A relative newcomer to the grappling world, grappling socks are a intermediary step between bare foot 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 bare foot training with the grip of shoes.
The socks are also 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 a 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 a 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 provides excellent grip and traction between the wearers 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 snorkeling 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 bare footed 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.
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.