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Which youth wrestling shoes are best?

The most important piece of gear your young wrestler will have is a pair of high-quality youth wrestling shoes. Wrestling shoes provide the traction needed to execute match-winning moves. They also give the athlete additional ankle and foot support, reducing the chance of injury.

It’s best to find a pair of youth wrestling shoes that are breathable and well made so they last the entire season. The Adidas Kids’ Tech Fall 2.0 Wrestling Shoes are a great choice for any young wrestler. They feature knitted mesh uppers for comfort, and the rubber outsoles grip the mat, so the wrestler has a stable base to throw moves.

What to know before you buy youth wrestling shoes

Are wrestling shoes different from sneakers?

Wrestling shoes are not the same as sneakers, mainly because they are more form-fitting. The best options have rubber soles, which grip the mat and give the wrestler much-needed traction. Well-made wrestling shoes extend to just below the calf to provide stable ankle support. This feature helps prevent painful injuries, such as a sprained ankle. Wrestling shoes also prevent the spread of viruses, bacteria and fungal infections commonly spread among wrestlers.

Beyond those features, however, wrestling shoes are not designed to do much else. For instance, there is no arch support or cushioning and would not be ideal for walking, jogging or running.

Wrestling shoes for other sports

While wrestling shoes may not be ideal for high-impact sports, you can still wear them for other athletic endeavors. The superior traction and flexibility make wrestling shoes a good choice for weightlifting, boxing and martial arts.

What to look for in quality youth wrestling shoes

A snug fit

Wrestling shoes should fit like a second skin; they should be snug but not too tight. You may be tempted to purchase shoes that your young wrestler can “grow into,” but this can cause problems. If wrestling shoes are too large, the wrestler’s foot may slide around and get blisters. A wrestler could also trip if their shoes are too long.

Unisole versus split sole

Most youth wrestling shoes have a unisole. This means the sole consists of one long piece of rubber that extends the entire length of the foot, from heel to toe. A split sole, on the other hand, has two distinct parts. There is one under the heel and one under the ball of the foot. The split-sole design gives the wrestler greater mobility and better traction.

A desirable color scheme

Color isn’t as essential for performance, but it’s crucial for other reasons. Bold colors communicate confidence. The right color wrestling shoes might be enough to give your young wrestler a boost of confidence before they even step out on the mat.

How much you can expect to spend on youth wrestling shoes

Youth wrestling shoes cost anywhere from $45-$155. However, it’s best to stick to a budget of less than $80 for younger kids, as they will probably outgrow their shoes after just one season.

Youth wrestling shoes FAQ

My kid says their shoes feel tight. Did I buy the wrong size?

A. Wrestling shoes do not fit like regular shoes. They should have a snug fit that still provides freedom of movement and extra support around the ankles. The fit should be like a tight sock. However, if your child’s foot feels cramped and wearing the shoes causes discomfort, they may be too small. It is also important to remember that wrestling shoes run a half to a full size smaller than the average sneaker size. For example, a child who wears a size 7 sneaker might need a size 7.5 or 8 for wrestling shoes.

How many pairs of wrestling shoes does my kid need?

A.  Older kids may prefer two pairs of wrestling shoes, using one for practice and one for matches. However, since young kids’ feet grow so fast, it’s probably unnecessary to purchase more than one pair.

What are the best youth wrestling shoes to buy?

Top youth wrestling shoes

Adidas Kids' Tech Fall 2.0 Wrestling Shoes

Adidas Kids’ Tech Fall 2.0 Wrestling Shoes

What you need to know: If you want a high-quality pair of youth wrestling shoes from a trusted brand, this is a great option.

What you’ll love: These wrestling shoes provide a balance of comfort, support and performance. The knitted mesh uppers offer breathability, the TPU overlay increases durability and adds support, and the rubber outsoles offer superior grip on the mat.

What you should consider: This option costs a little more, so it’s better suited for the serious young wrestler.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Top youth wrestling shoes for money

ASICS Kids Matflex 6

ASICS Kids Matflex 6

What you need to know: These affordable youth wrestling shoes will give your young athlete the traction they need to succeed.

What you’ll love: These shoes feature a gum rubber outsole that provides an impressive grip on the mat. The EVA sock liner absorbs moisture and impact, while the breathable mesh uppers help feet stay cool during intense matches.

What you should consider: As with most wrestling shoes, these shoes run a bit small. When ordering, consider purchasing at least one full size up.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Worth checking out

Nike Kids' Speed Sweep VII Wrestling Shoes

Nike Kids’ Speed Sweep VII Wrestling Shoes

What you need to know: Nike’s designed its Sweep VII wrestling shoes with impressive attention to detail, making them ideal for any mat.

What you’ll love: These shoes have split suede uppers that give them enhanced flexibility and offer freedom of movement. The die-cut EVA midsole adds cushioned support, while the gum rubber outsoles provide superior traction.

What you should consider: The soles may be a little thicker than expected for wrestling shoes, but that helps with durability.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods


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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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