If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Footwear News may receive an affiliate commission.
To be the best boxer you can be, you need the three Fs: fists, ferocity and footwork. And while we can’t comment on how to unleash a vicious, Mike Tyson-like uppercut, we can guide you toward the best boxing shoes to better step and move from your opponent’s jabs, hooks and right crosses.
Whether you’re bounce stepping, moving side to side or slipping and countering, having the correct fight-ready footwear helps you make quick pivots, lateral shifts and hip-rotational movements with power, while preventing you from slipping across the canvas or gripping it too much — both of which can lead to injury.
How to find the best boxing shoes
Comfort matters when it comes to selecting workout shoes, especially when searching for the best boxing shoes. The good thing is that boxing shoes have come a long way since Rocky Balboa fought for the (fictional) title, sporting a pair of not-so-fight-friendly Chuck Taylors. Whether you’re looking for quickness or power or for styles available in a wide or narrow widths, there’s a boxing shoe made for you.
According to Anthony Crouchelli, C.F.S.C., a USA Boxing-certified trainer, founder of The .1 Method and director of talent at Liteboxer, the right shoe for you should offer a comfortable fit. Meaning, it shouldn’t feel too narrow or wide, have a lightweight base and sturdy foundation. When reading product descriptions, be on the lookout for boxing-shoe buzzwords such as “maximized comfort and stabilization.”
“The right boxing shoe should feel like a glove in the sense of comfortability, but also provide enough grip so you can move between different training sessions,” Crouchelli says.
Deciding between a high or low-cut boxing shoe depends on your proficiency level. “Low-cut boxing shoes are primarily used for speed and range in movement, whereas high-top boxing shoes are stronger for stabilization and precision,” Crouchelli says. “I would choose a high-top boxing shoe for any beginner, as building your footwork foundation is crucial at the start of your training.”
The right cut should also play into your strengths as an athlete, so being either quick shuffler or a power puncher may determine whether high or low-tops would best suit you. Generally, quicker, agile fighters will choose a lower-rise shoe (typically six inches tall) to allow for more speed and ankle mobility. These styles are also great for fighters who like to warm up with some jump roping. On the flip side, a power puncher generating force may need additional support in the ankles in the form of a higher-cut shoe and more underfoot support.
In 2022, boxing doesn’t just happen in the ring, either. In addition to the rise of CrossFit workouts in recent years, boxing-inspired boutique studio classes like Rumble continue to pop up across the U.S. If you plan to partake in these, you’ll want to look for boxing shoes that can adapt to a variety of training styles. “When it comes to classes that have multiple modalities and require different types of supportive footwear, like GRIT Boxing — which features an emphasis on treadmill, floor and bag work — or Everybody Fights — which incorporates weights as well — I find that traditional boxing shoes may be tough to cross train in,” Crouchelli says.
How often should you change your boxing shoes
For durable shoes, Crouchelli recommends choosing pairs made of leather. “I personally love leather shoes, as they truly fit like a glove and last longer than other styles,” he says. Otherwise, a good shoe should last anywhere from three to five years, depending on usage. “Simple wear and tear signs can range from the soles beginning to deteriorate or the seams beginning to tear, which will force the entire shoe to its stabilization,” Crouchelli says.
With all this in mind, we compiled some of the best boxing shoes for men and women on the market — including recommendations from our expert.
Want to up your shoe game? Sign up for Footwear News’ Weekly Style newsletter to stay in the know on the latest sneaker releases and best footwear finds to shop now.
Top Boxing Shoes
- Best Overall: Nike HyperKO 2
- Best for Footwork: Venum Elite Boxing Shoes
- Best for Beginners: Adidas Box Hog 3 Boxing Shoes
- Best Low-Cut: Everlast PIVT Low-Cut Boxing Shoes
- Best Ring-Ready: Hayabusa Pro Boxing Shoes
- Most Stylish: Virtuous Vulcano Boxing Shoes
- Best Budget: Title Speed-Flex Encore Mid Boxing Shoes
- Most Versatile: Nobull High-Top
Nike HyperKO 2
Manny Pacquaio put Nike’s HyperKO on the map when he laced them up while fighting against Floyd Mayweather in 2015, and today, they remain the choice of champions and trainers. “It’s still the best-made shoe,” Crouchelli says. “HyperKicks all the way.” Cloth and lightweight, breathable mesh make these both comfortable and functional, while Nike’s Air Zoom cushioning allows you to move around effortlessly. All in all, they’re a perfect shoe for both beginners or ring veterans.
“This is my fifth pair,” writes a reviewer. “Outstanding shoes. The new tread may last longer than previous models. I turn southpaw to extend a pair — left shoe. Will continue to buy these.”
Venum Elite Boxing Shoes
Best for Footwork
Worn by fighters Jorge Linares, Miguel Berchelt and Juan Francisco Estrada, these mid-cut shoes by Venum are light enough for quick feet but provide a tight but maneuverable grip on its soles, allowing any boxer to maneuver in any direction quite easily. It’s made with the brand’s “honeycomb”-style mesh, which is both breathable and durable to ensure more manageable training sessions. While buyers compliment the shoe’s comfort, some suggest ordering a size down when purchasing online. “Shoes are light and flexible, with good ankle support,” writes one reviewer on Amazon. “I followed the suggestion and bought half a size smaller, and it was a perfect fit. I was worried about the width, because I have wide feet, but no issues at all. Great shoes, especially for the price.”
Adidas Box Hog 3 Boxing Shoes
Best for Beginners
Both lightweight and sturdy, Adidas’ mid-cut boxing shoe is a big hit with boxing enthusiasts of all skill levels. These come with an EVA midsole and gum rubber outsole, which provides great grip connection with the ring without causing feet to get caught on the canvas.
“I bought the shoes for my boxing drills and warm-ups, but I find them to also be comfortable for full body training,” writes one reviewer.
Everlast PIVT Low-Cut Boxing Shoes
This lightweight low-top from Everlast is ideal for fighters who favor fancy footwork. Made with a Michelin technical sole, the PIVTs allow for better speed and mobility and transitions from the canvas to a gym floor to get a few jump rope rounds in afterward.
“Absolutely perfect for my application,” raves one shopper. “I will buy another pair, and I have already recommend these boxing shoes to several boxers at the gym I frequent. Light and comfortable with great support. Size is right on, grip is very positive.
Hayabusa Pro Boxing Shoes
Pivot and punch like a world champion or an up-and-comer with these absolute beauties from Hayabusa. Lightweight for precision and power, these ensure your feet will meet the canvas with maximum comfort and power.
And buyers are more than impressed with them. “Honestly, absolutely amazing!” says one. “As person with wide feet, it’s hard to find shoes that fit comfortably and are secure. Especially with boxing, I need good shoes to keep up with training and sparring and that don’t suffocate my feet. 10/10 would definitely buy again.”
Virtuous Vulcano Boxing Shoes
Virtuous has been on a roll after Hafþór “Thor” Björnsson recently sported a pair of Vulcans in his celebrity match against Eddie Hall. Great for all body sizes, these have also been worn by Jake Paul. The Vulcans are made with 100% top grain Italian leather, have a flexible instep that will accommodate any foot shape and an anti-slip sole which provides additional ankle stability. Additionally, they have extra-cushioned soles, which make them comfortable for both the ring and a night on the town.
Title Speed-Flex Encore Mid Boxing Shoes
Offering great comfort at a fraction of the cost of most elite boxing shoes, the Speed-Flex may be the best bargain option for those just starting out and can even work for seasoned veterans, too. The shoe’s mid-cut design and polyurethane soles complement the speed and footwork of fighters of all experience levels.
“I was excited to own a pair of these because they look very nice,” says one shopper. “When I got them, they did fit really great and are very comfortable, making it feel almost as if I’m not wearing them at all.”
If you’re heading to your local group boxing fitness class, you may need a more versatile shoe for transitioning between heavy bags and the treadmill. “These Nobull shoes have been my favorite for group fitness boxing,” Crouchelli says. “They provide an incredible amount of support and are one of the best cross-training shoes on the market.” In addition to offering a higher-cut, more stabilizing design than other cross trainers, these have signature mesh layer SuperFabric and a wider toe box to increase comfort and maneuverability as you go from punching to pressing dumbbells.