Choosing the right shoes for fencing

Like all sports, the footwear you use can have a great impact on your balance, comfort and stability and assist greatly in performing the different manoeuvres required of the sport. This is also the case for fencing with the right shoes being one of the most important pieces of fencing equipement. Here are some things to consider when choosing fencing shoes to ensure you get the most out of your sporting footwear.

Things to consider:

• The right level of cushioning. Fencers need support especially under the balls of the feet so choosing footwear with adequate cushioning is essential.
• Flexibility of the sole. When in preparation and bouncing this is important.
• Durability of the inner edges of the shoes since foot drag on the lunge is common.
• Good traction on the soles for wooden gym floors

How often will I need to replace my fencing shoes?

This depends how often you compete but once the standard guidelines is once per season. Fencers who compete more than 4 times per week will have to shell out more often for shoes while those fencing about 2-3 times a week will be able to manage replacing shoes once annually.

Specially Designed Shoes for Fencing

The following brands make shoes especially to be used in the sport of fencing:

Nike Ballestra (Nike Air Fencing Shoe) – RRP approx. $175.00
Adidas D’Artagnan IV – RRP $115.00
Scimitar Fencing Shoe (RRP approx. $160.00
Adidas EnGarde – budget but good beginner shoe (RRP approx. 90.00)

If you are looking to buy shoes suitable to be used in fencing but not specified as fencing shoes, court shoes and volleyball shoes also have many of the qualities including being low to the ground, heel cushioning, and side to side stability needed for fencing. Look for racquetball, badminton and volleyball shoes.

FINAL TIP: Avoid shoes made by any major brand for street wear and fashion purposes. These do not provide the roll and lunge support necessary for fencing and protect your ankle, heel and balls of the feet.

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