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Buying Wrestling Shoes

Wrestling is among the oldest sports known to man. It traces its origins back to Greek antiquity. As an exhibition of human athletic excellence, wrestling remains largely unchanged from its earliest history, but in many other ways the sport has evolved greatly. For instance, we no longer wrestle naked. Wrestling has developed its own distinct apparel. None is as crucial to a wrestler’s success as his shoes. They are literally at the base of every wrestler’s victory or failure.

If you are new to the sport, choosing a pair of wrestling shoes can be intimidating. There are new styles and brands you know nothing about. Have no fear. Choosing a pair of them is no more difficult than choosing any other pair of athletic shoes. There are just a few things to keep in mind.

The Basics

Wrestling shoes are designed to be light and flexible to maximize mobility on the wrestling mat. They lace up and rise high for superior ankle support. They are free of any sharp, metal or abrasive materials that can hurt you or an opponent during a match.

Sizing up the Field

Wrestling shoes come in all sizes from children’s up through the largest adult sizes. Wrestling shoes usually run a half to a full size larger than your regular shoe size. You will want to try on them before you buy them. If ordering online, check for sizing guidelines and sizing guarantees. If buying for a younger wrestler, you will want to account for the child’s rapid growth.

Be a Sole Man

There are two different styles of soles for wrestling shoes: split-sole and unisole. The split-sole is comprised of two separate sections, while the unisole is made of a single piece. Split-sole shoes provide more flexibility. Unisole shoes give superior traction on the mat. Which one you choose is merely preference. Ask to borrow a teammate’s shoes to test out the different styles before buying.

Get into a Rotation

Wrestling shoes can be a relatively sizable investment, so you are going to want to get the most out of your pair. A pair of them might last one to two years. One way to stretch out the life of your shoes is to buy multiple pairs and rotate between them. This will be a larger initial investment, but it will help your shoes last longer. Also, many wrestlers like having different styles of shoes ready for different matches.


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