Boxing Shoes vs Running Shoes – What is the Difference?

boxing shoes vs running shoes

When I first started going boxing gym, I remember that I was willing to pay $100 for boxing gloves and another $100 for boxing headgear but for some reason, I don’t want to pay the same amount of money for boxing shoes.

Many people also have the same thoughts and I know many of them especially beginners think that they can save some money by not getting boxing shoes. Even though some shoes like wrestling shoes can be used for boxing, some shoes just can’t be used for boxing. It may not have safety or training performance qualities.

So can you use running shoes for boxing and if you can, can you save money? In this Boxing shoes vs. Running shoes content you will find out the answers to these questions.


Physical Health

It should be the most important criterion for choosing everything. So will you be safe when you use running shoes for boxing?

boxing shoes vs running shoes

Ankle Support

Considering that we dodge, do many different punching techniques and endless footwork drills, protecting your ankles becomes your number one priority. If you look at any boxing shoe you will see solid construction for ankle department. Well, of course, low-quality boxing shoes may not have it but quality ones definitely have 😉 With that running shoes don’t provide any ankle support whatsoever. So many people including me have weak ankles and just keep injuring their ankles with boxing shoes and I am sure that their ankles would even have more injuries with running shoes. Considering the safety you should definitely stay away from running shoes for boxing.

Note: I will continue explaining what are the differences between boxing and running shoes below. However, if you do boxing, health factor alone should convince you to go with boxing shoes for boxing and if you are looking for one, here are the reviews of most quality shoes on the market.



Boxing shoes are really sturdy and we do many different movements. As you can expect these shoes have unbelievable amount of can you use running shoes for boxingdeformation during training sessions. And sides of your shoes are one of the most affected parts. If these parts are not made of quality materials and don’t have good construction, after a certain point you may even lose your balance.

And sides of running shoes are not built for deformations. After all, we are supposed to run with them and those parts aren’t supposed to have deformation. I really think that you can use them for very short duration. If I have to guess, you can train with them for two months. So even if you want to save money, you will actually lose money if you prefer wearing running shoes for boxing.


Training Performance


I can easily say that some running shoes provide very good grip. However, because of the sole of running shoe, grip and traction feel different. But you won’t have any problem with it.

Actually, the grip of running shoes is the only suitable quality for boxing.


While you are running you don’t need to stop suddenly and punch right? So running shoes are not designed for you to pivot. And when you compare it to other shoes, which allow you to pivot, you punch way more powerful with those shoes which allow you to pivot.

Obviously, if you can’t pivot well, this will lower your training quality and this also affects physical benefits of your training badly as well. You will do everything (punching moving etc.) less efficiently and your muscles won’t work efficiently.



benefits of wearing boxing shoes

The construction of running shoes is built for you to run easier however if you have ever looked at the sides of running shoes carefully, that part is not bulky like boxing shoes. Also, the sole of boxing shoes is designed for you to stay in balance even after “sharp movements”. Running shoes also fail here and you can lose your balance in no time after dodging a punch or you may even lose it while punching.

Actually, it is even harder you to stay in balance if you have wide feet. I have many boxing buddies who have wide feet. They do not feel comfortable with many boxing shoes. If you have wide feet you can lose your balance even more with running shoes. If you fall into this category, you can check out these shoes for wide feet.

I really can’t imagine that a person, who has wide feet, do boxing training with running shoes. I don’t think that person can maintain balance for a minute during a regular boxing session.

When you consider the training performance for boxing, running shoes also fail here like in safety.


Final Thoughts

Many people want to save money for their boxing training and that is understandable. Because there are many pieces of equipment are needed for boxing. Boxing gloves, headgear, punch mitts are just some of these and the price of these add up pretty quickly. However, you can’t save money with running shoes. Based on my experiences you will pay even more. Considering the ankle support, balance and pivoting, running shoes are just not suitable for boxing. The only suitable quality of running shoes is the grip however it is literally useless without other qualities. So I highly suggest you stay away from running shoes for boxing.

There is actually another circumstance. You may not get boxing shoes for some reason. You may not have online shopping opportunities and your sports store may not have boxing shoes etc. If you fall into this category, wrestling shoes are quite popular and can be found almost anywhere.  For more information, you can check out my writing about differences between wrestling shoes and boxing shoes. As a side note, many professional boxers prefer wrestling shoes even for matches.

I hope you enjoyed this short writing and I tried to be thorough as much as I can. However, if you have any questions or experiences related to subject feel free to have a comment below 😉


Image Courtesy of Marchallbennielindberg and Petar Milošević  via Creative Commons License, Some Rights Reserved
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4 thoughts on “Boxing Shoes vs Running Shoes – What is the Difference?”

  1. I knew there were some differences but I really thought these were minor. I had no idea about the difference in ankle support. Even the so called running shoes have recently become more like fashion shoes (the less expensive ones. They don’t last as long as I would expect. Considering the many advantages you mention of using boxing shoes for boxing training have you ever used your boxing shoes for running? I guess what I’m trying to ask is would you recommend boxing shows for running?

    1. Well, boxing shoes are way more durable than running shoes but I never used them outside. I actually don’t recommend it because the materials generally are not sutaible for outdoor use.

  2. I’ve never thought about the pivot aspect in the difference of shoes. Makes sense once you read on though. What brand would you recommend most?

    1. People forget that too then we see people in the ring with running shoes.

      Reebok and Rival are my favorite boxing shoe brands. These have different models for better pivoting and there are some for quick footwork. These are the rare brands which figured out how to produce different style boxing shoes.

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