grappling/BJJ shoes

i have the UGS grappling shoes.

I have been using them for a couple of weeks and no injuries.

tried rolling without them - sprained a toe and split the skin on my big toe again (bleeding) within 2 sessions so that's a pain in the arse and not nice for my training partners...

i would recommend them - highly

make your own conclusions: injuries and/or unwanted blood on your gi and training partners or someone saying that's ghey....

First of all, I'm not opening a picture of Traven rolling with "just socks on"! ;)

I dig the new red gi's they are selling on the Brazilian sites, but I'm not gonna be the first one to wear one...

I keep a pair of wrestling shoes around for whenever my feet or toes get too banged up. I don't prefer them, but I know some good people who still do. Like, Erik Paulson for example. Probably, he's not afraid of anyone ankle locking him before he rips theirs off and beats them with it, so that's not a factor like it is for most of us. Also, I think he is pretty careful about hygiene when he's training and doing seminars. He almost always wears shoes, a long sleeve t-shirt, and pants. He says some gyms he's done seminars at are pretty nasty.

It's funny. Some of the brown and black belts at Carlson Gracie's school in Chicago wear blue gis from time to time including Carlson himself. It never occurred to me that they are really white belts.

Anyone that really cares what color someones gi is or if they prefer wearing wrestling shoes (who knows, maybe some of these whackos actually wrestled in highschool and are comforable in them?) is either still in middle school or a flaming metrosexual.


i wasn't allowed to wear my blue judo gi at rickson's school. in fact, kim gracie gave me a gi because the only white gi was from another gracie school that rickson wasn't a big fan of.

Sonnon's UGS or sambo-boots are just good sense:

  1. protect toes from injuries = more mat-time!
  2. protect feet from matburn
  3. protect feet from fungal infections
  4. compells development of technical footlock defences
  5. is more 'street realistic' for self-defence

toe & foot injury are very common, yet largely avoidable. how can boots be at all bad if they keep you healthy & training for longer? they increase the amount of time you are fit for the mate, therefore they are helping you get better at grappling.

Gatorman, your objections answered:

'slipping' -- a mixed issue. First: wrestling boots have high-friction soles, so you won't slip. but that can be bad for your knees & ankles, if you do highly mobile throws. While sambofki/UGS aren't 'slippery', they are faster and let your feet spin a bit more, which is a good thing for many Judo/Sambo techniques. Second: if in sambofki you have slightly less friction while trying to pin, then it just means you will be forced to improve faster at your transition-work. this is a good thing!

'target for submissions and take downs' -- i really don't think this is that big a deal; feet really aren't that hard to find when you are trying a takedown, they are right there at the end of his leg. And again, any 'handicap' it gives you, only makes your skill all the better

'and some tourney's won't let you wear the mat all' -- so don't wear them at tourney's. its no big deal -- the majority of your time is spent at practice, not the occasional tourney. if you feel it really throws you off, just avoid them for the week or two prior

more time you spent barefoot the stronger the feet get
-- that's baloney. you've had multiple testimonies from people getting injured toes without them, and none with them. and i see it all the time in my Judo club.

gi color is not a sign of rank. it's borrowed from modern judo

I have some Adidas wrestling shoes that I stopped wearing for several reasons:

  1. I'm a white belt and still not real smooth, so I kept grazing people's heads with them while going for armbars, etc. I try to roll polite, so that was a minus for me.

  2. They felt like magnets for heel hooks. (They have kinda built-up heels, made it harder for me to slip out of leglocks in general).

  3. My bare feet started getting used to the abuse.

BTW, the only gi I currently own is an unbleached Gracie Academy gi that I stole off of Bubba the Grappling Dummy. :) We don't really give a shit about gi colors, styles, etc., there's even the top part of a red sambo kurtka with the Dragonball Z looking shoulders that we hand out to newbies who need a kimono.

Sdriver - i have always heard taht wrestling shoes were the inferior solution, for the reasons you mention

in contrast, sambofki/UGS are very soft, safe on partners, and low-profile -- just a thin sheet of suede/leather.

maybe for groundfighting toe injuries aren't common, but for standup grappling its very common, even among very longterm practioners -ie. their toes haven't 'gotten used to the abuse'; accidents still happen. having toes protected somewhat in shoes is worth it, imo, its cheap insurance to keep me on the mat

My big toes still get jacked up something fierce, I just can't get used to the shoes and I'd rather deal with the toe thing than the shoe thing.