When it comes to boxing accessories or gears, the gloves tend to take much of the attention. This is entirely understandable as the sport revolves around one’s hands and protecting our fist is vital since it will be taking up much of the abuse. However, boxing shoes often overlooked during the initial phases of your training. Something that tends to bite beginner’s in the backside down the road.
In most cases, beginners typically go with their running shoes when training – which, for the most part, will suffice. However, if you are planning on getting in the ring and sparring, your running shoes will prove to be quite inefficient, and in worse cases, a deterrent to your performance.
Benefits of Wearing Boxing Shoes
While wearing your standard running shoes inside the ring during sparring or basic training will give you decent mobility, wearing actual boxing shoes will immediately provide you with a remarkably better experience.
Boxing shoes are specifically designed to be worn inside the boxing ring. It is lightweight, comfortable, and flexible. All of these aspects combined will assist in building up your mobility and confidence inside the squared circle.
Step In, Step Out
A right quality boxing shoe can deliver a world of difference when it comes to your in-ring performance during a match or a single sparring session. As we have stated earlier, boxing shoes are specially made for use inside the ring.
It gives boxers excellent traction on the surface of the ring, which allows them the ability to move in and out in a flash. This is a crucial element in boxing as having the ability to dash in to deliver a swift jab or a damaging straight and quickly getting out of your opponent’s range can be the difference between victory and defeat.
When looking for boxing shoes, you might also come across trainers. These are noticeably thicker as it is designed to protect the boxer’s feet during training. However, due to the extra paddings, trainers are more cumbersome and might stifle your mobility. Compare this to boxing shoes, which is lighter and has better traction to give boxers optimum mobility.
Dash Left, Dash Right
Additionally, boxing shoes not only offer better traction, but it is also designed to be extremely flexible as well. This flexibility translates well during a boxing match as the ability to pivot and change directions on a dime effortlessly is necessary.
This ability to provide excellent mobility as well as stop and go movement is made possible thanks to the flatter soles incorporated into boxing shoes.
You will also notice that boxing shoes only cover as high as the ankles compared to trainer shoes that have a considerably higher cut.
The fact that boxing shoes only go as high up as the ankles means there is little to no risk of twisting your ankle or tripping when making quick pivots.
Qualities and Features of a Great Boxing Shoe
When it comes to boxing shoes, it must meet the expected standards as its use will be quite specific. Here are the essential features that a boxing shoe must have:
High Level of Grip and Mobility
As we have already pointed out in the benefits section, boxing shoes are designed for mobility. It should allow you to move around the ring and pivot whenever it is needed.
Boxing shoes tend to have far more grip on a surface than any other shoe as it needs to accommodate the sudden shift of power from one direction to the other without sliding off the surface.
The ability of the boxing shoes to provide top-notch grip also benefits the boxer’s offensive just as much as it does in defense. Throwing straights, hooks, and uppercuts requires the whole body to be competent.
The grips that boxing shoes provide means that you stay in place as you transfer power from your feet to your fist, thus, making your punches considerably more potent than merely throwing it with only your upper body strength behind it.
Construction and Material
Boxing shoes should be able to deliver optimum mobility while also providing more than adequate protection to your feet. This is a fine line to balance as the boxing shoes must be made of lightweight material which should also be durable enough to withstand rough footwork, which is expected in boxing.
Ankle injuries are quite common in boxing as the constant need to pivot and hopping around the ring will put an enormous strain on your lower extremities. There are three options when it comes to shoe height: Low, Medium, and High. These are all pretty self-explanatory with low-tops being just as high as the ankles, while high-tops are almost as high as your calves.
Generally, medium-top shoes provide the most balanced option. To help you figure it out, low-top boxing shoes are designed for maximum mobility while high-top boxing shoes focus on optimum ankle support.
Choosing the right height for ankle support is subjective, but remember always to consider a proper balance between mobility and protection when it comes to the boxing shoe’s ankle support capability.
Balance and Stability
Stability is an essential aspect of boxing footwork. Not only do you need to be spry on your feet, but you also need to have an excellent balance at all times.
A common misconception is that since boxing requires constant movements, a running shoe or basketball shoe will be a good alternative.
What most seem to overlook is that basketball requires continuous running and wide striding steps. Boxing, on the other hand, is all about making quick short movements while primarily being stationary.
Simply put, boxing shoes needs to allow the wearer to be able to plant their feet firmly on the ground.
Boxing Shoe Quality
Finally, your boxing shoes must be of high-quality design and construction.
Since it will be going through constants rigorous use, your boxing shoes need to withstand the constant strenuous movement.
In this regard, I highly recommend you pick one from a reputable brand even if it costs you a couple of extra bucks. It’s best to have an expensive reliable boxing shoe that will last for years rather than a cheap one that breaks down in a couple of months.
So, does boxing shoes make a difference in a fight? Yes, it does. Being confident that you will be able to stick and move at a drop of hat is essential in boxing. A robust and good boxing shoe will be able to deliver that in spades.