What are your training shoes of choice? I have tried many shoes from the old school Feiyue shoes to Tae Kwon Do Shoes, to Ping Pong Shoes, but I have always gone back to my tried and true Adidas Samba indoor soccer shoes.
While these may not strike folks as being good shoes, let me key you in on some of the benefits. For one, they have a pretty flat bottom, which is ideal for trying to work on balance issues.
For me, the TKD shoes tended to have a very narrow sole while the Feiyue shoes had a decent flat bottom but not too much in terms of support. The major plus and value for the Adidas shoes are the high arch supports. For me, this is the key as I need a shoe with good arch supports. On top of that, the Sambas have that old school look, nothing like a simple black shoe with 3 white stripes to flex your taiji style. Of course, these are not competition shoes, but I don’t really compete in taiji, these are functional shoes.
Last night I decided to replace my older pair of Sambas as they were getting pretty worn out and I wanted to have a new and shiny pair for the upcoming Chen Zhonghua workshop in Milwaukee. I called like 2-3 local retailers and none of them carried the shoe in-store and kept referring me to their online counterpart. The last time I bought these shoes was probably like 5 years ago and they were pretty popular then, I guess times have changed.
Luckily for me, I called a small local retailer and they happened to have the shoes in stock and on sale! Online these shoes were going for between $55 – $60, but I got them for the awesome price of $39.99 and supported my local store at the same time! When I came home and showed my wife the shoes, she was a bit surprised at how “old school” they were, but I told her that’s the only way I roll, tried and true, baby! She commented on how I should have bought another pair “just in case”. I think I just may, these are awesome shoes and I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a good pair of functional martial arts training shoes.
What say you? What are your training shoes of choice?