Kolat Wrestling Shoes - A Complete Guide

3 pairs of nike kolat wrestling shoes

Pic via: https://www.instagram.com/drewrestler_from_flickr/

Former wrestling prodigy Cary Kolat was one of few wrestlers to ever receive a shoe deal from Nike.  Kolat was a 2000 U.S. Olympian, as well as a world finalist and 2x NCAA champ. In college, he attended Penn State University where he earned All-American honors twice.  He then transferred to Lock Haven and won two NCAA titles during his junior and senior campaigns. It seems that many shoe collectors today know Kolat more for his line of shoes than they know of his accomplishments on the mat.

The Original Kolat Wrestling Shoes - The Kolat 2000sblue nike original kolats

Cary Kolat's wrestling shoes were first released by Nike 2000. Now the "Kolat 2000s" are referred to as "Original Kolats", or "OGs" for short. They came in a blue and silver colorway, as well as black and silver. These Kolats were made of synthetic leather.

If you find a pair of these now in good condition, it's likely that you'll be looking at a price tag of $500 or more.  Believe it or not, about 2 decades ago they were available for $38.95.  Even a pair in poor condition in 2020 is likely to score you at least $150.  These are among the most sought-after wrestling shoes on the market.

tongue of kolat speeds

The Continuation of an Iconic Line of Wrestling Shoes

In the years to follow Kolat 2000s, Nike released a handful of other Kolat wrestling shoes, which included:

  • Kolat Internationals
  • Kolat 2k4s
  • Kolat Speeds

About Kolat Speeds, 2k4s, & Internationals

Kolat Internationals - These were only available in a blue and red colorway and they featured the same soles as 2k4s.  The Kolat Internationals featured a zipper and small strap as a lace guard to eliminate the need for taping your shoelaces.  A pair of Kolat Internationals is pictured below.

Kolat 2k4s - These were only available in a black and white colorway and had the same soles as internationals.  The Kolat 2k4s featured a zipper and a strap as a way of securing the laces.

Nike Kolat 2k4 in black colorway

 

Kolat Speeds - The Kolat Speeds only were available in a Red and Black colorway. They featured the same sole as the Original Kolats and are very similar in design.

What Is The Rarest Kolat Wrestling Shoe?

It's hard to pick a shoe as the "rarest Kolats" because the entire line has a huge demand. Personally, I prefer the Kolat 2000s and Kolat Speeds because they tend to last longer. I've never had much luck with the soles used for 2k4s or Internationals.  The sole used on those versions were used on a handful of Nike shoes in the early 2000s and they're known for dry rotting and blowing out rather easily.  See below for the sole I'm referencing. The sole pictured below is from a Kolat International. Kolat 2k4s had the same sole, but with black lines rather than red.

Wait There's More? YES - College Edition Nike Kolats

Some of the rarest shoes of the Kolat collection were designed specifically for college wrestling programs.  Pictured below, likely the most common of these college releases, are PSU Kolat 2k4s.  This pair is currently for sale.  The college editions of each of these wrestling shoes featured school colors and a logo.  They vary in rareness and are all extremely difficult to find in good condition.

College released Kolats were samples and in good condition they can be worth $500-$1200+ depending on the school, condition, and style.  Some college shoes are on higher demand than others, which will influence the price.  The most expensive Kolat shoe of all is probably the Illinois Kolat 2000s in great condition, but good luck finding those. 

The College Releases for Kolat Wrestling Shoes were:

Colleges That Had Kolat 2000s

  1. University of Illinois

Colleges That Had Kolat Internationals

  1. University of Oregon
  2. University of Illinois
  3. University of North Carolina
  4. Portland State University

Colleges That Had Kolat 2k4s

  1. Penn State University
  2. Ohio State University
  3. University of Illinois
  4. University of Oregon
  5. University of North Carolina
  6. University of Virginia
  7. University of Michigan
  8. Portland State University
  9. Arizona State University
  10. Purdue University

Sample Kolat Wrestling Shoes

There are also a handful of samples that are not college releases that I've seen, such as:

  • Black 2k4s with Kolat 2000s bottoms
  • What appear to be Kolat Speeds with the Kolat logo on the bottom of the shoe
  • What appear to be similar, but not exact, to Kolat 2000s that have the Kolat logo on the bottom of the shoe

These are the only samples I know of, but I can't even find an image for them.  They surfaced on Flickr around 7 or 8 years ago and I'm not sure who has their hands on them now.  If you were to find a pair of the sample Kolats in good condition, there is probably someone out there willing to spend $1500+ on them.

Where Can I Get Kolats Now?

Unless you are familiar with the ins and outs of wrestling shoe trading, you probably will have a tough time finding any pair of Kolat wrestling shoes. Your best bet is to keep your eye on eBay and follow accounts of other shoe traders on Instagram.  I usually have at least one pair of Kolats in my Nike Collection, so you can also keep your eye there.  If you have any questions about Kolat wrestling shoes, feel free to reach out.  If you're looking to learn more about the wrestling legend Cary Kolat, he is currently the head coach at Navy and is often posting new technique videos and speaking on podcasts. These can be viewed on his website, Kolat.com.

Another awesome resource is this video where Cary Kolat talked with Flowrestling about his shoe deal.  This video was filmed a decade ago and his shoes have gone up in value since, but Kolat talks about how he was treated as a Nike Athlete, the time he visited Nike's campus, creating his shoe, and more.