If you are a parent looking to get your child into wrestling, one of the first concerns you likely have is finding an acceptable pair of wrestling shoes. This can be a little daunting, especially if you have no experience in the sport, as wrestling requires a very specialized shoe, so wearing tennis shoes during your trial phase with wrestling will not suffice like it will for most other sports.
What are the best wrestling shoes for youth wrestlers? The best wrestling shoe for youth wrestlers is the Adidas HVC Youth Laced Wrestling Shoe. This shoe provides all of the elements of a quality youth wrestling shoe at a bargain price.
While the Adidas HVC is the top pick for youth wrestling shoes, there are a number of other attractive options to choose from, depending on your child’s personal style. Whichever shoe you ultimately choose, you will want it to contain a strong combination of the following elements: affordability, durability, simplicity, and universality.
What Are the Best Features of Youth Wrestling Shoes?
Thinking back on my own wrestling career, I can still vividly remember my very first pair of shoes. It was a pair of Asics Tiger Youth Wrestling Shoes with a simple black and white design and a solid green rubber sole.
Although this shoe remains popular among vintage wrestling shoe collectors, it would look a little dated if worn in mass today. However, the qualities that made this shoe popular 25 years ago can be found in the best youth wrestling shoes today.
While low price is not the best way to go for all purchases, for that very first pair of youth wrestling shoes, I would rate it as the primary consideration.
Many modern wrestling shoes can run well into the three figures, but this is not a purchase I would recommend when initially searching for shoes, although the temptation can be great to fashion your wrestler in the best that money can buy right from the start.
Wrestling is a wonderful sport to get your child into, as it teaches innumerable attributes, from physical factors such as strength, balance, and flexibility, to intrinsic factors such as self confidence and determination.
However, these same characteristics that make wrestling an attractive youth sports option for your child are also a reason that some kids do not immediately fall in love with the sport: it takes effort to build these characteristics, and wrestling can be hard.
Therefore, you do not want to break the bank for that first pair of wrestling shoes, only to have your son or daughter try wrestling for a few weeks and decide he or she does not like it. Start with an affordable first pair and if your child wants to continue with the sport, an upgrade should be more doable since you have saved on the first pair.
This seems like a “no duh” type of characteristic, as who doesn’t want a product that is tough and long-lasting? For wrestling shoes, though, the distinction gets a little blurry.
When looking at elite-level wrestlers, the highest performance shoes are almost like a glorified pair of socks. They are extremely lightweight and soft, with rubber balls and heels providing traction in an otherwise soft, leather sole.
For youth wrestlers, you will want something a little heavier and much more solid, with large, all-rubber soles the preference. While elite-level wrestlers are trained to keep their shoes on the mat only, the chances that your six-year-old stays off the sidewalk and out of the parking lot in his or her wrestling shoes are next to none.
Therefore, you will want the bottom of your child’s wrestling shoes resistant to sharp edges, nonporous, and easy to clean if he or she wears the shoes for purposes other than wrestling.
If you have a child, you know getting shoes on and off can be quite the ordeal, so you do not want the process of switching from street shoes to wrestling shoes to be more complicated than it has to be.
There are all sorts of lace guard systems designed into modern wrestling shoes these days: zippers, pouches, and Velcro straps are just a few of the methods used.
However, the best youth wrestling shoes will come with just laces. You do not want anything that can slow your child down, cause unnecessary distractions, or present an additional aspect to be broken. If there is a lace guard built in, keep it to a simple Velcro strap cover.
In addition to the fact that your child may try wrestling and not like it, there is no telling how fast his or her feet may grow. Whatever the case, you will want to have the best chance possible that your lightly used shoes will appeal to someone else.
Neutral colors, such as black and navy blue, match with a lot of team’s uniforms and are not easily stained, so you will have a better chance of reselling shoes like these than you will with super gaudy colors.
The Best Wrestling Shoes for Youth Wrestlers: The List
Using the aforementioned criteria, let’s look at the best youth wrestling shoes on the market to help you find that perfect pair for your child to get a start in the sport.
#1 – Adidas Youth HVC Laced Wrestling Shoe
This is the king of modern youth wrestling shoes, as it is strong in every one of the important categories:
- Affordability – for around $50, you cannot find a better bargain
- Durability – a solid, rubber sole will help this shoe stand up and clean up in the face of whatever mischief your youth wrestler gets into off the mat
- Simplicity – a simple pull and lace design, with a straightforward Velcro lace guard
- Universality – while there are color options other than black and white, the simple two-tone design will appeal to many buyers on the resell market
#2 – Asics Aggressor 2
This is a great training shoe for wrestlers of all ages, but a truly outstanding first shoe for your youth wrestler, scoring well on every important category:
- Affordability – while not as economical as the HVC, its $70 price tag is still palatable. These shoes also hold strong resale value, so some of this price tag can be recouped if the wrestling thing does not work out for your child
- Durability – the sole of the Aggressor 2 is unmatched in its ability to withstand force, as its grooved rubber surface can withstand years of heavy use
- Simplicity – not as straightforward as the HVC, with some straps and pouches potentially distracting your child, it is still mostly a straight lace-up shoe with a Velcro strap lace guard
- Universality – the color combinations can get gaudy with this model, so try to keep it as simple as possible when buying a first pair for your child
#3 – Adidas Mat Wizard Hype
Perhaps not as ideal as the first two options on this list, the Adidas Mat Wizard Hype should definitely be a consideration as a first pair of shoes for your wrestler:
- Affordability – averaging between $80 and $90, you will spend a little more for this shoe. However, it is far from the most expensive on the market
- Durability – a solid-sole design help prevent damage to this shoe, while its mesh casing gives breathability
- Simplicity – a straight lace system is ideal for your youth wrestler, although the high ankle could prevent some challenges when sliding on and off
- Universality – the three-tone design of this show is a little busier than the HVC, though there are plenty of options for choosing a tactful color scheme