But, you may be wondering, "do I really need boxing shoes?"
Buying equipment and gear for any sport, especially when you’re new can be challenging and costly. If you’re not serious about boxing or just testing it out for exercise, then you can probably get away with any good pair of athletic shoes. However, should you decide to take the sport more seriously and start sparring, investing in some quality boxing boots is recommended to help improve your footwork.
Boxing boots make a huge difference in helping you move with complete control and are designed to provide mobility, support, and efficient foot speed.
How to Choose Boxing Boots
There are thousands of women’s and men’s boxing boot varieties on the market but not all are created equal. Below is a list of qualities you should look for before you settle on a pair.
A good boxing shoe will be light and breathable, allowing for heat and moisture to escape. Look for shoes that have mesh or added ventilations holes throughout the shoe’s frame to keep your feet cool and dry. A more ventilated shoe will also dry out quicker, especially if you’re prone to having sweaty feet or are training in hot climates.
Boxers need to be light on their feet in the ring which is why boxing shoes are usually built lighter than your standard athletic shoes. Lightweight materials can vary, but good options are made out of lightweight leather or suede.
Protecting your ankles is a priority in boxing, as is in any sport where you’re bouncing and jumping around with quick, pivoted movements.
Boxing boots are available in three different heights, high top, mid top, and low top.
For the maximum support, many serious boxers and those who compete, like high top boxing shoes since they securely cushion the ankle and provide better stability. They usually come up about mid-calf. If you’re prone to ankle issues or have had previous injuries, the high tops will offer the most protection.
The mid tops will usually rest two or three inches above your ankles depending upon the model and usually are the most popular since they offer a bit more mobility than the high tops but more support than the low top.
Low tops sit just under your ankle, similar to running shoes. Since these shoes have less ankle support, they are best for strength and conditioning or casual boxing, not typically used in sparring.
The main difference in the varying shoe height, aside from ankle support also comes down to mobility and weight. Lower top shoes give you more freedom of movement and are lighter while the higher tops offer more support.
Comfort and Width
Boxing shoes are meant to help a boxer perform better not inhibit them. If boxing boots don’t feel comfortable from the moment you try them on, don’t buy them!
Comfort will vary from person to person depending upon the shape and size of your foot. Take your time when testing out shoes and really walk around and get some movement into the step. If you have friends at the gym, ask to try on their shoes as well to get a feel for comfort, material, and support. Some brands will run wider while others narrower.
Ideally your boxing shoes should offer a snug fit but allow for good mobility without causing blisters.
There is a wide range of sole thickness and textures to consider when choosing your boxing boots.
A smooth texture is designed for better pivoting while others are designed for a better grip. Texture comes down to whether you prefer more mobility to pivot or have a firmer grip behind your movements.
Regarding sole height, this largely depends on the arch of your foot. If your feet have high arches a more cushioned sole might provide more comfort and elevate your foot further off the ground.
If you have flat feet or lower arches you may prefer a more flat shoe with the least amount of cushion on the heel to make you feel more grounded. Thinner soles also give you more grip and control but may also tire your feet faster.
How Much Should I Spend on Boxing Shoes?
Pricing for boxing boots in the UK can vary depending upon the brand and materials you want, similar to buying any type of athletic shoe. Low quality, cheap boxing boot brands such as Everlast will range from around £50 for a pair where the more expensive, better quality shoe brands like Nike, Reebok, or Venum can be upwards of £150+.
What Are the Best Boxing Boots?
While the best boxing boots for you really comes down to personal preference and fit, below is a list of our personal recommendations based on quality, performance, and popularity.
Nike Machomai is a great boot for amateurs and pros alike. Although they don’t have as much design as the HyperKO style, there’s a reason they’ve been one of the most popular boxing boots for years.
Nike Machomai mid tops are lightweight and breathable designed to absorb moisture. They have great ankle support and a nimble, flexible gum rubber outsole which wraps up around the sides of the boot to provide maximum traction in the ring. ,They also have a fairly unique lacing system which will let you slide out of them quickly post fight.
Nike Hyper KO
Nike Hyper KO and Nike Hyper KO Limited Edition are both fantastic options that vary in price. Not to mention they look great too! Nike has created this top of the range boxing boot using it's Flywire support technology to ensure the HyperKO is ultra lightweight but strong. A size 9 boot only weighs 300 grams, making it one of the lightest boxing shows on the market.
Nike's Flywire support system also allows the Nike HyperKO to be constructed with a substantial amount of mesh which minimizes weight, and helps with ventilation and moisture management. To account for the tremendous torque applied by boxers while punching, a lockdown strap has been placed in the forefoot area.
Venum Elite Boxing Shoes
The Venum boxing shoes are flawlessly designed and beautiful but that’s not all! The Venum Elite combines characteristics such as lightness, strength, stability and grip, and explosive support to allow a boxer to move very quickly in any direction.
The insole is designed to perfectly fit the plantar arch of the foot, without being too bulky or uncomfortable. Despite being a shoe optimized for the attacker, the Venum Elite allows the wearer to manage the distance thanks to the excellent lateral ankle support provided by its mid-cut silhouette. To maximize comfort, the ”Honeycomb” mesh enables the foot to breathe during the most intense workouts, whilst being incredibly resistant and increasing the longevity of the shoe.
Adidas Box Hog 2
Adidas Box Hog 2 is another great, affordable option. These boots deliver agile performance with a sturdy single-layer open mesh upper construction for superior climate control. This shoe has a gum rubber outer sole providing an excellent amount of traction and there is cushioning in the heel to ensure your feet will be comfortable and well supported during an entire match or session. The synthetic suede overlays ensure that these shoes are lightweight, as heavy shoes would be difficult to move quickly in. Adidas boxing boots are a popular brand and style.
When it comes time to buy boxing boots you should really take the time to shop around and try on different heights, styles, and brands before you settle on a single pair. The last thing you want to do is worry about your feet when your head should be focused in the ring.