Do You Wear Shoes In BJJ?

Do you wear shoes in BJJ? Most people (90%-95%) do not wear shoes in BJJ. Shoes are also not allowed in most BJJ tournaments including IBJJF events. However, you can wear wrestling shoes in training. Many BJJ athletes choose to  wear shoes if they are suffering from a toe, foot or ankle injury for added support. 

BJJ is practiced on soft mats. Regular shoes have the ability to damage the mats and are banned in BJJ. Gym owners do not want to be replacing mats because of someone wearing shoes as they can be very expensive. BJJ mats need to be taken care of as broken mats can lead to injuries as athletes can lose their footing and twist their ankle or fall on a protruding section leading to a cut. To avoid these unfortunate events regular shoes.

You can wear wrestling shoes in BJJ. Wrestling shoes have a soft flexible sole so they are not likely to damage the mats. However, wrestling shoes have been banned in BJJ competitions. You can wear wrestling shoes in ADCC (biggest No-Gi event) however most athletes do not choose to wear wrestling shoes as they make it considerably easier for an opponent to finish leg attacks and single leg takedowns. As heel hooks are the most popular submission in ADCC it appears to be a wise decision.

A major reason why shoes are not allowed in BJJ is hygiene. In BJJ your body including your face is rubbing against the mat. Your body will also come into contact with your training partner’s feet. This provides a fecund environment for bacteria to spread. You do not want someone with dirty shoes spreading bacteria all over the mats. This can lead to many nasty diseases. By training barefoot you can limit your chance of spreading or being on the receiving end of nasty bacteria. Wrestling shoes which have only been worn on wrestling mats are allowed.

Is Jiu Jitsu Barefoot?

Is Jiu Jitsu barefoot? Yes, Jiu Jitsu is barefoot. In competition you have to be barefoot and the vast majority of students go barefoot in training. If you are concerned about being barefoot don’t worry, in training you can wear wrestling shoes, Sambo shoes, socks or specialized grappling socks.

Jiu Jitsu is derived from Judo. In Judo athletes never wore shoes. In Japan people always remove their shoes when they enter indoors and combined with the fact that Judo is practiced on soft mats meant the sport was always practiced barefoot. The Gracies kept many of the traditions of Judo including training on padded mats and practicing while barefoot.

You may be a bit apprehensive about going barefoot and potentially coming into contact with the feet of your training partners. Do not worry, after a few sessions it will become very normal and you won’t even think about it for a second. If it really bothers you can, you can always wear grappling socks or wrestling shoes.

Can You Wear Wrestling Shoes In Jiu Jitsu?

Can you wear wrestling shoes in Jiu Jitsu? Yes, you can wear wrestling shoes in Jiu Jitsu training however they are outlawed in the majority of competitions including major tournaments such as the IBJJF World Championships. Wrestling shoes are a disadvantage as they make finishing single leg takedowns and leglocks easier.

Can You Wear Socks In Jiu Jitsu?

Can you wear socks in Jiu Jitsu? Yes, you can wear socks in Jiu Jitsu. However, you shouldn’t as you need your balance and the ability to push off the mats with your feet. Socks are too slippery which can be dangerous. You can buy specialized grappling socks which have extra grip allowing you train BJJ safely and effectively.

Even though you can wear socks in Jiu Jitsu, please don’t. In Jiu Jitsu you are constantly making dynamic movements and changing directions. To start these explosive movements you need to push off the mat with significant force. When wearing socks the mats are very slippery. If you try to push off hard to initiate a movement you may lose your balance causing you to hurt your knee or ankle. BJJ is dangerous enough without making yourself more injury prone by wearing socks.

Not only is wearing socks while training BJJ potentially dangerous it will also handicap your ability. Socks will limit your ability to move. It will make it harder to execute and evade techniques. Training BJJ is the equivalent of trying to wrestling in shoes on ice. If you like your knees and you want to be the most effective grappler leave the socks at home.

There is a solution if you are determine to wear socks while training BJJ. You can wear something known as grappling socks. Grappling socks are made of stretchable neoprene similar to a wetsuit. This ensures they fit snuggly and won’t come loose while you are in an intense sparring sessions. Grappling socks also have a grippy texture on the sole similar to wrestling and boxing shoes. This allows you keep your balance when you are moving and exploding in different directions.

I recommend trying out Roll Hard MMA Grappling Socks if you are looking for a high end option due to their high performance and quality materials. If you are looking for a budget pair of grappling socks you should look at Ko Sports Gear Grappling Socks, they may not have as much grip as the Roll Hard pair but they have enough to keep you balanced when you are shooting blast doubles, slicing through people’s guard with a fast knee cut or exploding into a bridge to get you out of mount or side control.

Do You Wear Socks With Wrestling Shoes?

Do you wear socks with wrestling shoes? Yes, you wear socks with wrestling shoes. Socks with wrestling shoes prevent you from suffering blisters, cuts and skin irritation. Socks also protect your shoes from wear and tear and smelling funky. If you don’t want blisters and your wrestling shoes to have a potent odor wear socks.

While wrestling you will be constantly moving, changing directions, exploding, falling, getting back up and repeating these movements over and over again for hours. These movements cause your shoes to rub against foot particularly your Achilles.

If you are not wearing socks your chances of developing blisters and or cuts is significantly increases. Blisters may start off as a small inconvenience but ask anyone in the Army how quickly they can become a serious problem. If you continue training while you have blisters they will grow and may become infected. A minor issue can turn into agony which can force you off the mats for a prolonged period of time. Socks offer protection against blisters and cuts and will allow you continue training wrestling comfortably.


Shoes are uncommon in BJJ. The only shoes that are permitted are wrestling and Sambo shoes. These are rare as they place you at a disadvantage as they give your opponent another grip by which to control you. Shoes make it significantly easier to finish leg locks and single leg takedowns. Shoes are banned in BJJ competitions. For the most part the only time you see someone wearing shoes in BJJ is during training if they are protecting an injured toe, foot or ankle.

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