About 600 miles away from France, where evidence of the origins of wrestling was found, a German shoe manufacturer has become one of today’s go-to brands for wrestling gear. Adidas may have started as a maker of spiked running shoes, but since its birth, it has evolved and expanded to other disciplines. Adidas wrestling shoes are quite easy to spot because of the iconic Three Stripes logo on their lateral and medial sides.
What to expect from the best Adidas wrestling shoes for men and women
A single or double leg takedown or a Granby roll or pummel escape, regardless of the move, Adidas wrestling trainers are built to support the footwork needed for these moves. Aside from being flexible and offering ankle hold, these trainers have more to offer.
Wrestling in the ancient times was done naked and, obviously, barefoot. This allowed them to use every part of their bodies to take their opponents down. This is also the same reason why modern wrestlers wear skin-tight clothing and shoes with barely any sole unit in them. By serving as a second skin, the shoes can move flawlessly with the foot.
Adidas wrestling shoes employ a type of rubber that is soft, similar to that used in badminton shoes. Its soft nature allows it to expand and grip the wrestling mat better. In some models, like the Adidas Combat Speed 5, there is a suede wrap that covers some part of the outsole. This type of construction keeps the foot in contact with the mat at all times. It also reduces traction in areas they are present in so the foot can slide and the player can maneuver out of a tricky situation.
Wrestling is a full-body contact sport that requires athletes to do a lot of pushing to pin their opponents. Not only does one use his upper body, but the feet and the legs are also greatly utilized. The high-top construction of Adidas wrestling shoes acts like an ankle brace. The purpose of the exaggerated top is to limit the movement of the ankle to prevent injuries.
All Adidas wrestling trainers reach the ankle bones, but some are designed to be higher. Those with collars that extend past the ankle offer more leg protection and better ankle hold. On the other hand, the shorter tops often have an ankle strap that heightens the support.
Wrestling shoes need to be able to move like a natural extension of the foot. So it’s common to find Adidas wrestling shoes to be snug-fitting. The vamp-to-leg lacing system helps customize the tightness at the midfoot, the heel, and the ankle.
As for the forefoot, some prefer it to be really tight with very little room to move. Others, especially beginners, want more room at the toe box, allowing their toes to spread out more.
When you’re exerting so much effort into an activity, it is but normal to sweat profusely. The same thing happens when you wrestle. Since you use all parts of your body and use as much strength as you can to topple your competition, you can expect to sweat — a lot. And it’s not just confined to your upper body, but your feet too.
Thus, Adidas wrestling trainers typically employ mesh for the top. This material has open pores that allow air to freshen the inside. In some cases wherein leather or synthetic leather is used, there are vents found in various parts of the upper. They help with temperature regulation by allowing heat to dissipate.
Keeping the feet fresh is essential to avoid having hot and sweaty feet. Because when you are throwing hard on the mat, a sticky, icky feeling inside your trainer should be the least of your worries.
Technologies used on Adidas wrestling shoes
- Abrasion Resistant Tape
Made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) tape, this component is fused on top of the upper material. It may sometimes be seen in the form of a V-Foil that wraps around the heel, enhancing rearfoot hold when the laces are tightened. They are also often found on the toe box and the midfoot, protecting the underlying material against abrasion.
- Lace garage
During combat, the shoestrings can get untied, or the knot and the aglet can cause discomfort to the other player. To prevent this, Adidas wrestling shoes are equipped with lace-keeping technologies.
One form is a pouch on top of the tongue. The shoelaces can easily be tucked inside the pocket so they won’t get in the way. On other models, the ankle strap serves as the lace-locking technology. The strap often has an elastic part that allows it to better hold the laces in place.
A proprietary outsole technology from Adidas, this compound is engineered to be highly durable. It can withstand abrasion from constant contact with the mat. It is also non-marking; thus, it can be found on some Adidas weightlifting shoes too.
- Triaxial structured outsole
A tread pattern that promotes exceptional traction. The diamond-shaped tread delivers multidirectional grip and helps with the flexibility of the outsole. It often features a RadialCurve, wherein the treads under the ball are less protruding, so turning and twisting will not strain the knee. There are also DriveZones found on the lateral and medial sides of the sole unit, which makes it easier for the wearer to push off using either side of the foot.
- EVA wedge
Most Adidas wrestling trainers do not have a midsole part. Instead, some of them have an ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) wedge at the heel. This component puts the wrestler into the attack stance wherein the body weight is more to the front, being supported by the balls of the feet. It makes it easier for wrestlers to take a step and push forward.
Unisole vs. Split sole
Adidas wrestling shoes can be divided into two categories: unisole and split sole. The striking difference lies in the way these soles are constructed.
The underside features a full-length rubber outsole. It provides more traction since the compound covers more area. In some Adidas wrestling trainers, like the Flying Impact, the rubber wraps up, which means regardless of the position of the foot, it will be able to grip the mat and push off. In other cases, like the HVC 2, the rubber is limited to the bottom while suede wraps the bottom part of the upper.
Though a unisole may seem like the ideal outsole layout, it may not be a perfect fit for those who want more underfoot flexibility.
- Split sole
The rubber compound is concentrated under the heel and the ball of the foot. A suede wrap covers the remaining areas of the outsole, as seen on the Pretereo III. However, some Adidas wrestling shoes, like the Adizero Varner, employ a hybrid outsole. It appears like a split outsole, but a thin strip of rubber connects the two sections.
An advantage of a split sole construction is that it makes the shoe more flexible. However, it offers less grip because of the suede wrap. A good compromise is those models using a hybrid outsole.
The Adidas wrestling team
It is not clear as to when Adidas entered the wrestling scene, but from 1972 to 1978, the company expanded its offerings to other sports. Presumably, wrestling shoes and gear were included in the mix.
Adidas has a dedicated page for its wrestling shoes and gears. On that site, it also features the top wrestlers that it tapped to be its brand ambassadors. The list includes Olympic gold medalist Jake Varner which has his own shoe model named after him. Wrestlers including Jordan Oliver, Whitney Conder, Jon Morrison, Jenna Rose Burkert, Hayden Zillmer, Zach Rey, and Richard Perry, who have competed in national and international levels, are also part of Adidas’ wrestling team.
Celebrities and their Adidas wrestling trainers
One of the most popular models of Adidas wrestling shoes back then was the Adidas Hercules. The white high-top trainer featured the iconic three stripes on either side of the midfoot. Because of its sleek style, it was not surprising to see celebrities wearing the Hercules.
Queen frontman Freddie Mercury wore his pair during the band’s most memorable performance at the Live Aid concert in 1985. Stateside, late-night show host David Letterman was often seen rocking Adidas sneakers which also included the Hercules.
Actress Anna Pacquin was seen wearing the Adidas A’ttack, a now-discontinued pair of wrestling shoes. However, like the other celebrities, it was not used on the mat. Pacquin wore her pair while boxing.
Frequently asked questions
How much do Adidas wrestling shoes cost?
The price of wrestling footwear from Adidas ranges from $50 to $200. Models priced under $100 typically use the brand’s Adiwear outsole technology which is durable and provides excellent grip on the mat. It is noticeable that shoes with a lower price tag have tops that are also shorter but do not fall below the ankle bone. They still provide ankle hold.
As for the higher-end variants, they employ uniquely engineered components like the Triaxel outsole with Drive Zones that allow wearers to push off regardless of the angle of their foot. It should also be noted that the upper is higher, covering a third of the lower leg.
How should a pair of Adidas wrestling trainers fit?
According to wrestling experts, it depends on your level of athleticism, but in general, it should feel like it is a part of the foot. Like how Vibram shoes seem like they are a part of your skin.
Professional wrestlers or those who have been in the field for years prefer their wrestling trainers to be really snug. This is because they know that their feet will no longer grow. Also, a close-fitting shoe moves flawlessly with the foot.
On the other hand, if you feel like your feet might still be growing, it could help to get a size that is a little bigger. Keep in mind, the more you use your wrestling footgear, the more it will loosen up. If the trainer is already loose, to begin with, by the end of the season, it may no longer deliver a secure foothold.
When should I replace my Adidas wrestling shoes?
Unlike running shoes that need to be replaced after every 300-500 miles, you can wear your wrestling shoes for years without any problem. Just be sure that the outsole is still grippy, the upper has sufficient foothold, and there are no physical damages that can affect its performance.
But, if the outsole has deteriorated or the treads have been rubbed down, then it is time to put them away and get a new pair. Another sign to consider is if the upper already feels too loose. If the laces are already cinched, but it still feels like your foot will slip out, you are only positioning yourself up to be injured.
How many Adidas wrestling trainers should I own?
Pro-wrestlers recommend using two pairs of wrestling shoes. One should be a dedicated competition footgear, and the other one will be used for practice. The reason behind this is that there’s a tendency for wrestling shoes to loosen up with constant use. If it loses its snug fit, then it will not be a useful tool for wrestling.
Should I wear socks with my Adidas wrestling shoes?
That depends on your preference. However, not wearing socks could lead to the early retirement of your wrestling footwear. Sweat and oil from the foot could leave the interior damp, which is a perfect breeding ground for fungi. Fungi can cause foot irritation, not to mention the development of foul smell.
Also, by not wearing socks, long toenails could cause damage to the fabric lining. If this happens, it will only be a matter of time before that rip extends to the surface.
Are there wide Adidas wrestling shoes?
Unfortunately, Adidas does not offer its wrestling footwear in more extensive options. If you need a roomier pair, one model to consider is the Asics Snapdown 2. This wrestling trainer is offered in both medium and wide widths.
Can I use my Adidas wrestling trainer for other sports?
Yes, you can use your wrestling shoes from Adidas for other similar sports like boxing or mixed martial arts. What these sports have in common is that they need excellent ankle support and traction from their footgear. The trainer should also be flexible to allow them to move like they are barefoot.
Can I use my Adidas wrestling shoes for streetwear?
No, it is not wise to use them as casual footwear. For starters, the sole unit is very slim. If it is subjected to abrasion from rough surfaces like sidewalks, then it will quickly deteriorate. Another thing to remember is that some Adidas wrestling trainers have suede on their outsole. This material will also not be able to hold up to walking on cement or asphalt.
If you’re into fitness walking or just need something for daily wear to run errands or lounge around, Skechers offers some of the most sought after pairs. What makes Skechers walking shoes stand out is that they use several types of technologies in their sole unit to provide users with prolonged comfort. They are quite affordable. Some of them are also aesthetically pleasing.
Can I use Adidas weight training shoes for wrestling?
Adidas offers various types of training shoes that are not suitable to be used for throwing down on the mat. Though some of them provide ankle support, most are bulky and are quite stiff, which will prevent wrestlers from fully utilizing their feet. Also, the sole unit of Adidas training shoes is quite hard. It can cause harm to one’s opponent.
Can I use minimalist training shoes for wrestling?
Minimalist training footwear offers the flexibility needed by wrestlers. However, most of them feature an aggressive outsole tread which can hurt the other person during leg locks. These types of shoes also lack the ankle support needed by these athletes.
How do I clean my Adidas wrestling shoes?
Adidas built its trainers to be low-maintenance which translates to: throw them in the washer, and you’re good to go. But of course, there are some exemptions to this very chill approach. If your footwear has leather or suede components, you can’t machine-wash them.
Most of these Adidas wrestling shoes are made of mesh and rubber. However, there are some models, like the Combat Speed 5, that has suede. Some parts of the upper and the outsole are wrapped in the material. To clean such shoe, a dry brush will work to dust it off. If there are any stains, scrub them off using a cloth or a brush dipped in a warm soapy solution. Let the pair air-dry for a few hours before using it again.
- Remove the laces and insoles (if possible) and clean and dry them separately.
- Do NOT use any heating elements or direct sunlight to dry your shoes.
Are there low-top Adidas wrestling shoes?
No, there are none. All wrestling trainers from Adidas go up to the ankle bones and some even higher, covering about ⅓ of the lower leg. The reason for this is that the tall collar can adequately hold the ankle and prevent injuries. Models that go above the ankle offer more protection for the legs.
Are there Adidas wrestling shoes designed specifically for women?
No, there are none. Female wrestlers interested in Adidas wrestling trainers should note that men’s shoes are 1.5 sizes bigger. So a woman who typically wears a US size 9 should get a wrestling shoe from Adidas in a US size 7.5.
Another thing to keep in mind is that since these trainers are built with men’s foot dimensions in mind, they may not fit as well for the ladies. Lads have feet shaped like rectangles which means the heel is almost the same width as the broadest part of the foot. On the other hand, women’s heels are visibly narrower than their forefoot. So female wrestlers may find their wrestling trainer to feel a bit roomy around the rearfoot.
Are Adidas wrestling shoes heavy?
No, these trainers are pretty light. Though the uppers of Adidas wrestling shoes are quite high, they are made from thin and lightweight materials that would allow wearers to move without feeling restricted.They also have very thin sole units. Unlike hiking boots that have heavy-duty outsoles for protection, these wrestling shoes need the opposite. A wafer-thin outsole allows wrestlers to fully utilize their feet for pushing or keeping their ground.
9 best Adidas wrestling shoes
- Adidas HVC 2
- Adidas Adizero Varner 2
- Adidas Combat Speed 4
- Adidas Adizero Varner
- Adidas Combat Speed 5
- Adidas Flying Impact
- Adidas Pretereo III
- Adidas AdiZero XIV
- Adidas Mat Wizard Hype
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