Each sport has its specific equipment designed to meet specific athletic needs. While most martial arts are performed barefoot, boxing is practiced with shoes, which must allow boxers to move swiftly around the ring.
Boxing shoes must provide just the right amount of grip on the canvas to avoid slipping but without being too sticky. They must support the whole foot and the ankle while remaining lightweight and not hindering mobility and speed.
Here are the top options on the market that cover all those requirements!.
Best Boxing Shoes
Best Boxing Shoes For Beginners
Best Boxing Shoes For Wide Feet
Microfiber leather & mesh
Conforming & cushioned
Comfortable & lightweight
Wide toe box
Best Boxing Shoes
The Hayabusa Pro Boxing Shoes are my top choice for the best boxing shoes. Hayabusa is a much younger brand than most others on the list, but in their short history, they have produced some of the best combat sports gear.
Their boxing shoes combine tried and tested classic features with more modern details that make them stellar. The Hayabusa pro boxing shoe is a mid-top that gives perfect ankle stability without reducing too much agility.
As any boxing shoe should be, these are very lightweight due to the microfiber leather and mesh material. The angle grooved soles cover the edges of the shoe, which is more frequently seen in wrestling shoes but offers superior anchoring grip in the ring.
The sole is very flexible and thin, letting you slide and pivot freely. The cushioned insole conforms to your foot with soft padding. At the same time, the mesh ventilation keeps you cool and comfortable as you train. The custom toe creases also help pivot and transfer power into the punches.
Best Boxing Shoes For Beginners
My choice for the best beginner boxing shoes is the Adidas Combat Speed 5. What makes these perfect as your first pair is their versatility. The design is very multi-functional, and the shoes are made so that you can use them not only for boxing but for weight lifting and wrestling.
And when you are starting, you may want a pair of shoes that you can use for other workouts. The upper of the Adidas Combat Speed is made from textile and synthetic and is breathable.
The sole is one-piece flexible rubber combined with textile. The ankle support is excellent, and the ankle strap will give you even more control over how tight the shoes will be.
Adidas has been making boxing and wrestling shoes for decades and has earned an excellent reputation. So you can be sure you get shoes that are well thought out and produced at a high quality.
Best Boxing Shoes For Wide Feet
The Otomix shoes are marketed as warrior shoes, meaning they are not just for boxing but wrestling, MMA, weight lifting, and other similar power activities. They are made from 100% polyester with a flexible rubber sole that grips great.
A nice feature is the patented tongue design, which hides the laces behind it. Because these are also designed for wrestling, you can expect them to last longer than the standard boxing shoes.
All other details aside, the wider toe box is what is most important here as the top choice for wide feet.
Best Nike Boxing Shoes
The first Nike HyperKO model was very successful and spawned a lot of similar replicas from other brands. The second edition does an outstanding job of continuing the legacy and improving some features.
The HyperKO 2 is a high-top boxing shoe with an authentic sock-like feel. The fly knit material Nike uses on a lot of its shoes provides that feeling, and the overall integration of it on the shoes is great.
What is most notable about the HyperKO2 is the industry's first cuff construction that provides a perfect fit and sensation. This cuff creates an X-like brace around the lower half of the foot and the ankle for a perfect lock of the foot.
The rubber outsole is also improved from the first version and provides excellent traction on the heel and outside. If I have to point out a negative aspect of this shoe, it's narrow in the front portion, and people with wider feet may find it very uncomfortable.
Best Nike Boxing Shoes
Nike HyperKO 2
Best Adidas Boxing Shoes
The Adidas Box Hog is a true classic from one of the original brands that started creating boxing shoes after World War 2. Despite all the clever innovations implemented in a lot of other models, the tried and tested formula of the Box Hog is still preferred by many boxers.
The mesh upper portion of the shoe is light, breathable, and stylish and will keep your feet dry even during intense action. There are additional synthetic suede overlays added for durability.
The high tops ensure optimal ankle support. The outsole is threaded in one direction like other classic boxing shoes, which provides supreme traction for darting in and out of range.
People expect a certain quality and feel from Adidas, which continues to deliver and surpass expectations. The Box Hog is your choice if you want a classic boxing shoe that still shines today.
Best Adidas Boxing Shoes
Adidas Box Hog 2
Best Venum Boxing Shoes
The Venum Elite look and feel, as their name suggests, elite. The premium look will make you feel like a world champion under the spotlight. These boxing shoes are mid-cut, which offer excellent lateral ankle support for quick defensive maneuvers.
Venum recognizes that the sole is the most critical aspect of a boxing shoe and has created a light, flexible, and grippy sole that allows the boxer to move quickly in all directions.
On the inside, the Venum Elites boast an insole that conforms to the plantar arch of the foot. This ergonomic arch is a rarity amongst boxing shoes. It may greatly help boxers with flat feet and those suffering from the common but nasty plantar fasciitis.
Venum is solely focused on fighting-related equipment and apparel, which shows in their products. The Elite boxing shoes are a great choice, even for professional boxers.
Best Low Top Boxing Shoes
Aside from the low cut, the key feature of the PIVT is the sole constructed from material made by Michelin. The thicker and unique design offers excellent traction on the ring canvas.
Still, it's made to also perform on regular gym flooring. The lightweight open weave mesh, microfiber, and suede combine to create the perfect formula for speed, comfort, and durability.
Best Cheap Boxing Shoes
The FISTRAGE boxing shoes take inspiration from the Adidas Box Hog model. The similarities are glaring, but this should make you comfortable knowing you are buying a proven design at half the price. Boxing shoes are a niche market, and the prices are pretty high across the board.
FISTRAGE are high-top boxing shoes made from comfortable and breathable mesh and have reinforced heel cushioning to add stability to the foot. The sole is made from flexible, durable rubber and provides grip on canvas and harder surfaces.
Of course, being half the price of most other models and a third of the pricier ones, the FISTRAGE model is not as good. The tongue of the shoes can cause problems, and the overall durability is hard to compare to the more well-established brands. But as a budget option, these shoes should be perfect and will still let you move freely in the ring.
Best Non-Boxing Shoes For Boxing
Wrestling has different demands than boxing and puts a lot more stress on the feet and shoes, so naturally, wrestling shoes are more durable.
The other difference is the soles are made to provide traction and grip in all directions, including the sides. The downside is that because the ankle must be more mobile in wrestling, the shoes have less ankle stability, which is not ideal for boxing.
Asics Matflex is a staple amongst wrestling shoes, and its reputation is well deserved. These will serve you well in the ring and the gym and are a perfect choice for non-boxing shoes that you can use in the gym and the ring. You may even like them more than the standard boxing shoes.
Best Women’s Boxing Shoes
All the models listed here are unisex and can be worn by both men and women. The brands market the shoes as unisex and offer ladies a full spectrum of sizes. Some models have a wider variety of color schemes that may appeal to the gentler side of the ladies. Still, every model on the list is suitable if it has the correct size.
How To Choose The Best Boxing Shoes For You
The most significant distinction in boxing shoes is the height of the ankle. Boxing shoes come in low, mid, and high tops.
As you can guess by the name, low tops are only ankle high. They offer the least support for the ankle and trade it for lighter weight and flexibility. Mid tops are the most popular and provide a good balance between ankle protection and mobility.
High tops are sturdier, and the most stable, but some people don't like the feeling. If you have weaker ankles, go with the higher versions. A low top will be more suitable if you plan on cross-training.
Also, you need to remember that despite the names, not all shoes in the same category have the same height. Low-top shoes can come right on, below, or just above the ankle knuckle, depending on the manufacturer and model.
Size & Fit
Boxing shoes are almost gloved tight and must fit perfectly and be very comfortable. They are very flexible and extremely lightweight. So a good fit is fundamental.
Most models are suitable for everybody. But people with wider feet may have some problems, so they should either go with the option we listed for them or go to the store and test various models in person.
Always follow the sizing guide when choosing boxing shoes. You need to remember you must always measure your foot, not your existing shoes. Most regular trainers have a lot of cushioning and have a very different structure than boxing shoes.
Besides aesthetics, the design differs mainly on the outsole. A good boxing boot should provide just enough grip for lateral, sideways movement and pivoting. Classic shoes like the Adidas Box Hog have a narrower outsole. In contrast, others, like the Hayabusa model, are much more rounded on the corners.
Another difference is the thickness of the sole. Some are akin to a regular shoe, while others are extremely thin. Again, this is more a matter of personal preference and depends on if you plan to use them on harder surfaces.
Generally, boxing shoes are pricy. There aren't that many manufacturers, and there is not much saturation in the market, which means the prices remain pretty high. But the good news is that if used only in the boxing gym, your shoes should last quite a long time.
Even the cheaper models are pretty good and well made. As usual, paying more often will get you a better quality product, but after a certain price point, you pay for design and brand, not quality.
Frequently Asked Boxing Shoe Questions
What Boxing Shoes Did Mike Tyson Wear?
Being one of the most devastating world champions in heavyweight history, everything Mike Tyson did and wore became legendary. His stylish and simple black boxing boots perfectly reflected his no-nonsense fighting style (in stark contrast to his out-of-the-ring antics in the 90s).
The shoes were black leather with black laces and were custom-made. They were not a popular name brand, but different makers manufactured the shoes throughout his career.
Do Shoes Matter In Boxing?
Shoes matter in boxing as footwork plays a significant role. You need good grip and agility with almost no additional weight. Boxing shoes are not mandatory, but they are designed specifically for the needs of boxing, so they are by far the best choice for competition and training.
Can You Wear Boxing Shoes Casually?
You can wear boxing shoes casually, but you shouldn't for a few reasons. Most importantly, they do not take concrete and abrasive surfaces well and will be destroyed much more quickly. Why would you want to ruin your expensive shoes for casual wear?
If you are used to wearing shoes with a lot of cushioning, boxing shoes will be too thin for walking and standing on hard surfaces for extended periods. And let's not forget that you will likely look awkward with your boxing shoes at a restaurant.
What Shoes Does Canelo Wear?
The biggest star in boxing today, Canelo Alvarez, wears Under Armour boxing shoes for most of his fights. He has a signature model he wears in many fights with different coloring. Still, other times he walks out with custom-made boots, different for each fight.
Why Do Boxing Shoes Have A High Top?
High tops are there to provide ankle stability. Boxing relies heavily on footwork, and the quick movements put the ankle at risk of injury. A stable ankle and foot ensure maximum stability for better power delivery in punches.
Boxing shoes are the best option for footwear for boxing, and our top choice currently is the Hayabusa Pro boxing shoe. It wins by getting all the details right without any compromises. But all the listed models are suitable. Depending on personal preferences, specific options may be better suited than the Hayabusa. Whichever you choose, you will be able to shift, slide, and shuffle freely.