Best Split Sole Wrestling Shoes [Top 4 Picks]

If you’re a wrestling enthusiast, you know that having the right gear is essential for performing your best on the mat. And when it comes to footwear, there’s a crucial factor that can make all the difference in your performance: the sole of your wrestling shoes. In this article, we’ll explore the world of wrestling soles and delve into the benefits of split sole wrestling shoes. We’ll also provide you with our top 4 picks for the best split sole wrestling shoes on the market.

So let’s get started!

The Importance of Choosing the Right Split Sole Wrestling Shoe

Wrestling is a demanding and challenging sport that requires a high level of physical and mental preparation.

A crucial part of this preparation is having the right equipment, including wrestling shoes.

Split sole wrestling shoes are an increasingly popular choice for wrestlers because they provide better flexibility, support, and traction on the mat.

Split sole wrestling shoes feature two separate soles that give your feet a more natural range of motion during matches.

The split sole design also helps to reduce stress on your feet, ankles, and knees when making quick movements or changes in direction.

Additionally, these shoes offer superior grip on the mat surface that allows you to move more quickly and efficiently than traditional non-split sole wrestling shoes.

Choosing the right split sole wrestling shoe is essential for any wrestler looking to perform at their best. The wrong shoe can cause discomfort or injuries like blisters or sprains that can negatively impact your performance.

Therefore, it’s important to consider factors such as comfort and fit, durability, traction, breathability when selecting your split sole wrestling shoe.

By choosing the right pair of split sole wrestling shoes for you based on these factors will help keep you comfortable while performing with optimal efficiency during matches.

What are the different types of wrestling soles?

Before we jump into the split sole wrestling shoes, let’s take a moment to understand the different types of wrestling soles available. Generally, there are three main types of soles found in wrestling shoes:

Split Sole vs Full Sole Wrestling Shoes

  1. Unisole: Unisole wrestling shoes have a single, continuous sole that provides a solid and sturdy platform for wrestlers. This type of sole offers excellent stability and grip on the mat, making it a popular choice among wrestlers.
  2. Split Sole: Split sole wrestling shoes, as the name suggests, feature a sole that is divided into two separate parts—typically at the arch of the foot. This design offers greater flexibility and allows for a more natural range of motion during wrestling movements.
  3. Exotic Soles: Apart from the traditional unisole and split sole designs, there are wrestling shoes with various exotic soles. These soles are engineered using specialized materials or patterns to enhance specific aspects of performance, such as grip or traction.
split sole vs full sole wrestling shoes
Split sole vs full sole wrestling shoes

Is there a difference in wrestling shoes?

Yes, there are differences in wrestling shoes beyond just the sole design.

Wrestling shoes come in various styles and incorporate different features that cater to the specific needs of wrestlers.

Some of the factors that can vary between wrestling shoes include:

  • Upper Material: The upper part of the shoe can be made from synthetic materials, mesh, or a combination of both. Each material offers its own advantages in terms of breathability, durability, and weight.
  • Ankle Support: Some wrestling shoes provide additional ankle support through higher ankle cuffs or integrated straps. This extra support can help prevent injuries and enhance stability during intense wrestling movements.
  • Closure Systems: Wrestling shoes can have different closure systems, such as traditional laces, hook-and-loop straps, or a combination of both. Each closure system offers its own benefits in terms of adjustability and lockdown.
  • Weight: The weight of wrestling shoes can vary depending on the design and materials used. Lighter shoes can provide a sense of agility and quickness, while heavier shoes may offer more durability and stability.

Is split sole better?

Now, let’s focus on the star of our article – the split sole wrestling shoe.

The split sole design has gained popularity among wrestlers for several reasons. One of the key advantages of split-sole wrestling shoes is the enhanced flexibility they offer.

By allowing the sole to bend more naturally at the arch, these shoes enable wrestlers to move with greater agility and adaptability on the mat.

Moreover, split-sole wrestling shoes can promote better footwork and balance during matches. The divided sole provides independent movement for the forefoot and heel, enabling wrestlers to pivot, twist, and turn with ease.

This enhanced maneuverability can give you a competitive edge, allowing you to execute techniques more efficiently and respond swiftly to your opponent’s moves.

What is the difference between unisole and split sole wrestling shoes?

To better understand the benefits of split-sole wrestling shoes, let’s compare them to their unisole counterparts.

Unisole wrestling shoes provide excellent stability and a solid base, making them suitable for wrestlers who prefer a more grounded feel. These shoes are particularly advantageous for wrestlers who rely on power moves and brute force.

On the other hand, split-sole wrestling shoes offer increased flexibility and freedom of movement.

The division in the sole allows for a more natural foot motion and better articulation of the feet. This can be advantageous for wrestlers who employ agile techniques, quick footwork, and intricate maneuvers.

Split sole wrestling shoes are especially favored by wrestlers who prioritize speed and agility over raw power.

Split sole vs full sole wrestling shoes Reddit Advice

Here are some main points to consider in the debate of split sole vs full sole wrestling shoes shared by other wrestlers on the subreddits:

Main Point
Split sole shoes are more flexible and versatile, while full sole shoes have more grip and better stability. It’s a matter of personal preference.
Split sole shoes offer more flexibility, while full sole shoes offer more grip.
Rulon’s (full sole shoes) have good grip up to the ankle, which is useful for specific moves.
Preference varies, but the commenter prefers full sole shoes like Rulons, Inflicts, and Freeks.
Preference doesn’t matter much, as even in Nike Air Pegasus shoes, skill determines success.
Side tread on the ball of the foot and heel provides good traction for specific moves, but too much side tread can limit sliding on the feet. Split soles can be preferable if there is no noticeable height difference between the rubber and the split part.
Uni-sole 54s, Rulons, and Aggressors are considered the best shoes by the commenter.
Full sole shoes felt better in terms of footing and connectedness to the floor. The choice can depend on wrestling style and footwork.
Full sole shoes offer more traction and minimize foot movement inside the shoe.
Split sole shoes provide better flexibility and foot movement.

Best Split Sole Wrestling Shoes

Now that we’ve explored the benefits of split sole wrestling shoes, let’s dive into our top 4 picks for the best split sole wrestling shoes available:

#1 Asics wrestling shoes

Among the best wrestling shoes with split sole are the Asics wrestling shoes.

Asics wrestling shoes are known for their lightweight construction, providing wrestlers with agility and quick movements on the mat. These shoes offer flexibility to support natural foot movement and execute various techniques.

With ankle support and stability features, Asics wrestling shoes aim to prevent injuries during intense grappling. The shoes are designed with breathability in mind, using materials and mesh panels to promote airflow and keep the feet dry.

Traction is a key feature, allowing for solid foot planting and control during matches. Asics wrestling shoes offer a secure fit through laces or adjustable closures, ensuring they stay in place during competition.

asics wrestling shoes
Asics wrestling shoes

#2 Adidas wrestling shoes

Adidas wrestling shoes with a split sole design offer specific features that cater to the needs of wrestlers seeking flexibility, agility, and enhanced footwork on the mat. The split sole construction refers to the separation of the shoe’s outsole into two distinct sections: one under the heel and one under the forefoot.

This design allows for increased independent movement and improved traction, enabling wrestlers to maintain better control and grip during matches.

adidas wrestling shoes
Adidas wrestling shoes

#3 Rudis wrestling shoes – Jordan Burroughs Alpha 2.0

Rudis vs Asics wrestling shoes: When comparing Rudis and ASICS wrestling shoes, both brands offer quality options for athletes. ASICS is a well-established brand with a strong reputation in the wrestling community, known for its superior performance, cushioning, stability, and support features. Rudis, although newer to the scene, has gained popularity by providing lightweight designs, breathable materials, and secure fit systems.

ASICS wrestling shoes have a wide range of models and color options, while Rudis offers unique designs that reflect their brand identity.

Price points may differ, with ASICS falling within a mid to high range and Rudis potentially offering slightly more affordable options.

Ultimately, the choice depends on individual preferences, budget, and specific needs, including factors like fit, comfort, support, and durability. Trying on different models and considering reviews can aid in making the right decision for the individual wrestler.

rudis wrestling shoes
Rudis wrestling shoes;

#4 Otomix Stingray Escape Bodybuilding & Wrestling Shoes

The Otomix Stingray Escape Bodybuilding & Wrestling Shoes are versatile and high-performance athletic shoes designed for individuals involved in both bodybuilding and wrestling.

With a lightweight and flexible construction, these shoes provide agility and freedom of movement. The lace-up closure system ensures a secure and customizable fit, while the high-top design offers ankle support and stability.

The shoes’ excellent traction enables athletes to maintain balance and stability on various surfaces. Made with durability in mind, they can withstand the demands of intense training and competition.

Overall, these shoes provide a combination of functionality, support, and aesthetics, making them a popular choice among athletes in the bodybuilding and wrestling communities.

otomix wrestling shoes
Otomix Wrestling Shoes

Factors to Consider When Buying Split Sole Wrestling Shoes

Comfort and Fit

When it comes to wrestling, comfort, and fit are two of the most important factors to consider when choosing split-sole wrestling shoes.

You want a shoe that is snug enough to provide support and stability, but not so tight that it restricts movement or causes discomfort.

Make sure you try on multiple pairs of shoes before making a decision and walk around in them for a few minutes to get an idea of how they feel.

Another factor to consider is the type of closure system.

Some wrestlers prefer laces while others prefer Velcro straps or a combination of both. Choose what works best for you in terms of both comfort and ease of use during competitions.

Durability and Materials Used

Wrestling can be tough on shoes, so it’s important to choose a pair that is durable and made from high-quality materials.

Look for shoes with reinforced stitching and sturdy soles that can withstand the wear and tear of intense training sessions. The materials used in the construction of the shoe can also impact its durability.

Leather uppers tend to be more durable than synthetic materials, but may not be as breathable. Mesh uppers provide better ventilation but may not hold up as well over time.

Traction and Grip on Mat Surfaces

Traction is key when it comes to wrestling shoes – you want a shoe with a good grip that will help you stay planted on the mat. Look for shoes with rubber outsoles designed specifically for wrestling, as they provide superior traction compared to other types of outsoles.

Some wrestlers prefer split sole designs because they allow for better flexibility and maneuverability on the mat, while others prefer full sole designs for added stability during lateral movements.

Take your personal preferences into account when choosing between split sole or full sole options.

Breathability and Ventilation

Wrestling is a sweaty and intense sport, so it’s important to choose shoes that are breathable and provide good ventilation. Look for shoes with mesh or perforated uppers that allow air to circulate around your feet to help keep them cool and dry.

Another consideration is the insole of the shoe.

Shoes with removable insoles can be beneficial because you can replace them with your own custom orthotics or inserts if needed.

However, make sure the insole still provides adequate cushioning and support for your feet during wrestling matches.

Do I wear socks with my wrestling shoes?

This is a common question among wrestlers.

Whether or not to wear socks with your wrestling shoes is a matter of personal preference.

Some wrestlers prefer to wear thin socks to provide an extra layer of comfort and moisture-wicking properties. Others prefer the direct contact and barefoot feel provided by wrestling shoes without socks.

Ultimately, the choice is yours, so go with what feels most comfortable and supportive for you.


In conclusion, split sole wrestling shoes have revolutionized the world of wrestling footwear.

With their enhanced flexibility, improved maneuverability, and better foot articulation, these shoes can give wrestlers a competitive edge on the mat.

However, it’s important to remember that the best wrestling shoe for you depends on your individual needs and preferences. Take the time to try on different options, consider your wrestling style, and find the perfect fit for your feet.


Here are some quick answers to frequently asked questions about wrestling shoes:

Are you supposed to wear your wrestling shoes outside?

No, wrestling shoes are specifically designed for indoor use on wrestling mats. Wearing them outside can lead to excessive wear and tear and compromise their performance.

Should wrestling shoes be really tight?

While a snug fit is essential to ensure proper support and prevent slippage, wrestling shoes should not be excessively tight or cause discomfort. They should provide a secure and comfortable fit without restricting blood circulation.

Are wrestling shoes good for ankle support?

Wrestling shoes typically offer minimal ankle support compared to specialized ankle braces. However, some models may have higher ankle cuffs or integrated straps that provide a degree of added support.

Are wrestling shoes good for your feet?

Yes, wrestling shoes are designed to provide support, stability, and flexibility for the unique movements and demands of wrestling. They offer a balance between protection and freedom of movement.

Why are wrestling shoes so hard to put on?

Wrestling shoes are designed to fit snugly for optimal performance and support.

The tight fit, combined with materials that provide a secure lockdown, can make them slightly challenging to put on. Using a shoehorn or loosening the laces can help ease the process.

Now that you have a better understanding of split sole wrestling shoes and their benefits, you can make an informed decision when it’s time to invest in a pair.

Choose the right pair of wrestling shoes, hit the mat with confidence, and unleash your full potential!

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