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Kung Fu Shoes

Written by Sierra Rein
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If you stepped into a store in China and asked them for kung fu shoes, they probably would give you a funny look. The terms you are using are simply a Western misnomer for the traditional Chinese rubber-soled shoes covered in cloth. For the last hundred years, these simple shoes have been used by the common townsperson in their daily activities and chores.

Because these historical shoes were used in kung fu movies, they became known as kung fu shoes, and became a quaint shoe to buy for Westerners as well. They are easy to make, relative to most shoes, and are inexpensive to buy. Most forms and colors can be found in most Chinatowns in major metropolitan cities.

The Use of Kung Fu Shoes in Kung Fu!

Because of their flexibility, breathability, and ease of use, kung fu shoes have been worn for outdoor competition, and during anytime where foot safety is needed. On an indoor mat, many times the feet are worn bare, but shoes have been an option indoors as well. They are great to wear off the mat while stretching, sparring, and warming up for a competition or practice lesson.

These shoes come in many forms and styles, from simple black slip-ons to decorative strapped embroidered ones, and many are built with tougher materials and with more supportive soles for kung fu use. They should be snug enough on the foot so one cannot kick it off, but loose enough not to cut off circulation and comfort. Look for them on online kung fu supplies shops, if you cannot find them in your local Chinatown.


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