Shoes or no shoes?

Discussion in 'Tae Kwon Do' started by brookieeto, Apr 17, 2014.

  1. brookieeto

    brookieeto New Member

    Hiya guys, I was wondering to buy taekwondo shoes or not
    My master allows them but we take them off for sparring.
    I practice WTF Taekwondo in a church hall which has wooden flooring, but after each session (about 2hrs) my feet are horrible, I even got a cut last week.
    I also find it difficult to pivot sometimes due to friction on my feet and the floor. Would shoes make it easier?
    Lastly, could I wear the shoes to walk to taekwondo instead of bringing two pairs of trainers?

    Thanks everyone!
  2. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Valued Member

    Do not train in the same shoes you walk outside in. It is not samitary for others in bare feet. Wear regular shoes or athletic shoes to walk to the school and change inside the gym
  3. raaeoh

    raaeoh never tell me the odds

    Train without them if you can. They create a bit of a shield from using proper technique.
  4. pseudo

    pseudo Padawan

    I hear tabis are all the rage now a day.
  5. TKDDragon

    TKDDragon Valued Member

    Never been a fan myself as proper contact points for kicking is difficult. We have some who wear them but they've had foot injuries. What condition is the floor I've never seen anyone get a cut from it myself?
  6. kmorrisonnyc

    kmorrisonnyc Valued Member

    I prefer to train in bare feet - toughens the feet. However, occasionally I will wear shoes and have found the Adidas Ultra III style to be very comfortable (albeit on the expensive side)
  7. Nightingale

    Nightingale New Member

    Yes I agree with this, using your own feet will condition them. Your feet will not be used to it at first since humans wear clothing so they have lost their natural hardiness in that sense, however you'll really need to get used to it especially if you're going to enter tournaments.

    As for your cut, have a check if it's the floor that did this (sharp bits around), if so then perhaps wear shoes yes, but other than that it's fine, you just need to aim your strikes and your feet will become stronger either way.

    About pivoting, well, if the floor is wooden, it seems odd to me why this would happen, my only suggestion is that you keep at it and see if your feet get used to it. I know wha you mean about your feet being horrible afterwards though, when I began to train without wearing shoes, I also got some minor minor cuts, as well as a bit of bruising I think, but also the worst, a flipping blister.

    If you ever get a blister, I'd seriously suggest putting a cover over that, otherwise the dirt form the floor will get into it, but all this will make your feet stronger.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2014
  8. kmorrisonnyc

    kmorrisonnyc Valued Member

    Agree re blister. I've always put 'new skin' liquid on after I get one too - it hurts A LOT when you put it on but really does the trick.
  9. armanox

    armanox Kick this Ginger...

    Sounds to me like you're using a floor that doesn't stay too clean. One of my karate class (I know, I'm commenting out of my area) is in the basement of a church, in a room used by children most of the week. And often the floor is filthy as a result. Since my last injury (and I was planning to buy them anyway after we've found all kinds of small, sharp shards in our feet) I purchased a pair of kung fu shoes that I wear during class there. Barefoot is preferred for condidtioning, etc; but I've found that in less then ideal environments foot safety takes priority. I've also found that since my feet aren't collecting as much dirt on them I have an easier time pivoting (although it's different in the shoes vs barefoot - you still should practice both).

    TL;DR: If it's not a clean environment - wear shoes.
  10. Nightingale

    Nightingale New Member

    Damn, the floor I train on looks clean but taking a look at the bottom of your feet after training on it bare-foot you see A Lot of dirt collected, and I don't think that's good for the blister...
  11. Wildlings

    Wildlings Baguette Jouster

    I wouldn't worry about cuts too much, just put plasters or a bandage on them as a protection from dust&dirt. Within a couple of week you'll grow callouses and they shouldn't bother you anymore. However, watch out for injuries: I got terrible shin splints training on hard floors. This is especially true if you're doing a lot of jumping and skipping.
    Personally, I now wear trainers for everything that doesn't involve technique and then take them off.
    If you find difficulties pivoting, wear socks. Keep in mind that they could get way too slippery though. I've also seen people training with vibram-like shoes, so you could give those a try too.
  12. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    I don't agree with going barefoot to condition the feet. This is more absurd than conditioning the hands.

    Unless you are going into ring/competition, toughening these areas is almost senseless

    It's like: Wait sir, while I remove my shoes when I get into this street brawl"
  13. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    I train barefoot for TKD and for whatever reason it feels better to me. I only wear TKD shoes if I'm doing bagwork in the garage where the floor is rough concrete.

    In self defence training I wear trainers. Mostly because that's what I'm likely to be wearing if I ever get into a physical confrontation.

  14. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    I train barefoot for TKD and for whatever reason it feels better to me. I only wear TKD shoes if I'm doing bagwork in the garage where the floor is rough concrete.

    In self defence training I wear trainers. Mostly because that's what I'm likely to be wearing if I ever get into a physical confrontation.

  15. Nightingale

    Nightingale New Member

    Yes in this sense training with your shoes on will give you better movement in actual defense, the only trouble with them is that you cannot bend your ankle freely as you can bare-foot, which is needed for certain moves.

    If you're going to wear shoes, make sure they allow free ankle-movement.
  16. kmorrisonnyc

    kmorrisonnyc Valued Member

    Good morning Sir,

    A couple of points:

    1. I live in the California Desert where we often get temps over 100F. With that in mind I often wear 'flip flops' so my circumstance here would be: "Wait sir, while I put on my trainers when I get into this street brawl" - I'd rather be in bare feet than flip flops if necessary. Additionally when traveling for business I'm often wearing 'dress shoes' which most people are not training in regularly.

    2. If attacked at home, for example during the night, you may not be wearing shoes.

    3. Many of us in our Taekwondo curriculum have Board Breaking as part of the testing - conditioned feet (at least psychologically for me) make this easier.

    4. My understanding is that in Korea it is a mark of respect to remove your shoes when entering a home, training space etc. This is because a lot of the time people are sitting or sleeping on the floor so a clean floor becomes a necessity and is an important part of the culture.

  17. Matt F

    Matt F Valued Member

    The fact tkd was used by the Korean military who wore strong shoes ,to me, means that most kicks should be able to be done with shoes on. If you wear steel toe cap shoes or strong shoes and shape the foot for a ball of the foot turning kick, for example, you end up kicking with the hard point, like a hammer at the end of your foot. Even doing a sports type kick you still hit with a hard part.
    Also this fits into the idea of destruction or destroying the target or intending to as no matter where you kick with strong shoes on, with intent, it will or should hurt. Even it was "blocked" it should hurt or damage the part that tried to block.

    I want to stay awAy from going over the top and getting into tkd being a deadly military arts or fancy kicking , but basically , if you boot someone hard with strong shoes on, it's going to hurt no matter where you hit them.
  18. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    Barefoot is over-rated. If you can do well with shoes, this really applies

    We train using all types of footwear, attire, surfaces, weather conditions. I can agree that barefoot should fit within the criteria.

    Than the person attacking me should not be concerned about my barefeet. They will have larger other concerns

    Not really. I studied TKD and most of us in the curriculum, did not condition our feet. Conditioning for breaking is over-rated. Breaking is more psychological and show with a dash of physics

    Not all Koreans (or Asians) are sitting or sleeping on the floor. Not all Koreans (or Asians) have to remove their footwear before entering. There is a lot of traditions being bent in way of modern.

    And touching upon the subject, per your quote:
    "My understanding is that in Korea it is a mark of respect to remove your shoes when entering a home, training space etc." This is correct, it was NOT to toughen the feet or make them more lethal. Early dojos were more concerned with the respect/cleanliness, not making their feet tough

    Agreed, per some of my other remarks
  19. aaron_mag

    aaron_mag New Member Supporter

    If the floor is unsanitary I'd suggest a quick cleaning. We disinfect the floor once a week at the school. With the whole class pitching in it takes around 5 minutes.
  20. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    Wasn't the word/term for this soji?

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