Boxing is a full-contact sport that teaches you discipline, strength, and concentration, apart from properly punching your opponent. It is also convenient and affordable to practice as you won’t need expensive gear aside from regular sweatpants, a loose shirt, and a pair of comfortable Adidas boxing shoes.
However, training in the ring won’t suffice unless you combine it with an active lifestyle and other sports activities, even if we’re talking about running or jogging to increase your endurance and build up leg muscles.
At this point, you are probably thinking about maximizing the use of your gear and wearing the same attire for various sports activities. And, while you can perform in a regular pair of shorts and a plain, old t-shirt, when it comes to shoes, things are slightly different.
What to look for in a good pair of boxing shoes?
If you’re a newbie in the boxing world, you need a pair of reliable and comfortable shoes. However, with so many options available on the market, you might need a buying guide to help you pick the perfect shoes for your feet. Here are some aspects you should focus on:
As opposed to other sports activities, boxing shoes must be as light as possible. The lightweight design provides maximum flexibility and freedom of movement, allowing you to move your legs and feet in the ring. Thus, you will be able to find your balance point faster and experiment with various punching techniques to improve your boxing skills.
Moving direction and stance frequently is part of the game for all boxers, and lightweight shoes allow you to do just that. They should feel like a second skin, hugging your feet and providing support and protection at the same time. Most of them are made of mesh, leather, and suede but you can also opt for shoes made of mix fabrics to get the best of both worlds.
As we previously mentioned, boxers need a lot of feet support when practicing or fighting opponents. This often translates into high-top or mid-top designs that provide increased protection for the ankles as well. As a result, the ankles remain locked-up and you avoid the risk of injuries and ankle sprains. However, some boxers prefer low-top shoes when working out as they benefit from more flexibility and freedom.
Another feature to look for in your future pair of boxing shoes is traction. Most often, you’ll see that this type of footwear features thin rubber soles that allow you to stick to the canvas without slipping and injuring yourself.
The majority of boxing shoes don’t come with a built-in arch like running shoes do because boxers need more flexibility instead of good back and knee support. Rubber gum soles are lightweight and provide maximum freedom of movement so you can experiment with your defense and offense skills.
Last but not least, a reliable pair of boxing shoes should be made of high-quality materials. Keep in mind that you will be using the same pair of shoes for hours while practicing, so you’re going to need a pair that offers increased ventilation, allowing your skin to breathe properly.
Most boxers have at least two or three pairs of boots specifically designed for training sessions and competitions. Workouts can last for hours, during which they will most likely sweat a lot, so they’re going to need as much moisture absorption as possible.
In this case, boxers prefer mesh boxing boots as the ventilation holes keep the skin cool and dry, while also fighting against bad odors and bacteria.
Can boxing shoes be used for running?
When you find the perfect pair of boxing shoes you want to make the most of it, so why not even integrate it into other workout routines? Most people think that one good pair of shoes will fit most outdoor sports activities, no matter if we’re talking about running, jogging, tennis or even weightlifting or golf.
However, there is more than a simple marketing reason for which you’ll see shoes targeted for different activities. In this case, the simple answer to the above-asked question would be “no”. You cannot use the same pair of shoes for your boxing workout sessions and for a run in the park as well.
What are the differences between running shoes and boxing shoes?
To put it bluntly, quite a few. From weight to structure, materials used, grip, and even design, there are numerous aspects that make a pair of boxing shoes different than the one you would normally wear at a marathon. So, let’s start with the basics.
Almost all running shoes come with a low-top design that sits below the ankles. This will provide increased flexibility for your feet and legs without feeling that something is pressuring you.
On the contrary, when opting for a pair of boxing shoes, you also need to look after your ankles. This part of the body is essential as fast and smart movement is what boxing is all about.
In the heat of the moment, one wrong move will get your ankle sprained so you can no longer continue the fight. However, opting for high-ankle shoes will provide increased support and protection in this area, adding strength and stability to your defense.
When you’re picking up a new pair of shoes for your running training session you need to pay close attention to the materials used.
They have to be strong, durable, reliable, and able to withstand wear and tear and various temperatures and weather conditions. Therefore, most of the running shoes are either made of leather or synthetic fabrics that add stability and comfort to your feet when walking or running.
On the other side, most boxing training sessions are kept indoors so there is no need to opt for heat-resistant or waterproof materials. However, boxing workouts are more intense, so you should expect to sweat a lot. Therefore, it’s important for your boots to be made of breathable and moisture-absorbing materials such as mesh that will keep your feet cool and dry.
Moreover, boxing shoes must withstand the constant friction of the mat so the upper part should be made with rough materials, at least around the maximum pressure points.
Structure and outsoles
Most boxing boots should be lightweight and provide increased flexibility so you can work on your foot movement and be able to run from or toward your opponent in the ring. The soles should provide an excellent grip on the canvas and prevent you from slipping or injuring yourself.
Most boxers will put extra pressure on their ankles as opposed to runners who need extra cushioning for the heels. Therefore, running shoes should be heavier and come with a protective foam layer to absorb shocks and vibrations from hard terrain like concrete.
By comparison, boxing shoes should be as lightweight and flexible as possible and feel like you’re going barefoot.