Saturday, 17 March 2012


When I start with new students, I go through the usual guidelines about loose fitting clothes that allow the body to move freely. Then I say the following:

"Once you take up Tai Chi, you begin an endless search for the perfect pair of shoes."

Usually, everyone laughs. But there is genuine truth in this. In my many years of practice, I have tried all manner of Tai Chi and martial arts shoes. They all have their advantages and their drawbacks.

A pair of Tai Chi shoes should be well-fitting to keep the foot secure, but not constricting in any way. They should allow you to grip the floor well, but also allow you to slide or twist your heel if required. Your shoe should allow you to move your ankle freely, yet support and protect from knocks and blows. The sole should be thin enough to allow your feet to feel the floor, yet it should also be thick enough to support the arch and protect you from some of the more powerful stamping moves.

Once you find a shoe that really works for you, the chances are you will wear through them in a few weeks, because you feel so confident using them. When you do wear through them, you go back to the sports shop, only to find out they are discontinued!

After a long period wearing a pair that were ok, I recently bought a new a pair that are fantastic. They are light, comfortable, grippy, supportive and padded in the right places. They were also very cheap because - guess what? - They are a DISCONTINUED LINE !!!!

Oh well, back to the drawing board. I'll enjoy these while I can. The search will continue when I wear them out.

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