Fencing Shoe Info and Reviews
Fencing requires shoes that are low to the ground, provide good traction, are durable, and can provide cushioning for actions that put up to 7x body weight of force into the fencers leading heel.
Figuring out just what shoes to get is a subject of frequent discussion and debate at the fencing.net forums. Here we go over some of the top recommended models and brands.
New for 2008 - the Nike Fencing Shoe
The Nike Ballestra, or Nike Zoom Air Fencer, is one of over 20 new Olympic shoes being created as part of their shoe contract with the Chinese Olympic team. Part of their contract required Nike to create shoes for a number of "new" sports - fencing included.
The Nike shoe is named the "Ballestra" and has undergone 18 months of development.
Adidas D'Artagnan IV
2010 Adidas Fencing Shoe
In 2010 Adidas released the D'Artagnan IV Fencing Shoe. On display at the 2010 US Fencing nationals, the shoe was a qualified hit. Available for $130 it fits into the mid-point price range. It's priced above the bargain/entry-level fencing shoes but below a premium shoe such as the Nike Ballestra or the 2008 AdiStar.
Adidas used a two-tone model to highlight the fore-foot, making the shoe look a bit like Frankenstein: multiple shoes mashed together.
Vote Your Favorite Shoes - These are some fencing shoes available via Amazon.com
Vote for your favorite fencing shoe - these are all available via Amazon Marketplace.
Super shock absorbing material used to construct sole. Full leather upper Padded toe protection Velcro lace capture Special 'Strip Gripping' sole.
Leon Paul / HiTec Blades
First fencing shoe to come out of a Leon Paul / HiTec Joint Venture
The Blades came to market as an extremely durable, though clunky, fencing shoe. The primary driver for this shoe was durability and the Blades and the next model (Scimitar) certainly delivered.
At the Fencing Equipment Reviews site, one reviewer states:
As kshan5 mentioned, the cheese grater strips are hell on the soles, but the wear pattern that develops will show you where you're landing wrong or dragging (so... you can work on it). I occasionally fence on wood or linoleum tile floors, and they are gummy enough to grip well. They do run wide, which is good for those of us who never *quite* recovered from pregnancy feet. They have support in all the right places, though I use orthotics in both shoes to deal with some lingering soft tissue damage (caused by the cross-trainers, not the Blades). The orthotics fit fine in there, unlike in other shoes I have.
The Blades are about $110 and run a little wide, so if you are used to narrow shoes then you may want to get them a half size smaller.
Adidas adiStar 2008
Adidas release another shoe for the Olympic cycle
The 2008 adiStar is one of the new shoes that Adidas has created for the 2008 Olympic Games. This shoe is priced at $200, so the Nike will most likely come in under the price.
We'll have to wait and get some reviews from the hard core Adidas fans. Those will be posted at our Adidas Fencing Shoe lens.
Do you need a heel cup?
Most fencers end up getting a hard heel cup to put in their lead shoe. If you have had problems with a bruised heel in the past, make sure to get a hard plastic heel cup. (The soft gel ones don't work as well for fencing.)
Adidas En Guard Fencing Shoes
Budget shoes from Adidas
Adidas's economy model fencing shoe, this shoe has a soft sole and combo leather/mesh upper. Normally priced at $90 - $100, it's a budget shoe with limited lifespan on metal fencing strips.
On sale at FdN Fencing Gear and other suppliers.
Asics Fencing LA or the Asics Tiger Fencing Shoe
A "fencing" shoe just like Chucks are basketball shoes
There seems to be a push to sell the Asics "Tiger" into the fencing market as an acceptable entry-level shoe. This is a shoe that is designed more for fashion than for performance.
Shoes.com markets this as:
"designed for the Japanese Fencing Team at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics. Smooth leather with suede overlays in a streamlined fencing style"
but, as fencing.net forum member academe pointed out:
"Please. These are just fashion shoes. Stick a fork in this topic, I'm tired of seeing people bring them up...these shoes are not for serious fencers...nor should they be for recreational fencers. They are the equivalent of playing basketball in Chuck Taylor All Stars. Can you use them? Yes. Are you risking injury if you use them for any kind of semi-serious effort? Yes."
I love my Chuck's - still have a pair of red ones. Will I ever play basketball in them? Not a chance.
Just look at it this way - if you walked into a store for any other product and the main pitch was "this was designed in 1984", would you be clamoring to buy it?
Just want to go cheap? - Look for fencing shoes on Amazon
These may not be the best available, but they can get you through your first class or tournament: