Tai Chi is an internal or soft martial arts from China. Most people practice nowadays for health and wellbeing. The focus in the practice is on balance, posture and movement. Well actually let’s be more specific natural balance, natural posture and natural movement. Therefore, what your feet are doing is very important.
Trainers, sports shoes, walking boots, running shoes, etc. all put your foot in a position specific for that sport or activity. They are fit for purpose, maybe providing support, or cushioning, but not what we want for Tai Chi. A lot of these shoes help you reduce injuries because most of us don’t have a natural foot position.
Low impact Tai Chi however, requires you to feel the floor so you can learn how to achieve this Natural foot position, thus helping to put your body back where it should be in the most natural position possible. The feet give you great feedback to how you are progressing. Without the feel of the floor using your feet you are restricted in understanding where your problems lie and how to improve your posture.
So then what are the best shoes for tai chi practice?
You will need a shoe that has a thin sole and is flexible, you need a lightweight shoe in general so there is no extra necessary weight on your joints. You need a canvas breathable top so your feet can breath, keeping your comfortable and relaxed.
The sole of the shoe is really the only thing that varies for Tai Chi shoes.
If you have been doing Tai Chi for years and you need to finally replace your Tai Chi Shoes, chances are these are the ones. These Tai Chi Shoes Plastic Sole are a classic Tai Chi slipper worn for decades in the UK by Tai Chi and Qi Gong practitioners alike. A very comfy shoe made with a very flat sole, which allows you to feel the floor and know how your body is moving under your feet. In fact, they are so comfy, people have started calling them slippers, and buy them to wear around the house.
Made with a canvas top and hard rubber plastic bottom, you’ll find your feet can breath easily. Worn indoors, the soles will long outlive the tops. They can either be the standard black sole but sometimes they can come with a dark red sole, either way they are exactly the same shoe.
The soles are quite hard so can offer little grip on polished surfaces and laminate floors. Perfect for carpet, rough wood, outside surfaces. If you're new to Tai Chi and don’t know which floor you'll be practicing on, it might be worth trying the Tai Chi Shoes Rubber Sole instead as it offer more grip. However, if you are someone you will want to practice outside, in the garden or a park, these are the perfect shoe to wear as they will be able to withstand the rough surfaces.
“They really are slippery on laminate floor. Old style wooden floors aren’t too bad but new wood and laminate will offer almost no grip. Tai Chi will be very hard to practice, so avoid those types of flooring with these shoes. Outdoors and carpet are perfect”
Doug Swift - Enso Martial Arts Shop
Before you read on, please note that this advice is what we have gathered over the years from selling these shoes to hundreds of people. Shoe fitting is an imprecise art. We can advise best we can but of course will not always be 100% accurate for everyone. Saying that we’re pretty confident we can find you the right shoe 99% of the time.
Tai Chi Shoes Plastic sole come in European sizes. They are a pretty standard fit as in normally expect from a size of that size. Therefore EU42 is usually equivalent UK8. That will be your best bet. They do stretch quite a bit, so some do go down a size but they will be tight initially if you do this. Check out our size chart for your (best guess) UK size.
- EU 35 = UK 2
- EU 36 = UK 3
- EU 37 = UK 4
- EU 38 = UK 5
- EU 39 = UK 5.5
- EU 40 = UK 6
- EU 41 = UK 7
- EU 42 = UK 8
- EU 43 = UK 9
- EU 44 = UK 10
- EU 45 = UK 11
- EU 46 = UK 12
Please note these are guesstimate size conversations as European sizes don't covert to UK sizes perfectly. We have been selling these Tai Chi Shoes Plastic sole for 15 years so if you're not sure what your EU shoe size is, please contact us at our shop to discuss your best choice
Call (0117) 9425832 or email [email protected]
We have a few different options for posting your items at Enso Martial Arts Shop. Prices vary depending on the overall order, weight, size etc. The checkout page will automatically workout the possible options for you.
We can send your item(s) in the following ways:
Royal Mail 2nd Class signed - Pretty slow service but will get there eventually. We will try and post it the same day the order comes to us, but not always possible for us. More than likely we will post the next day or day after that. Only possible for small lightweight items, as heavy items are more expensive than UPS.
UPS Standard - Order before 12pm and we can pack and post the same day to be with you the next day. If you order after 12pm we can still pack it and have it ready but it is less likely to be collected the same day (still possible though, depends when the UPS man comes) and will arrive the day after that.
UPS Worldwide - For anywhere outside the UK, we can post the same day but delivery times are dependant on the destination. Approximative delivery times are as follows: