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Old 04-13-2005, 01:49 PM   #1
Dojo: Avon Kempo & Aikido Academy
Location: Avon, CT
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 32

I've been training in martial arts for many years, always in bare feet. Lately, given the exposure to things like fungus and plantars warts that are common to even the cleanest mats I have been considering wearing some form of footwear. Karate shoes seem a bit heavy to me but the ninja style tabi socks are nylon and I would think that they would be slippery. Do any of you have a specific type of footwear you use or recommend?
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Old 04-13-2005, 01:53 PM   #2
Zoli Elo
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 67
Re: Footwear

Kendo tabi... Maybe add a heel protector too depending on the model you select.

Last edited by Zoli Elo : 04-13-2005 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 04-13-2005, 02:22 PM   #3
Kevin Kelly
Dojo: Aikido of Reno
Location: Fernley, NV
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 64
Re: Footwear

some people in my dojo just wear cotton socks. maybe they just have cold or stinky feet...
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Old 04-13-2005, 02:27 PM   #4
Jory Boling
Jory Boling's Avatar
Dojo: A.K.I.,Misakikai Dojo
Location: Yokosuka, Japan
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 192
Re: Footwear

i've been thinking about his lately, with all the news about how staph infections are up in locker rooms and on artificial turf, among other places.

do you have any links for (oxymoron alert) good cheap kendo tabi?

how do kendo tabi differ from ninja tabi in the martial arts catalogs?
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Old 04-13-2005, 02:59 PM   #5
Zoli Elo
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 67
Re: Footwear

Sorry, I really do not know about things ninja, so I cannot compare.

When I am doing kendo I use the first one listed and the leather soled heel protector. Not the cheapest but I like eguchi.

An alternative place to buy would be http://www.e-bogu.com/Kendo_s/135.htm
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Old 04-13-2005, 03:36 PM   #6
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 768
Re: Footwear

You might also consider kenshield


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Old 04-13-2005, 11:34 PM   #7
Bronson's Avatar
Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,677
Re: Footwear

In my search for affordable tabi the best price I've found on the web was at HOUSE OF RICE. Follow their measurment instructions very carefully and remember they are made of cotton so they will shrink when washed.

I believe the ''ninja" style you mentioned will have a thicker rubber sole, which makes them better for going outdoors. The ones at House of Rice have a cotton sole (although I just looked and they have some rubber soled ones now).

Also, the cotton soled "kung fu shoes" like the ones from CENTURY MARTIAL ARTS are pretty comfortable.


"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 04-14-2005, 01:47 AM   #8
batemanb's Avatar
Dojo: Seibukan Aikido UK
Location: body in UK, heart still in Japan
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 1,031
Re: Footwear

I've used tabi in the past, mostly when I've managed to contract verucae (sp?). I used the ones with cotton soles, but even these do not slide that easily on vinyl tatami mats, or canvas covers, they take a while getting used to. I actually prefer bare feet over the tabi, so often only wore one at a time to shield the offending foot.

The measurements are very important, especially if you've got large feet. The length of your big toe is key, I wore the largest size available in Japan (my shoe size) but the fitting around the big toe was a couple of milimetres too short, which makes them extremely tight and uncomfortable, if a little painful at first. After you've worn them in for a bit the cotton gives a little and they become bareable, but I dumped them as soon as my foot healed.



A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 04-14-2005, 03:46 AM   #9
Location: Frederick, MD
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 509
Re: Footwear

I wear leather or canvas-soled tabi almost all the time when we're working in the gym on-post. Despite multiple signs and verbal warnings by the gym staff, people ALWAYS track dirt in there, especially in the racquetball courst where we usually train.

On the mats, at home, always barefoot. Vinyl surfaced mats, though, easy to clean. And we're very small, so there's not a whole lot of feet we don't know ...

I get my tabi from a variety of sources, the best ones through www.budogu.com (they may not appear on the site, you'll have to e-mail Peter and ask). Not cheap, but excellent quality.

I've also got a couple of pair brought back by friends from Japan, varying quality, depends on what you're willing to pay.

In wintertime, I use Sol Socks (www.solsocks.com/) inside the tabi.

Several budo supply houses carry various tabi. In my experience, the rubber soled ones are good for outdoor training, but too sticky on the mat or on hardwood. The cloth-soled ones are a bit too slick on wood, work pretty well on the mat, useless outdoors. The leather soles are good-all around choices, providing a fair amount of traction and some glide on wooden or vinyl-covered surfaces, decent outdoors, if it's dry, not so good if it's wet.


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