Competitions, especially competitive shooting, can bring a lot of stress and anxiety. The initial investment of getting into competitions like buying the right AR15 modern sporting rifle and all other associated costs can already cloud your head, causing you to perform poorly.
To ensure you perform your best, you want to have your body in the best shape possible, and you want to be as comfortable as you can be so that all your focus can be put into shooting your target.
One of the most important pieces of comfort but also the most overlooked are your shoes.
But what shoes are the best to have when shooting competitively?
There are a few options that are sure to enhance your comfort and your performance.
Let us look at what options you have.
The Salomon Speedcross Range is a popular shoe among competitive shooters, as it has a good grip and great arch support, and this is not to mention the sleek look. These shoes come in at about $130, but you can purchase an older model for a cheaper price if necessary.
The most well-known piece of the Salomon Speedcross Range is the arrow-shaped lugs on the bottom that provide such good traction.
The only downside to this shoe is that it tends to trap heat in, making your feet warmer and as a result, sweatier, than normal. If this is something that will bother you, you may want to seek other options.
If you tend to have cold feet or plan to compete more in the winter months, then this is the choice for you.
The Scarpa Spin Ultra is known for its good grip. The grips themselves are smaller than that of the previous option, but this makes them better quality for hard surfaces. If you plan to compete indoors or on a hard, solid surface.
A popular quality of these shoes is that they are lined with a GORE-TEX lining, making them breathable while also being waterproof and lightweight!
The Scarpa Spin Ultra is fashionable, with many color options. Coming in at about $100, they will not break the bank.
If you are looking for a quality shoe that is lightweight and breathable as well as more on the cheaper side, these are for you.
Are you on a tight budget until you win that competition money?
A pair of the Kalenji XT7 shoes can be yours for about $50. But do not worry; what they lack in price, they do not lack in quality and performance. The grip is made of 5mm lugs, making them perform perfectly on soft, wet surfaces.
The Kalenji XT7 is advertised as being able to withstand 600 miles of use before needing replacement. Some have complained about the sole of the shoe is firmer than its more expensive competitors.
However, this should not dissuade you from purchasing unless you have significant preexisting issues with your feet.
If you use special insoles, you could test them out in-store before purchase to see if they will work for you. If you do not have preexisting problems with your feet, then the firmer sole of the XT7 should not affect you much if at all during competition.
The tread pattern of the Boombah Hellcat is remarkably like that of the Salomon Speedcross, but the Boombah is made at half the price. If style is an important part of the shoes for you, then the Hellcat will also fit your fancy, as they have many unique patterns to choose from, including the American flag.
These shoes are known to be durable and comfortable, even if they do not have a waterproof outing.
For only $65, you can have the beauty of the Hellcat with the treads of the Speedcross for over half the price. Keep in mind the lack of waterproofness, though, if you plan to compete outdoors.
Having an extra pair of shoes on you to change into in case it rains will be necessary if you choose the Boombah Hellcat as your competition shoes.
While the Bushido is not waterproof, it has breathable, light mesh that can drain and dry quickly so that you can still use them in wet conditions. The sizing of these shoes is small, so you may want to size up if you order them from an online store.
They have a hard yet supportive sole, with lower heels causing greater lateral stability. The shoe has an open horseshoe pattern with varying flexibility zones throughout the shoe.
This allows the Bushido to give you a better feel of the ground without sacrificing arch support when you are on the range for a long time. The price range for this goes back up to between $100 and $130, but it is worth the few extra bucks.
Saucony has created a sole that specializes in gripping wet surfaces, while not sacrificing foot comfort and cushioning. They are light and made of mesh, meaning they will easily drain and quickly dry if water happens to get inside the shoes.
The ground feel, as in the LaSportiva Bushido, is easily felt, even with the unique cushioning and padding. They cost about $100 but are well worth it if you plan to be competing on a surface that tends to get wet. The grip of the Peregrine 7 is unmatched.
Footwear is an important piece of competitive gear. Without proper support and comfort, you risk losing the competition due to either poor footing or injury from not having enough arch support. Your speed, balance, and posture all begin at your feet.
If the health and comfort of your feet affect everything else, why would you not invest in them?
Use this guide to help you find footwear that best matches your needs and your price range, then goes out and treat yourself! Your future back, future feet, and your future competitive self will thank you.
Think of all the money you will save by preemptively caring for yourself!