Disclaimer:Shoe-crazed editors choose every shoe we review. We are reader supported and may earn money if you buy from links in our article. We never accept free or promotional products.

Buying Used Wrestling Gear – What You Must Watch Out For in 2024

​So you want to become a wrestler. And why shouldn’t you? Wrestling is one of the most exciting sports that you’ll ever get involved in. It's a great workout and promotes positive competition. There are few things more fun that spending an hour wrestling and submitting opponents on a mat. If you're just starting out, you might want to consider buying used wrestling gear. This will save some money while you decide if it's the right sport for you.

Close up image of two wrestlers grappling in competitive match using wrestling gear and ear protection

Whether you’re a collegiate athlete or you decided to pick the sport up at your local wrestling or MMA gym, you’ll need to pick up some gear to start with. Having proper gear essential for your personal safety. Also, most gyms require you to have it for liability reasons, and won’t allow you to participate without it. 

Today, we’re going to be taking a look at some of the gear that you’ll need. Pick up this stuff if you want to get the most out of your wrestling career. Wrestling is an expressive sport, depending on your personal style or preferences. You’ll have plenty of options available when it comes to picking out gear. 

Let’s start by answering one of the most common questions asked by first-time wrestlers, though.

​Should I Buy Used Wrestling Gear?

Picking up a new sport can be expensive. Sometimes, we’re so eager to start that it’s easy to get carried away and forget about additional expenses. After paying for your gym membership, many people have little left over to buy a bunch of fancy wrestling gear. Even buying used wrestling gear gets expensive. This is especially true if you end up with products that are unusable because of fit, wear, or smell.

Once people realize they need gear, they check out sites like Craigslist or eBay. Sometimes you can score a good deal on some secondhand wrestling gear. Some get lucky and end up with some gear that’s barely been used. However, most people taking the cheap way out end up with less than satisfactory products and no refund. Then they have to spend twice the money buying new gear.

Reason Not to Buy ​Second Hand Wrestling Gear

If you’re really serious about getting into a sport and you can see yourself doing it for years to come, there’s no reason why shouldn’t invest in some quality gear. You be the first to use it and it will last for years to come. Taking proper care of new gear can allow it to last for a long time. The people selling used wrestling gear are often trying to get rid of equipment they failed to take care of.

Here’s a few of the disadvantages of buying secondhand wrestling gear.


​Have you ever been in a smelly locker room? When sweat and body fluids sit on fabric for an extended period of time, bacteria invite themselves to the party and start feeding on your sweat. Even though there's tons of advice on how to keep your gear clean, it's still going to get smelly over time. The gas bacteria excrete not only smells foul, but also causes topical skin irritation and even staph infections. 

Poor Fit

​Secondhand shoes or singlets advertised as ‘Medium,’ rarely fit like ‘Medium.’ After getting stretched out on the mat, and thrown through countless washer/dryer cycles, the chances are that it will fit a lot more like a ‘Large.’ 

Usually Overpriced

​While many people choose to buy secondhand gear to save money, they usually encounter the opposite. Most individuals selling their secondhand gear are trying to get the most that they can out of it. While prices still end up being cheaper than the brand-new equivalent, they are usually too high when considering the fact that the gear is used and not in mint condition.

What Type of Gear Do I Need to Start out With?

​Now that we’ve got that question out of the way, hopefully you realize the value of buckling down and spending a bit of money on some quality gear that hasn’t already seen gallons of sweat. To help you prepare for your shopping, here’s an all-inclusive list of the wrestling gear that you’ll need to start with.

Wrestling Shoes

Often the most overlooked piece of gear, wrestling shoes are actually the most vital piece of gear that you’ll end up purchasing. When you’re face-to-face with an opponent during a match, you’re going to need every bit of leverage to take them down. One slip of the ankle is all that you need to ensure your downfall. 

A good pair of wrestling shoes will serve multiple purposes at once. The first is to provide proper traction. Wrestling mats are already slick to begin with, but once you mix in some body oils and sweat, they’re very hard to maintain footing on unless you have the proper shoes. 

The second purpose of wrestling shoes is to support your ankle. Few things can put quite an end to a good match like a sprained ankle that will take weeks or months to fully recover from. A good pair of wrestling shoes will keep your ankle stiff and straight, keeping them any unnecessary bending and flexing. 

If you’re looking for more information about how to differentiate and choose between the various types of wrestling shoes, then check out this article.


​If you’re wrestling for an official team, then they’ll usually provide a singlet for you. However, if you’re wrestling at a gym, then you’ll need to purchase your own. Most singlets are made from a comfortable, lightweight, and moisture-wicking material that is designed to fit you like a second skin.

Mouth Guard

​​Tooth implants can cost up to $5,000 even with dental insurance. Do yourself a favor and buy a high-quality protective mouth guard and save yourself from losing your precious teeth.


​​While not usually required, investing in some proper ear and head protection can go a long way to preventing concussions, cauliflower ear, dislocated jaws, and unwanted headaches. A full headset will usually come with ear covers, a padded headband for shock absorption, and a chinstrap to keep your jaw stiff.

Final Advice on Buying Used Wrestling Gear

Wrestling is one of the best combat sports to get into. Out of all of the martial arts, its one of the most fun and is also the least likely to put you in the hospital with broken bones. To ensure this, though, you’ll need to pick out some high-quality gear. Start off with a solid pair of wrestling shoes, then pick up some headgear, a mouth guard, and a singlet (if required). 

Most of all, remember to have fun! 

Leave a Comment

Shoe Guide