Can You Wear Wrestling Shoes as Normal Shoes?
If you have purchased a pair of wrestling shoes you may have wondered whether you can wear them as everyday shoes away from the mat. There is quite a bit of debate about this issue. Many people feel that it is inappropriate to wear them for regular wear, and others feel that it is a free country so you should be able to do whatever you like. While this is a true statement, it doesn’t really cover the reasons why you might want to think twice about wearing them for other activities, or a leisurely stroll through the park.
Most professional wrestlers and dedicated athletes would tell you that you should not wear them off of the mat if you are going to be wearing them on the mat. The reasoning behind this recommendation is because it will track dirt and debris onto the mat. The mat needs to remain clean at all times and dirty shoes aren’t tolerated. Another concern is bacteria that can get on skin and cause breakouts and possible illness. Just imagine wrestling on the mat while there is mud or worse all over the mat, and then getting that ground into your pores or all over your face. Doesn’t sound appealing, does it? Just because you can’t see dirt and bacteria doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. Be sure to think about it before deciding to wear your wrestling shoes for a day out on the town and then come to practice or a match with those same shoes.
Another reason that you should not wear your wrestling shoes as everyday shoes is the fact that they do not offer much arch support. Regular sneakers have built-in arch supports so that they remain comfortable and supportive throughout the day. Wrestling shoes might cause issues with your feet which in turn can even cause lower back pain and foot issues. These issues can start off as a small irritation, but eventually they can evolve into more serious problems that can create the need for professional treatment. The wrong shoes can even cause painful shin splints. Wearing improper shoes for the activities that you are engaging in is never a good idea. Some people may just like the way that they look or they might be unaware that wrestling shoes are not regular sneakers.
Wrestling shoes may not always be marketed as strictly for wrestling. They may be mixed in with a variety of other shoes on the market. They can resemble other types of shoes like skate shoes. If you have mistakenly bought them thinking that they were for some other activity, then that is alright. As long as you are not planning on using them for wrestling then you should do whatever you want to do with them. If you purchase something, then you should get some use out of it. In fact, if you add some shoe inserts, or even some arch supports, then you just might be able to do much more with them.
Some of the things that you can do with wrestling shoes that are not intended for the mat are:
- Skating—Since they are built much like some of the popular skate-style shoes, then you could absolutely use them for this activity. Again, you may choose to add some inserts for support to make them more comfortable when you jump and maneuver
- Yard work—Wrestling shoes can be great to use for yard work. They give you protection and freedom to move around when you need to be flexible to pick objects up, and twist and turn. Wrestling shoes allow for a wide range of motion and are great at keeping creepy crawlies out of your shoes; they do a much better job than your average pair of sneakers
- Fishing—Wrestling shoes are great to wear for fishing. They can get wet and dry out easily without causing much damage to the integrity of the shoe. When sneakers get wet they can hold in moisture. The special cushions and insoles that are built into the shoe do not dry as easily and quickly as the wrestling shoe. The flat rubber bottom will also grip surfaces much better to prevent slips and falls on wet surfaces
- Hiking—Wrestling shoes are not hiking boots, but they make a good substitute if you do not have any, and need for shoes that will protect your feet and ankles, and allow you freedom to move around and climb uneven surfaces. Be sure to use inserts if you will be out in the woods for longer than a few hours to avoid sore feet and an achy back.
- Chores—You bought the shoes so you should wear them as much as possible. You can wear wrestling shoes when you have a bunch of heavy chores to do around the house. They will stand up to a good deal of abuse, which is why they are designated for wrestling in the first place. You can dish out a good deal of movement and motion, and they are going to hold up really well.
These are just a few of the things that you can do with the wrestling shoes that you purchased or will no longer be using for wrestling. Perhaps you purchased them by mistake and you are determined to get your money’s worth out of them. There are plenty of things that you can do with them besides just wrestling. It is not advised to use them for running or any other type of sport such as basketball where you require a good deal of support and cushion because they just don’t have it. You will hurt your feet and back and it isn’t worth it in the long run.
So to answer the question, don’t wear wrestling shoes anywhere else if you are using them for wrestling on the mat. If you are not going to use them for wrestling, then feel free to use them however you like, but keep in mind that they were not designed to support your feet.