Companies that specialize in boxing gear have a firm hold on the market with one notable exception. The major athletic shoe brands are also big players in boxing shoes, which probably shouldn’t surprise anyone. This has setup an exciting match to determine the best boxing shoes with Big Shoe Brands vs Combat Brands.
Do Combat brands like Cleto Reyes, Ringside, Rival, et al. have a shot against Big Shoe companies like Nike, Adidas and Reebok? Do the winners take all the spoils, or is the pie big enough for all to share? Let’s find out.
What to look for in good boxing shoes
Most people would just put on cross trainers or some other athletic shoes when they hit the boxing gym for the first time. Why invest in a pair of boxing shoes if you’re not sure if this sport is for you, right? This is fine and dandy, but believe us when we say that you really should be wearing boxing shoes. And this is why.
Good boxing shoes allow you to grip and pivot at the same time. Boxing shoes are designed for better traction on flat and smooth surfaces than cross trainers in the first place. The outsole patterns on the good ones are designed to assists with pivots.
This is critical in boxing because most of the time you have to pivot when you punch or evade. The best boxing shoes will not only improve your footwork, but your punching power as well.
The other important aspect is ankle support. There is always a risk of turning your ankle when you’re moving on your feet, and even more so when you have to move all over the place without a chance to inspect the ground (you can’t afford to take your eyes off your opponent or sparring partner).
A good pair of boxing shoes will take excellent care of your ankles. They provide much better ankle support than athletic shoes or even work boots. The amount of ankle support is somewhat proportional to the height of the shoe.
This is why good boxing shoes start at about the height of high-top basketball shoes. Mid-top boxing shoes would be about 2 inches taller and high-top boxing shoes are as tall as snow boots.
The soles of good boxing shoes are much thinner and softer than cross trainers; this will enable you to feel the ground.
Besides better grip, you are bound to feel more sure-footed. About the only reason to opt for thicker soles is if you have a tendency to develop sore feet. A thicker sole has better cushion but you won’t feel the ground as much. It’s like how sports cars are low to the ground so that the driver can really feel the road.
After all this good stuff, we have yet to touch on comfort. Good boxing shoes are comfortable. The combination of lower sole and higher top usually makes boxing shoes easier to fit, which is why they come in one size increments instead of half. The workmanship is usually a reliable indicator of durability.
How we picked the top products
To come up with our list of best boxing shoes, we chose a range of boxing shoes available today (2019) for grip, pivoting ease, ankle support, ground control, comfort, build quality and durability.
In addition, we factored the price into the performance of the shoes to get a sense of value for money. This is what we found.
Our Top 10 Best Boxing Shoes
1. Ringside Boxing Shoes - Diablo
- Breathable nylon mesh pattern
- Patent leather vinyl finish
- Low-top ankle for fluidity-- ease of movement and ankle support
- Non-slip-- rubber sole
- Sizing Information
The Ringside Diablo is low-top for boxing shoes but as mentioned above it is as tall as high-top basketball shoes. We found these boxing shoes to afford excellent mobility while providing adequate ankle support.
The interesting outsole patterns consist of big flat lugs in front and straight wide grooves at the back. The grip is good but nothing to write home about. The Ringside Diablo shines the brightest when it comes to pivoting. The style is contemporary and the build quality is good for its humble price.
2. Ringside Boxing Shoes - Undefeated High-Top
- The Ringside Undefeated Boxing Shoes are undefeated in everything from style to performance in the ring
- These sport-specific shoes have a patent leather vinyl finish and a high-top ankle for added support to produce elite class performance
- Made with a breathable nylon mesh pattern and a non-slip rubber sole for added comfort and safety while fighting
- Please see conversion size chart to help determine sizing - Shoes are adult male US sizes - (Ex: Women size 7 = Men size 5)
Ringside makes a big statement with the Undefeated, as in undefeated in every aspect in the ring. These Ringside boxing shoes provide top-class support to the ankle with adequate mobility. Ankle support and mobility are more often than not trade-offs when you go from a lower cut (better mobility) to a higher cut (better ankle support).
These are lightweight and comfortable. The crosshair lugs on the outsole are optimized for jabs, hooks, and crosses. They are designed using breathable nylon mesh which helps prevent your feet from sweating and also come with a non-slip sole made from rubber for better grip.
3. Rival Boxing Shoes - RSX-One
- Fully ventilated mesh & cowhide suede upper and breathable mesh sock liner to ensure maximum airflow penetrating the shoe and cooling the foot from every side;
- Thin, flexible and durable outsole with a lot of grip;
- Ergonomic insole with superior cushion and arch support;
- High top profile giving a great support;
- 8.5" ( 220 mm ) high; 390 g
The Rival RSX-One rivals the company’s highly rated training gloves in stylishness. It is heavy for a boxing shoe at 390g, but this is designed to complement and balance its super thin sole. The Rival RSX-One is just what the doctor ordered for those who crave feeling the ground underneath them.
The grip is remarkable with the outsole’s micro threads. The beautiful thing about these threads is they also allow you to slide and pivot beautifully. The workmanship and build quality are immaculate. The durability remains to be seen due to the thin sole.
4. Reebok Boxing Shoes – Buck
- When you're going round for round, you need shoes that support and move fast. You're covered with the Reebok Boxing Boot.
- Synthetic leather upper
- High-cut design
- Foam midsole
- Ankle strap
The Reebok Boxing Boot is quite a looker. “Buck” refers to the fact that it comes with an ankle strap. The good news is these Reebok boxing shoes have the performance to go with their French-cut fashionable looks. They are about the most stable boxing shoes one can find. This is perhaps due to their relatively thick sole.
The grip is truly excellent, which somewhat sacrifices pivot support though you can glide well enough on the Reebok Boxing Boot. Thanks to its EVA cushioning, this is one of the most comfortable boxing boots available.
5. Cleto Reyes Boxing Shoes - High-Top
- Lightweight shoes designed especially for boxing
- Polyurethane insole, light non-skid rubber sole reduces impact
- Wide upper and laces eliminate flexion strain and provide comfortable fit
- Rounded tip, lace up the front and side zipper
- Manfactured with leather and suede
These are Cleto Reyes’ only boxing shoes and they are a masterpiece. Handmade in Mexico, the Cleto Reyes boxing shoes are the last word in luxury with remarkably soft and supple leather upper. The slim fit and lightweight rubber sole make these shoes reasonably lightweight despite the all-leather upper.
The unique outsole patterns give you an excellent combination of grip and pivot support. The wide upper and laces have been specially designed to eliminate strain and provide the perfect fit.
6. TITLE Boxing Shoes - Speed-Flex Encore
- Full synthetic leather upper with tight weave nylon fill
- Built for quick footwork and speed
- Approximate 6" height
- Title Boxing
- 6 M US
TITLE is known for affordable, well-made boxing gear and these TITLE boxing shoes are no exception. Together with the lightweight construction, the outsole glides gracefully to bring forth a fighter’s most flattering speed and footwork.
The TITLE Speed-Flex Encore is one of the best if not the best budget-priced boxing shoes available today. The synthetic leather and smooth nylon upper is surprisingly comfortable. The build quality is fairly good for the price, so if you are looking to improve your speed, the TITLE Speed-Flex Encore is a great option.
7. Ringside Boxing Shoes - Power
- Grooved rubber sole
- Hook & Loop ankle strap
- Reinforced toe tip for pivoting
- Approximate 10 oz weight and 7? height
Ringside boxing shoes don’t come more highly recommended than the Ringside Power. It is a mid-top boxing shoe with generous amount of suede over breathable nylon mesh. Ankle support is excellent with the high hook and loop. The outsole is designed for more traction than the Ringside Diablo.
Pivoting support is more optimized for jabs and hooks than uppercuts. The build quality is tops in its price range with bold, well-aligned stitching.
8. Adidas Boxing Shoes - Speedex 16.1
- Ultra-light boxing shoes
- Stability straps wrap around the ankle to provide support
- A single-piece adiWear outsole connects you securely to the mat
- Single-layer mesh upper for maximum breathability
These are the top Adidas boxing shoes and best boxing shoes on the market of the mid-top variety. As the name suggests, the Adidas Speedex 16.1 is built for speed. These shoes are so lightweight that they feel like nothing at all.
The pivoting lugs on the front edges of the outsole deliver almost unreal pivoting and gliding whenever you ask. The Adidas Speedex 16.1 is immaculately built. The cut is form fitting. These boxing shoes were tested in Frankfurt by top athletes, so it’s easy to see why these are one of the best boxing shoes available.
9. Lonsdale Boxing Shoes - Contender
- Mens Boxing Boots
- Quilted, cushioned ankle collar
Lonsdale is a UK-based company that makes a full range of combat gear. The Lonsdale Contender is more well-known in the form of boxing gloves but we are of the opinion that the boxing shoes are even better.
For the most part, the 3-section outsole patterns are optimized for grip in the back, lateral move in the middle, and jabs up front. The upper’s large-grain meshed material allows excellent air circulation.
10. Nike HyperKO Boxing Shoes
The HyperKO’s are the latest Nike boxing shoes and they are already creating a sensation. The price is high-end, but worth every penny. You’ll be surprised how light these high-top shoes are. Nike’s Flywire technology delivers cable-like foot support so they can do without the mass.
The outsole material and tire thread patterns provide incredible grip with on-demand pivot support for all types of punches. The build quality is top of the line.
Surprise, surprise! The blockbuster matchup of Big Shoe vs Combat results in 10 winners (and plenty of losers not worth mentioning on our list). Boxing shoes belong in a diverse universe. The best we can do is narrow them down to 10, a beautiful number we should add.
The best boxing shoes for any given person will come down to personal preferences. First and foremost, figure out your budget. Then decide which characteristics matter the most to you, and make your choice.
If you have any comments or questions, we'd love to hear from you in the comments section below.
You may also be interested to view our other comprehensive boxing gear guides: