When training traditional western boxing, it’s essential to have a good pair of boxing boots.
Because any good boxer will tell you… punching power is all about your foot work
Wearing boots will allow your feet to grip the canvas, plant them correctly and transfer all of your energy into your punches.
In this guide, I’ve reviewed the 6 best boxing boots available online, and rated them on important factors like grip, comfort, ankle support, price and durability.
Lonsdale Contender boxing boots
The Lonsdale Contender boxing boots are a great all-round boxing boot. The boots are constructed from leather with a textile covering for detail, as well as a quilted and cushioned ankle collar for extra comfort. They’re light weight to allow the wearer to stay quick and nimble, but they offer all the support you need. The boots are fitted with a full lace closure system and the soles are heavily gripped to prevent slipping when throwing punches.
Adidas Hog boxing boots
The Adidas Hog boxing boots are a mid-priced offering containing all the features you need without the heavy price tag. Made from synthetic material in order to preserve their light weight whilst maintaining support, they’re ideal for the boxer who wants to be quick on their feet and make full use of the ring. The sole provides grip with a gum rubber construction and the midsole comfort is provided via a partial EVA material. The boots close via laces and have an open mesh front to help with climate control.
Adidas Speedex boxing boots
If you’re looking to spend a little more money, the Adidas Speedex boxing boots could be ideal – they combine fantastic grip and with additional stabilising features around the ankle. Made from a synthetic upper with a gum rubber sole, they’re lightweight, breathable and flexible. Built for movement and performance, they contain features you just don’t find at a cheaper price point. The lace closure system and the breathable fabric means they’ll be comfortable for round after round of sparring.
Reebok boxing boots
These Reebok boxing boots combine a very simple design with a number of features that help the stability of the wearer. Made from synthetic nubuck uppers, complete with meshed areas for breathability and straps for extra support and stability, they’re build with comfort in mind. The sole is made from gum rubber for grip and the cushioning comes from the EVA midsole. They’re a solid overall boxing boot.
Viper boxing boots
If you’re after a budget boxing boot, you may need to look no further than the Viper boxing boots. They’re a simple design but are very well liked in the boxing world. These are very light weight boots that are made from synthetic suede with meshed areas for breathability. The sole is made from rubber to provide excellent grip, and durability. The suede overlay provides excellent heel and toes stability.
Venum Elite boxing boots
If you have a larger budget, the Venum Elite boxing boots may be just what you’re after. They’re made from a canvas outer material with a honeycomb mesh upper, which provides user comfort, breathability and at the same time keeps the boot light and mobile. There’s lateral support thanks to the nature of the design, which will keep the ankle stable and supported. These are boots with the better boxer in mind.
Why do you need boxing boots?
Just like any other sport, you’ll be better off if you pick footwear that is designed for the job. You wouldn’t wear football boots for weightlifting, so why would you wear running shoes for boxing?
Boxing boots are designed in such a way that they support the boxer’s ankle joints from the side to side motion of the sport (think bob and weaving), but they also have to be light weight to allow the boxer to move quickly. Typically boxing boots will feature a lot of mesh on the upper, which will allow them to breathe but at the same time will keep the boots light and flexible.
Flexibility in the boots is important because it means the boxer can stay on their toes the entire time and move their body quickly to evade punches. The lacing system in boxing boots goes a long way up the foot and ankle, providing an important additional ankle support during use.
How to pick boxing boots
Boxing boots are completely individual – some boxers prefer the smaller, lower cut boots whereas other prefer a longer boot with more support than usual. Some boxers like the lightweight boots with more mesh and flexibility, where others prefer the stiffer and more supported boots. It’s down to a combination of style, budget and taste.
In this list, I’m going to run through the most important points to consider when it comes to picking the perfect boxing boots for you.
Fast footwork on a sweaty ring canvas can be a recipe for disaster – boxers can slip easily if the grip on their boxing boots isn’t up to scratch. Typically speaking the rubber soles are the best, ideally with a grip pattern that includes a lot of detailing and deep grooves.
Look for a sole that has a ‘lip’ around the edges that goes onto the midsole as well ideally – if the sole is perfectly flat it may not provide you with fantastic grip when engaging in sparring or fighting, but it will probably be perfect for use on the heavy bag.
Durability and quality
The old saying of you get what you pay for is usually true and in boxing boots, it certainly is. Boxing boots undergo a huge amount of stress during use as boxers are continuously bouncing on their toes, meaning the sole, midsole and upper are flexed way more than usual in other shoes.
The materials used in the construction of the boxing boots are key to predicting how long they will last. Leather typically lasts the longest but is heavier and less breathable. The lighter man-made meshes and synthetic others can also last a long time, particularly if the areas more susceptible to wear and tear such as the toe box and heel are over-layered with extra support.
Finally, the quality of the stitching and gluing of components is also key to a long-lasting boxing boot.
In some boxing boots the ankle support is provided by additional straps around the ankle. In others the support comes from the lacing area travelling further up the leg. Both of them have their place, so it depends purely on user preference and comfort.
In the case of the straps for ankle support, it’s additional layering on top of what is already there, so it’s heavier and arguably stiffer, reducing your ability to move quickly. On the plus side, it’s more stable and supportive so provides a stronger support for your ankle.
As mentioned previously in the article, some boxers prefer a softer, more trainer-like boxing boot whereas others prefer a stiffer boot with more ankle support. The comfort will also come from the materials used in the construction of the boots. If you prefer a leather boot then the likelihood is that they will be stiffer and less comfortable, but more supportive, whereas the softer, man-made materials are likely to be more comfortable around the foot.
The sole and midsole of the boxing boot are also key to the comfort felt by the wearer. If you have a soft midsole then there’s additional cushioning under foot, adding to the overall comfort of the boot.
Finally, there’s how ventilated the boots are. Boxing is very hard work and your feet are naturally going to sweat a lot – if your boots aren’t well ventilated, there’s a pretty good chance your feet are going to get very hot and sweaty, so you need to bear that in mind. If you have a tendency to sweat a lot, think about ventilation as a key issue.
There are fundamentally two parts to the sole – the midsole (the cushioning above the sole) and the sole itself. Most of the actual soles are made from either rubber or gum rubber and tend to be very thin, which allows the boot to bend and flex during use. The problem with a think sole is that you have to rely on a thicker midsole to add extra support to the user.
The midsole is made from EVA or a lightweight foam to provide extra comfort and support without adding too much extra weight. The more support added to the midsole, the potentially less flexible the boot overall will be, so even in the most supported sole it’s not exactly running shoe levels of support.
Your best boxing boots
As with any item of sporting kit, there’s a lot to consider when picking your favourite. Think about what you like, about what you want and about what you need. Once you’ve decided on these you can see at what boots exist in your price range. The points in this boxing boot guide will help you to find exactly what you need, so pay attention to the different aspects of the make up of boots and make your decisions based on that.
There is a lot of choice out there, so take your time and make the right choice for you and the type of boxer you are. If you’re a light on your feet, in and out fighter then perhaps go for a lighter, springier and more trainer-type boot. If you’re a slugger, who stalks and picks shots that need a lot of ground support, maybe go with a boot with strapping and a supportive sole.
Either way, pick for your needs, not your likes!
Don’t forget to check out our Muay Thai guides.