Do You Wear Shoes in Kickboxing?


Do You wear shoes in kickboxing: Kickboxing class with participants wearing shoes
Photo Credit: Yelp Inc

You do wear shoes in cardio (aerobic) kickboxing since there is no contact with anyone or pads. But in regular kickboxing, you don’t wear shoes.

Kickboxing, like running or any other high-intensity training, requires a handful of gear. There are a lot of jumps and kicks involved in the sport. You have to play with your hands and feet. Therefore, a good pair of shoes will help you feel more comfortable. But do you wear shoes in kickboxing fights? Does the sport allow you to wear a pair? We have the answers.

Do You Wear Shoes in Kickboxing?

When we talk about kickboxing shoes, we really need to distinguish between real kickboxing and cardio or aerobic kickboxing. In real kickboxing, you hit and kick mats, pads, and heavy bags or practice contact training. Therefore, you’re most likely not going to wear shoes.

Some gymnasiums and training centers allow shoes if they are used indoors, only. Again, some prohibit kickboxing shoes, and some do not care about them in any way. For cardio kickboxing, you’re most likely able to wear shoes given that the moves performed are similar to shadow kickboxing (meaning you wont physically hit any pads or anyone). If you do wear shoes in cardio kickboxing, it may help you balance better and might even be a requirement depending on which gym you go to. A good idea would be just to call them and check yourself before attending your first class.

Kickboxing shoes must be comfortable when practicing. If you’re looking for better balance during cadrio kickboxing training sessions, you might want to consider wearing kickboxing shoes.

Keep in mind that in most cases, your running shoes wont work, instead, you may want to invest in kickboxing shoes. Running shoes are made for forward movements, whereas kickboxing requires a lot pivoting.

When engaging in kickboxing that involves full contact, either with a person or pads, shoes are not recommended since a big part of kickboxing is to condition your shins.

Why Do You Wear Shoes in Kickboxing?

Cardio Kickboxing class with participants wearing shoes
Photo Credit: Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT)

Kickboxing shoes have a layer of leather that can take the shape of your feet. These shoes are specially designed with more padded areas, especially in the heel and foot curve areas, helping you to resist the pressure from the ground.

They’re also super handy when you’re warming up and skipping in an indoor kickboxing gym with no floor padding. Skipping bare foot on a hard surface is definitely not sustainable.

Kickboxing shoes are worn mainly in aerobic and cardio kickboxing.

The shoes should have a high sole so that you can quickly jump during aerobic training. In addition, they must be breathable because the air circulates towards the inner feet. However, you don’t need special kickboxing shoes for cardio kickboxing. But in general, any type of cross-training shoe should provide you with the protection and support you need if you’re just starting out. You should always opt for lighter shoes to put yourself in the spotlight.

Final Thoughts

Wear whatever makes you feel comfortable. We don’t dress to impress in kickboxing, we do it for ourselves. If you’re mainly participating in aerobic and cardio kickboxing, just make sure you’re wearing kickboxing shoes. If you’re sparring or participating in regular kickboxing with contact, you’ll most likely be bare foot.

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