"Do I really need boxing shoes?"
it's a common question we get asked from customers shopping in store. I typically ask a few questions regarding their training level and goals to assess whether a boxing shoe is necessary or if they can wait awhile before investing in a pair (I know what a shitty salesman).
How long have you been Boxing?
If the answer is less than a week, then I suggest waiting before buying boxing gear that you may not even use. Boxing is tough sport, and the shit isn’t for everybody, so hold off on dropping a bag.
Are you sparring yet?
If you're sparring, you may want to start considering investing a pair of quality boxing shoes. It's not necessary, but boxing requires a lot of lateral movement, shifting, and pivoting, so having a supportive shoe that's going to give you the support to make quick transitions is helpful.
Do you have a competition coming up or are you just getting in shape?
If someone is competing, they will want to grab a pair of boxing shoes. According to USA Boxing's rulebook, rule 40 states: "boxers must box in lightweight boots or shoes (without spikes or heels) ..." although, the rules don't mandate a boxer using a boxing shoe I would recommend you doing so. A piece of equipment you will need is a USA Boxing approved headgear. For more info on that click here.
if you're boxing for fitness, you really don't need a pair of boots, unless you feel like it could help improve your workouts or if you just want to look cool.
Boxing boots vs Basketball shoes/Running shoes.
A great boxing shoe is going to be lightweight and supportive around your ankles and have a primarily flat sole design. Boxing shoes should feel responsive and move with you as you pivot, sidestep, and break. Boxing shoes typically come in two styles Hi-tops and Low tops.
Is there a difference between high top boxing shoes and low top boxing shoes?
Now this can be up for debate, but most people feel that high top boxing shoes provide better ankle support; however, some people may find them harder to get in and out of, which may be a pain point for some. Low/Mid top boxing shoes provide adequate support, and some prefer the aesthetic of them. They're also a lot of easier to get in and out of.
The good thing about basketball shoes is they normally emphasize on ankle support, since basketball players also have to worry about cutting quick angles. The downside is they are normally heavy and might have a little too much traction, which can be an issue when sliding back or shifting up. If you're hitting the bag and doing your general training, then it may not be an issue.
Although running shoes are incredibly light and flexible similarly to boxing footwear the biggest downside is that they don't offer nearly the same support. I would notice a big difference when sparring in running shoes, I felt like my shoes would roll or slip when I'd make a quick stop or try to shift quickly. It may not be an issue when doing general training, but for sparring it might be better to use a designated boxing shoe.
Can I run in boxing shoes?
You can run in them; however, you may want to opt for a running or training shoe instead. If you have knee problems it may not be the best idea to run in your boxing shoes, since the soles are thin and flat, you'll get more impact on your feet and legs.
Ultimately you really don't need a pair of boxing shoes, but there are benefits to wearing them while training and especially while sparring. If you're interested in boxing footwear checkout our collection here. Box-Up Nation® sells Everlast boxing shoes, Fly boxing boots, and soon NIke boxing and wrestling shoes.