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The Best Kickboxing Shoes, According to the Pros 2022

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When it comes to full body workouts, kickboxing is no joke. It is a high impact and thrilling sport that combines elements of martial arts with punching and kicking your opponent. Needless to say, it’s a great stress reliever and an easy way to tone your muscles, build endurance, and give you a major energy boost. But to feel good and survive your first workouts, you’ll probably need more than poise and determination. You will also need the right equipment. This is where kickboxing shoes come in.

Some of the basics usually include boxing gloves or hand wraps, a mouth guard, and headgear for protection against unexpected blows. But if you’re wondering what are the best kickboxing shoes to wear while sparring, you have options, including going barefoot. In fact, going barefoot has some of the biggest benefits, according to Tempo trainer and boxing trainer, Colby Landry.

Should you go barefoot in kickboxing?

It depends on your preferences and skill level. Those who are seasoned and professional in the sport may want to kickbox without shoes, simply because kickboxing matches are conducted barefoot.

“Most kickboxers are traditionally barefoot for two reasons: first, you have to compete barefoot in order to protect your opponent, and second, it allows you to make the most of your toes and foot muscles to grip the ground. “, explains Landry. Additionally, fighting barefoot is a traditional practice in the kickboxing world as it helps improve a fighter’s posture and gives them more stability when striking a kick. At the same time, you have go barefoot, especially if you’re a beginner or taking an aerobics-based kickboxing class at your local gym.

What to look for in a kickboxing shoe

If you decide to wear a shoe, it’s all about keeping things light, flat, and flexible. “You don’t want a shoe that has too much cushion in the sole (like running shoes) because you need a lot of stability in your feet when kicking,” says a personal trainer and sports performance and fitness educator at Herbalife. , Denise Cervantes. “I prefer cross-training flats that are both flexible and provide stability to my foot when doing any cardio kickbox class,” Cervantes tells us. Essentially, you want something that feels like an extension of your foot and lets you get your leg out and spin quickly.

Second, stay away from shoes that have a ton of grip on the outsole, similar to many walking shoes. Too much pulling can actually prevent a fighter from pivoting smoothly, and as a result, can lead to a knee injury, according to Noom’s trainer and trainer. Hope Choplin. That said, she recommends training with something that has a much thinner sole and roomier toe box. FYI, these are the most plastered things you can do barefoot. They are incredibly lightweight and mimic the natural shape and movement of your feet.

Most importantly, make sure your shoes have some support. Kickboxing can often put a lot of stress on your feet and joints, especially around your arches and ankles. “Since you’re mostly sticking to your toes in a kickboxing stance, having a shoe with a really high arch and ankle support is key,” says Landry.

As a general rule, consider which styles are the most comfortable and give you the most control over your lower body without compromising form or mobility. Although many choose to go barefoot based on their experience, there is no universal standard. “Retailers have designed a low profile shoe specific to the sport of kickboxing, but it’s always good practice to train in whatever is more comfortable. Most people would do just fine barefoot, in socks. or in lightweight shoes suitable for exercise,” says fitness trainer and founder of JoshFit Training LLC., Josh Sedgwick.

Keep scrolling to find the best kickboxing shoes for you!

The best kickboxing shoes

barefoot

Vivobarefoot Primus III — $160.00

When it comes to minimalist shoes, all Vivobarefoot shoes are a no-brainer for celebrity trainers Joey Thurmann. They’re light, thin and super flexible to make you feel more easily connected to the ground. They are basically a replica of your foot with more protection. “When looking for a pair of kickboxing shoes, they are usually more minimalist with a wider toe box the better. Think of something that you can actually feel the ground that allows your toe to splay or extend,” says Thurman.

eternal boxing shoes

Everlast Elite High Top Boxing Shoe — $100.00

If you’re looking to get more support around your ankles for punching, this traditional style boxing shoe is a must add to your wardrobe. They are perfect to wear both on the gym floor and in the ring on training days. The mesh upper helps keep your feet cool and allows you to be light on your feet in transitional movements.

Nike Free TR8

Nike Free TR8 — $100.00

Despite the midsole cushioning, these Nike sneakers get an A+ for their flexibility and lightweight feel. They’re super breathable and offer plenty of stability, thanks to the flat heel surface that gives you support and balance on the ground.

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.