So I had just had this discussion during one of my classes this morning so I thought it would be a good idea to get a blog post up about this very topic! So – are boxing shoes worth it?
When one starts boxing, the first things they naturally think of are the gloves, you’re going to be doing a lot of punching in boxing so that makes perfect sense….next is often hand wraps – gotta protect the hands with all that punching coming up. Usually after that people think about a mouth guard and then a head guard. But what gets lost in all of this is the need for boxing shoes. The reason for this is trainers are comfortable, they are obviously designed for outdoor use and/or running so why can’t they double up as boxing shoes? If you are training boxing without the sparring then you might get away with wearing a good pair of trainers for your boxing workout. But if you are going to be sparring, then running shoes simply won’t cut it.
Now it doesn’t mean they are bad, if you start off sparring wearing trainers you won’t feel any different – but if you wear boxing shoes, you will never want to go back to wearing trainers during sparring. Boxing shoes will make a world of difference to your movement, they are designed for the ring and designed to be lightweight, helping you to move quicker around the ring. When the name of the game is to hit and not get hit, the difference a good pair of boxing shoes can make is the difference between you getting into range to land a shot or you getting out of range to make your opponent miss. Trainers are naturally heavier than boxing shoes because they have to provide more cushion and comfort on the sole of your feet as well as to the heel of your foot. Boxing shoes will this area much thinner, allowing you to be quicker moving around.
Boxing shoes are also perfectly designed in order for you to pivot and change directions effortlessly. Pivoting is an essential part of boxing so having footwear which allows you to perform this move without any hindrance really will make a difference to your performance. The flatter sole of a boxing shoe also helps to prevent any tripping that can occur when wearing the thicker sole of trainers. I have often seen participants in sparring trip over because of trainers and their thicker heals. Another point is that boxing shoes mostly cover the ankle, lessening the chances of tripping and turning your ankle over when moving around the ring or changing direction.
The general consensus in our discussion in the gym earlier was that once you’ve worn boxing shoes, you won’t want to go back and wear trainers in sparring. I really do think a good pair of boxing shoes is as important to your game as a good pair of boxing gloves, boxing isn’t all about punching, the fighters with good footwork and good defence stand out too and with the legs doing so much work in boxing, it only makes sense that you need good boxing shoes to aid the legs and aid your footwork. You need to sure of your movements when pivoting and stepping in, the peace of mind boxing shoes will give you is certainly worth the price you pay for them. The extra confidence they provide(the feeling of moving quicker and moving in and out faster is great for the mind) is also an added benefit and a more confident fighter is a better fighter. An important tip to note is that you don’t always want to get the same size boxing shoes as you would trainers. For example, if you are a size 10, you may want a slightly smaller sized boxing shoe as they are supposed to be tight fitting, try a size 9.5 and see how you feel.
So if you are sitting on the fence about investing in a pair of boxing shoes or you don’t have any yet, my advice is to get yourself a pair because you won’t regret it, you will only regret you didn’t get them sooner!
Boxing Coach Strength and Conditioning Coach Boxing Author of: The Boxing Cheat Sheet - Your Ultimate Guide to Ring Survival Strength and Conditioning for Boxing - Work out Hits to get you Fighting Fit! Forgotten Legends of the Ring - Ten Past Masters of the Squared Circle
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