While many wrestling shoes are made with leather and other non-vegan products such as animal-based glues, there’s also many that are completely vegan-friendly.
We’ve found 5 different vegan-friendly wrestling shoes, from budget-friendly options, to some mid-range options, to pro-level wrestling shoes. We’ve even found one of the only Vegan-friendly Kids wrestling shoes, so if you’re looking for one for your child scroll down to the bottom and we have a special shoe just for them!
To be clear, 4 of the shoes are primarily for adult males and females, while one of them is entirely for small children, but hey, it’s still 5 shoes. No Complaints!
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These come in many sizes, all the way from sizes that can fit a child up to the most massive of feet sizes, including an extra-wide width option for all you hobbit-footed individuals like myself.
They also come in many colors that you can check out on Amazon by clicking here, and are overall a pretty good shoe for the price. I’d say this is the sweet-spot that most people should look at buying into unless they’re wrestling in leagues where it’s extremely competitive.
There’s not much to say about the upper beyond it’s looks; I suppose it’s less “tight” than the more expensive shoes on the market, which is a bit of a downside for wrestling.
How are the Soles?
The Soles of a Wrestling shoe is one of the most important things about it. It’s design can gives you specific advantages depending in certain areas depending on your style of wrestling.
These, being a mid-range shoe, attempt to just be overall pretty good. Their design edges a little more to helping you stay on your feet when “in action,” however they don’t provide as much grip when flat-footed as some other designs. If these shoes sound like they might be right for you check them out here on Amazon and see if they truly are the right fit for you.
These shoes are significantly cheaper than the other very comfortable and more “high-tech” shoes, however they have one big issue: They aren’t very durable from what I’ve seen.
If you’re okay with your shoes only lasting a single wrestling season or year, then these are perfectly fine and perform and feel superb. But if you are looking for ones you can use for the next couple years potentially give these shoes a miss and choose one of the other ones mentioned in this article.
At least that’s what I’d recommend. The shoes run about average width and come in many different colors to choose from.
How’s the Sole?
The soul is great on these, in terms of the grip. It grips exceptionally in all conditions regardless of the stiffness or softness of the pad you’re on or the placement of your foot.
The only downside to these shoes, as I mentioned before, is that they break down quickly, so after one season the sole may be on the way out and won’t be useable for another whole wrestling season next year.
I’m including this shoe as it’s the cheapest vegan-friendly shoe I’ve found, and it’s the only “narrow” width vegan wrestling shoe for men that I’ve really come across. Not something for big wide-footed folks like myself, but maybe you have narrow feet and these would be great for you if that’s the case.
They look pretty cheesy in my opinion in the pictures, but in real life they look significantly better. I’m not sure what it is about the online photos I’ve seen of these, they just looks cheap. In real life they aren’t really like that in my experience however.
The soles on this shoe are clearly different than the others, and that’s for many reasons.
These have a fully thick-rubber sole, which means they “grab” the mat much better than EVA/mixed sole materials, so regardless of it’s seemingly flat and plain design it grips quite well.
The design of the sole excels on “firmer” wrestling mats, so if you know you’ll be training/competing on one this can give you quite a significant edge in that environment.
I know there’s a lot of pricks like me who always want to try to get the best of the best in the sport/hobby they do, so here’s the best vegan one you can get that’s not custom.
The upper grasps the foot firmly and it holds up for a few seasons quite adequately. If you’re seriously into wrestling and are committed to doing more than one season I’d say these are worth the investment as they’ll hold up better than the other pairs over the long-run.
These are significantly (about double the price) more expensive than the cheaper options in this article, and depending on your size potentially quite a bit more than the mid-range ones mentioned in this article as well, so if price is a big factor this might not be the best choice.
It’s made with high-quality rubber and unlike the other “pro-level” shoe mentioned before, this one won’t have sole issues after the first year or season you use them.
These shoes soles should keep together for at least a couple seasons, maybe more depending on how hard you are on your shoes and your wrestling style. So if you want a durable high-quality shoe and budget isn’t an issue, check this shoe out further on Amazon.
Don’t fret if you or your son/daughter doesn’t like the pinky soles or the white color of these shoes — they also come in a Blackish variety. I just picked this color to show as you can see the sole of the shoe better, and I think it’s important to be able to see that they’re good in a wrestling shoe.
Anyhow, these little shoes come in two colors and two sizes, one size for little kids and one for bigger kids. It may seem a bit odd, but from what I’ve seen/experienced the shoes truly do fit fine regardless of the minimal size options. That’s because, as mentioned before, wrestling shoes should be relatively tight, so it’s not too hard to make them fit with many sizes of feet so long as the upper material is flexible — and these shoes have a flexible upper material!
I’d say this is one of the best soles for kids wrestling shoes out there. It provides a ton of extra grip where it matters (the sides of the shoe primarily) and has a pattern that really helps prevent slipping when “in-use.”
If you need vegan kids wrestling shoes these are the best choice in my opinion.
What Makes most Wrestling Shoes Non-Vegan?
Most wrestling shoes are made with leather or suede, which is the normal culprit that makes them non-vegan. There’s also troubles with glue, which isn’t always vegan, being used in the manufacture of non-branded shoes. Most big-brands use vegan-friendly glue, including the ones listed in this article, but no-name shoes often use non-vegan glue to bind the soles to the shoe-upper.
How do you make sure a Wrestling Shoe Fits?
The main thing is that they should feel relatively snug with little “give.” You shouldn’t be able to stick your finger behind your ankle. It should be too snug to put even a fingertip back there when the laces are tied up.
If you’re on the heavier side then the shoe being ultra-snug isn’t as necessarily, however it still should be relatively snug. Beyond the shoe being tight it should just fit like a regular running shoe; if it feels off it probably is and you should probably opt for a different size — but if it just feels weird and it’s your first wrestling shoe ask someone who’s more experienced if it fits. Wrestling shoes “feel” different on the foot in my experience compared to “regular” shoes.