BJJ Socks 101: Can you wear socks in jiu jitsu?

If you’re new to jiu jitsu, you might be wondering if you can wear socks on the mat. Jiu jitsu is a grappling-based martial art that involves a lot of groundwork and close contact with your training partners, so it’s essential to know what you can and cannot wear.

In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of socks in Brazilian jiu jitsu, including whether you can wear them, the benefits and drawbacks of doing so, and more.

Can I wear socks to jiu jitsu?

The short answer is yes; you can wear socks to jiu-jitsu. There’s no rule against it, and some practitioners even swear by them. However, it’s worth noting that most jiu jitsu schools prefer their students to train barefoot. And this is what you will see in 95% of cases in the jiu jitsu gyms.

This is because it allows for better grip and traction on the mat, as well as greater sensitivity and control of your movements. Another explanation is that it traditionally arose from the first training of jiu jitsu.

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Do you have to take your socks off in jiu jitsu?

If you do decide to wear socks in jiu jitsu, you’ll likely be asked to take them off before you step onto the mat. This is because socks can be slippery, and they can also trap moisture, sweat, and dirt, which can create a breeding ground for bacteria and other pathogens.

For safety and hygiene reasons, most jiu jitsu schools require students to train barefoot.

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Are socks allowed in jiu jitsu at all?

As mentioned earlier, there’s no rule against wearing socks in jiu jitsu, but there’s also no rule requiring you to wear them.

It’s ultimately up to you to decide whether you want to wear socks, but keep in mind that most jiu jitsu practitioners prefer to train barefoot.

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Can you wear grip socks or toe socks in jiu jitsu?

Some practitioners opt for grip socks or toe socks instead of traditional socks.

  • Grip socks have small rubber grips on the bottom, which can provide better traction on the mat.
  • Toe socks, as the name suggests, have individual slots for each toe, which can allow for greater flexibility and dexterity.

However, keep in mind that even with these specialized socks, you may still be asked to take them off before training. As, for example, the rubberized soles of grip socks may be too aggressive and can cause injuries to you or your sparring partner.

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Are there any disadvantages to wearing socks in jiu jitsu?

While socks can provide some benefits, such as added grip and protection for your feet, they can also have some drawbacks. For one, they can be slippery and reduce your ability to grip the mat.

Additionally, socks can trap moisture and sweat, which can lead to foot fungus and other infections.

Lastly, wearing socks can create an uneven playing field if some practitioners are wearing them while others are not.

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What are some alternatives to wearing socks in jiu jitsu?

If you’re looking for alternatives to wearing socks in jiu jitsu, it could be a pair of grappling shoes or wrestling shoes. But it can’t as wearing shoes in jiu jitsu is not allowed.

If you are worried about barefoot training because of feeling your feet too weak for it, training barefoot regularly is an option as it will toughen up your feet with time.

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Are there any hygiene concerns related to wearing socks in BJJ?

As mentioned earlier, socks can trap moisture, dirt, and sweat from the mat, which can create a breeding ground for bacteria and other pathogens. This can lead to foot fungus, athlete’s foot, and other infections.

Additionally, socks can pick up dirt and debris from the mat, which can then be transferred to other surfaces or even other people.

athletes foot
Athlete’s foot; Google image caption

On the other hand, you may already struggle with unpleasant phenomena such as fungus or athlete’s foot. In this case, covering your feet during the training is strongly recommended. If you have a severe case of skin problems, it’s better to refuse training during treatment so as not to infect your teammates.

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How to prevent slipping when wearing socks in jiu jitsu?

If you do decide to wear socks in jiu-jitsu, there are a few things you can do to prevent slipping.

One option is to wear grappling socks or toe socks, which have a textured sole that can help you grip the mat.

Another way to prevent slipping is to improve your technique. Proper foot placement and weight distribution can help you maintain your balance and avoid slipping, even when you’re wearing socks.

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Are there any rules or guidelines for wearing socks in jiu jitsu?

The rules regarding socks in jiu jitsu can vary depending on the gym or competition you are participating in. Some gyms may have rules against wearing socks, while others may allow them. Similarly, some competitions may have strict rules regarding footwear, while others may be more lenient.

Before wearing socks to jiu jitsu, it’s always a good idea to check with your gym coach or competition rules to ensure that you are following their guidelines.

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BJJ community advice – To wear or not to wear socks?

Another good option to find an answer to the question “Can I wear socks to jiu-jitsu?” is to ask the online community. For instance, the BJJ subreddit or Sharedog forums.

We have made a research on the topic in the related threads and here are the main theses of what people think and advice regarding wearing socks in jiu jitsu:

  • Some people say wearing socks in BJJ training may be unhygienic and can lead to the spread of foot fungus and bacteria.
  • Others share that wearing socks can be helpful, especially for people with foot injuries or conditions. They suggest that wearing socks can provide additional support, protection, and cushioning for the feet, and can prevent blisters and other injuries.
  • Some people also raise concerns about safety when wearing socks during BJJ training. They argue that socks can be slippery and can make it difficult to maintain traction on the mat, which can lead to slips, falls, and injuries.
  • Some people wear socks during BJJ training for various reasons, such as to prevent foot infections, reduce the risk of mat burns, or provide additional traction.
  • Others argue that wearing socks is against the rules of many BJJ competitions and therefore should not be allowed in training either.
  • Some commenters suggest that the decision to wear socks in BJJ training ultimately comes down to personal preference and comfort. They recommend that anyone considering wearing socks should talk to their instructor and training partners to get their feedback and ensure that they are not violating any gym rules or etiquette.
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Do you have to be barefoot in jiu jitsu?

In most jiu jitsu gyms and competitions, it is customary to train barefoot. This allows for a better grip on the mat and helps prevent injuries from shoes. However, there are some gyms that allow students to wear shoes or socks.

Is it legal to wear socks in jiu jitsu competitions?

Each jiu jitsu tournament has its own rule guidelines regarding the uniform. For instance, the official IBJJF rulebook doesn’t mention wearing or not wearing socks during the fight.

The NAGA grappling tournaments allow wrestling or martial arts shoe in their no gi competitions.

It’s always a good idea to check with the competition rules to ensure that you are following their guidelines.

What do you wear to a BJJ session?

If you are just starting to train in jiu jitsu, it is a good idea to go through general guides about what to wear or what not to wear to a jiu jitsu class.

Most jiu jitsu gyms have a dress code that requires students to wear a gi (a uniform consisting of a jacket and pants). Underneath the gi, students typically wear a rashguard and shorts. It’s also important to wear clean and well-maintained gear to prevent the spread of infection.

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Wearing socks in jiu jitsu is a personal preference that can vary from person to person.

While some people may find it beneficial, others may prefer to train barefoot. Ultimately, the decision to wear socks in jiu jitsu should be based on your own comfort level and gym or competition guidelines.

If you do decide to wear socks, make sure they are clean, in good condition, and adhere to any gym or competition rules.

With these tips in mind, you can enjoy your jiu jitsu training while staying safe and comfortable.

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