Just signed up for your first Wushu training and advised against wearing your sport shoes? Your coach is right in saying that! Running and Wushu are two fundamentally different sports and all that you need in a pair of running shoes; you won’t want to find them in your Wushu Shoes!
Thin Shoe Base and Flat Insoles
Many professional Wushu Athletes prefer Wushu Shoes with thin shoe base and flat insoles in order to achieve maximum feel of the carpet or floor beneath. This helps with better balance and a good sense of the ground during execution of back sweeps. It also makes ‘pointing’ easier, with lesser restrictions and strength needed to point one’s feet for kicks and cat stances. A thin sole also means that the shoe is lighter, making it more comfortable and easier for jumps and acrobatic moves.
However, a thin sole would also mean that the shoe may wear out more easily, so for economical reasons, you may want to keep two pairs of different shoes, one for training, with a thicker sole, and one to be used when training for competitions and during competitions.
Low Achilles Notch
As many of the basic Wushu kicks and stances require freedom of movement at the ankles, having a show with a high Achilles notch would not only restrict ankle movement, it will also case discomfort and abrasion at the Achilles. Make sure your Wushu Shoes have low Achilles Notch to prevent such problems from occurring.
Reinforced Toe Cap
It is not uncommon for shoes worn during Wushu trainings to break at the toes first. This is due to the larger amount of kicks and speed training one does in Wushu trainings. Therefore, most Wushu shoes have reinforced toe caps to increase the lifespan of the Wushu Shoes.
Personally, due to an embarrassing personal incident, I always use Wushu Shoes with full upper shoe laces. It helps keep your shoes wrapped tightly to your feet and should the shoes or laces loosen over time, simply re-tighten the laces. There are slip-on Wushu Shoes in the market with rubber uppers and only one lace threading at the top. Without the rough and uneven surface area of a full upper shoe lace, it won’t hurt your hands as much for front slap kicks. However, the rubberised uppers will expand over usage and time and would not wrap snugly to your feet, arising to embarrassing incidents of flying Wushu Shoes during Wushu Kick practises.
When is the best time to buy your Wushu Shoes
I am not talking about which stage of your Wushu mastery should you finally purchase your first Wushu shoe. Because of the dynamic nature of the Martial Art and sport, it is important to invest in a pair of shoes specially made for Wushu and Martial Arts on the first day of training.
I am talking about the time of the day when you should actually get your Wushu shoes: In the evening or night time. This is because your feet swell as the day progresses and nothing could be more uncomfortable as a pair of tight shoes that you thought fitted during the day. Moreover, Wushu training lessons in Singapore are more often held in the evening and night times, so if you want to avoid having blisters and abrasion on your feet, take this advice seriously!