What Shoes should I buy for fencing?

Above all, when it comes to footwear and fencing - relax. Most hema schools or clubs are not full of elite fencers who need footwear to give them the tiniest of advantages. Wearing shoes that are comfortable and give you good support is 99% of the time all that you need.

It’s also going to depend on what surface you primarily fence on. If it’s a softer surface, wrestling shoes will be fine. If it’s a harder surface, then court shoes, such as squash shoes, volleyball shoes, or indoor soccer shoes will be great. Even the Nike Metcon, designed for crossfit, is gaining in popularity in the sport fencing world for being a reasonably priced shoe that has almost all the same features as a dedicated fencing shoe.

If you’re still worrying too much about footwear, look for these features:

  1. Lightweight

  2. Internal cage to support lateral movement

  3. Decent cushion that doesn’t raise the heal too much (avoid running shoes)

  4. You like them.

That’s it! Some people even fence in combat boots - it’s not about the footwear.

What about historical shoes? I heard that they make you a superhuman.

Unless you are doing reenactment or a presentation, just don’t. Ignore anyone who tells you that you will fence better in them. They’re not designed for modern floors, can be expensive, and your mileage will vary on quality. If you want to ‘feel the earth,’ then get some barefoot shoes.