Top Guide: Best Boxing Shoes for 2017

The foundation of your boxing training starts with a good pair of boxing shoes. No matter your experience level, a good pair of boxing shoes will make your workouts and training far more effective and much more enjoyable.

The best boxing shoes provide excellent ankle support, and free your feet for effortless movement in the ring, something regular cross trainer athletic shoes cannot provide. There are many shoes to choose from in several different styles, and this guide will help you choose the right boxing shoes for your situation.

Shoe:Type:Upper:Sole:Our Score:
Reebok Boxing BootMid Top BootNubuckRubber4.8
Cleto Reyes High TopHigh Top BootLeather/SuedeRubber4.8
Otomix StingrayMMA/BoxingLeather/NylonRubber4.7
Asics Aggressor 2WrestlingEcsaine upperRubber4.6
Rival GuerreroLow Top BootLeather/NylonRubber4.5
Ringside UndefeatedHigh Top BootPat. Leather/NylonRubber4.5
Adidas Adizero XIVWrestlingSyntheticRubber4.5
Adidas SpeedexBoxing ShoeSynthetic/MeshRubber4.5
Title Speed FlexMid Top BootSyn. Leather/NylonPUR4.4
Asics JB Elite V2.0WrestlingSyn. Leather/NylonRubber4.3

Features to Look for in Good Boxing Shoes

Boxing is a unique sport, where footwork is the foundation to all other skills. Your boxing shoes should feel like they are a part of your feet and legs. With that in mind, there are some very specific requirements and features to consider when it comes to choosing the boxing shoes for your training needs.

Rival Lo Top Boxing Boot

  • High Top vs Low Top – High Tops are considered the “traditional” choice in boxing shoes, but Low Tops are extremely popular as well. If you know you need superior ankle support, or plan on being competitive choose High Top boxing shoes. If you plan on doing mostly sparring, shadow boxing, and heavy bag workouts, with the occasional fight, then pick a good Low Top boxing shoe.
  • Boxing vs Wrestling Shoes – In your search for boxing shoes, you will see that a lot of wrestling shoes are also marketed towards boxers. They are very similar in appearance, but for a few key points. Wrestling shoes typically have rubber soles that wrap up the sides of the foot, providing grip on the mat from all kinds of positions. A specialized boxing shoe has stiffer soles with less tread, allowing your feet to glide with ease on the floor or canvas.
  • Sole Material – Boxing shoe soles are usually made of a rubber or leather material. Leather allows you to have the best footwork in the ring, but has less traction. Rubber soles are more common these days, and are lightweight with more grip. Good boxing shoes have soles that provide good grip but don’t impede your footwork.
  • Upper Material – The upper materials on boxing shoes are typically a mix between leather, suede, and synthetic materials. Most top boxing shoes are made form a mix of leather and synthetic nylon. Leather provided comfort and support, while nylon is lightweight and breathable.
  • Ankle Support – All of these shoes we reviewed have plenty of ankle support. Boxing and wrestling style shoes have laces that run high up the foot, with uppers wrapping around above the ankle. If you plan on fighting at any point, ankle support is extremely important, and you should focus on high tops.
  • Sizing – Most boxing shoes fit like any other athletic shoe. There are some exceptions where they are only sized in full sizes (9, 10, 11 etc.). Some boxing shoes also run a little narrow, so be sure to read the sizing info carefully before ordering. For the lady fighters out there, look at ordering 1 to 1.5 sizes smaller than the Men’s.

Boxing Shoe Reviews & Overview

Because of the different styles out there, we feel it would be beneficial to review 2 of the best boxing shoes from each category – Low Top, High Top, and Wrestling style shoes. That way you have a complete understanding of your options and can pick the best shoes for your individual training needs.

Reebok Boxing Boot

The Reebok Boxing Boot is a premium boot, perfect for medium to advanced boxers. The upper is composed of breathable fabric and synthetic nubuck. What you will also like about the Reebok Boot is the strap crossing the mid-lace part of the shoe. This strap helps join the shoe with your ankle and foot for a feeling of confidence in your footwork. It’s no wonder these boots come highly rated for overall comfort.

The soles are specifically design for boxing work. They a formed from a non marking rubber, and have the wide flat sides for stable foot work. The sizes tend to run true for average width feet. I also think these boots look great. The dark grey mesh contrasts with the black nubuck, the red Reebok triangle symbol pops, and they simply look bad-ass.

Cleto Reyes High Top

For a high top alternative to the Adidas, have a look at the Cleto Reyes boxing boots. These all black are made from genuine leather and suede to create both a comfortable and durable boot. They run in the same upper price range as the Adidas, but offer a slightly different look and feel. If you prefer the feel of high tops snugged up into the calf, go with the Reyes. If you like a lightweight, more athletic feel, go with the Adidas.

Pulling the Cleto Reyes boots on isn’t difficult, thanks to the side zipper that runs halfway down the inside of each shoe. Just slip them on, zip them up, and cinch up the laces and you’re ready to go. The boots don’t have half sizes, so judging by most peoples comments, it’s best to order down in size to get a good fit. Or you can try slipping in an extra insole over the polyurethane insole to snug up the fit.

Rival Guerrero (Best Low Top Boxing Shoe)

The Rival Guerrero Low is a patent leather, microfiber mesh ventilated boxing shoe with lots of style mixed in.  The boots are available in colors schemes like Silver Snake Skin, Candy Apple Red, and Lime & Black that you simply can’t find in other boxing shoes.

Beyond the good looks, Rival makes a lightweight (390 grams) and functionally solid boxing shoe. It has a solid rubber outsole with flaring sides around the heel and forefoot, just where you need stability when you plant your feet. The upper shoe is made of patent leather and microfiber materials to promote, and a mesh liner that promotes ventilation to keep your feet cool.

Otomix Stingray Escape (Best MMA/Boxing Mid Top)

The Stingray Escapes are nice multi-purpose boxing/grappling shoes from Otomix, a company known for their experience in martial arts and fitness gear. The Stingrays feature a nice looking leather/polyester shoe with thin and lightweight rubber soles. Most customers seem to like how comfortable they are, as well as being lightweight.

The Stingray comes in some cool colors like Camo and Red White & Blue, as well as more traditional boxing colors like Black, Red, and Blue. The laces run two holes above the ankle, to provide a snug fit with good ankle support and free mobility.

Ringside Undefeated (Best Boxing Boot)

The Ringside Undefeated is a traditional high top boxing boot for those of you needing or wanting the best ankle support possible. You should find the Ringside Undefeated to be a comfortable and lightweight shoe, but remember they are specialized shoes meant for boxing only. So don’t go around thinking you can do everything with them. The rubber soles are great for gliding around the canvas and doing your boxing workouts, but aren’t suitable for running, wrestling, or other sports.

Even though these shoes only come in White or Black, they are a made of patent leather and vinyl which makes them look very nice when you lace them up. Like most high tops, these only come in full sizes, so take that into consideration, including any socks and Achilles supports you wear in your boxing boots.

Asics Aggressor 2 (Best Wrestling Shoe for Boxing)

The Asics Aggressor 2 is an awesome shoe for wrestling and makes a quality option for boxing. The upper shoe is made from a soft material called Ecsaine that is very soft and form-able to your individual feet. These shoes have extra features for comfort, like padding up the tongues and around the collar. The Aggressor 2’s can provide a snug, but form fitting fit thanks to the adjustable Velcro ankle strap.

The outside of the shoe is equally bad-ass. Like most wrestling style shoes, the rubber sole curve up the outer sole for extra grip while working on the mat. What I really like about these shoes is the large variety of colorways available, which comes in at an impressive 15 options. My favorites are the basic White/Black, the Graphite/Sunflower/Black, and the Fire Red/Black/Graphite.

Adidas Speedex – Best Lightweight Boxing Shoe

If you love ultralight shoes for boxing, the Adidas Speedex are pretty awesome. The shoe is based on an Adiwear rubber outer sole, and you’ll notice they don’t wrap around the edges like a wrestling shoe. The Speedex is designed as a legit boxing shoe only. Next, see the white upper portions? Those are ankle supports that tie your heel to the ankle for support. The laces integrate with the supports so you can cinch them comfortably tight.

The rest of the Speedex is constructed of a single layer lightweight mesh that allows your feet to breathe and stay cool. They come in half sizes, so order true to your normal shoe size. Finally, I just love the minimalist aesthetics of the Speedex shoes. They just look fast. I would have no reservations buying these as my next boxing training shoes.

Adidas Adizero XIV – Best Lightweight Wrestling Shoe

These Adidas shoes are part of the minimalist “Adizero” family of wrestling shoes, and they happen to work great as a lightweight boxing shoe. The minimal rubber sole is a little flatter than some of the curved wrestling models you can buy, and has both suede and rubber inserts, making it good for general boxing usage.

The sizes run mostly true, but perhaps shade a half size small on some people. Even though they are minimalist in nature, the uppers should be comfortable to wear during a boxing workout. The styling is also a high point on these shoes, with a dozen different colorways available. My personal favorites are the Grey/Black/Solar Gold versions.

Title Lo-Top – Best Cheap Boxing Boot

The Title Lo-Top ( also know as the Speed Flex Mids) are very similar to the shoes from Ringside, but only rises to mid height. The main differences being the Title shoes are made of synthetic leather with nylon mesh woven material. They are a full 12 inches high, so it will take some time to get these babies laced up each time you work out.

The PUR soles are formed for boxing, and are supposed to promote speed and footwork in the ring. There are no unnecessary materials in the boots to keep their weight down. The Title High Tops are available in four colors (Black, White, Red, and Blue), but I would avoid the White version if you care at all about how they look.

Asics JB Elite V2.0 (Wrestling)

The Asics JB Elite is the signature shoe of USA Wrestling beast and Olympic Champion, Jordan Burroughs. Asics has a strong reputation in wresting shoe, and the JB Elite is designed to his expert specifications. The V2.0 is the newly updated version, with a breathable synthetic mesh and suede upper, and split sole design.

These shoes are among the best boxing shoes thanks to the split soles, which can help you pivot and deliver punches with speed and power. At 6.8 ounces they are a featherweight shoe and are comfortable for boxing and jumping rope. Both the original and V2.o JB Elites can be found on Amazon, and are available in a bunch of cool colors. I would have to say the Granite/Green Gecko is my favorite of all the colorways.

Are Specialized Shoes for Boxing Really Necessary?

So, when it comes down to making a decision, you might be asking yourself if it’s worth buying a special pair of shoes for just your boxing training activities. If you are at all serious about learning to box, or boxing for fitness, then the answer is an easy YES.

Getting a pair of boxing shoes will help you get the most out of your boxing training program. You will feel fast and fleeter of foot during your drills and workouts because you have invested in the proper footwear.

Photo Credit: Flickr/TheDailySportsHerald, via CC