Grappling socks are very useful for grapplers, but only in certain situations.
In this post, you’ll discover
- What are Grappling Socks
- How they prevent skin infections
- Stopping the spread of disease
- Why you shouldn’t use wrestling shoes
- Preventing mat burn
- Price ranges
- Can you wear them in competition
Let’s get into it.
ALSO READ: BJJ Gi Buyers Guide | All You Need To Know
What Are Grappling Socks?
They are what they sound like.
A pair of socks specially designed for grappling sports and martial arts.
They are far thicker than normal socks and made from moisture and liquid-resistant material called neoprene instead of cotton – as cotton doesn’t function very well when it gets wet.
It also has a slip-resistant sole for grip, as most clothing materials would slide on the mats.
Do Grappling Socks Prevent Skin Infections?
Grappling socks are great if you’re a bit of a germaphobe and don’t like the thought of getting skin infections like staph or ringworm, which are common in BJJ.
If you train long enough you’ll likely experience at least one skin infection.
The feet are one of the most common places to get a skin infection.
Wearing grappling socks will give you an extra layer of protection by making it harder for the bacteria to get to your feet.
This will be especially beneficial if you have eczema which can become inflamed or infected very easily, or if you have a cut on your foot that could also become infected.
Do Grappling Socks Stop The Spread Of Disease?
Use grappling socks if you’re suffering from some sort of bacterial infection on your feet, and you don’t want to wait for the antibiotics to do their work in killing the infection.
Or if you don’t want to use antibiotics due to their negative side effects like damaging your gut microbiome and fatigue.
Grappling socks can help prevent you from spreading the disease.
But make sure to wash them after each use.
Why Not Wear Wrestling Shoes?
Wrestling shoes will offer the same grip and much better foot support especially if you have a broken toe or plantar fasciitis.
Injuries that would make engaging your feet muscles extremely painful. That would be the only reason I would suggest using wrestling shoes.
If you want to prevent skin infections or you don’t want to spread skin infections like ringworm from your feet to others, grappling socks will do a far better job as they are made from more breathable materials.
Furthermore, wrestling shoes wear down the gym mats much faster than simply being barefoot.
Of course, you have certain advantages and disadvantages when using wrestling shoes.
The biggest advantage is your grip and balance will be far better than someone who is barefoot.
The biggest disadvantage is you’re extremely limited with your leg lock defense.
This is because the opponent will be able to grip your foot much easier and your ability to slip the heel will be far more difficult.
Limiting your heel hook defense.
Can Grappling Socks Prevent Mat Burn?
Getting mat burn on your feet is one of the most annoying things that happen to you in BJJ.
The next week of training is never fun when dealing with mat burn.
The pain every time you drag your foot across the mat. Someone stepping on it, and the possibility of it getting worse.
Now once you have mat burn using grappling socks will just make it worse and the burn could stick to the socks like velcro.
But they will be very good at preventing it due to your skin never being in contact with the mat.
In summary: They’re great for preventing mat burn but not good for healing it.
What Are The Sizes For Grappling Socks?
Like with all socks, Grappling Socks is sized by shoe size, check the table below:
How Much Do Grappling Socks Cost?
Grappling socks certainly aren’t cheap in comparison to regular socks.
It will be hard to find a pair unless on clearance for less than $15, and most pairs worth buying will cost $20 or more.
Can You Wear Grappling Socks In Competition?
It really depends on what competition you are doing.
In some competitions, you can but in the overwhelming majority of competitions, you can’t.
All the major competitions like IBJJF and the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam won’t allow you to wear grappling socks.
Same with the larger local competitions like Grappling Industries and Fujis.
The only two notable grappling tournaments that allow you to wear grappling socks are NAGA and ADCC. In Naga, you can wear socks in Naga, but only in their no-gi division. ADCC being a no-gi-only event, they allow grappling socks and wrestling shoes in all their event.
Interestingly, the ADCC has no rule prohibiting the wearing of a GI in their competition.
But of course, you would have a massive disadvantage when it came to the leglock.
So you’ll likely never see it.
I’m a Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and I write about the latest in all things martial arts.