When it comes to physical activity, it seems that almost every type requires a specific wardrobe. Stretchy yoga pants and tops for yoga class. Swimwear for swimming. Even most martial arts classes have their own uniform requirements. Tai Chi, however, is different. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on fancy new exercise clothing to feel comfortable or respectable participating in Tai Chi. In fact, you can really just attend a Tai Chi class wearing your own loose clothing.
Tai Chi is basically meditation in motion. Its careful, focused movements and breath work is potentially beneficial to everything from anxiety to the cardiovascular system. It’s a highly accessible Chinese martial art; nearly everyone can feel confident participating in Tai Chi. When it comes to what to wear to your first class, you simply want to wear something that doesn’t restrict your movement. Sure, you’ve likely seen videos or pictures of Tai Chi participants in silky suits, and while you may eventually find yourself wanting to purchase such items as you continue your Tai Chi work, you certainly never have to buy a wardrobe specifically for Tai Chi.
What About Tai Chi Footwear?
While there are definitely people who perform Tai Chi barefoot or while wearing trainers, the one main, simple wardrobe piece I’d recommend for your Tai Chi classes is a pair of thin, cotton or cloth Tai Chi slippers. Why do I suggest this? Trainers can negatively impact the Tai Chi movements, inhibiting the natural flow of your body. Rubber sole and athletic slippers, meanwhile, can also either feel heavy or prevent you from making the proper transitions during Tai Chi. Athletic slippers tend to be overly expensive, too.
What About Going Barefoot?
Many people absolutely have solid opinions about exercising barefoot (a concept called earthing). They view shoes as a kind of prison for the foot, preventing it from “communicating,” so to speak, with the ground below. This is understandable, but it needn’t (and shouldn’t) feel imprisoning to wear Tai Chi slippers. Instead, your slippers should help support your movements and your connection to the earth by being extremely lightweight, durable, and malleable. Proper Tai Chi slippers will allow you to practise on all matter of surfaces, especially the outdoor surfaces, comfortably and safely, without giving you this feeling of entrapment.
The Top Tai Chi Slippers
There are several varieties of Tai Chi slippers available on Amazon. Of course, it’s worth remembering that the exact size can’t always be guaranteed. You may have to try out different sizes of slippers to get the proper size that fits you. When buying Tai Chi slippers online, make note of the seller’s exchange policy (if not purchasing directly through Amazon), so that you can ensure the ability to exchange shoes for a better fit, if necessary.
Here are four favourites of Amazon customers:
These are the top martial arts footwear shoes on Amazon, and for good reason. These casual shoes are a wonderful choice for Tai Chi classes, notably indoor classes. The sole is specifically designed to give you free range of movement, but still provide appropriate support during your Tai Chi practise. While they are marketed as men’s shoes, women have also selected these slippers. It seems that these particular shoes tend to be small in size, so you may want to try sizing up.
If you prefer to try a rubber sole, these are a good option, particularly for outside Tai Chi classes. You’ll want to make sure, though, that you aren’t sacrificing your range of motion for the outdoor durability of the shoes.
Ranked in the top 10 on Amazon, these cloth Tai Chi slippers are extremely well reviewed by customers.
These comfortable shoes with a cotton sole are another popular choice for your Tai Chi practise. There is even a version of the Blitz shoe available for children.
Connect with the Earth — and Still Protect Your Feet
Meditative activities such as Tai Chi naturally make many participants want to connect with the world around them, particularly those who practise Tai Chi in outdoor environments. However, wearing light Tai Chi slippers improves the safety and comfort of your exercise and may even help with transitions — all without sacrificing the ground-foot connection.
What are your thoughts on Tai Chi slippers? Do you have a favourite pair? Or, are you still a barefoot enthusiast? Chat with me in the comments below or on Facebook, where I offer more tips on holistic remedies, mindfulness, and stress reduction.
I also offer a free, 15-minute phone conversation regarding my hypnotherapy sessions. Hypnotherapy is therapeutic treatment that has been shown to be effective for many of the same conditions that are also helped by Tai Chi, allowing you to tackle a condition with more than one therapy. Contact me by phone, email, or social media to learn more about how my services can help you to be your best self.