A relative newcomer to the grappling world, grappling socks are an intermediary step between barefoot and grappling shoe. They offer extra traction and grip on grappling mats and can prove especially useful in longer, sweatier bouts.
Best Grappling Socks Reviewed
RDX Neoprene Socks
Coming in a single colour option the RDX grappling socks offer a non-slip design with an anatomical arch built in to accommodate the natural shape of the foot.
Due to the nature of grappling, it is best to avoid unwanted excess material except for the Gi. In line with this, these grappling socks are made from a special type of spandex that provides an enhanced fit, no matter your foot size. This enables efficient mobility when wearing the socks so that you have the freedom of barefoot training with the grip of shoes.
The socks are sweat absorbing so they will help in keeping the mats clear of any excess sweat generated during hard training and preventing any slipping. Also, anyone who has trained on mats during winter will know that it can feel like rolling on an ice rink. Grappling socks such as these would be a very good choice during the winter months.
Ring to Cage Socks
With a simple and minimalist design, these ring to cage socks come in simple block colours of black with green trim.
The bottom area of the sock is made of stretchable neoprene material with extra give so provide traction between your foot and the mat. The little rubber dots on the bottom of the socks are what provides the ‘sticky’ effect and gives the wearer a feeling of wearing wrestling shoes without the bulk.
These small little dots make the socks most suited to grappling though. Stand up striking whilst wearing them can cause the little rubber dots to be literally scraped off from all the pivoting and turning on the balls of the feet. If kept to grappling then they perform very well and maintain their grip throughout the entire training session.
Again, due to the sweat-resistant properties of these socks, like the previously listed socks, these ring to cage socks are very easy to put on and take off at the end of a tiring class and won’t become sweaty/slipping during training.
Tilos Sport Skin Sock
Weighing in in a multitude of colour options, these socks are a good option for the more fashion orientated grappler. The socks are made from stretchy lycra with an adjustable ankle cuff for an easier time getting them on and off.
The sole of the socks is made from neoprene like the previous socks which provide excellent grip and traction between the wearer’s foot and the mat.
These socks are described as being appropriate for more than just grappling, however. They are also advertised as being great for snorkelling and beach sports so you can be sure that they are very resistant and not likely to tear and scuff easily. The socks are heat resistant too and are able to help people walk across hot sand. This may not be directly transferable to a grappling mat but it speaks for the socks protective qualities.
Yoga Toe Socks
Not specifically designed for grappling, these socks can still have a function within your grappling sessions. With individual toe holes, these socks can provide the wearer with a much closer feel to being barefooted but with an extra grip quality.
The socks have a ‘glove-like’ look to them except for the bottom which is covered with small little dots that are there to provide the grip the wearer will be seeking. The socks come in a few different colours e.g. grey, pink, white, but there aren’t any size options to choose from. Due to the very stretchy material, they are made from this is likely not an issue except for those with extra large feet.
KO Sports Socks
A slightly more wacky take on grappling sock appearance, the KO sports socks have a certain Jackson Pollock appearance to them and are certainly striking to look at.
The socks are constructed of neoprene like the other socks in this list and have a similar bottom with the small, black dots for extra grip. Like the previous socks this means they are most suited to grappling and not striking. The foot movement during striking sessions is likely to cause the little dots to be torn off from all the pivoting when hooking etc.
These socks are also explicitly stated as keeping the feet warm on cold mats which is something that as mentioned earlier. This is an especially useful and overlooked feature during those long winter months, or even more importantly – if you train somewhere cold year round.
Grappling Socks Buyers Guide
Grappling socks are a great way to keep training, even if you have an injury on your feet. They are especially good for any injuries on the lower feet, but they are also great at preventing mat burn. We go through some of the options which you should consider when buying grappling socks.
Grappling socks can be made with various materials, but the most common material you’ll find is neoprene. Neoprene is a hardwearing material, which is also great at wicking away moisture. However, a number of people have said that they find neoprene can make their feet too hot and also too tight, which is why there are other elastic fabrics.
To withstand the intensity of regular grappling sessions, it’s important for your grappling socks to be well constructed. It’s not uncommon for overlay or double locks stitching to be used in the construction as they are the most durable when it comes intense sports.
Witch grappling socks, you have two options when it comes to toes, individual toes, or the more traditional sock style. Both have their own benefits, individual toes allow each toe to move independently, which means the movement isn’t restricted. The other traditional sock style means grapplers don’t need to worry about extra fabric and are much easier to get on and off.
Neoprene and elastic aren’t as grippy as bare feet, which is while you’ll often find grappling socks have some rubber gripping pads at the bottom of the socks. Be careful about too much grip, however, as this can restrict your movement.
Unlike normal shoe and sock sizes, grappling socks come in the more traditional small to large size, so it’s a good idea to check the correct sizing before you buy.
The collection of socks on this list can all provide the wearer with what they want out of a grappling sock: a good fit with minimal excess, strong grip on the mats, anti-sweat properties and a sturdy material with minimal ripping and tearing. In many ways the differences between the socks are like the differences between different types of shoes. It depends on the person wearing them and what they are expecting from the shoe.