When it comes to HIIT shoes, there are a number of brands that consumers favor such as Asics, New Balance etc. But what about cardio kickboxing shoes? Which brands offer the best model to give you adequate protection, whilst still making them comfortable to wear?
I have previously taken part in HIIT kickboxing courses, and I needed to wear the correct footwear. Here are my thoughts on what I think are the best shoes for kickboxing.
- Top 10 Best Kickboxing Shoes 2017
- Best Kickboxing Shoes for Women 2016/2017
- Best Kickboxing Shoe for Flat Feet (Women) 2016/2017
- Best Men’s Shoes for Kickboxing 2016/2017
- Kickboxing Shoes Buying Guide
- The Importance of Knowing Arch Types
- How Can You Determine Your Arch Type?
- What Shoe Type Should You Wear?
- Should I Get Extra Arch Support?
- Getting the Correct Fit
- Should I Wear Calf Compression Sleeves?
- What is the Best Calf Compression Sleeve?
- How Often Should I Replace My Kickboxing Shoes?
- Caring For Your Shoes
- What If My Kickboxing Class Doesn’t Allow Trainers?
- Can I Wear Running Shoes For Kickboxing?
Top 10 Best Kickboxing Shoes 2017
|5.5 - 10||29||Women||Check Prices on Amazon|
|5.5-9.5||4||Women, Flat Feet||Check Price on Amazon|
|5 - 12||2||Women||Check Price on Amazon|
|5 - 12||2||Women||Check Price on Amazon|
|5 - 11||3||Women||Check Price on Amazon|
|6 - 10.5||5||Men||Check Price on Amazon|
|7 - 14||9||Men||Check Price on Amazon|
|6 - 15||27||Men||Nike Metcon 2 Cross Trainer|
|6.5-13||4||Men||Check Price on Amazon|
Side note: The following is based on my experience. I have normal (neutral) arch feet but I have included shoes suitable for those with wide, narrow or flat feet.
Best Kickboxing Shoes for Women 2016/2017
Reebok Crossfit Nano 5.0
- 3mm heel to toe drop
- Weight: 9.7oz
- Wide choice of colors
- Durable Kevlar material in the mesh on the upper shoe
- Synthetic sole
- NanoShell midsole made from a hard Thermoplastic polyurethane shell
Reebok have improved their Nano range by attaching the tongue to the inner midsole with an elastic strap. This makes your foot feel much more secure and stable as it makes the shoe a tighter fit. The tongue is thin, made from rubber, rather than mesh like most trainers.
The flat soles on these Reebok Nanos make them great for speedy and smooth moves. The soles are sturdy and more rigid, making them more stable. The grip on the soles, made from RopePro carbon rubber, enables them to grip and get traction on a variety of floor surfaces. The grip on the soles make them perfect for fast lateral movements.
The toe box area is roomy and spacious allowing your toes movement and flexibility.
These Reebok shoes provide fantastic support for feet arches ensuring your weight is evenly distributed and not all on the outsides of your feet.
The lightweight enables users to move faster and more effectively.
One downside is the lack of flexibility in the material when you first get them. However, new shoes will always require some ‘breaking in’ time, but the Nano 5.0s seem to take longer than most. This can of course be seen as a positive as the shoes will provide more stability and support when training.
Users report that the great arch support, combined with lightweight material make them the perfect shoes for kickboxing.
The great news is they are available for both men and women!
See the Reebok Nano 5.0s on Amazon>>
Best Kickboxing Shoe for Flat Feet (Women) 2016/2017
- 8mm heel to toe drop
- Comfort insert with heel pillow
- Weight 6.6oz (187g)
- CUSH+ midsole
- SBS Visual tech heel crash pad
- Rubber outsole
- Available in a variety of colors
This cross trainer from New Balance is perfect for cardio kickboxing, especially if you have flat feet. Users report the shoes to be lightweight and comfortable when used for kickboxing as well as interval training.
The revolutionary foam cushioning, CUSH+, used in the midsole and footbed makes wearing them comfortable. The SBS heel crash pad reduces any extra stress impact on the feet by absorbing the shock.
The forefront flex grooves enable increased flexibility, allowing for traction and lateral movements.
A powerful women’s cross training shoe that has the right lateral support and cushioning to reduce stress on your feet. More importantly, it caters to people with wide or flat feet. There is plenty of toe room at the front and the sole has just enough arch support if you need it. If you are into cardio workouts, this is one of the best shoes to get.
This shoe has been reviewed by a cardio kickboxing instructor who has expressed her satisfaction with this shoe. It absorbs the high impact movements while giving the firm support that such a cardio kickboxing workout requires. Best of all, it is incredibly lightweight so you won’t feel strange wearing them to a kickboxing class.
Users of this particular shoe who have flat feet report that this shoe provides the necessary arch support. The additional heel cushioning makes it even more comfortable.
- Reinforced stitched toe cap and stitched down toe bumper
- Weight 7.4oz
- Synthetic leather and mesh upper
- Durable outsole
- Choice of 2 colors
These ASICS Gel Fortius TR2 Training Shoes are ideal for kickboxing classes, providing stability and balance, which is particularly useful for bag work. The toe box area is a little wider than other shoes but this is perfect for providing the front of the foot with more flexibility. Users report a robust toe box which helps to protect forefront of your feet and improves the durability of the shoes. Despite the strength of the forefoot area, it still remains flexible with responsive traction.
The outsole provides excellent grip for high intensity workouts and movements.
Some wearers of this shoe report a lack of arch support – if this could be an issue for you it might be worth considering some arch support inserts.
The trainers come up quite narrow so you might consider getting a half size or whole size larger.
- Rearfoot Gel Cushioning
- Rubber Sole
- Low Profile midsole
- Lightweight trainer with soft mesg
- Stretchable MONO-SOCK fit system
- AHAR+ high abrasion outsole
- Weight: 5.04oz
- Heel Height: 17mm
- Forefoot Height: 8mm
- Choice of 2 colors/designs
Following on from the success of the original ASICS Gel-Fit Sana, this model offers the same positive attributes that made the first one so popular. With a wide range of cross training activities in mind, ASICS offers a shoe with a Rearfoot Gel Cushioning System that enables the user to confidently move with stability and flexibility.
It has a MONO-SOCK tongue which is an elastic internal sleeve, offering a ‘sock like’ fit. Fitted with elastic bands it offers full support from the heel all the way through to the forefoot.
The shoes are incredibly lightweight and feel non-intrusive. Some users have reported feeling almost barefoot, yet with the added benefit of the cushioning offering full support.
The sole provides fantastic traction making them ideal for kickboxing.
- Rubber sole
- Breathable mesh in the upper
- Round Toe
- Anatomical precise-return footbed
- Diamond shaped rubber provides contoured grip and pivot point, ideal for studio, dance activities and ease of movement.
- Light weight with additional heel reinforcement
- Choice of 3 colors
I love RYKA women cross training shoes. As the slogan says, it is a shoe made by women, for women. It covers everything that a good kickboxing shoe should have. There are many positive attributes that have made this shoe a must buy for women taking part in kickboxing, or intense interval training.
Strong side support: this is its strongest point and one that gets my vote as one of the best women kickboxing shoes available.
The wide toe design gives your toes much more room to move about and offer stability during side to side movements.
The circle on the sole of the shoe helps with lateral movements. The additional support at the ball of the foot makes them great for absorbing any shock during a kickboxing workout.
The design is lovely, although a more simple design than other kickboxing shoes, it looks really nice when worn with its classic lines and colors.
Users report this shoe coming up quite narrow so not a model for those with wider feet.
Best Men’s Shoes for Kickboxing 2016/2017
- Synthetic sole
- Antimicrobial treatment for reducing smell
- 4 mm heel-to-toe drop
- REVlite midsole
The 4mm heel drop enables you to really feel your feet in these shoes. They offer great lateral support making them ideal for footwork in kickboxing. The flat soles provide enough grip to make side to side movements possible. They are lightweight, allowing you to work out for longer without your legs tiring too much.
Users of the New Balance MX20v3 report comfort and durability. They provide enough ventilation to allow air to flow freely through them. They don’t offer as much cushioning support as other shoes might do but are more than adequate for cardio kickboxing.
New Balance are a reputable brand who offer value for money trainers that don’t compromise on quality.
Kickboxing Shoes Buying Guide
When considering what trainers to buy for kickboxing, the factors are similar to other cross training activities. There is a lot of side to side movements, as well as intense stop and start motions.
Kickboxing involves high impact moves so you need to buy shoes that provide adequate support, whilst still allowing you to feel the ground. It is important that your shoes support your ankles sufficiently.
The following will help you choose the best cross training shoes for kickboxing.
- Strong Lateral Support: This is to support your feet when they are doing the side to side movements. By keeping your foot strong planted near its center of gravity, you will avoid any potential injuries.
- Wraparound Lacing: A wraparound lace helps to stabilize your foot when doing the side to side movement.
- Light Weight: Shoes that are too heavy can potentially cause strains. Go for ones that use light materials such as mesh.
- Material: Mesh is not only a lighter material, it also helps your feet to breath, with air flowing freely in and out of your shoe. Reduced smell as well as helping to increase the life of your trainers. Other material options include leather which will provide more support and potentially longer durability than mesh, but your feet will likely heat up more.
- Fore Feet Cushioning: A lot of the time kickboxing uses your toes for support when you move. A well cushioned front will reduce the stress and punishment to the front of your feet. A lot of impact will also occur in the ball of your foot so adequate heel cushioning is also vital.
- Low Heel Lift: Due to the rapid movement involved in kickboxing, you need to plant your feet as close to the ground as possible. This requires a shoe that has a low tip to heel ratio so that you can be more balanced.
- Traction: Kickboxing involves lots of side to side movement. The outsoles need to have enough traction so that you don’t slide about or slip and lose control.
The Importance of Knowing Arch Types
Did you know that your foot arch type should determine what trainers you should be wearing? Your foot arch will affect the pronation of your feet. Although injuries due to foot arch type and wearing the wrong shoes are more common in runners, it is also possible in other sports and activities, especially if you train frequently.
What is Pronation?
Pronation naturally happens as your foot rolls inwards and weight is transferred from the heel to the forefoot when moving. As your foot comes into full contact with the floor it should support your whole body weight, as well as provide adequate shock absorption. Normal pronation helps you to push off evenly from the front of your foot.
Your foot arch type will determine whether you overpronate, underpronate (also known as supination) or have neutral (normal) pronation.
Overpronation occurs in those with low arches or flat feet. As your foot meets the ground (the outside of your heel will make contact first), it will naturally pronate by rolling inwards. But it will roll in too much, placing too much weight, shock and strain, on the inside of your foot, rather than the ball. The big toe and second toe does most of the work when pushing off again. The muscles, ligaments and tendons in your foot, shin and knee will be subject to too much stress as your foot and leg rotates in too far. The potential for shin splints and plantar fasciitis is high in those who over pronate.
Underpronation occurs in those with high arches. When your foot meets the ground the outer side of your heel is at an increased angle, producing more shock and a higher impact in your lower leg. The smaller toes have to perform most of the work when pushing off again. The potential for shin splints, ankle strain and plantar fasciitis is high in those who underpronate.
Neutral/Normal arch types allow more effective shock absorption and weight support. Push off is more evenly distributed across the front of the foot. Although those with neutral arches are less likely to suffer injuries, it is still important to buy the correct shoes.
How Can You Determine Your Arch Type?
Some shops have machines that can measure your arch type for you, but if you would rather perform the test at home you can do so using the wet test method. Simply get some paper, preferably darker in color, and step on it with wet feet. Then draw around the outline of the wet footprint to determine your arch type.
What Shoe Type Should You Wear?
High-arches (underpronators, supinators) should be supported with trainers that encourage a natural foot motion,
Low-arches/flat feet (overpronators) should wear shoes that support motion-control and structured cushioning shoes. The support will guide the foot to pronate in a more neutral manner, and in turn reduce the risk of injury, as well as improve posture.
Neutral/Normal have a wider choice of shoes and should look for trainers that promote moderate pronation control and stability.
Should I Get Extra Arch Support?
You can buy extra arch supports if you feel your shoes aren’t providing the comfort and stability your feet require. Hopefully you will have already purchased the best shoes for your foot type but if you still feel you need more support there are a range of products available to buy separately.
Arch supports work by guiding your foot to return to its neutral position and hold the weight of your body without impacting your feet, legs and back in a negative way.
For the best arch supports see arch supports and inserts on Amazon >>
Getting the Correct Fit
Once you have determined your arch type, you need to make sure your shoe fits you correctly.
Laces are the best fastening method for kick boxing trainers. Although velcro is quick and simple to use, it doesn’t hold your shoe in place enough to support your foot adequately.
Your shoe should be snug around the middle of your foot, as well as the ankle and heel. The front of your trainer (sometimes known as the toe box), should have more space to allow your toes to move around.
It is important to remember when ordering your size that your feet will increase in size and swell when they are hot. Having a slight gap in your shoe is recommended to allow for this. For kickboxing, a half size larger should be sufficient without compromising fit.
Should I Wear Calf Compression Sleeves?
Calf compression sleeves can help prevent and reduce the risk of shin splints and muscle cramps and strains, particularly when taking part in kickboxing. They act by boosting blood circulation. They send de-oxygenated blood back to the heart and replenishing oxygenated blood back to the legs. They can also help to reduce injury by warming up your calf muscles faster.
What is the Best Calf Compression Sleeve?
There are plenty of compression sleeves available to buy. Make sure you check the sizes out to ensure you are getting the right size for your calf. Too big and it won’t do anything, too small and it will be both hard to get on and uncomfortable.
These calf compression sleeves come in a range of sizes, colors and 2 different compression levels, for different support levels. The moisture wicking technology will ensure your legs will remain cool and dry. Designed to be used during both training and recovery. Made from 87% Nylon and 13% Spandex with durability and longevity in mind.
How Often Should I Replace My Kickboxing Shoes?
This will very much depend on how often you are working out. As you will more than likely be training inside you won’t need to worry about the wear and tear of rough ground. If you train about 3 to 5 times a week you should be prepared to replace your shoes every 9 to 12 months. Regularly check your shoes for the wear on the soles and replace them when you notice they are too worn down or the support doesn’t feel as strong when you are wearing them.
The material of your trainers will play a role in their durability, in particular how the outer soles have been constructed. Different materials are used for different shoe types, which is why it is important to have trainers specific for the activity you are taking part in.
Of course the intensity in which you train, as well as your weight, will also be a factor. A lighter person will likely cause less wearing down of the shoe’s cushioning than a heavier person would.
Increase the lifespan of your shoes by only using them indoors, and only using them for kickboxing.
Caring For Your Shoes
Although your kickboxing shoes will need replacing once they have worn down, you can prolong their life by taking correct care of them.
Hopefully you should only be wearing your trainers indoors, but that’s not to say they won’t get some dirt on them. To remove any mud or light dirt it is recommended to use some warm water, a little soap and a toothbrush to gently clean them. Don’t press down too hard on them as you might scratch the material.
Unless your shoe care specifically states that you can machine wash them, don’t put them in the washing machine. Always hand wash them.
When drying out your shoes don’t put them in a dryer or on a radiator – the direct heat might change the shape of them. To speed up the drying time you can stuff your shoes with newspaper and place them under a radiator or in an airing cupboard.
If your feet are prone to sweating it might be an idea to get some trainer odor eating insoles to prevent your shoes from smelling.
Deodorizing sprays like Rocket Pure can also work to prevent and minimize bacteria and smells from ruining your training shoes.
What If My Kickboxing Class Doesn’t Allow Trainers?
Most gyms and training centers will allow trainers, but if you plan on attending one that doesn’t, these shoes might be the perfect answer.
In a choice of 2 colors and 3 different sizes (Small, Medium or Large) these skin shoes are comfortable and don’t make your feet overheat. They come with their own pouch to carry them in.
If you are taking part in traditional kickboxing where you are sparring and taking part in competitions, as opposed to cardio kickboxing, you are more likely to go barefoot.
Can I Wear Running Shoes For Kickboxing?
No. You do need tread and traction to prevent you from slipping over when moving from side to side but running shoes have a smooth tread. Running shoes will place too much restriction on the variety of moves you need to do in kickboxing as they are not built for side to side movements, but instead for forward movement. If you do wear your running shoes for kickboxing or other cross training, you might end up with feet that ache and potential injury as they move about within the running shoes.
What Socks Should I Wear?
If you are making the investment to dedicate a specific pair of trainers for your kickboxing training sessions, you should also ensure your socks are up to the challenge of protecting your feet. There are plenty of athletic and sports socks on the market which can be used for kickboxing.