Mat Shoes -- Your Recommendations

Discussion in 'Russian Martial Arts' started by Gordon Nore, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. Gordon Nore

    Gordon Nore Senior Master

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    2,118
    Likes Received:
    77
    Trophy Points:
    108
    Location:
    Toronto
    I'm one of the few barefoot/stocking-foot types at my Systema school. That's a habit from training on hard floors and mats in Hapkido and Karate. So I have some questions:

    What are the benefit of mat shoes for me? What will be different?

    Any recommendations for shoes? I'm curious about the shoe that has the pivot ball in the ball of the sole.

    I have access to two good suppliers right her in town, so I won't have to order online and take my chances.

    I welcome input form all practitioners.
     
  2. jarrod

    jarrod Senior Master

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    2,172
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    108
    Location:
    Denver
    i don't know a lot about systema so i'll just tell you the pluses & minuses for grappling.

    you will have better traction & therefore quicker footwork. your feet also won't get banged up as from doing foot sweeps (i have a nasty bunyon growing thanks to sasae, my favorite foot sweep). you will be more vulernable to leglocks with shoes on.

    also, in most cases where you would have to defend yourself you'll probably be wearing shoes.

    i'd go with a decent pair of wrestling shoes, but that's just what i'm used to. a sambo shoe would be a good 2nd choice, & might be kind of cool to have in a systema class.

    jf
     
  3. NYCRonin

    NYCRonin Purple Belt

    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    New York
    Well - it depends on the venue.
    Let me explain.

    Gordon - your training with Manny E. - and although I do not know what mats he might be using for teaching...just ask him!

    I am certain he will recommend a form of training shoe that will NOT tear up his mats.

    Then again - barefoot is pretty damn good as a connection to your body.
    But shoes are shoes.
    ****
    And as such - one should NOT be beholding to any form of shoe/foot/gripping/steel toed limitation.

    Any form of a shoe or clothing is sometimes limiting - or even a crutch.

    I would ask you - as a person who 'taught' Systema for a few years - "What is the shoe/s do you most normally wear in your daily life?"

    What would be the most common thing tied to your feet if you had to expresses self protection?

    Some folk live in sneakers..some in dress shoes.
    As for me? I usually wear dress shoes on my job...sometimes steel toed boots...all by the rules and regulations.

    When I taught on dirt and grass - it was usually sneakers.

    When I taught privately in my home - I had hardwood flors and anything on the foot of a student was OK.

    You study with Manny E. - and I would say to ask him what he would prefer you wear. It is a respectful question. Mats and flooring costs and can get ripped up fast by a few wearing 'bad footwear'.
    ****
    In Systema - our connection to any plane of movement is important - but not all that important.
    The training will give you insights into anything worn on the body.

    In fact - the student should really do some 'work' in their 'not in class time' -wearing anything they most normally wear most of the time - and find a sincere training partner who will do the same.
    OH - since most of us in a city environ - we should train and work on the unforgiving concrete. A roll on a rug or wood floor or mat -is VERY different than poured and solid chunky concrete.

    IT IS JUST ANOTHER SURFACE! Another plane for movement - and also, a method/tool for self protection.
    Trees, cars parked, tables, sofas - all are planes of movement that have strengths and weaknesses:

    The truths in Systema is very plastic - and situational.

    You will learn it all - put in the time and do 'the work' with an open mind.

    IF you have nothing else but bare feet to work with in class - that's a basic and damn good place to work from.
     
  4. Mark Jakabcsin

    Mark Jakabcsin Green Belt

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Carolina
    Gordon,
    Start by asking Emmanuel what he will allow on his mats. As I recall he has some nice Zebra or Swain tatami mats so he probably has some do's and don'ts to keep his mats in good shape.

    When mats are not a concern I recommend training in all sorts of different foot wear. We train on an industrial type puzzle mat that accomadates any type of foot wear. Hence I train in bear feet, hunting boots, running shoes, wing tips (I wear a suit for work so this is important), hiking shoes, flip-flops, slippers and anything else I might wear. The foot wear seems to make a big difference only when I mentally allow it.

    Take care,

    Mark J.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2004
    Messages:
    27,751
    Likes Received:
    1,511
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Yes I would check with your instructor first. However in my experience wrestling shoes work very well and do not tear up the mats.

    Now here is a word of warning some time way back in the day around 1997 or so I used to regularly train bare foot and also with wrestling shoes while doing BJJ. One day while wearing my shoes my foot got caught with the extra traction they afforded and my knee blew out. So the traction thing can be great for training or it can also have a down side.
     
  6. Gordon Nore

    Gordon Nore Senior Master

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    2,118
    Likes Received:
    77
    Trophy Points:
    108
    Location:
    Toronto
    In answer to the mat/shoe question. A majority are wearing some form of martial art shoe or mat shoe. Nobody's wearing their street shoes or runners on the mats. I'm curious about trying shoes largely because I don't want to get my dainty little toes crunched under someone's heel.

    PS: Manny has two sets of mats, side by side: standard blue vinyl velcro and a set of jigsaw mats, which turn my white socks pink.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2009
  7. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2004
    Messages:
    27,751
    Likes Received:
    1,511
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Absolutely as when I train with people who regularly wear shoes I do so as well. [​IMG] I personally think the best mix is to train with shoes and also barefoot. On the street you probably will be wearing shoes if you are attacked. However if a home invasion happens and you are like myself I will probably be barefoot or in socks or slippers. (no shoes in the house)

    Check with your instructor and see what shoe he prefers you to wear! [​IMG]
     
  8. Gordon Nore

    Gordon Nore Senior Master

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    2,118
    Likes Received:
    77
    Trophy Points:
    108
    Location:
    Toronto
    I hear you on that -- at my other club, we operate out of parks and rec. The mats are not a perfect, velcro wearing out, different thickness of mats. John, my HKD teacher, goes in early and has worked out of way of putting the dog's breakfast of mats together, so they won't slip. I wouldn't want to wear shoes on those, as it would be easy to get caught between the mats.
     
  9. Ken Pfrenger

    Ken Pfrenger Green Belt

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    I really like wearing my sambofski but they are extremely thin and will not last long if you wear them anywhere but on the mat. As per Brian's experience.....every knee injury I have sustained have come while wearing wrestling shoes on wrestling mats. These shoes are designed for forward pressure and the grip needed to do this...they do not allow you foot to pivot well on mats so keep that in mind.
     
  10. Brian King

    Brian King Master of Arts

    • Supporting Member
    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Messages:
    1,534
    Likes Received:
    421
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Bellevue, Washington USA
    Gordon Nore wrote
    I agree with Jarrod about the better traction while wearing shoes and with the others that point out the danger to knees because of this. I also agree that the shoe will offer better protection while doing sweeps and both stomping with the foot and getting stomped on the foot. A shoe will protect against rub/rug burns and help protect the toes from getting snagged and sprained/broken. One of the drawbacks will be that your feet may lose some of their sensitivity and your toes will be limited to the work that they are capable of doing.

    Some shoes will have shoelaces, these can come loose and drag, and can become vulnerable to trips and snags, on the other hand the laces can be used to help secure a position or to add pain to hold downs.



    Systema is tough on shoes Gordon so I would not spend an exorbitant amount of money for a pair and not worry to much if the first pair is not perfect. Eventually Gordon you will be wanting to explore the work of using waves and generating waves thru the body, that will include generating force from your ankles. To do so your ankles will have to be free to move (physically free to move and psychologically free to move). Even prior to exploring wave work you have already likely started work on freeing the joints of your body. Many start with their hips and shoulders but all will eventually work down to their knees and ankles. The freer the joint is the healthier it is. Many of today’s wrestling shoes often have a high ankle “support” and this restricts the movement of your ankles rather than promoting awareness and freedom of movement. I would strongly suggest footwear that leaves the ankle free. I have had better luck with shoes that have the lowers sewn to the sole of the shoe rather than just glued, they seem to last longer with the stress we put our shoes thru.

    For outdoor/everyday (not mat work) wear I prefer but do not limit myself to footwear that leaves the ankle free to move, upper sewn to the sole, and I like the outside of tread to be a little stiff with a sharp angle/edge to it. It allows a slicing type of cutting action while working a downed attacker and also focuses and helps to exaggerate the direction of the force in kicks and stomps and pressing controls/breaks.

    Mostly I would advise not to become a fanatic about it. Wear shoes sometimes and sometimes go barefooted other times wear socks. When training outdoors or at home try all your different footwear and explore the possibilities each have to offer. Some will offer more sensitivity others will have better cutting and DNA collecting possibilities. All will present different opportunities and dangers. Recognizing and learning what those are will help you avoid the dangers as well as exploit those possibilities that your opponents footwear offers.

    Regards
    Brian King
     
  11. Jackal

    Jackal Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2002
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    N.J.U.S.A.
    My favorite mat shoes for Systema were always Sambo shoes or Scott Sonnon's UGS, especially if you're a fan of working barefoot. They did a good job of protecting your feet, protecting the mat and provided a very natural feeling of traction and mobility. They're not great for stubborn rooting but go very well with Systema's floating root philosophy.
     
  12. Gordon Nore

    Gordon Nore Senior Master

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    2,118
    Likes Received:
    77
    Trophy Points:
    108
    Location:
    Toronto
    My teacher Manny wears Sombo shoes. One of his instructors wears Adidas MA shoes. There's another fellow wears wrestling shoes. So I had the chance to examine all three.

    On Manny's recommendation, I've ordered Sombo shoes. Like many have said, it'll be a process of experimentation to see what I like best.
     
  13. Gordon Nore

    Gordon Nore Senior Master

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    2,118
    Likes Received:
    77
    Trophy Points:
    108
    Location:
    Toronto
  14. Boyd Ritchie

    Boyd Ritchie Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Let me know how they work out. You paid a lot for them. There are less expensive sources. Sombofki and wrestling shoes are good for all the reasons stated above plus they cut down on the incidence of ringworm and fungal infections. I am a leglock guy and I hate grabbing a sweaty stinky foot. Makes me want to break it off. :)123
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
are mat shoes the same for martial arts and wrestling
,
martial art mat mail
,
martial arts mat shoes
,
martial arts mat shoes for feet problems
,

mat shoes

,
mat shoes martial arts
,
mat training shoes
,
russian systema shoes
,
systema shoes
,
systema training shoes
,
ultimate grappling shoes
,
what to wear on a kickboxing mat
,
what to wear on feet for mat kickboxing
,
wrestling shoes that wont rip threads