Best MMA Shoes – 2021 Buyer’s Guide
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Martial arts shoes are worn by practitioners in various combat sports, but at the same time, they are also worn by people as generic footwear on their feet. This includes walking running, jogging or performing yoga for example.
You will also find certain practitioners shoe-less in the dojo while practicing martial arts or Taekwondo. This is mainly for two reasons: firstly, as a mark of respect for the art and its customs, which requires the shoes to be kept outside and secondly, for practical purposes. For example, in sports such as Tae Kwon Do, jujitsu and aikido, the trainers make use of mats. This doesn’t allow footwear to be used on them to prevent dirt or soil and to prevent damage and injury to the fighters.
Be that as it may, any boxing training cannot start without a decent pair of boxing shoe or boxing gloves. It doesn’t matter whether you are a pro or a rookie; you still need martial arts footwear to undergo efficient and effective training and workouts. You get to extract the best out of those training programs and drills, as you move as close to the ‘real fight’ situation as possible.
The best martial arts shoes are meant to provide you with great ankle support and the fighting shoes provide you with the flexibility to move around in the ring freely. You cannot achieve this with your regular gym shoes. Mixed martial arts entails movements and maneuvers that are quite different from other combat sports.
The best MMA shoes have a unique design which gives it a stand out shape and is made up of materials that make sure that the boxer has the best foot grip and cushioning to enable him to throw those punches around and move tactically.
These shoes are meant to provide you with pivot, sliding abilities and to be light-footed, so you can move forward and backward or across in a quick manner with high combat speed. This makes your confidence high and in control of your body during that all-important combat or training.
Is it worth buying the best boxing shoes? The answer should be an emphatic YES if you are serious about MMA and your performance and safety.
Ideally, these shoes should be super comfortable and extremely lightweight so you can be agile and ‘quick on your feet’. The feeling of the perfect pair of shoes is quite akin to or as snugly as wearing a pair of gloves, i.e. its shape should adopt and adapt to the shape and natural curves of your feet. Another important consideration is the strength of the shoe material so that you get to enjoy those for a longer period and hence, good value for the investment you made in them.
Some other benefits of buying quality shoes for MMA include enhanced maximum stationary support, strong sole support, power, and general combat speed.
You will be spoilt for choices when it comes to buying the best mixed martial arts shoes, given the different styles, functionalities, and best designs available in the market. We have got your work cut out by doing all the necessary research, so you can focus on the best MMA shoes options available in different price ranges and make an informed decision.
Best Shoes for MMA – Top 10 Mixed Martial Arts Shoes Reviews
When it comes to training, some practitioners like to train barefooted whilst others take a more cautious and risk-averse approach and wear protective shoes; particularly the beginners who aren’t as sure about their fighting skills and technique as pros. Moreover, some fighters have already had an injury before, either in a fight or otherwise (on their feet or elsewhere). They certainly cannot take more risks and must invest in purchasing high quality material pair of MMA shoes that can be worn during training sessions or otherwise.
Here are the best 10 MMA shoes that you can find out there in the market. We have selected them carefully with the hope that you get to review one of the best items available and in different brands, to suit your style, need, and budget. Whether it is the best martial arts shoes you are after or UFC pair of shoes, we have got you covered in the reviews below. However, the idea is for us to educate you well on the best MMA shoes options available as well as their specifications to find a good one for yourself. Eventually, the decision is yours, as you understand your requirements and personal preferences better than anyone. Let us have a look.
Otomix Men’s Warrior MMA Shoes
Otomix is an established and well-renowned brand, manufacturing shoes since 1988. They create performance-based workout shoes for specialized sports such as mixed martial arts. They get great pride in their original and authentic shoe designs and this Ninja Warrior model is no exception, which is the latest one they feature.
It has a wider toe box, as compared to the Stingray model they released earlier. This is for those who have bigger feet or simply require extra room during fights and training.
These can be used for weightlifting, MMA, boxing, wrestling, grappling, bodybuilding Taekwondo, Karate, Tae-bo, cross-fit training, yoga and general fitness purposes as well such as walking and stretching.
They are made out of high-quality polyester with imported material. It has a rubber sole which makes it lightweight and durable at the same time. They have added ankle support for your safety and a thin sole at the bottom which makes it super easy to grip your feet during combat.
It is available in multiple colors to suit your style.
TT4ALL Slip-On Soft Rubber Sole Minimalist Shoes
These slip-on shoes are super light (almost the weight of an average smartphone) and fashionable. These can also double-up as your casual sneakers with a breathable canvas upper surface. It has a rubber outsole for better grip and cotton lining for a snug fit. The Flex Groove EVA MD Sole provides the much-needed flexibility. It is an overall durable piece of footwear.
These can be used for various fighting activities such as Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Qigong, and other martial arts training. These are guaranteed to provide you great support during those high octane Kung Fu training sessions.
These can also be worn for various other activities such as training, running, walking, light hiking and jogging.
The blue and white colors are an amazing combination and a refreshing change from the standard black and white that you get to see in Kung Fu activities. These will surely get you noticed when you are out there in the ring or practicing!
Mooto Korea Taekwondo MarShoes
These Taekwondo shoes are a new concept and are sock type. They are easy to wear and take off. They have a non-slip function and can be easily carried with you when you need to change them. Thanks to their lightweight and compact size. It also has a breathable function which is guaranteed to keep you warm in colder months and comfortable during summers.
It is quite effective in keeping your feet dry and hence reduces the chances of contracting germs or athlete’s foot.
The non-slip fabric material on the base helps against slipping. It is ideal for all kinds of indoor activities, for example, yoga, Taekwondo, and long haul flights when you need something airy and comfortable.
It is made out of neoprene material (developed by Du Pont Group) which is a form of synthetic rubber. It is renowned to provide comfort and warmth to your feet for long. This is due to the soft touches and remarkable tension in the material that makes it a great fit for winter conditions.
It is available in two colors: Navy & Red.
Mooto Korea Taekwondo Shoes Wings
These Taekwondo shoes are specialist martial arts shoes. You will need a size or two bigger than your usual size. Its unique shape and design help you to hop and step easily. It minimized the shock in your heal area and its arch provides great support shank to release tiredness from constant stepping.
It is made out of high-density spandex textile and microfiber synthetic that firmly holds your foot and keeps it in place firmly for a better grip.
The outside of the shoe is designed specifically to help you turn and make instant stops during the activity, and at the same time avoiding any slips or injury. Some other material components of the shoe include rubber, Amor Lining – Urethane, Mesh, and EVA.
It is available in two-tone colors (White & Black), so there aren’t many choices with picking your favorite color.
Century Lightfoot Martial Arts Shoes
These martial arts shoes are made in China and specially designed to be extremely lightweight and take the shape or curves of your feet.
It has rubber soles with pivot points that help in gripping the floor and enhanced footwork. Their breathable design will provide your feet with a cool and comfortable feeling and a snug fit, which every fighter needs during those high-intensity fights. They also have a pliable design which will take the shape or curves of your feet to provide with an unmatched grip and control.
It is made from high-quality synthetic leather which provides for greater durability.
These shoes are available in three sold colors namely black, white and black/pink.
Adidas Wrestling Men’s Combat Speed 4-M
These wrestling shoes come with very comfortable socks like fitting that also provide superb support to your feet. These are light-weight and highly breathable. They have a single-layer mesh upper with contrasting suede leather. Its synthetic leather is designed and fixed for optimum performance.
The split suede on the outside provides a balanced amount of spin on the mat. You are bound to get great performance from these light-weight shoes that make a bold statement on your part.
Its dimensions are: 5 x 5 x 0.7 inches. It is available in a wide range of solid and mixed colors, one of which is bound to suit your style and liking.
Ringside Diablo Wrestling Boxing Shoes
These wrestling shoes are modern in style and make a bold statement. These are your quintessential new generation footwear for optimum ring performance.
They are made from breathable nylon mesh pattern and patent leather vinyl finish. Their low-top ankle support design provides flexibility and ease of movement. They have a rubber outsole with a non-slip feature, providing the much-needed grip and control to the wrestler.
Women’s shoe sizes will generally be 2 sizes smaller than men’s. A woman, who generally wears a size 8, should ideally go for size 6 when purchasing the Diablo shoes.
It is available in a range of colors like red, blue, pink (specially designed for women), white, black.
Otomix Men’s Original Lite MMA Shoes
These Lite MMA shoes have a slip-on (laced top) design with synthetic features and a rubber outsole that is thin and flexible. They are light-weight and have a flexible sole to ensure that you are ‘grounded’ and can feel the floor. This ensures a strong balance and grounding during those all-important fights.
This Original Lite model comes with the renowned indoor/outdoor Stingray sole which keeps the feet fixed in place for greater balance and power.
These shoes are perfect for various combat sports such as Mixed Martial Arts, Taekwondo, Karate, Mat Sports, Yoga, and Bodybuilding.
ASICS Wrestling Shoes & MMA Boot
This Snapdown 2 design from ASICS comes with a full grip feature that doesn’t require too much effort to adjust whilst wearing it. It has a super comfortable and flexible upper and a traditional lace-up closure. It also has mid-height ankle support that is easy on your feet and affords you maximum protection and grip during those aggressive kicks and movements during the fight.
It has breathable single-layer mesh uppers and synthetic overlays which add to its aesthetics. It oozes confidence and transforms that into your performance.
Day Key Wrestling & Combat Training Shoes
These mid-level Day Key wrestling shoes have a full-length outsole design with traction pods on the rear and forefoot of the shoes. This assures flexibility and grip to the wrestler.
There have a new breathable single-layer mesh and synthetic skin-suede feature that allows your feet to stay dry and away from sweat. It also provides upper flexibility which ensures optimum performance as a wrestling shoe.
It is only available in black color.
Important Attributes of Best Martial Arts Shoes
Ask any boxer or martial arts fighter and he will tell you the importance of footwork to execute their skills in the ring. Your pair of top boxing shoes are an integral part of your overall feel and presence when you are in that boxing ring or martial arts octagon.
There are certain important aspects that you need to bear in mind when purchasing the best mixed martial arts shoes. We have listed them below. Let us look at them closely.
High Top and Low Top
High top shoes are most commonly used in martial arts as it involves kicking from the highest point of the foot. This is the reason you see extra padding on the higher area of martial arts shoes. This protects their lower leg and feet from injuries during training sessions or combat fighting.
Low top shoes, as the name suggests, do not have a good ankle support cover like high top ones, and may not be appropriate for martial arts combat fighting or even martial arts training.
Boxing and Wrestling Shoes
A top boxing shoe is higher in length and provide more protection to the ankle support area. A wrestling shoe is well designed to provide mobility in any direction, as the range of movements for your feet is greater as compared to boxing.
Martial arts and boxing shoes are not as readily available everywhere as you regular sports shoes.
Sole and Upper Material
All martial arts shoes place a lot of focus on their sole and upper material. This padding is meant to protect the upper portion and the base of your feet by preventing disastrous ankle injuries and damage to bones, particularly when the impact on falling on the ground or a hit from an opponent is hard. This is quite possible and fighters should anticipate this mishap anytime.
A lot of martial arts shoes come standard with high ankle support. This features of these training shoes provide added and firm support to the fighter, given the combat sports are meant to be high-octane.
Ankle support also protects you from various types of injuries as the chances are high that a fighter will make an improper landing or the footwork might not be in the best of positions. This happens all the time and quite frequently in martial arts. This type of arch support is also helpful when training on slippery training mats.
Most people have one foot that is slightly bigger than the other. The best martial arts shoes should fit the biggest foot with ease.
Always try them whilst sitting and standing. This is because your feet will expand a bit when your weight presses them down.
You should not expect the shoes to stretch out or expand, as not all of them will. Lastly, always make sure to spend some time walking around in the shoes you want to buy, particularly by running, jumping and kicking to see if it was designed for you or not. This way you will avoid feet injuries like bristles, rankles and corns.
(Frequently Asked Questions) FAQ
Does Martial Arts Footwear Make any Difference?
Martial arts footwear is designed for a reason. Certain forms of martial arts training require you to wear training shoes, for example, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), boxing and karate.
These shoes are manufactured with these sports in mind. They are designed to provide you with foot protection and a good toe box so you don’t get injured when you are hit hard by an opponent or fall awkwardly or heavily on the ground.
They also provide you with comfort and grip so you can perform to the best of your ability during your training.
What are the Best Martial Arts Shoes Brands?
Some of the best martial arts shoes are designed and manufactured by Otomix, Adidas, TT4ALL, ASICS, Ringside, Century and Mooto Korea. Please refer to our top 10 MMA shoes above for further details.
Combat fighting is an intense sport. It is high-impact and leaves the fighters exposed to all kinds of injuries and discomfort. It is always better to be safe than sorry!
They must take their foot safety and comfort seriously during the fight. It is for this reason that the best sports shoe manufacturers spend a lot of time researching and designing shoes for mixed martial arts fighters.
The gear options are endless when you start looking at MMA sports shoes. There is a pair of shoes out there for everyone to find to suit their style, size, comfort and need. Happy fighting!