How to choose your Tai Chi shoes
In China, we interviewed a lot of Taiji teachers and read a lot of Taiji documents. The criteria for choosing Taiji shoes are summarized as follows:
- The sole is large, especially the head part can not be narrow. Even you are a beginner of Taichi, it will help you fix your lower body more stable.
- It is best to have a flexible and high resistant rubber sole. The Tai Chi shoes sole is designed for a lot of Taiji movements, some of them are moving on the forefoot, and some are moving on the heel.
- The Taiji shoes should be soft. There are generally two kinds: canvas shoes and leather shoes. If you choose leather shoes, you should choose soft leather shoes. When we are wearing and practicing, we will not feel that the shoes are in the way of hindering, pressing, or grinding the feet.
Material : Tai Chi shoes are often made of leather with rubber soles. Leather shoes are the most comfortable among all types of Tai Chi shoes. They are thicker than those in tissu, and they protect better the toes.
Kung Fu hand-made soles shoes are not suitable for Tai Chi Training, the fabric is too thin can not support and protect your toes except for Zhan Zhuang training (standing posture). And a pair of canvas Tai Chi shoes are just right to meet the characteristics of soft, breathable and protect the toes.
For a better heat evacuation and comfort, during the summer, Tai Chi shoes breathable model are highly recommanded. They keep the high quality of Tai Chi shoes in leather.
Tai Chi shoes in canvas are also a good choice for everyday practitioners. They are very resistant and washable, easy to maintain.
Weight : Light weight is also an important element for choosing Tai Chi shoes.
The rubber soles allow a good adhesion. They hold well to the ground and allow to perform all movements of Tai Chi. The strength of the soles is an important element for Tai Chi shoes.
Compared to Kung Fu / WuShu shoes, Tai Chi soles are:
- a little harder
- Wider to support the feet
The patterns are more complicated, with wave patterns and small suction cups.
Why not recommend wearing sneakers to practice Tai Chi？
Practicing Tai Chi requires full contact between the feet, the toes and the ground, while the bottom of the sneakers is too thick to feel the ground. The surface of the sneakers usually uses a relatively thick material, and the toes are difficult to feel the ground and the taiji movements such as twisting.