best taekwondo shoes: are you buying the right shoes?

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When it comes to trying to find that perfect pair of Taekwondo shoes, it can become quite the challenge due to a lack of readily available information out there.

I remember when I got my first pair of Taekwondo shoes, they were 2 sizes too big for me, offered zero protection for my feet, and were some cheap garbage that started to fall apart within 3 months.

Unfortunately, guides like this didn’t exist back then, and I was none the wiser.

There were also not a lot of shoe manufacturers back then as well and most people didn’t own shoes.

While most Taekwondo practitioners used to train barefoot in the old days, a lot of folks nowadays choose to wear a pair of Taekwondo training shoes instead.

In this article, we’ll examine the best Taekwondo shoes out on the market today so that you can pick that perfect pair that will compliment your training.

Our Top Pick: Adidas Adi-Kick 2 Tae Kwon Do Shoes

Adidas Adi-Kick 2

Adidas has been manufacturing Taekwondo shoes now for several decades and has built up quite the reputation as one of the leading Taekwondo shoe manufacturers out on the market due to their great quality Taekwondo shoes and the Adi-Kick 2 shoes are no exception.

The Adi-Kick 2 shoes are an updated version of the original Adi-Kick.

If your in the market for a high-quality durable pair of Taekwondo shoes that won’t break the bank then look no further then the Adi-Kick 2 shoes.

These shoes are made out of synthetic leather with rubber soles at the bottom of the shoes that have an excellent grip to prevent you from slipping and falling down.

In addition, there are pivot points on the rubber soles that make them great for sparring with as it makes it easier to turn and pivot when throwing kicks.

The shoes are very lightweight and stylish and won’t hinder your performance in training while providing proprioceptive feedback on the soles of your feet due to its lightweight material that allows you to gauge your stability.

The shoe comes with laces that are tucked inside of the shoe to prevent them from sticking out and potentially becoming a tripping hazard as well.

If you’re looking for a pair of premium quality Taekwondo shoes from a reputable manufacturer then you look no further then the Adi-Kick 2 shoes. These shoes are modern and stylish, and provide good protection for your feet while not costing an arm or a leg. That’s why its our top pick.

Pros:

  • Reasonable price
  • Lightweight and stylish
  • Good quality and provides decent protection for feet

Cons:

  • Not a good fit for some people with narrow feet
  • Cannot tighten laces too much to have a more snug fit

Our Runner Up Pick: Adidas SM II Low Cut Shoes

Adidas SM II

This is another solid pair of Taekwondo shoes from Adidas.

The Adidas SM II has developed a reputation for being a very durable pair of Taekwondo shoes that can even outlast newer models such as the Adilux.

The shoes are made from synthetic leather and are very lightweight and comfy.

Unlike some of the other martial arts shoes out on the market, these shoes have been manufactured with reinforced stitching, making it ultra-durable to withstand heavy use.

Side vents have also been added to the shoes to prevent them from smelling poorly and to keep them nice and dry.

Furthermore, there is a reinforced instep on these shoes as well.

The black and red colour finishing help with keeping up a nice and tidy appearance, unlike black and white coloured Taekwondo shoes which are prone to getting dirty really easily.

Due to its good durability, good price, clean and lightweight design that also keeps your feet dry, I would highly recommend the Adidas SM II pair of Taekwondo shoes!

Pros:

  • Very durable and long-lasting compared to other martial arts shoes on the market
  • Keeps your feet dry with the side vents
  • Good reasonable price
  • The black and red finish keeps the shoes looking new and not dirty

Cons:

  • Some people may prefer the more traditional white on black design

Our All-Around Pick: Mooto Wings TaeKwonDo Shoes

Mooto wings

In case your not familiar with Mooto, Mooto is a Korean manufacturing company that specializes in the manufacture of martial arts equipment such as shoes.

They have been in the game for at least a decade now and have built up quite a good reputation in the martial arts community for producing great quality products at affordable prices, such as these Mooto Wings Taekwondo shoes.

These shoes feature a white on black finish with air vents that help with drying the feet while minimizing odour.

The shoes are made out of synthetic leather to keep them lightweight while also being quite durable.

The soles of the shoes are made out of rubber and feature a pivot point as well to help with pivoting when throwing kicks.

Class-leading adhesive materials are used in the manufacturer of the shoes to prevent the soles from peeling off as is common in a lot of martial arts shoes.

The shoes, however, are a snug fit so keep this in mind when ordering, or you may choose to order 1-2 sizes up.

If you’re looking for an all-around great pair of Taekwondo shoes with excellent durability at an affordable price then these Mooto Wings fit the bill.

Pros:

  • Good price
  • Very durable
  • Lightweight and stylish design
  • Rubber sole with strong adhesive material
  • Pivot point at the soles

Cons:

  • Tight fit
  • Lack of laces to adjust the tightness

Best Budget Shoe: Century Lightfoot Shoes

Best Taekwondo shoes: Century lightfoot

These martial arts shoes from Century, one of the leading martial arts manufacturers in the world are a pleasant surprise.

The Century Lightfoot martial arts shoes tend to be priced cheaper compared to other lines of Taekwondo shoes yet offers comparable performance.

There’s a rubber sole at the bottom of the shoes to help with traction, along with a pivot point that makes them great for turning motions. Over time due to the pliable material within the shoes, it will take the form of your feet and make them extra comfortable for you to wear.

In addition, the shoes have been manufactured using synthetic leather for its outer body to keep the shoes nice and light, while offering you great mobility.

These shoes are offered in a variety of different colours such as white, black, and even black and pink for females.

For its great quality, comfortable design, and good price, we highly recommend the Century Lightfoot martial arts shoes for the budget shopper.

Pros:

  • Very good price for a pair of quality Taekwondo shoes
  • Rubber soles grip the floor quite well
  • Quite durable and very lightweight

Cons:

  • No air vents to allow the shoes to dry
  • Limited padding
  • Design of the shoes could have been more stylish

Best Starter Shoe: Tiger Claw Martial Art Shoes

Best Taekwondo shoes: Tiger claw

These Taekwondo shoes cost only a fraction of what some of the other big brand name shoes on the market cost but offer a tonne of value. Don’t get deceived by its more modest price.

The shoes are made out of synthetic leather that keeps the shoes feeling nice and light.

The bottom of the shoes features rubber soles that help give the shoes a nice grip when you’re practising martial arts and reduce your chances of falling down.

Furthermore, you can adjust the level of tightness of the shoes with the shoelaces, a feature that a lot of other brands don’t offer anymore.

There’s also a carrying case that comes with the shoes.

These shoes are a great starter pair for the novice beginner just getting into Taekwondo training without spending a whole lot.

Pros:

  • Great price
  • Good grip on soles of the shoes
  • Comes with a carrying case to keep your shoes clean
  • Can tighten shoes using shoelaces

Cons:

  • Not quite as durable as some of the other brand name shoes out on the market

Best Breathable Shoe: Mooto Taekwondo Spirit 2

Best Taekwondo shoes: Mooto Taekwondo spirit 2

The Mooto Taekwondo Spirit 2 is a pair of ultra-breathable and lightweight Taekwondo shoes that were designed with comfort in mind.

Due to its flexible materials, the shoes will not transform in shape over time due to stretching and its synthetic leather combined with strong adhesives makes the shoes very durable for constant use.

If you’re sick and tired of having to always replace your shoes then you’re in luck as these shoes are quite durable even with daily use.

In addition, the shoes have been designed with breathable pockets all throughout the shoe to help keep your feet nice and dry and prevent odour from seeping in.

The bottom of the shoes features a rubber sole with a pivot point that helps with turning your body when throwing kicks while preventing you from slipping.

If you sweat a lot or you’re worried about keeping your feet dry then these are an absolute must to have in your wardrobe.

Pros:

  • Great breathability
  • Lightweight and very flexible material that helps prevent stretching of the shoes
  • Durable
  • Stylish modern design

Cons:

  • Shoes are a bit tight
  • On the pricier side

Who Should Buy Taekwondo Shoes

There are a number of reasons why someone would want to wear Taekwondo shoes in training.

For starters, some individuals may have a pre-existing foot injury in which they want to provide some level of protection so as to not exacerbate the injury. Furthermore, wearing shoes can also help with their recovery as it does provide some level of protection for their injuries.

On the other hand, some individuals may want to have that extra level of protection for fear of injuring their feet.

Take, for example, I used to always hit my toes on a hard object such as the side of the chest protector or someone’s fist when I was sparring with someone.

After I started to wear sparring shoes, the number of injuries I sustained went down drastically as the shoes were able to protect my toes.

In addition, having shoes gives you more confidence that your chances of getting injured are lower thus you are able to commit to your techniques 100% when in class.

Another reason why someone would want to have Taekwondo shoes is that they provide a good grip for performing kicks and help reduce the chances of slipping and falling down.

Some other people may wish to keep their feet clean during class. In some schools, the flooring hasn’t been cleaned in months, leading to a whole host of bacteria living on the mats at a Dojang. This can potentially make it really easy to caught some sort of foot infection.

Lastly, some individuals wear Taekwondo shoes to give them a more realistic representation and feeling of how kicks are applied outside on the streets. When you’re stuck in a street fight, you won’t have time to be taking off your shoes to defend yourself, nor would you want to be taking your shoes off. There’s a lot of debris and other sharp objects on the ground that could pierce and puncture your skin if you’re barefooted.

Important Features to Consider

  • The reputation of the manufacturer: Some manufacturers have been producing quality martial arts shoes for decades now, while some have just started to pop up around the corner. Do you want to go with a more well-known manufacturer but pay a higher price for peace of mind or would you rather take a risk with an unknown manufacturer that hasn’t proven themselves yet but offer a cheaper price on shoes?
  • Type of material used in the shoes: Some no-name manufacturers may use cheap material and questionable manufacturing processes in order to cut costs. Others may cost a little more but they use better quality materials. Typical materials you will see on Taekwondo shoes include synthetic leather, rubber soles, and other adhesives.
  • The Fit of the shoes: How do the shoes fit you? Are they comfortable or do they feel either too loose or too tight? Make sure to pick a size and pair of shoes that fit the feet properly to avoid any foot issues that may arise later on.
  • Warranty: Some dealers and even manufacturers offer a limited warranty on the shoes for a short period of time.
  • Are shoes permitted in class or at tournaments? Before you run out and start buying a pair of Taekwondo shoes, its important to first find out whether or not your school even allows you to wear Taekwondo shoes. Some schools due to the flooring material used will not permit you to wear shoes during class for fear of either damaging the floor or dirting it. In addition, if you intend on competing in tournaments wearing Taekwondo shoes, make sure to find out whether or not you are even permitted to be wearing them when sparring with an opponent.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to wear Taekwondo shoes for training?

Wearing Taekwondo shoes is not 100% necessary, however, they do help with training and provide a number of benefits such as protecting your feet from getting injured, providing good grip to reduce the chances of slipping and falling down, and gives you a more realistic feeling of how kicking with shoes on would be like.

Why can’t I wear regular shoes for training?

A lot of schools do not allow using outside shoes in the Dojang for fear of ruining the training mats on the ground.

Shoes worn from the outside carry with them tonnes of dirt and other nasty bacteria that can easily creep into the training mats and infect participants in class that are training bare-footed.

Furthermore, because Taekwondo shoes are lightweight and breathable, it doesn’t hinder training performance compared to outside shoes being worn. If your training with outside shoes such as running shoes, the shoes are typically much heavier then Taekwondo shoes and you will quickly tire yourself out in class after performing only a handful of kicks.

Lastly, you may also injure another student in class when your sparring with them due to the heavier outside shoes that your wearing.

What kind of Taekwondo shoes should I get?

One of the most important criteria you should look for when selecting a pair of Taekwondo shoes is the fit and comfort levels of the shoes. Furthermore, you want to buy a pair of shoes that are durable and will last a long time since you will be repeatedly using them in class.

There’s nothing worse than buying a brand new pair of Taekwondo shoes only for them to start falling apart after only 2 weeks.

Lastly, you may want to also get a pair of shoes that are breathable if you tend to sweat a lot. This will help keep your feet dry and reduce the chances of bad odour developing in the shoes.

How do I determine the right fit for me?

The Taekwondo shoes should fit you comfortably without being either too snug and tight or too loose.

If the shoes are too tight then you will experience chafing of the skin, while being too loose will lead to you not being able to perform your techniques properly while also increasing the risk of them falling out during practice and maybe even injuring someone.

If your purchasing shoes online, most online retailers provide a sizing chart along with instructions for ensuring that you get the proper fit.

Each manufacturer’s sizing chart is different so keep that in mind when selecting your size.

Most manufacturers, however, usually recommend that you order half a size to a size up from what you normally wear due to the tighter snug fit of the Taekwondo shoes.

What is the best colour to get?

This will depend on your personal taste, however, if you don’t intend on regularly maintaining and cleaning the shoes then I would highly recommend that you opt for a darker colour such as black for the shoes, as white shoes tend to get dirtier easier.

Also, it may be good to ask your school what colours you are allowed to be wearing for shoes. Some schools are more strict about the colours having to match uniforms and whatnot.

What downsides are there for wearing Taekwondo shoes?

One of the biggest downsides for wearing Taekwondo shoes is that you become dependent and accustomed to them for protection.

Furthermore, wearing shoes may affect your technique and form for certain moves due to the way that your shoes grip and even pivot in Taekwondo.

Other Taekwondo Shoes We Reviewed

Adidas Adilux

Best Taekwondo shoes: Adidas Adilux

The Adidas Adilux Taekwondo shoes is a modern and beautiful pair of martial arts shoes that are multi-purpose and feature a laceless design.

The shoes are very light and are constructed from synthetic leather with rubber sole bottoms and a pivot point as is typical of martial arts shoes.

However, the Adilux features a unique arch support system called the Adidas torsion system, making it great for those of you needing that extra arch support on your shoes.

The only drawback with the shoes is that they aren’t quite as durable as some of Adidas’s other Taekwondo shoes such as the SM II.

If you want a pair of stylish Taekwondo shoes that provide great arch support then look no further then the Adilux.

Pros:

  • Beautiful stylish design
  • Great arch support
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Price
  • Not as durable as other Taekwondo shoes such as the Adidas SM II

Mooto Drive 3

Best Taekwondo shoes: Mooto drive 3

These sleek and stylish shoes from Mooto will be sure to get compliments from others in your class.

The Mooto Drive 3 Taekwondo shoes are lightweight and made out of synthetic leather. The bottom of the shoes is rubber and provides a good grip for when kicking.

Unlike some of the other shoes on the market, the Drive 3 has a unique feature whereby you can convert the shoes into a smaller form factor by pushing down the heels and back of the shoe.

In addition, these shoes tend to be quite good at keeping their form and not stretching out. This may be a benefit for those of you out there that are worried about your shoes getting loose over time.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that they are flat-footed, meaning no arch support if you require that.

If you need a pair of shoes that will keep their form longer and one that allows you to change the sizing of the shoes on the go, then the Drive 3 shoes make a great choice!

  • Sleek and stylish design
  • Good price
  • Hold their form and shape well over time
  • Can convert the size of the shoes
  • Very comfortable to wear
  • No arch support

Conclusion

In this article, we covered several different Taekwondo shoes all with unique strengths and weaknesses.

While wearing Taekwondo shoes is not a full-proof way of protecting your feet, there are many benefits towards wearing Taekwondo shoes when your training such as keeping your feet clean and safe from bacteria on the mats, providing a layer of protection for both those recovering from injuries and those currently injury-free.

In addition, Taekwondo shoes further provide you with good grip when training to prevent slipping or falling down, and does give you a more realistic sense of how it feels like to kick when wearing shoes.

Whatever the reason is for you choosing to buy a pair of Taekwondo shoes, remember to always pick a pair that are a good fit for your feet, are durable and able to withstand a reasonable amount of use, and most of all are comfortable for you as you will be using them quite often.

Hopefully, after reading this article, you now have a good idea of which type of Taekwondo shoe would fit your needs and pick one accordingly.

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