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St Matt
05-03-2011, 01:50 PM
I was at my dojo recently and we were practising with weapons, therefore we were a bit more spread out and some of us had to train off the mats on the hard floor. Now about ten years ago I managed to smash my heel on a motorbike and now it doesn't take kindly to hard floors and subsequently I had a real hard time of it. So I was wondering if there was any kind of 'training' shoe that is acceptable to use for Aikido? Does anyone know of anything?

Cheers,
Matt.

chillzATL
05-03-2011, 01:56 PM
I was at my dojo recently and we were practising with weapons, therefore we were a bit more spread out and some of us had to train off the mats on the hard floor. Now about ten years ago I managed to smash my heel on a motorbike and now it doesn't take kindly to hard floors and subsequently I had a real hard time of it. So I was wondering if there was any kind of 'training' shoe that is acceptable to use for Aikido? Does anyone know of anything?

Cheers,
Matt.

don't know of anything aikido specific or acceptable, but I'm a big fan of vibram five fingers for most any sort of off the mat training.

St Matt
05-04-2011, 05:37 AM
Hi, thanks for the reply.

i have never heard of those before but they look great! I will have a word with my dojo and see if they are ok to use on such occasions.

Thanks again,
Matt

john.burn
05-04-2011, 05:53 AM
The vibram five fingers definitely get my vote too. I have 2 pairs and love them... one word of warning though, if you wear them to a gym just be careful, i had a guy fall off of a running machine because he couldn't take his eyes off my feet :D

grondahl
05-04-2011, 06:05 AM
A more traditional alternative to fivefingers is tabi. Usually sold in budoshops/martial arts suppliers and much cheaper than fivefingers.

Mark Mueller
05-04-2011, 09:43 AM
I have tried tabi but have yet to find a pair with a "grippy" sole so the ones I have used slide a bit on the mat.

lbb
05-04-2011, 09:43 AM
Five Fingers are an example of minimalist shoes -- if you search on that phrase, you'll find even more alternatives. Minimalist shoes are something that I've been experimenting with. I've had a number of foot injuries in the past, and I'm starting to think that supportive or cushioning footwear doesn't really help and may even make some of these problems worse. Anyway, that's one of the many claims made by fans of minimalist footwear, who use them to address a variety of situations. It certainly seems that training off the mat is a situation where minimalist footwear is a good solution.

One thing about Five Fingers is that they don't work well for people whose second toe is longer than their first toe. Mine is, just slightly, so I haven't gone that route. I have a pair of huaraches made according to the Invisible Shoe directions (http://www.invisibleshoe.com/how-to-make-huaraches) -- you can get the materials from them, or get them to make a pair for you, or you can just buy some cherry vibram and cord and do it yourself.

Minimalist shoes do take some getting used to, particularly if you use them for daily wear, and particularly for running. The main reason why people choose minimalist shoes for running is that they want to alter their gait from one where heelstrike predominates to one that focuses on the ball of the foot. Advocates believe that this is better for foot health, long term, but in the short term you can't just put them on and run your normal mileage -- your mechanics don't change instantaneously, and until they do, you won't be able to run lots of miles without danger of injury. Again, not such an issue if you're just using the shoes for off-the-mat training, but a bigger issue if you plan to use them for running or even just for everyday wear.

Here are some more links for anyone who's interested in minimalist footwear:

Article on minimalist footwear and product links from EMS (http://www.ems.com/shop/index.jsp?categoryId=11433470&emssrcid=Email:042911G46S)
Birthday Shoes (http://birthdayshoes.com/what-are-they) -- about toe shoes and other minimalist shoes
Soft Star Shoes (http://www.softstarshoes.com/)
Primal Foot Alliance (http://www.primalfootalliance.org/) -- more about barefooting but also good info about minimalist shoes

Janet Rosen
05-04-2011, 10:38 AM
http://www.invisibleshoe.com/how-to-make-huaraches) --
Article on minimalist footwear and product links from EMS (http://www.ems.com/shop/index.jsp?categoryId=11433470&emssrcid=Email:042911G46S)
Birthday Shoes (http://birthdayshoes.com/what-are-they) -- about toe shoes and other minimalist shoes
Soft Star Shoes (http://www.softstarshoes.com/)
Primal Foot Alliance (http://www.primalfootalliance.org/) -- more about barefooting but also good info about minimalist shoes

Cool Links, Mary!

chillzATL
05-04-2011, 11:10 AM
One thing about Five Fingers is that they don't work well for people whose second toe is longer than their first toe. Mine is, just slightly, so I haven't gone that route. I have a pair of huaraches made according to the Invisible Shoe directions (http://www.invisibleshoe.com/how-to-make-huaraches) -- you can get the materials from them, or get them to make a pair for you, or you can just buy some cherry vibram and cord and do it yourself.

IMy second toe is roughly the toe nail longer than my big toe. I got mine locally, so someone helped me size them. We just sized to that toe and I haven't had any problems. Sizing is very important with these things!

Minimalist shoes do take some getting used to, particularly if you use them for daily wear, and particularly for running. The main reason why people choose minimalist shoes for running is that they want to alter their gait from one where heelstrike predominates to one that focuses on the ball of the foot. Advocates believe that this is better for foot health, long term, but in the short term you can't just put them on and run your normal mileage -- your mechanics don't change instantaneously, and until they do, you won't be able to run lots of miles without danger of injury. Again, not such an issue if you're just using the shoes for off-the-mat training, but a bigger issue if you plan to use them for running or even just for everyday wear.

My main reason for wanting to try them was because I love being barefoot, but that's not really acceptable or safe for the feetsies, but I had also started developing pain in the outside-ball of both my feet and my last three toes were kind of curling under each other. THey weren't separated like you would normally expect. I figured having my toes forced apart would be a good thing and it was. After a year of steady use the foot pain went away and my toes lay much more normally than before.

The first three months or so was an experience though. I learned that my ankles were crazy weak and that I had absolutely no idea how to run the way you need to run in these things. I was running with my heel far too high up, but after watching some vids of barefoot runners I adjusted my step and it's been great.

My only complaint is that they can give you some horrible stink-foot after just a few wears. It's really to be expected with something so snug fitting. At least they're very easy to wash/dry.

Shany
05-04-2011, 01:00 PM
http://www.vibramfivefingers.it/eng/default.aspx

jbblack
05-04-2011, 03:43 PM
These are awesome. I have been using them on the mat for over two years. Highly recommended.
http://www.mmaoutlet.com/4Q2-MMA-Fight-Socks-P532.aspx

Cheers, Jeff

dps
05-05-2011, 03:53 PM
Consider Fila Skela-toes;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGInUQ_oal8

dps

Janet Rosen
05-05-2011, 04:28 PM
I have a pair of huaraches made according to the Invisible Shoe directions (http://www.invisibleshoe.com/how-to-make-huaraches) -- you can get the materials from them, or get them to make a pair for you, or you can just buy some cherry vibram and cord and do it yourself.

This DIYgal has the materials en route and when I come up for air between the day job, the dojo, the family and making weapons bags {gasp!} in "my copious free time" I'm going to make a pair....and then, of course, start altering them :D

lbb
05-05-2011, 05:07 PM
This DIYgal has the materials en route and when I come up for air between the day job, the dojo, the family and making weapons bags {gasp!} in "my copious free time" I'm going to make a pair....and then, of course, start altering them :D

The hardest part is cutting the rubber -- I used a big pair of leatherworking shears and it was still some work. But, you know, ten minutes total.

Hanna B
05-09-2011, 09:10 AM
I was at my dojo recently and we were practising with weapons, therefore we were a bit more spread out and some of us had to train off the mats on the hard floor. Now about ten years ago I managed to smash my heel on a motorbike and now it doesn't take kindly to hard floors and subsequently I had a real hard time of it. So I was wondering if there was any kind of 'training' shoe that is acceptable to use for Aikido? Does anyone know of anything?

Cheers,
Matt.

Where I've trained, just any kind of shoe was acceptable for outdoors training. For off-mat training indoors IMHO any clean shoe that does not leave stains on the floor should be fine although you might prefer a sole that does not "grip" too much.

But if you have problems with your feet and there is a mat, just not with enough space for everybody, why don't you just tell your partner "I have a condition in my heel and really need to be on the mat, not the hard floor" and/or telling the teacher you do need a little space on the mat, not beside it.