What's a good fencing shoe?

Display of fencing shoes selection

Display of fencing shoes selection

The are plenty of options for a fencing shoe, depending on your budget.  Make sure that the shoe you pick is backed by proper design and research to accomodate fencing movement and stresses. The shoe must provide forward and lateral support in the right places, have good cushioning and traction and is low to the ground for ease of movement.  These elements are non-negotiable in a fencing shoe.  Dont' fall for the reasoning that if your fencer is a beginner, you can do without fencing shoes temporarily., and any sports sneaker will do.  It won't!

Until about age 14, you can expect that your fencer will outgrow the shoe long before it wears out. 

For young fenecrs just starting out, the Adidas EnGarde for $84 probably offers the best value.   Sports shoes that provide good lateral support are also good options, so volleyball or badminton shoes would work.  These shoes price at about the same level as the Adidas EnGarde. While many younger fencers use one of the premium shoes described below, there are just as many who live with budget shoes through Y12 and later.

The most popular brands amongst competitive cadet and junior fencers are Nike and Adidas, both of which back their shoes up with detailed research and good design.  Fencers choose other shoe options for many different reasons including shoe fit, comfort, budget or just to be different.

For a detailed survey of fencing shoes, see The Comprehensive Guide to Fencing Shoes HERE

EBay supports a market in pre-owned fencing shoes, check it out HERE .  

the popular fencing shoes

fencing adidas engarde.jpg
fencing nike ballestra.png
fencing adidas fencing pro.jpg

the adidas engarde

The branded entry level shoe.  Adidas has a long history manufacturing fencing shoes, and you can be confident that their research and design will have taken account of what's needed in a fencing shoe

Priced between $84 and $99 (depending on the vendor),  it is very competitive price-wise relative to other sports shoes that provide good lateral and forward support.

The shoe is available in 2 color combinations, including black and white,na d blue and white.  It is available through the usual fencing equipment vendors.


The Nike Air Zoom

More commonly known as the Nike Ballestra.

It is designed for fencing with great forward and lateral support.  The shoe was 1st launched for the 2008 Olympic Games. The Volt colored Ballestra was the official shoe of the US Olympic fencing team in 2012.

The shoe is sleek looking and has good aesthetic appeal.  It's also lightweight.

Sizing starts at 4.5, so many younger fencers are also able to use the Nike Ballestra.

These days the shoe comes in a large variety of colors, and is readily available through Absolute Fencing.  The regular price is $175, and $159 on sale.

Absolute seems to run sales pretty regularly, so look out for them.

"My son ran through 4 pairs in 2 years, as he outgrew them long before they wore out.  When his feet finally stopped growing, that first size 10 pair lasted him about 13 months with pretty intensive use  - practice 3 to 4 times a week, and tournaments at least twice monthly.".... 


the adidas fencing pro 16

Great cushioning is the biggest reason why fencers buy this shoe over the Nike Ballestra.  Designed for fencing, the shoe provides all necessary forward and lateral support  The feedback is that the increased height due to the cushioning doesn't interfere with the fencers ability to move on the strip.

The shoe is available in 2 colour combinations, black and white, and orange and white.

Several fencing equipment vendors carry this shoe: Absolute Fencing, Fencing Post and Blue Gauntlet.  Usually priced about $193.



the adidas d'artagnan v

Designed for fencing with all the right supports and cushioning, it is cheaper than the other 2 premium options on the market.  It is, however not as good looking. 

Carried by the usual equipment vendors, it is priced between $129 and $143.  

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Donna Meyer