Shoes in BJJ?

Should You Wear Shoes for BJJ? (Explained)

Do you wear shoes in the BJJ class?

In general, you should not wear shoes or socks in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ). If you have foot injuries, socks or athletic tape is the first option to go with. I have never seen anyone train BJJ with shoes on.

In this post, we will dive a bit deeper into why you should not wear shoes on a BJJ mat.

Do you wear shoes for Brazilian jiu-jitsu?

You should not wear shoes for the Brazilian jiu-jitsu class. BJJ is best done barefoot since you can better to locks your legs and it is a general practice.

Wearing shoes on the BJJ training mat can cause all kinds of germs to transfer from your shoes to the mat.

That is the same mat you roll on, that your face gets pushed against when you get yourself submitted by a higher belt holder.

That is the time that you hope that everyone has taken good care of their foot hygiene, and has not walked on the mat with their dirty shoes.

Hygiene is extremely important when it comes to BJJ.

Later in this post, we will go through the only occasions when you could wear shoes in BJJ class.

Usually, if you got injuries, your first option should be to wear athletic tape, bandages, and/or socks. Those can prevent more damage from happening.

I have never seen anyone wearing their shoes for BJJ, probably for a good reason.

Can you wear shoes for BJJ competitions?

You should not wear shoes in BJJ Competitions, the same way you should not wear them on the mats. However, you could wear Crocs or slippers before the match to make sure your feet stay clean as you walk around.

The competitions however are always done barefoot. That is to ensure the match is fair. Wearing shoes might make some techniques easier or harder to perform.

When should you wear shoes for BJJ?

You should only wear shoes in BJJ to get yourself into the mat with clean feet. Do not enter the BJJ mat with your shoes or slippers on.

If there is a long walk from the locker to the mat, you can wear some kind of footwear to make sure your feet are clean when you enter the mat.

As you might know, things can get close when sparring in BJJ. Your feet could end up close to someone else’s face and vice versa. That is the point that you will hope that your training partner has taken good care of their hygiene.

You don’t want to become “that guy” who does not take care of their hygiene, including their feet.

What kind of shoes to wear for BJJ?

As mentioned, probably the only situation to wear shoes in a BJJ class is to wear them walking from the lockers to the mats. Do not enter the mat with shoes on.

If you have to walk for a longer distance through a hallway, for example, you could wear Crocs or something else that is quick to put on and take off.

Therefore, crocs, slippers, or sandals might be the best shoes for BJJ.

Can you wear shoes in BJJ if you have foot injuries?

In general, you should first rely on athletic tape or socks before putting on your shoes.

However, if those things are not enough but you are in good enough condition to practice, please talk about this with your instructor to get their opinion.

Either way, make sure your feet, socks, or shoes are super clean if you plan on wearing them in the BJJ class. It is polite to ask or even tell your instructor why you are wearing socks and whether that’s okay.

If you wear socks, make sure they are clean right from the washer, and not worn for days beforehand.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, you should not wear shoes to BJJ.

I have never seen anyone wear shoes while they practice BJJ and for a good reason.

You can wear shoes as you walk from the lockers to the mat itself, but do not enter the mat wearing shoes to make sure the mat stays as clean as possible.

I hope this was helpful, have a wonderful day!

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