Kung Fu Shoes - Yes or No?

Damien

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A bit of thread necromancy, but for anyone looking for good training shoes in the future, I recommend Merrell Vapour Gloves. They're nice and flexible, lightweight, have a tough sole and a bit of grip, but not so much you can't turn your feet easily. They also have a wide toe box, which I think is a must for shoes these days. The only downside is that they aren't overly cushioned, so if you do a lot of jumping it can be uncomfortable if you aren't used to it. In which case Lems are pretty good, though a bit on the pricey side.

I find Feiyue's are too narrow having spent years wearing barefoot shoes. Other than that they are great though, so if you have narrow feet or don't mind squishing your toes in you can't really go wrong. Just don't get the fashion shoe version, make sure you get the ones where the sole is slightly rounded and comes up the sides in a curve. The French made fashion ones just aren't the same for kung fu. It's getting harder and harder to find authentic Feuyue MA shoes outside of China these days though, so knock off brands can be the way to go.
 

Cragrat

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A bit of thread necromancy, but for anyone looking for good training shoes in the future, I recommend Merrell Vapour Gloves. They're nice and flexible, lightweight, have a tough sole and a bit of grip, but not so much you can't turn your feet easily. They also have a wide toe box, which I think is a must for shoes these days. The only downside is that they aren't overly cushioned, so if you do a lot of jumping it can be uncomfortable if you aren't used to it. In which case Lems are pretty good, though a bit on the pricey side.

I find Feiyue's are too narrow having spent years wearing barefoot shoes. Other than that they are great though, so if you have narrow feet or don't mind squishing your toes in you can't really go wrong. Just don't get the fashion shoe version, make sure you get the ones where the sole is slightly rounded and comes up the sides in a curve. The French made fashion ones just aren't the same for kung fu. It's getting harder and harder to find authentic Feuyue MA shoes outside of China these days though, so knock off brands can be the way to go.
If training in class you should probably follow school etiquette and wear whatever the instructor prefers you to have. However , when you find the art you will likely follow , get a good training partner and practice all your available skills in everyday clothing. You can't gaurantee to be attacked by the right opponent in the right circumstance , place or time that will suit you!
 

Wing Woo Gar

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Black cotton soled Kung fu shoes on a waxed and polished concrete floor is how we do it. Very slippery!
 

Buka

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Used to love those shoes. They were a fashion statement back in the day, they were everywhere.
 

Xue Sheng

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size 14 feet.... I use whatever shoes I can find....currently a pair of sketcher flat soled sneakers.

They don't make Kung Fu shoes that big. Even when I was in Beijing ans decided to get a pair custom made, I was told by the folks that would make them.... we can't make shoes that big,
 

Gerry Seymour

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When I train in shoes I prefer Xero Prios: Awesome casual minimalist shoe from Xero Shoes A little pricey maybe but they last forever. I've been wearing the same pair daily for three years and they still look and feel great.
My current go-to for training in shoes (when I don't just train in whatever I happen to have on) is New Balance Minimus. Just an old pair I had around from when I tried running in them. They're super comfy, and I can feel the ground better than in most of my shoes. I did replace the laces with elastic laces, to convert them to slip-ons.

Something like this, but an older model.
 

Gerry Seymour

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size 14 feet.... I use whatever shoes I can find....currently a pair of sketcher flat soled sneakers.

They don't make Kung Fu shoes that big. Even when I was in Beijing ans decided to get a pair custom made, I was told by the folks that would make them.... we can't make shoes that big,
I have a hard time finding them even in whatever's equivalent to US size 10. Maybe you could sew a pair of mine together? :D
 

Steve

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size 14 feet.... I use whatever shoes I can find....currently a pair of sketcher flat soled sneakers.

They don't make Kung Fu shoes that big. Even when I was in Beijing ans decided to get a pair custom made, I was told by the folks that would make them.... we can't make shoes that big,
You know what they say about guys with big feet...

They have bad knees... What did you think? :D
 

Instructor

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I know this is a shoe thread and not running but I highly encourage reading Born to Run by: Christopher McDougall it really changed my world view when it comes to shoes.
 

clfsean

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I've been wearing Budo Saga for the past 6 years or so. Much better than Feiyue in that they don't roll. Flat rubber bottom, leather upper. They're more expensive so if you have a habit of running through several pair a year (I only do about 2 pair a year now) I'd say check your budget. Nice thing about them is I can get them in the States, here in Japan, China, etc... and they're the same. No mfg/quality issues like Feiyue and unlike name brand (read $$$) shoes, are always the same. They don't change design mid stream on an existing version.
 

Instructor

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That's a nice looking shoe, I especially like the blue ones. Do you know if they run true to size?
They have for me, I'm size eleven (US sizes) and that is what I order. I find they are particularly comfortable with elastic lock laces. It's almost like wearing slippers. I just went jogging in mine and they performed fine.
 

Oily Dragon

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Retired my Nike Monarchs, worn through. No shoe lives forever, but kung fu shoes suffer more than most.

Now trying the Saucony FormFit PWRRUN. These babies are so soft but supportive. Good for running, forms, running some more, doing more forms, and still have enough traction for even Wing Chun sparring.


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