shoe provides professional level traction and support at an entry-level price point that is perfect for parents on a budget.
4. Adidas Laced HVC
Comfortable for long time wear
Perfect for children with sensory issues
Some customers noticed that shoe originally appears stiff before broken in some
This shoe is perfect for your aspiring wrestler at home. This shoe can easily fit in any gym bag and ready to go for your next practice.Read more
It is made of leather and suede but mostly leather. These shoes, however, do have Velcro to them, so they stretch a little bit across the laces. They are comfortable for your child to wear and perfect if your child might have some sensory issues when it comes to shoes.
These shoes are wonderful for anyone who’s looking for a shoe to wear as every day or for wrestling practice. While they do only come in one style, this shoe is true to size. It has a rubber sole and made up of materials 30% suede and 70% leather. They are extremely lightweight making it so for children they can easily slip on and off. They are perfect for wrestling or any physical contact sport your child might be enduring. They are also 100% true to size.
We like this item because it is perfect for your young athlete at home. Not only are they comfortable to wear but they will keep your child nice and safe with the right equipment when it comes to wrestling.
5. ASICS JB Elite
Split sole design
Seamless TPU overlays
Tournament regulation lacing
Ventilated mesh panels
May need to go up for half sizes
We’re sure you’ve heard of Asics, one of the most famous running shoe brands in the world. However, Asics makes all types of athletic shoes, including wrestling shoes that consistently rate high among amateur and professional wrestlers.Read more
Speaking of pros, the JB Elite is the official shoe of Olympic and World Wrestling Champion Jordan Borroughs. These shoes were made according to Borrough’s specifications for maximum comfort and functionality, starting with the split sole for enhanced flexibility and traction. Next, you’ll notice the thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) overlay over a layer of durable, yet stylish suede. Finally, the single layer mesh panel over the top provides great fit and comfort. Even the tongue is a superlight, mesh design that takes off weight while enhancing comfort and flexibility.
Jordan Borroughs is a hero among wrestling enthusiasts, so you’ll have no problem convincing your teen to try these on! In addition to the Borroughs name, these shoes really are superior in construction and design. Since they’re designed by a wrestler, all the important elements -- fit, comfort, durability, and range of motion -- have been fully addressed. Then, there are the “extras”, like the split sole with Asics’ signature cushioning, combined with added traction and flexibility. With the JB Elites, you can be sure that your teen is getting a top-quality, professional grade pair of wrestling shoes.
There’s really something special about wrestling shoes that are designed by a professional wrestler. Those athletes know exactly what it’s like to wear wrestling shoes for hours a day. They’ve also tried many pairs of shoes throughout their careers, so they have extensive knowledge of the features that help or hurt wrestlers. When such expertise is brought to life by a company like Asics, the result is a pair of highly functional, durable and protective shoes that look and feel great on your teenager’s feet.
6. Adidas Adizero XIV-M
Thin, mesh body
Minimal breaking in period
Narrow toe box
No lace garage
This is one of the sleekest designs we’ve seen for wrestling shoes, in clean, crisp colors that will appeal to any teen! Even better, they’re from Adidas’ Adizero Varner line, the signature shoe line of Olympic Gold Medalist, Jake Varner. His professional expertise can be seen in features like the smooth and slippery upper ridge for minimal interference during matches.Read more
What’s not slippery, though, is the rubber sole with a suede layer outsole for maximum traction. The body itself has that “sock-fit” look that many wrestlers prefer because it feels lighter, yet more secure on the foot. All in all, this is a highly functional, lightweight wrestling shoe that any teen will enjoy wearing.
These shoes are known for having that “broken-in feel” right out of the box. That feeling is due to the material and construction, which makes the shoes super flexible from top to bottom. They’re also much more breathable than standard wrestling shoes, thanks to the rows of breathing holes all throughout the sides and back. Wrestlers also rave about the reinforced sole, which has just the right amount of friction and slide for greater maneuverability on the mat.
Honestly, we’re still trying to figure how such a thin, lightweight shoe can be so durable and functional at the same time. These shoes are from the Varner 2 collection, the follow-up to the immensely successful Varner 1s. The reason they’re so popular is that they look like sleek, stylish shoes you could wear anywhere, yet they’re made specifically for wrestling. Even better, they come in a wide range of color patterns to suit any boy or girl.
7. ASICS Aggressor 3
Thin, breathable tongue
Great for flat feet
Narrow toe box
The Aggressor 3 is aptly named for its fierce design, durable construction, and functionality. As the follow-up to the Aggressor 2, these shoes have several remarkable improvements, starting with the suede Escaine upper construction.Read more
In addition to being a great design element, the Escaine upper provides superior fit and comfort. Next is the single layer mesh tongue, made thinner and less bulky for greater breathability. Integrated into the tongue is the lace garage to keep laces secure without needing to be taped. Teens love this feature since it’s one less thing they have to do before they get on the mat. The final improvement is in the flexible, lightweight sole, which has even more grip and traction for greater advantage when pinning down an opponent.
Teens love shoes that go on and off with minimum effort, but wrestling shoes tend to require a lot of work, especially with the laces. That’s why we were excited to see these new and improved Asics Aggressors with the stretchy Escaine upper and the compact, fully concealed lace garage. As you know, laces have to be taped down or concealed according to regulation rules in order to prevent them from coming apart during matches. Many shoes come with lace garages, but it’s hard to find ones as durable and stylish as the ones on the Aggressor 3. Overall, this is a wrestling shoe your teen will love putting on year after year!
It seems like wrestling shoes fall into two categories: thicker, padded shoes or thin and sleek shoes. Both suit different types of wrestlers, but most teenagers want a shoe that falls somewhere in the middle. That’s why we love the redesigned Aggressor 3s, which were made with the idea that superior grip and ankle protection doesn’t mean sacrificing great fit and comfort. A sense of balance can also be seen in the color choices, which are fashionable without being flashy.
8. Asics Cael V6.0
Open mesh upper
Natural rubber sole
Does not go below size 6
Tend to run ½ size small
No teen would be disappointed to receive these super stylish Cael Sanderson signature shoes from Asics. Sanderson, a college wrestling icon and current Penn State University wrestling coach, designed these shoes with young wrestlers in mind.Read more
First, these are man-made, so you can be absolutely sure of the construction and quality. Second, the lacing is an eight eyelet closure system with a lace garage for guaranteed lace concealment. Third, the breathable mesh lining ensures ventilation and comfort hour after hour. Comfort is enhanced by the built-in anti-odor properties that keep feet drier and cooler. All in all, the Cael V6.0 is the ideal shoe for any teen wrestler, designed by one of the world’s most famous former teen wrestlers!
Sanderson is an undefeated college wrestler who went onto become an Olympic Gold gold medalist, so you can say he knows a thing or two about a wrestler’s needs. He is particularly knowledgeable of the needs of young wrestlers, whose feet and ankles are not quite at the level of an adult’s. Each of the Cael V6.0’s features aims to protect your teen’s delicate bones and joints while giving them the competitive edge they need at tournaments.
This is one of the few wrestling shoes we’ve come across with a dry-fit layer, similar to the ones you see in running shoes. It makes perfect sense when you think of the all pressure that gets put on the feet during all those squats, flips and turns. Teens tend to sweat a lot in general, and there’s nothing more distracting than damp, sticky feet when you’re trying to focus on an opponent. It takes a professional coach to know exactly what matters to a young wrestler, which is why we’re proud to include the Cael V6.0 on our list!
9. Adidas HVC2 AQ3325
Suede and leather overlay
Velcro ankle strap
One piece suede outsole
Single layer mesh system
The first thing you notice is the shiny leather with suede overlay, emblazoned with Adidas’ classic 3 white stripes. The second thing to catch your eye is the wrap around, one-piece outsole for greater grip.Read more
Finally, the wide, durable ankle strap with the Adidas logo lets you know that this is no ordinary wrestling shoe. Indeed, the Adidas HVC is known as a “workhorse shoe”, known for its dependability while remaining lightweight and comfortable. Teen love that they’re not too high and not too low, with durable construction that moves and flexes with them season after season. In fact, these shoes are so durable, many teens have used for other tough-on-feet sports such as boxing and basketball.
Adidas is known as a fashion brand, as well as a shoemaker, but it all started from classic black and white shoes with the signature three-stripe sides. It’s nice to see that retro design brought back in a highly advanced wrestling shoe that’s built to last. Some people doubt the durability of a shoe that looks so thin and sleek, but both coaches and teens will attest to the high-quality stitching and molding, with that all-important ankle strap.
Many schools and tournaments have very strict rules about what types of shoes are allowed, which is why we wanted to give classic black and white options that still had a bit of flair. The special twist with these shoes is the multi-textured look achieved by a combination of leather, suede and synthetic fabrics. And of course, the famous 3 stripe TPU overlay that lets everyone know it’s Adidas. These may seem like small details, but teens feel confident when they look good, and confidence is the key to achieving their best on and off the mat.
10. Adidas Mat Wizard 3-M
Supportive TPU strips
Excellent grip and flexibility
Adidas considers these shoes the perfect combination of style, comfort, and performance, and we couldn’t agree more! The Mat Wizard 3 has an extremely breathable mesh body with Adidas’ classic 3 stripes TPU overlay.Read more
The shoes have the “sock-fit” comfortability that Adidas is known for, with strategically placed performance fabric overlays. Superior grip in the soles is provided by molding synthetic performance fabric over the rubber sole. The sole, by the way, has an internal EVA midsole, which is a technique used in orthopedic shoes to provide additional cushion and shock absorption. The midsole also adds more flexibility for a perfect, effortless “attack stance”.
Adidas is a leader in shoe technology, as well as shoe design and construction. They also listen to their customers, ranging from teens to professional athletes. That’s why they continue to evolve with innovations like the EVA midsole. Sports like wrestling are so tough on the balls of the feet, especially on tender, still-growing teenage feet. With the Mat Wizard 3, your teen will get an added layer of protection for those many hours of squatting and pushing off the mat.
We know how much teens care about brand names, even for shoes they’ll only be used for wrestling. As parents, your primary concern is the durability with built-in comfort and safety features. Shoes like these, from a trendy and reputable company like Adidas, make both parents and teens happy. We especially love the Mat Wizard 3’s layers of reinforcements, from the synthetic strips around the ankles to the fabric overlay molded onto the rubber soles.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
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 as the material for elasticity and resistance to oil, grease, and abrasion.
Check with the coach on whether the kids should be wearing a split sole or a unisole. Different regions require a different style.
A snug fit is preferred for wrestling shoes. It allows the kids to be able to get the most out of the grip and perform at their best.
Other Factors to Consider
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 as 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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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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