Whether you are just starting to learn the basic Tai Chi techniques or have been mastering the form for years, it’s important to make sure you are investing in appropriate clothing and gear to ensure that you are getting the most out of your practice.
Shoes are an essential part of learning Tai Chi since a lot of the techniques require you to learn how to balance, which is something I used to find really difficult when I first started.
Whether you want a pair of shoes solely for Tai Chi practice or a pair that you can also use for other activities such as running, I’ve gathered the best on the market that you should consider.
So you can learn your techniques in the most appropriate and comfortable way without worrying about your feet.
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Best Tai Chi Shoes
OUR TOP PICK
Our top recommendation are the Onitsuka Tiger Unisex Mexico 66 Slip-on Shoes which are from the Onitsuka Tiger brand that has been releasing quality activewear since 1949.
The Mexico 66 model has been an incredibly popular design since 1966 and can be used for an array of different activities as well as Tai Chi.
Made from 100% synthetic materials, these shoes are ideal for all abilities and are comfortable and durable for indoor and outdoor use.
The classic sneaker design is different from the traditional Chinese slipper design and has eyelets on the vamp, signature striping overlays on the sides as well as logo patches on the heel and tongue making it great for those who want a more modern style.
The breathable material makes it great for those who are working on harder techniques that require a lot of balance and the flat sole means that you can get used to the techniques quickly if you are a beginner.
- Made from 100% synthetic materials, these shoes are ideal for all abilities and are comfortable and durable for indoor and outdoor use
- The breathable material makes it great for those who are working on harder techniques that require a lot of balance
- The classic sneaker design is different from the traditional Chinese slipper design for those who want a modern design
- High price point so if on a budget consider another option.
Our second selection are the APIKA Chinese Traditional Old Beijing Shoes which have a sturdy rubber sole that provides plenty of support.
The simple and traditional design is ideal for all abilities whilst also remaining comfortable to wear for all sizes and foot widths.
The structure and design of the shoes remains traditional and made from cloth material that is breathable.
The slip on style makes them easy and comfortable to break in whilst remaining casual.
With a canvas upper and anti slip rubber sole, these shoes have the required flexibility and durability that is needed when practicing Tai Chi.
As well as Tai Chi, you can use these for other activities such as martial arts and kung fu.
The versatility of these shoes mean that you can wear them for exercise and casual use.
For those who have wider feet, simply opt for half a size or a full size bigger than what you would usually get so you can break them in easily.
- The simple and traditional design is ideal for all abilities whilst also remaining comfortable to wear for all sizes and foot widths
- The structure and design of the shoes remains traditional and made from cloth material that is breathable
- With a canvas upper and anti slip rubber sole, these shoes have the required flexibility and durability that is needed when practicing Tai Chi
- Runs large for size so if you're typically at the smaller end of a size then these may be too big.
Our third choice are the PEAK Mens Comfortable Running Shoes which boasts a 100% synthetic sole that provides greater durability.
The redefined style and performance brings an athletic workout shoe that can be used for more active exercises such as running as well as Tai Chi.
The soft textile upper provides exceptional airflow which provides maximum breathability to keep your feet cool and dry whilst also reducing any overheating or swelling.
The Tai Chi smart adaptive midsole is made from breathable polymer material which achieves an adaptive slow cushion rebound to match your practicing whilst also absorbing any shock.
These shoes feature a TPU heel ankle guard which provides support to protect your feet and avoid any injuries as you practice while the P-hold strengthens the arch support and allows the shoe to move smoothly with the foot.
One of the best hybrid shoes available for those who want to use their shoes for Tai Chi and other activities, these shoes are extremely versatile and can be used for extreme activities such as trail running and weight training.
The lightweight design and high performing ability makes it ideal for those who like to workout in the gym or other indoor spaces whilst also being suitable for some outdoor surfaces as well.
- The soft textile upper provides exceptional airflow which provides maximum breathability
- Smart adaptive midsole is made from breathable polymer material which achieves an adaptive slow cushion rebound
- TPU heel ankle guard which provides support to protect your feet and avoid any injuries as you practice
- High price point so if on a budget consider another option.
Our penultimate selection are the DT Men's Martial Art Kung Fu Tai Chi Cotton Sole Canvas Shoes which are a traditional slipper structure that are extremely comfortable for Tai Chi practitioners of all abilities.
Made with 100% cotton lining, these shoes are breathable and can easily be broken in making them a great choice for those who will be studying with a class.
The cotton sole and canvas upper provides a flexibility that makes more advanced stances approachable.
The cotton interior and exterior make these shoes thin so you are not too elevated and the shoes lie as flat as possible for easiness.
The easy slip on style is in line with the traditional Tai Chi slipper for those who want to buy specialized shoes just for Tai Chi.
Their cotton structure means that they can be washed so you can keep them in top condition at all times.
Ideal for those who will be practicing Tai Chi indoors, these shoes are durable and great for those with sensitive skin.
- Made with 100% cotton lining, these shoes are breathable and can easily be broken in making them a great choice for those who will be studying with a class
- The cotton sole and canvas upper provides a flexibility that makes more advanced stances approachable
- Their cotton structure means that they can be washed so you can keep them in top condition at all times
- Can be a little tight for wider feet initially so if you have flat or wide feet consider another option.
Our final choice are the BlackBeltShop Rubber Sole Kung Fu Tai Chi Shoes which are among the most accessible traditional Tai Chi shoes on the market.
Available in men’s sizes 2-13, these shoes can accommodate both narrow and wide feet with no problems.
The slip on style makes them extremely comfortable and versatile in use as they are suitable for Tai Chi practice indoors or outdoors as well as casual use.
The rubber soles ensure that you will always have a firm grip when practicing your balance and advancing your skill set.
With a canvas material upper, these shoes are comfortable and breathable with a flexibility that allows easy movement which is essential when practicing more advanced techniques.
Fantastic for all abilities, these are an ideal choice for those who are on a stricter budget but would like a traditionally structured Tai Chi shoe.
The inner cotton lining prevents any discomfort and rubbing meaning that even if you have wider feet, you can break these shoes in easily without any pain or swelling thanks to the breathable and sensitive materials.
- The slip on style makes them extremely comfortable and versatile in use as they are suitable for Tai Chi practice indoors or outdoors as well as casual use
- The rubber soles ensure that you will always have a firm grip when practicing your balance and advancing your skill set
- Fantastic for all abilities, these are an ideal choice for those who are on a stricter budget but would like a traditionally structured Tai Chi shoe
- Run short to size so if you have large or wide feet these are not a good choice.
Best Shoes For Tai Chi Buying Guide
Tai Chi is a skill that requires so much concentration and balance that it is essential to own a pair of shoes that is not going to prove any discomfort or distraction.
When researching what shoes are going to be the best for you, there are a variety of factors you need to consider before making your final decision.
If you are wanting to conduct further research, always look at the material, comfortability, ability and budget.
Once you’ve really thought about this and balanced it against your requirements, you’ll be in a position where you can make a decision that you are confident with.
The first thing you need to think about is the material of the shoe.
You’ll find that most Tai Chi shoes are made from soft materials such as cotton which is ideal as it is a breathable and flexible material that provides the comfortability you need to be able to balance.
If you are buying a hybrid shoe that is designed for Tai Chi and other exercises, the shoe may be a bit more structured and rigid in material that won’t have that same breathability specialized shoes have.
Therefore, hybrid shoes may take some time to break in before they can be used for Tai Chi.
The next factor to think about is the durability of the shoe.
This ties in with the material but is more to do with the design and structure of the shoe.
There is nothing worse than investing in a product that soon breaks and needs to be replaced.
Picking a shoe that suits your lifestyle and is going to last a long time will ensure that you can fully immerse yourself into learning the techniques.
Another factor that is hugely important is your current ability when it comes to Tai Chi.
It’s important to consider whether you are a beginner or have been practicing for years as this may determine what kind of shoe will suit you best.
For example, if you are a beginner and have never tried Tai Chi before then it may be best to opt for a specialized traditional Tai Chi shoe as this will be the most comfortable and will help to ease you in.
On the other hand, if you are more advanced you will know what to expect and could choose a hybrid shoe should you wish as you will be used to the balancing techniques and know what it feels like.
Lastly, always think about your budget.
Tai Chi shoes can vary greatly in price depending on the structure and material of the shoe.
Think about how often you will be practicing and whether you want to really invest in a quality shoe or want a cheaper pair that you don’t mind replacing frequently.
This is important as the price can be indicative of the quality of the shoe overall so for those who are on a stricter budget, the cheaper options in this article are the best on the market for you to choose.
Best Shoes For Tai Chi - FAQ's
What kind of shoes should I wear for Tai Chi?
If you want to have the best experience and comfortability when practicing Tai Chi then wearing flat shoes is going to be the most suitable as they will help you to balance better.
Traditionally, Chinese slippers are used but you can also opt for sneakers or moccasins if they are out of your price range.
Sneakers with a slightly elevated heel can be used but they may feel a bit uncomfortable at first and the practice can take some time to get used to.
Do you wear socks with Tai Chi shoes?
You can wear socks with your Tai Chi shoes, however, it is not recommended as it can be quite slippery and cause you to lose balance.
It does depend on what kind of shoes you have.
For example, if you have hybrid shoes, you may have to wear socks with them to avoid any rubbing, especially if it is your first time wearing them.
On the other hand, if you are wearing traditional Tai Chi slippers then socks are not required as they are designed to be worn without socks.
Last update on 2021-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API