Any time you practice a new physical activity, it’s best to make sure that you have the best equipment available to you. This is so that you can get the most out of your workout but also so you can stay safe and healthy. If you are practicing tai chi, the equipment to focus on is your shoes.
You may be tempted to wear your normal athletic shoes while you are practicing, however they are not ideal for the careful, controlled movements that tai chi requires. They will provide too much traction which can cause you to injure your knees as you practice. The athletic shoes you have in your closet probably also have a slightly elevated heel which can throw off your posture as you learn in class. Slippers designed for tai chi will be the safest, most comfortable option for you.
Indoors or Outdoors
What sort of slippers that are best for you will depend on whether you attend classes inside, outside, or both. Slippers designed to be worn inside will be made of cloth and will be very soft and lightweight. Shoes designed to be worn outside will have a rubber sole and may resemble a traditional athletic shoe. You can also find hybrid shoes that have a very thin rubber sole if you prefer.
Choosing the Right Tai Chi Slippers
Tai Chi slippers are often inexpensive and are extremely convenient; they’re very easy to pack and carry with you. You will also feel a greater connection to the ground while you practice. That said, these sort of shoes get dirty and worn down easily if you don’t take care of them. They are not idea for practicing outside as they cannot protect your feet from rocky ground.
If your studio has a glossy floor, you may find that your feet slide if you’re a beginner. You will adjust to this in time as you grow more comfortable. A great option for cloth tai chi slippers can be found on Amazon. Do keep in mind when you are ordering that the exact size isn’t a guarantee so please check out the reviews and recommendations from others.
Tai Chi shoes designed to be worn outside will look more like a traditional athletic shoe that you can wear for other sorts, however it will be softer and have a slimmer profile. These shoes are more sturdy and will hold up longer and are also often available in bigger sizes than other options are.
Something In Between
The hybrid option is essentially a soft upper with a slim rubber sole. This option is useful both indoor and outdoor. They are more durable than the exclusively indoor slippers but are generally more comfortable than low profile athletic shoes. Your foot will be lighter and you’ll be less likely to end up sweaty than if you wear an athletic shoe. Double check with your instructor before you wear shoes in their studio that you have worn outside. They may prefer that you wear tai chi slippers or be barefoot.
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