Sparring is a common practice in contact sports including jiu-jitsu, taekwondo, judo and more. It involves two competing fighters going up against one another, with different rules and regulations for each specific sport. As in any competitive event, you need to keep your body parts protected, including your feet; that’s why sparring shoes are so important. These styles cover the tops of feet and ankles with padding for extra protection, but are feature openings underfoot to improve your grip on the mat.
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1. ProForce Lightning Kicks Sparring Shoes
ProForce pads its sparring shoes with a 0.5-inch thick vinyl-covered foam for optimal comfort and protection.
Pros: These sparring shoes have cutouts underfoot at the heel, ball of foot and toes to enhance breathability and mobility, as well as to improve floor grip. The bottom includes two nylon straps to keep the shoe secure with hook-and-loop closures for easy fastening.
Cons: The non-adjustable opening of the shoe may be too tight for wider ankles.
2. Otomix Sparring Shoes
Otomix’s sparring shoes provides protection across the top and sides of the foot and across the ankle while allowing the foot to move with full dexterity; they offer a unique contoured shape designed to fit the curves of your foot so you feel less restricted.
Pros: They’re made with thick vinyl dipped foam and feature cutouts underfoot. The adjustable hook and loop straps allow for easy adjustments while the double straps on the bottom help keep the foot stable.
Cons: The sizing charts may be off.
3. Macho Warrior Sparring Shoes
Macho’s sparring shoes come in five different shades for men and women with vinyl criss-cross straps to keep the shoe in place.
Pros: The brand doubles up on foam in this pair to better disperse impact. They style also features reinforcements at major stress and impact points for thorough protection.
Cons: The top of the straps may rub across the ankle.