When thinking about starting martial arts training and deciding to either wear martial art shoes or go barefoot, it’s a good idea to find out for sure what the regulations are at your chosen school. Some schools allow their students to wear shoes while others don’t and some allow you to make the choice for yourself.
There are advantages and disadvantages to wearing martial art shoes. It often depends on the way of training at your school. If the students wear protective gear when sparring it’s likely they’ll wear shoes too. If the students tough it out without body protectors, they are unlikely to wear shoes. Below we discuss the advantages of wearing them and help you to select your very own pair.
The purchase of martial art shoes can serve many purposes. Apart from the practicality of foot protection they can add a touch of style to your martial arts uniform (be sure to check your school’s rules regarding the specifics of uniforms). They are also versatile as they are versatile enough to be useful across many different fitness activities. When something serves you with style and substance, it is a never a bad idea to invest!
Reasons To Wear Martial Art Shoes
There are also other compelling reasons for purchasing martial art shoes such as hygiene. It is no secret that having good hygiene practices are vital for a healthy lifestyle. Without the use of shoes, it can be very easy to catch and pass on certain health conditions such as athlete’s foot, toenail fungus and other bacterial foot infections. Beyond hygiene, there are other practical reasons behind the rationale of wearing shoes during training. It can be an aid to any real-life usage of self-defence martial arts. If you are already used to wearing shoes, you will be able to successfully defend yourself without a major imbalance in your mental process in an unexpected situation. Martial art shoes also offer protection to your feet, whether that be against sparring or against any miscellaneous items left on the floor.
Finding Your Size in Martial Art Shoes is Easy
Selecting martial art shoes is easy so don’t be concerned if you have to buy them online. Unlike regular shoes martial art shoes do not come in width fittings. They are soft and flexible so adjust to the width of your foot. Most are sizes in European sizes, 38, 39, 40 etc and include the actual length of the shoe in inches or centimetres. To measure the size you will need, take a piece of A4 paper, place the short edge against a flat wall. Now stand on the piece of paper with your heel on the edge and against the wall. Take all your weight on that foot and mark the edge where your longest toe ends. Once this is done, simply measure in inches the top of your longest toe to the end of your heel with a ruler. This is the size you will require. But just like purchasing normal walking shoes, you should take into consideration spacing for your socks if you wear them and any special shoe inserts that you may need.
A correctly fitted pair of martial art shoes should always feel a little tight to get on at first, particularly if they are leather as it stretches. Once on the foot they should feel comfortable. Make sure that there is at least an index finger width on either side of the shoe and your foot. You want a secure fit not a tight uncomfortable fit so it is important to ensure that they fit the widest part of your foot. Another thing to consider is that often times one of your feet may be slightly bigger in size than the other. You should always select a size that fits the slightly bigger foot. And finally, the shoe must not allow space for your foot to slip out during training. This will cause distractions when training.
Do not hesitate to contact us at Pacific Sports for any help when purchasing martial art shoes.