Comparing 16+ boxing shoe brands used by amateurs, professionals, and champions!
Boxing shoes are one of the most important and most personal pieces of boxing equipment. Probably the second most critical piece of gear after your boxing gloves. Boxing shoes help you move with absolute control, giving you explosive footwork as well as anchored stops.
The best boxing shoes feel light, comfortable (like custom-made gloves for your feet), and help you become one with the canvas. The worst boxing shoes feel like a foreign material underneath, with weird lumps and curves that don’t mold to your feet. And then there’s also the matter of quality and features. Some last longer than others. Some are more comfortable, more secure, and easier to use than others.
Here’s my experience of the most popular boxing shoe brands!
Q: Which personal boxing gear is often overlooked by beginners?
- A: Yes, it’s BOXING SHOES!
Why are beginners especially so resistant when it comes to buying boxing shoes? Well, they don’t want to spend any money, they don’t see any benefit, and they figure they can just use any other athletic shoes (running/basketball/trainers). Well, I don’t recommend that. And I’m here to explain to you all the benefits of wearing good boxing shoes.
Benefits of Wearing Boxing Shoes
I know many of you will like to start out boxing by using other athletic shoes that are made for running, basketball, or other sports. I can tell you right now, it’s not the same. Wearing real boxing shoes makes a big difference in your performance. In fact, it’s probably one of the easiest ways to instantly improve a beginner boxer’s performance—put real boxing shoes on him.
A good pair of boxing shoes improves comfort, mobility, speed, and power. It’s really that simple. A shoe that’s made for boxing will allow you to be comfortable in boxing positions and stances, and allow you to move in the ways that a boxer typically moves. And if you’re able to move better, you’ll have more speed, and more power.
Wearing boxing shoes improves comfort, mobility, speed, and power.
Many of you will be tempted to do what I did, which is not buy real boxing shoes until way later, until you’re more serious, but you won’t get to enjoy the fun of how good it feels to wear real boxing shoes. Your feet feel so much lighter, and you move around with so much more agility AND support as you jump around the boxing ring snapping hooks and crosses. You simply have to try it to see what I mean.
Important Features of Good Boxing Shoes
1. Grip & Pivot
This is probably most important and distinct feature of boxing shoes, their ability to grip the ground so that your feet don’t slide when transferring power…but at the same time, always allowing you to pivot so you can throw power punches or execute typical fighting footwork maneuvers.
You will find that non-boxing shoes are pretty horrible when it comes to allowing you to grip & pivot. The way non-boxing shoes are shaped at the front can make pivoting a little awkward and also that the non-boxing shoes are either too slippery (don’t give you enough grip) or they give you too much grip (making it hard to pivot).
Some fighters will prefer a shoe that’s really grippy and they don’t mind if it’s a little harder to pivot. Some fighters will prefer a shoe that’s smoother and pivots easily even if it has a little less grip. The perfect balance for me is when the shoe grips enough to provide stability during power transfer and pivots easily enough while still keeping you connected to the ground. I actually hate when the shoes too grippy because that can make me trip.
Your boxing shoes should provide enough grip for stability,
while still allowing you to pivot easily.
2. Sole thickness, hardness, and texture
Now comes the second-most important feature of boxing shoes, the way the sole (the bottom of the shoe) is built. The way your soles are built greatly impacts your ability to balance, move, pivot, and throw punches. First off, on the inside…the insoles have to be comfortable and allow you to stand balanced. You shouldn’t feel like your axis is off-balance when you stand in your boxing shoes. You also shouldn’t feel like the shoes are forcing your feet to angle slightly towards the outsides or the insides. You’d be surprised by how common this problem is. If the insoles feel weird or make you off-balance already, maybe you can replace them with custom soles…maybe not.
The next thing is to get a feel for the thickness of the sole (the outside bottom part). Some guys like a thinner sole so that they can feel the ground more. You may feel more agile and lighter this way. Some guys like a thicker sole, you feel less ground but possibly more stable/powerful. You have to try it to see what I mean. It’s like the difference between standing “IN the ground” vs “ON the ground”.
- IN the ground is like standing in sand where your feet are absorbed into the surface.
- ON the ground is like standing on a hard surface like a basketball court.
When I was younger and loved jumping around a lot, I preferred a thinner sole and felt more powerful with that. Do note that thinner soles can tire out your feet quicker because of less support. (It’s similar to how those Vibram Five Finger shoes give your feet an extra workout.) Then again, my feet are strong, well-conditioned and that “extra work” doesn’t bother me one bit. For a beginner, they can make a difference but you get used to it quickly. Thin soles can also sometimes feel too easy to “roll over” where your feet can wobble outwards or inwards.
You would think a thin sole has less chance of rollover since the feet are closer to the ground but actually that isn’t where the issue is. The thing is thin soles are much more flexible and allow the sole to bend and curve too easily. Whereas a thick sole wouldn’t bend much and that alone (I think) is what helps prevent role over. With that said…if your feet are so wide that they extend past the outsole, then yeah…that doesn’t help much either.
Thicker soles have a nice solid feeling. You feel like your feet are standing on solid ground and can push off more powerfully. Also when you want to move quickly, it’s nice to feel like you’re pushing off a hard surface instead of a cushioned surface.
What you don’t want is a sole that is too thick that you feel too disconnected from the ground, this is common with many non-boxing athletic shoes. Shoes made for basketball will have all this cushioning in the sole that prevents you from connecting with the ground for maximum power. You may also notice that non-boxing shoes (and sometimes even some boxing shoes) have a raised heel which can prevent you from sitting down for maximum power on your punches. (Sometimes you have to be able to sit down on your heels for maximum power transfer, or to be able to push back an opponent.)
Another thing is the outside texture of the very bottom of the shoe. Some of you may like a flatter surface where it feels like you’re standing directly on the ground. You of you might like ridges or the little bumps (kind of like soccer cleats) because it feels like it has more grip. I personally like a flat bottom. I hate the bumps because it makes me feel more disconnected from the ground and also like I have less balance when I’m just standing. The bumps also make me feel like I’m standing on rocks (annoying). Keep in mind that I have wide feet, so maybe I might like the bumps if they were rearranged for wider feet.
The last thing to note is the construction of the toe and the heel. Some of you may like a shoe where the sole wraps up and covers the toe and the heel areas. This can make the shoe feel more durable and feel more grippy overall (especially when you pivot all the way to the toe-edge for punching). Others may hate when the toe edge has grip because they feel like it (grips and) trips them when they try to move. Those people probably prefer where the sole is only on bottom and the toe and heel areas are surrounded by the soft uppers. This might also feel lighter, more mobile or more comfortable to you.
Your boxing shoe soles should allow you to feel balanced and light.
3. Weight & Thickness
The overall feel of your shoe should have a desired weight and thickness. For me, the feeling of weight and thickness is determined by the material used as well as the mobility allowed. A feeling of lightness comes from a lighter and thinner sole, lighter and thinner uppers, and lots of freedom in the ankles. The moment the shoe starts adding on a thicker sole, or lots of fabric and upper material, or restricting ankle movement, the shoe starts to feel heavier.
Should you go thick and heavy or thin and light? This is really up to you. A light and thinner shoe will feel more agile and possibly more powerful if you like to feel the ground. A thicker and heavier shoe can feel more supportive and also more powerful because you feel like it’s unifying your knee, ankle, and foot together with every movement. Those who like lighter shoes will complain that a thicker heavier shoe is restrictive and/or slows down their foot-speed.
Your boxing shoe should feel thin enough to be light and agile,
thick enough to provide support for power transfer.
4. Height & Ankle Support
One of the most important tasks of a boxing shoe is to protect your ankles. As you already know, ankle injuries are common in sports where you’re jumping around, changing angles often, and constantly putting force on your ankles from all directions. Boxing can definitely put force on your ankles and knees depending on your fighting style.
You have 3 choices of shoe-heights in boxing – LOW, MID, and HIGH. The low-tops go about as high as the ankles. The mid-height shoes go a few inches higher than that, and the high-tops reach almost to your calves.
Conventional wisdom goes, “the higher the shoe, the more ankle support you get.” So if you want lots of ankle support, get the high-tops. If you want lots of mobility, then get the low-tops so your ankles have more freedom to move. This has a lot to do with how your joints are made. If you’re the kind of guy who sprains his ankles every now and then, you should probably go with the high-tops. It has a lot to do with genetics, fighting style, and personal preference. I have strong ankles and I love low-tops.
There are a few extra things to consider. First off, low-tops come in varying ranges of “low”. Some are below the ankle, some are right on the ankle, and some are even above the ankle. While that may or may not matter in terms of ankle support, they do feel very different. So even if you want low tops, I recommend you try out the different ranges of low-tops if you want to be a perfectionist.
When it comes to high-tops, you should know that different models fit differently. Some high-tops might feel too loose at the ankles (still not enough ankle support) whereas others might be too loose on the lower shins (lacking support or feels annoying). Some might feel annoying or restrictive on your calf muscle. Do remember that every body is different. Some of you have longer or shorter legs, thicker or thinner legs, thicker or thinner calves, different ankle builds, or wear thinner or thicker socks. All of these things have an effect.
Your boxing shoes should feel mobile,
while providing ankle support for power and safety.
I have noticed that high-tops are not only good for ankle support but can also make you feel more powerful when throwing punches. I don’t think it’s so much that the shoe actually gives you support and makes you more powerful. My theory is that because the shoe is bigger and touches more of your leg, you become more aware of your entire lower leg and move more of your body in unison together which then gives you more power and support. I do feel like the guys with high-tops are less likely to jump around into weird overly-crouched or contorted positions (because the shoes are less comfortable when you do that) and so their legs are more often in positions that give more balance and power.
5. Stationary Stability
I think one commonly overlooked quality of a boxing shoe is STABILITY from a stationary position. Many people think boxers need to move a lot and therefore basketball or tennis shoes would do just as well but this thinking is inaccurate. Basketball and tennis shoes are made for RUNNING movements and constant change of direction while running. Boxing is a sport of mostly stationary positions with lots of fidgety foot adjustments. What boxers need is not a shoe that helps them run forever but rather a shoe that lets them plant their feet flat on the ground, sit down on their punches for maximum power, and then quickly take one step or pivot and then sit back down again.
Unlike basketball or tennis shoes (made for running),
boxing shoes need to plant flat for maximum stationary support.
Basketball and tennis shoes are terrible for planting your feet flat on the ground. They have a curved sole on bottom, made for helping you roll off your feet while running, that prevents you from sitting flat. Their soles are also way too thick (built for cushion) that you can’t feel the ground.
6. Comfort & Width
Comfort and width are a matter of personal preference. You will know what feels good to you by trying on different pairs of shoes. My suggestion? Ask your friends at the local boxing gym if you can stick your feet into their shoe. You’ll be able to quickly scratch off the brands and materials that feel annoying to you.
The materials used and how they are stitched or glued together will have the biggest impact on comfort if you ask me. Some materials can be bothersome or feel like they restrict your feet, like the shoe doesn’t want to let your feet spread or bend or push off the ground at the angles you want. Some shoes can pinch your feet uncomfortably at the front (not letting you press off the balls of your feet comfortably) or they pinch at the back and give you blisters. Or even the insoles can give you blisters.
For me, the biggest problem when buying shoes is the width. I have super wide feet and when I wear shoes that are too narrow, they don’t allow my feet to flatten against the ground for maximum stability. I also feel like I have less balance because the shoe underneath my foot is narrower than the foot itself. I imagine the opposite can also be true, if your feet is too narrow, you want a shoe that is similar in fit or at least has laces that allow you to tighten it up, or else your feet or toes will have too much room in there. A quick tip: I will say that shoes using mesh anywhere on top or sides of your metatarsal area will stretch a lot easier than shoes that have pure plastic/rubber/leather there.
Your shoe should allow fit snug and comfortably,
without restricting movement or causing blisters.
7. Sole support
This is a matter of personal preference. Some of you with high arches may prefer more of a contoured or cushioned-sole so you foot feels wrapped in a glove and maybe even a little bit elevated off the ground. And those of you with low arches or flatter feet may prefer a more “naked” flat shoe where your feet feel like they’re standing right on the ground. Some of you may also feel that well-cushioned insoles seem more expensive and that naked “flat” shoes feel more cheap. You COULD also take a “flat shoe” and switch out the insoles. This is what my brother did when the shoes he wanted didn’t have enough arch-support or cushion for him.
Last but not least, is the density of your workout floor. If your gym floor is already stiff and hard or your boxing ring uses stiffer-padding, you may prefer flatter shoes to feel the ground more. If your ring canvas is soft and/or your gym floor is soft, you may prefer more cushioned shoes to elevate you above the floor and prevent you from sinking in.
High arches or soft flooring may prefer cushioned/contoured shoes.
Low arches or hard flooring may prefer flatter shoes.
It goes without saying that quality is very important. You want your shoes to last a while. As long as you’re using a top name-brand shoe, you’ll probably be alright on this. If you want to inspect a shoe to see where quality matters most, I would say it’s to make sure that the sole is constructed well and that the bottom of the shoe doesn’t look like it’s going to peel off when the shoe wears out. In case it does, you can use Shoe Goo or take it to a shoe repair shop to glue it back on.
Top Boxing Shoe Brands
1. MOST POPULAR – Nike
I like Nike boxing shoes because they fit my feet the best (out of all the typical “storebrands”). They are comfortable, high performance, durable, and also very stylish (the most stylish and aggressive aesthetic). Probably the most popular boxing shoe brand in general. Nike boxing shoes are conveniently located in several price ranges, heights, and styles. Because my first pair of boxing shoes (made by Nike) worked out so well, I didn’t get to venture out into other brands anywhere near as much.
Nike Speedsweep (lo-top) $70-85
These are my favorite and the ones I use (also sold on Amazon as “wrestling shoes”). My shoes were actually the “Nike Lo-Pro Boxing” shoes but very similar to this one. My current pair has lasted 6 years easily and only cost me about $35 back in the days (these used to be as low as $50 but then got too popular). They feel good. Very light. Awesome grip so my feet don’t slip at all when I’m moving around. When I plant my heel into the ground, my feet become super anchored for maximum stability.
I have strong ankles and love having freedom of movement and agility over support and rigidness. This is why I chose a low ankle design to complement my style of movement. The shoes help my punching power by allowing me to sit down on my punches as well as pivoting easily on the balls of my feet. They’re great for the price and I highly recommend them. (I’m 5’7″, 140lbs, strong ankles, flat arches, wide feet, small calves, like thin socks—if you care.)
Nike HyperKO Boxing Boots (high-top) $150+
Many boxers have this recent-model high-top Nike boxing shoes nowadays. Here in Southern California, I feel like that’s all I ever see. Manny Pacquiao made this model famous. They’re replacing the old Nike Machomai’s that everybody used to wear. They’re extremely lightweight, very supportive, appear to be long-lasting, comfortable and high performance. It feels like a very well-built shoe. Most legit pros and amateurs are using these more than any other brand I’ve seen. If there’s any complaints, it’s that some people (like my brother) might feel there’s a little more space in the ankle area than they want.
Some notable things about these shoes:
The sole of the shoe is hard and stiff, like a boot so when you move your feet you feel like the entire bottom comes with the shoe all at once. Your foot moves completely as one solid unit. The material around your foot, ankle, and lower calf is really light and thin. Feels kinda naked. If you like having more material (like padding) wrapped around your ankles, this shoe is not for you. These shoes feel like a heavy sandal stuck to your feet and combined with a sock that goes halfway up your calf.
Nike KO Mid Boxing Shoes $150
In case you wanted mid-height. These are probably the updated Nike Machomai’s.
Nike Machomai Mid Boxing Shoes (mid-top) $100
In case you still wanted the clean classic original Machomai’s. Great shoes that were the most popular shoe for a long time. Nike performance and quality.
2. POPULAR brands – Adidas, Reebok, Rival, & Venum
These are the 2nd tier brands for boxing shoes on the market. They are probably just as high quality and fancily-designed as Nike but not as popular. Is it due to just marketing and brand recognition/trust? Or is it something else?
Adidas is the other top boxing shoe brand that I would use if I wasn’t using Nike. I don’t use Adidas because it feels different from Nike. It’s not that it’s bad, just that it feels different and weird because it’s less familiar. Maybe this has to do with the fact that I wear Nike shoes more often than Adidas. Another thing I would say is that Adidas is probably more popular in Europe. I remember when I went to sports stores in Germany, I often saw more Adidas boxing gloves and boxing products than I did for Nike.
Rival, I’ve never liked much. I think they’re made well enough, they just didn’t fit well when I first tried a pair. I didn’t like the way it felt on my feet. Too many lumps in the sole that doesn’t curve the way the bottom of my foot did. My brother loves the one he has (comfortable and fit well, still quality) but does feel like they are slightly lower quality than Nike.
Reebok is the latest mainstream sports brand to go into the boxing market (behind Nike/Adidas). The most well-known pros wearing them are Floyd Mayweather and Amir Khan. From what I hear, it’s a great shoe but might be a little narrow and annoying to put on. Their models are made to be a direct competitor to Nike’s HyperKO. You can watch this Reebok vs Nike boxing shoe review video.
Adidas Speedex Boxing Shoes (low-top) $150
Their new line of boxing shoes, made with low-top, and really cool aggressive styling. Supposed to be super light.
Adidas KO Legend 16.2 Boxing Shoes $100
High quality mid-top. Great performance and seems to be well-liked by those who have it. I imagine these are popular in Europe. I showed links to both the 16.2 and 16.1 versions.
Adidas Pretereo Wrestling/Boxing Shoes $79
Another new model. Really sexy design and well-liked. They’re probably replacing the old “Adidas Champ Speed III” shoes that were the most popular Adidas boxing shoe I’ve ever seen.
Adidas Combat Speed IV Boxing Shoes $50-70
This is like the Adidas equivalent of the Nike Speedsweep. It’s basically a low-cost, low-top, good thin lightweight boxing shoe. Be careful: some people complained that the wrestling version is too grippy to pivot.
Adidas Box Hog Boxing Boots $100
In case you were looking for the older (yet also popular) Adidas boxing shoes, this model was very popular. Some people even liked these more than the seen-everywhere Nike Machomai boxing shoes. I’m not sure but it seems this model is being updated as well. I listed Box Hog version “2” and “3” above for you.
Adidas Ring Wizard Boxing Shoes (low-top) $69
I believe it’s actually a wrestling shoe but still used and loved by boxers. Lightweight and well-functioning. Cheap, looks cool, and with different color options available.
Reebok Boxing Shoes (hi-top) $99
A very popular model (at least in the USA) right now. I believe they are worn by Floyd Mayweather and Amir Khan…but is it for performance or endorsement reasons? So far, the user reviews are great and many fighters are very happy with these. Good support, lightweight, stylish and decent-enough build. For those deciding between this pair and the Nike HyperKO’s, the Nike ones are most definitely better. Higher construction quality and also much faster to put on and take off.
Rival Guerrero Boxing Boots (low-top) $80
A popular model for Rivals. Comes in many cool color combinations. Very comfortable and lightweight.
Rival RSX Boxing Boots (high-top) $90
Another stylish boxing shoe from Rival. Nice ankle support, not so much space around here like the Nike HyperKO’s and also a flatter shoe (less insole cushioning). The shoe overall does feel like a cheaper shoe than the Nike HyperKO’s but still decent enough quality and some people might prefer it over the Nike HyperKO’s. My brother chose this shoe over the Nike HyperKO because they had more ankle support.
This shoe is also heavier than the HyperKO’s. The extra weight probably comes from the heavier rubber parts and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Some fighters like a super lightweight ‘bare-foot’ feeling as their feet feel naked and light as a feather. Other fighters prefer something more structured as that feels more supportive to them. There’s thicker material all around the foot, ankle, and shin areas. If I have any complaints, it’s that the suede might rip through faster than you think. My brother’s shoes tore a hole around the pinky toe after 6 months of use.
Rival Youth Boxing Shoes $80
Some nice models for kids.
Venum Elite Boxing Shoes (mid-top) $149
I have yet to try them personally but they look promising. They seem lightweight and supportive; also marketed as “flexible/adaptive”. Their premium pricing tells me they’re coming after the top-tier brands and want to be compared to the likes of Nike.
A quick note: I absolutely hate Venum’s boxing gloves and overall brand because they’re so gimmicky and low-quality. I’m listing their shoes here with absolute skepticism in mind.
3. MEXICAN brands – Reyes, Adams, Seyer and others
I’ve never tried any Mexican boxing shoes but do know them to be high quality and always well-respected over the years. The only reason why they aren’t more popular is due to cost, popularity, and accessibility. Due to their strong ties to hip-hop culture and recognizable brand in other sports, Nike/Adidas/Reebok are most likely the first pair of boxing shoes any fighter will wear. In fact, most boxers are probably wearing Nike basketball or running shoes as their first pair of “boxing shoes”. That’s why it’s easy to just go with Nike again when you buy your first pair of real boxing shoes. You already know and trust the brand.
Unlike the big factory brands like Nike/Adidas/Reebok which use a lot of synthetic materials…like rubber, plastic, and mesh…Mexican boxing shoes are usually made out of pure leather. The whole thing is made out of leather, except for the soles (rubber) and laces (cotton/nylon/polyester). Pure leather is far more durable than synthetic materials and may take some time to break-in. Another trait about using pure leather is that it takes a lot of work to make it look “modern” and so many Mexican boxing shoes look old/retro which some fighters like or don’t like. With that said, great craftsmanship can make leather feel like a glove from day one.
I’ve noticed those who have Mexican boxing shoes seem to swear by them. I suspect that’s where a big part of the cost comes from. Nike and other big name manufacturers can outsource their production to china where these shoes are probably made by machine and with cheap synthetic materials (fashioned into seemingly high-quality fancy-looking designs). Mexican boxing shoes have to be made by hand in Mexico using raw materials like leather.
For a long time, not many people wore Mexican boxing shoes (at least not in the US) because they were hard to find. They weren’t sold in stores, and also many people (especially beginners) didn’t like their old school look. They don’t look particularly fancy and if anything, appear somewhat like clown shoes or Mexican lucha libre wrestling shoes. It also doesn’t help that you have to pay a premium. It certainly felt like the premium price was for nostalgia and shipping fees rather than quality.
Well, that’s starting to change. Just like recent trends in boxing glove designs, more and more fighters are turning away from overly-designed mass-produced gear and starting to favor more boutique brands that offer all-leather construction and can be custom-made with different designs, colors, and embroidery. That’s what the pros use after all!
Cleto Reyes are solid high quality and have always been a popular quality brand for many years. Seyer is another diehard Mexican brand but like most Mexican brands are not often found outside of Mexico. There are also several other Mexican brands that also make boxing shoes, but not all of them. I suspect boxing shoes are more hassle and less profitable compared to boxing gloves. Either way, you can research on Google if you want to explore all the other Mexican brands and see what customizations are possible.
Adams Boxing is a new American brand that just popped up. It’s one guy, from the US but has his shoes made in Mexico. The interesting thing is that he’s not using an all-leather construction like the other Mexican shoe brands. He’s going the synthetic materials route and looks similar to Reebok. I’ve yet to try them myself but he’s got a cult-following on social media and among purist boxers. His shoes are worn by even top pro fighters like Manny Pacquiao and many say they are the most comfortable and highest quality shoes ever made. Be careful when ordering from him as I hear his production is always backed up and he stops answering emails when orders get delayed for months. It seems many people love the Mexican trend of wearing customized boxing gear designed in fancy, flashy, bold colors. See his Facebook page.
Cleto Reyes Leather Lace Up High Top Boxing Shoes $119
Excellent quality, lightweight, used by good fighters. Also has a zipper on the side for convenience. I do think the zipper is genius as having to lace-up high-top shoes every day can get pretty freaken annoying.
4. LUXURY brands – Winning, Di Nardo, Mizuno
This is the premium stuff! I would say only pros or those that are THAT serious and finicky with their boxing shoes will go for these. They’re extremely high quality but also way more expensive. For most people, these seem unnecessary because other shoes cost only 1/4th of what these cost and still perform exceptionally well. I think they’re great if you want a specific look or just like having the Ferrari equivalent of boxing shoes. I have a custom pair of Di Nardo’s made at this moment and will release my official review for them soon.
Winning boxing shoes (made in Japan) $250 – are known for being ULTRA-lightweight. Almost feels too light like there’s no gravity, ha! Supposedly high quality and comfortable. Their design is more of a conservative modern style (like Adidas/Reebok), and made of rubber and synthetic materials. But the funny thing is…the lady here at the official Winning Boxing office in Redondo Beach absolutely hates them. Lol…after trying them on for myself, I will admit they are kind of the generic version of quality Japanese boxing shoes. (You can think of them as like Japanese version of Title Boxing shoes.) The lady there like Mizuno as #1, Asics as #2, and Winning last.
Winning Boxing Ring Shoes Short Ultra-light Type RS-100 Purchase Here
Mizuno (made in Japan) $300-450 – a truly high-end pair of boxing shoes. Also very light, and sometimes people complain that they’re even TOO light. Very uncommon and rare to find in the US. Extremely high quality, incredible comfort and performance. The most recent big name boxer to wear them was Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, but he now wears custom-made Under Armour boxing shoes which are not yet available to the public. I’ve tried them myself and have to say I absolutely agree. They are sleek. Lightweight, good grip. And nicely distributed weight. I think many brands out there have a heavy sole.
Di Nardo’s (made in Italy) $500-1000 – is a high-end boutique boxing gear, custom-made by hand in a similar style to Mexican boxing shoes. I highly recommend his boxing gear if you want the absolute highest quality and customization options. Italian leather (probably the finest and most desired leather in the world), Italian craftsmanship, beautiful in every way. You have to see it in person to really appreciate the quality. Everything else feels like a toy next to these.
I absolutely LOVE my Di Nardo boxing shoes. You can’t believe how good it feels; like slipping your feet into smooth buttery leather. Contact Filippo directly to start your custom order.
5. CHEAP brands – Asics, Otomix
Asics is a highly regarding shoe brand but more for other sorts like running, track and field, and also basketball/football/soccer/etc. And just like the other sports, Asics is known as a quality brand but more affordable option when you don’t want to pay for “Nike”. When it comes to boxing, they haven’t been able to quite capture the market like the other brands but have made progress over the years. I think the thing holding them back is not really investing in the boxing market and not clearly labeling their shoes as “boxing shoes”. What they’re doing is selling wrestling shoes to the boxing market.
There used to be a time when Asics made these super cheap boxing shoes for $24.99. Some guy in my gym got them and I tried them on and man, what a piece-of-crap they were. I never went back to Asics. Thing is, they do make good wrestling shoes at higher price points, so I imagine they might be able to produce good boxing shoes.
I actually have tried some that seemed like high quality and had mostly good reviews. Maybe you’ll like them; I think they’re worth a try. What bothers me about the branding is that most of their products somehow always feel a little cheaper than Nike. Their top-end stuff is definitely good, though.
- I’ve hard that they tend to run small so order one size up.
- I also heard Asics are usually too narrow; too tight for those with wide feet.
Asics Cael V7.0 Wrestling Shoes $75
High quality and well-liked by both wrestlers and boxers.
Asics JB Elite Wrestling Shoes $69
Great quality, performance, styling, and pricing! I’ve included links for both the original model as well as the newer 2.0 model.
Asics Mens Snapdown 2 Wrestling Shoe $54
This looks pretty cool.
Asics Matflex 5 Wrestling Shoes $49
Also well-liked by boxers. Considered high quality and great performance.
Otomix boxing shoes $129-139
To be honest, I know almost nothing about this brand and never personally tried them. I’ve never seen anybody use them and it was only very recently that I started hearing about them. At initial glance, they look cheap. When I researched online, the reviews were mixed. They are known for being a general fitness brand that makes shoes, uniforms, apparel, and equipment for martial artists, weightlifters, bodybuilders, and even yoga. If you know anything about those cheap mass-produced brands, they all make exactly this kind of so it’s kind of a red flag for me.
Anyway, Otomix figured they could sell their martial arts & weightlifting shoes to the boxing market and it worked. At those price points, I don’t know why anyone would choose them over the more-established boxing brands. They do have many interesting designs in different color combinations. And I’m glad to hear some people like them and others don’t. I did notice that they seem to have many options for women.
6. JUNK brands – Everlast, Ringside, Titleboxing, Lonsdale
These companies, in my opinion, are the HELL-NO brands. I will never buy or use them. I hear of too many complaints with their quality. I will have to admit that I haven’t used any of them for extended periods of time. (Based on the initial fitting, I didn’t want to.) Not surprisingly, I don’t see these brands as much in the gym (except for little kids). I would say they are completely inferior in quality, comfort, styling, and their cheaper price often reflects that. I think the biggest problem with them is that they’re not true shoe brands (and not quality boxing brands either, IMO). They don’t have the experience or know-how to make comfortable shoes. At best, they have cool designs and that’s it.
I did put my feet into some Everlast boxing shoes and also a pair of Titleboxing shoes a couple of times (just to see). They felt awful on my feet, not comfortable at all, and really cheap. The shape and material didn’t mold to my feet; you feel like it was made for robots or something. And then factor in the rumors about poor quality and I just felt so much happier going back to Nike, which has always felt great. (For those who don’t know, Tomasz Adamek’s Everlast shoe tore off in the middle of a fight.)
Lonsdale to me is like the Everlast of the UK. They make consumer-grade boxing products for the casual boxer-athlete market. I’m going to guess their quality is similar and that their boxing shoes are probably not all that. Then again, I’ve never tried them so I can’t really comment on it. Luckily, many of these brands can be even be found at regular sporting goods stores, so you can try on different models and see which shapes and features you like.
Everlast boxing shoes $50-80
Mostly cheap stuff if you ask me.
Ringside boxing shoes $55-65
Some people like them. Others have an issue with the quality and also the fit. From the reviews I checked out, many say the Ringside boxing shoes run large.
Title boxing shoes $29-99
Listed in order from cheapest to newest. Don’t be fooled by the colors shown above. Click through the links and you’ll see many different color choices. From what I’ve heard, Title is making better boxing shoes although there are still many complaints about quality control. But hey, if you’re looking for cheap…these might actually work out for you. I would say the Predator is the only one that looks “ok quality” to my eye. The rest look really cheap in person. Also, Title boxing shoes seem to run a little tight so some people say it’s perfect snug fit and others recommend for you to order bigger.
Lonsdale boxing shoes $29-75
To be honest, some of them don’t look bad. The only problem is that the others look really cheap. It’s just the flattering photography lighting that keeps the bad ones from looking like total plastic junk. I’ve learned how not to fall for fancy images over the years. You’ll just have to see these in person to get what I mean.
What boxing shoes are most popular in gyms?
The most popular boxing shoes
Nike, Reebok, and Adidas will always be the most popular (Nike still way more popular than the other two). If those two brands don’t suit your taste, try going for Rival. If you want to spend lots of money for custom gear, try Grant. Asics and Rival can also be seen sometimes. I think Rival might be more popular depending where you go.
I feel that only amateurs and smaller guys will wear low-top shoes. Bigger guys and taller guys, tend to go for med or high-tops. I also noticed Adidas (when you do see them) are more often worn by the seasoned fighters, not so much by the newbies. Pros and seasoned amateurs are more likely to wear high-tops. If it matters to you, I would say about 80% of pro boxers wear Nike med-top boxing shoes, the other 20% wear Nike high-tops.
QUESTION: Can you use wrestling shoes for boxing?
Yes! Many fighters wear wrestling shoes for boxing. I have heard though, that wrestling shoes can be used for boxing but the reverse is not recommended. I’ve never tried and I imagine it would be ok considering how similar the wrestling shoes are built to boxing shoes. I imagine wrestling shoes probably have more grip on the outside edges than boxing shoes and built to be more durable considering the sport has you scrambling along the ground at all angles. Whereas boxing has you mainly on your feet so boxing shoes might be built more to be lightweight rather than for complete 360-degree durability.
I have also heard that wrestling shoes are bit more grippy than boxing shoes (which could be bad for pivots). You may also notice that some models are sold for both wrestling as well as for boxing. Just beware that if you’re going to buy wrestling shoes online, read the reviews to make sure they can pivot and/or that boxers are using them successfully.
QUESTION: Can you use basketball or tennis shoes for boxing?
They are not ideal (terrible idea). They usually have way too much grip (terrible for pivots). Soles are too thick and curved for you to plant your feet flat on the ground and get full power out of your punches.
Leave a comment below and share what experiences you’ve had with different brands and models of boxing shoes. Describe your body (height, weight, thick or thin calves, wide or narrow feet, flat or high arch), what boxing shoes you bought, and your experience with them (comfort, performance, durability).
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