Best Socks for Martial Arts: The Top 5 Guide

If you’re a martial arts practitioner, you know how important it is to have the right gear. From your uniform to your shoes, every piece of equipment can impact your performance. However, many people overlook the importance of choosing the right socks. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the best socks for martial arts, including the best materials, top brands, and the benefits of wearing them.

You may be interested also in our guidelines on wearing or not socks in different martial arts disciplines, such as karate, taekwondo, kickboxing, MMA, and jiu jitsu.

What are mat socks?

Mat socks, also known as grip socks or martial arts socks, are specially designed socks that provide extra grip and support for martial arts practitioners. They are typically made with non-slip materials and have extra padding in the toe and heel areas to help absorb shock and prevent injuries.

What are the different names of mat socks in different martial arts styles?

While mat socks are commonly referred to as “grip socks” or “martial arts grip socks,” they may have different names depending on the specific martial arts style. For example, in BJJ, they may be called “BJJ socks” or “jiu jitsu socks”, while in karate, they may be referred to as “karate mat socks”, in taekwondo as “taekwondo socks” (if not meaning the sensing socks for competitions), and in MMA as “MMA socks” or “MMA grip socks”. But very often they may refer to the name “grappling socks” which fit training on the mat that is common for all mentioned combat styles.

Regardless of the name, the function remains the same: to provide extra grip and support during training or competition.

martial arts grip socks
Martial arts grip socks; Google Images caption

What kind of socks to wear for martial arts?

When it comes to choosing socks for martial arts, there are a few key factors to consider.

Firstly, they should be made from non-slip materials to prevent slipping and sliding on the mat. They should also have extra padding in the toe and heel areas to help absorb shock and prevent injuries. Finally, they should fit snugly to prevent any bunching or slipping during training.

Of course, your choice of martial arts socks should primarily depend on what style of martial arts you need them for, to take into account all the specifics.

What are the best materials for martial arts socks?

The best materials for martial arts socks are those that provide a non-slip grip on the mat while also being comfortable and breathable. Some of the most common materials used for martial arts socks include:

  • Cotton: This is a popular choice for its softness and breathability. However, cotton socks may not provide as much grip on the mat as other materials.
  • Nylon: Nylon is a synthetic material that is known for its durability and moisture-wicking properties. It also provides a good grip on the mat.
  • Polyester: Polyester is another synthetic material that is known for its durability and moisture-wicking properties. It provides a good grip on the mat and is often combined with other materials for added comfort.
  • Spandex: Spandex is a stretchy material that provides a snug fit and allows for a full range of motion. It is often used in combination with other materials for added support and grip.

5 Best Socks for Martial Arts

#1 Sanabul Grappling Socks

#2 Ankle Non-Slip Grip Socks

#3 Tabi for Japanese Dojo

Some martial arts dojos may have their traditional dress code on the tatami. If you practice Aikido, Kyudo, or other traditional Japanese martial arts, you may consider these martial arts socks options.

#4 Athletic compression socks

Sometimes you don’t need the very specific grappling socks on the mat, but just a pair of good athletic compression socks for ankle support or to protect mat burn wounds.

#5 RDX Grappling Socks

Benefits of wearing socks for martial arts

Now that we’ve gone over some of the best socks for martial arts, you may be wondering why wearing socks during training is important. Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Hygiene: Mats in martial arts facilities can harbor bacteria and other germs, and wearing socks can help prevent direct contact between your feet and the mat. This can reduce your risk of contracting skin infections like athlete’s foot or ringworm.
  • Protection: Martial arts involve a lot of jumping, kicking, and pivoting on the balls of your feet, which can lead to blisters and other foot injuries. Wearing socks with extra padding in the toe and heel areas can help protect your feet during training.
  • Grip: Socks with a non-slip grip on the bottom can help improve your traction on the mat, which can be especially helpful for grappling-based martial arts like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or wrestling.

How do martial arts socks differ from regular socks?

While regular socks may be comfortable for everyday wear, they are not designed to withstand the rigors of martial arts training. Martial arts socks are specifically designed to provide grip, support, and protection on the mat.

They often have features like extra padding in the toe and heel areas, non-slip grips on the bottom, and reinforced stitching for added durability.

FAQs about socks in martial arts

Do you wear socks for martial arts?

While not required, wearing socks during martial arts training can provide several benefits, including improved hygiene, foot protection, and better grip on the mat. Nevertheless, wearing socks in many martial arts is not common.

How do you care for martial arts socks to make them last longer?

To prolong the life of your martial arts socks, wash them in cold water and avoid using fabric softeners, as these can break down the materials over time. Hang them to dry instead of using a dryer, which can cause shrinkage and damage to the grips on the bottom.

What do you wear in martial arts?

In addition to socks, what you wear during martial arts training will depend on the style and facility. Many martial arts require specific uniforms, while others may allow for more flexibility in attire. It’s best to check with your instructor or facility for guidelines on what to wear.

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