Did you know? Wrestling has been around since before Roman Times. And just like any other sport, it, too, has evolved along with modern times. So much so, in fact, that there is athletic gear designed specifically for wrestlers – just like many other sports.
Just as an athlete may take supplements or train to improve performance, the type of shoes a wrestler chooses to wear can impact their overall performance.
There are a few important considerations to make when shopping for wrestling shoes. Below are our top things to consider to make finding the right wrestling shoe that much easier for you.
Read on, and you’ll be well-prepared to tackle finding the right shoes for your needs.
1. Sole Type
In general, wrestling shoes will feature one of two different types of soles. These are split sole and unisole. Both sole types have their own specific set of pros and cons, as you might imagine. We’ll delve into a bit more detail on each below, so you can make a fully informed decision.
Split sole shoes are composed of two separate pieces of rubber. They provide support for wrestlers’ heels and the balls of their feet. Split sole shoes are modeled after the shape of a human foot, and thus, are designed with the intention of allowing wearers’ ultimate flexibility.
Split sole shoes are typically worn by and recommended for lightweight wrestlers.
The primary reason for this is because they are lighter than a unisole and, as mentioned above, mimic bare feet. Because of this, they make it easier for wrestlers to move quickly and remain as flexible as possible.
Unisole wrestling shoes feature one single piece of rubber which composes the entire sole of the shoe. Shoes featuring a unisole are more durable and tend to last longer than their split-soled counterparts.
They’re also more rigid than split-soled shoes and thus offer more support.
Unisoles are recommended for heavyweight wrestlers who require an even distribution of their weight for things like better throws.
Another important consideration is the material of the shoe itself. Wrestling shoes are often made of either leather or synthetic materials. Each material has its own set of features and benefits.
The type of wrestler you are will often determine what type of material you’ll need.
Lightweight wrestlers often favor shoe types that make it easier for them to move and do so quickly. Shoes for wrestling which are made of synthetic materials are lighter than leather versions, making them ideal for wrestlers in a lightweight class. Synthetic shoes are a more cost-effective option compared to leather versions as well.
Heavyweight wrestlers, on the other hand, need shoes made from a material that’s tough and durable. If you’re a heavyweight wrestler, leather is a great choice. It’s going to mean a larger investment, sure, but if durability and a firm stance are important to you, it’s well worth the extra cash.
Wrestling shoes offer a wide range of different features, as the needs of each wrestler (or any athlete, for that matter) are going to be different. Some popular features are below.
Mesh vents for keeping wrestlers’ feet cool and moisture-free
Rubber soles for a good grip on the mat
Synthetic material for a light-wearing shoe
Strong stitches for quality and durability
Review these features and use them as a starting point to determine what’s going to be important to you in your ideal shoe.
If you’re more of a wrestling fan or enthusiast than a participant in the sport, you don’t need to worry about any features the gear may have. If you’re not a wrestler, but still follow the sport, you should check out the beach shop by Hulk Hogan. They’ll take care of all of your wrestling memorabilia needs.
4. Ankle Support
Another important thing to consider when shopping for wrestling shoes is support. Thankfully, they are designed to provide added support for wearers’ ankles and to prevent injury. Some wrestling shoes go above and beyond – providing reinforced support in the way of another strap or tie.
There are two typical traction patterns found in most wrestling shoes: V-pattern and circular pattern. And despite what you might think, the patterns aren’t just there to make them look cool. Believe it or not, they both serve a very specific purpose.
And depending upon your personal wrestling style, you’ll need a different type of traction.
Shoes with a V-shaped traction pattern are popular for wrestlers who require a good grip on the mat. They’ll help you stay firm and focused – which is exactly what a heavyweight wrestler needs.
Alternately, shoes with a circular-shaped traction pattern are well-known for their ability to help wrestlers move quickly and with ease. This is of crucial importance to wrestlers who fall in a lighter weight class and focus on things like flexibility, speed and having a good grip on the mat.
Finally, when shopping for wrestling shoes, ensuring that they are of good quality is essential. Like any other athletic gear, there are many different shoes for wrestlers available at a variety of different price points. And as you well know, a high price tag does not always equate to superior quality.
Test the stitching, sole strength, and fit of each wrestling shoe before making a final decision. Don’t be afraid to spend a fair amount of time searching, either. Buying the right athletic gear for you is vital.
Take your time in shoe section and test out as many pairs as it takes to find your perfect fit. Your feet (and your performance!) will thank you.
One Last Word on Shopping for Wrestling Shoes
Sometimes, finding the right athletic gear for your needs can be a time-consuming process. With this handy guide in your back pocket, though, finding your perfect pair just got that much easier. Study this guide, and you’ll be all set.
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