4 Reasons to Wear Martial Arts Shoes

By Leo Eigenberg

When and who needs to wear martial arts shoes?

Protective shoes or footwear are often worn by those trained in different martial arts. Shoes are worn for a variety of reasons, such as to show respect for the particular type of martial art and its traditions, as well as to avoid injury and increase hygiene. Here are a few reasons why it benefits to wear footwear while practicing martial arts:


Fungal and skin infections are easily spread in places that have a lot of people walking around barefoot. This type of hygiene issue is common in sports changing rooms and locker rooms. This is also a problem for the martial artists that like to train with no footwear. Any student that has a skin health condition and continues to train can quickly spread the infection to other students. For this reason, it can benefit to wear martial arts shoes as a practical preventative measure against infections.


Training that takes place in temporary accommodation that isn’t normally used for martial arts classes may not be 100% suited for training barefoot. Any room with uneven or damaged floorboards or even a cold concrete floor isn’t the most comfortable. In these conditions, it benefits to wear the right shoes to avoid the risk of injury or broken toes.

Sparring protection

Martial arts training consists of a lot of sparring time. This is an important part of the training and repeating the same kicks and other actions is certain to be more comfortable when the feet are protected. Most of the shoes are made with a certain degree of padding. This is mostly in the instep area and across the top. This footwear is thin and lightweight, which makes it comfortable to wear. Plus, it is even possible to continue to wear proper foot padding and shin guards while involved in full-contact sparring.

Real Self-Defense Situations

Wearing any type of footwear while training will give greater authenticity for a real life self-defense situation. If you are even in need of using your self-defense techniques in real life this is almost certain to take place outside, and when you are not barefooted. So, if you don’t have any experience with martial arts while wearing some form of footwear, this may put you at a slight disadvantage in a difficult situation. In general, the right martial arts shoes are a very practical option to bring more realism to any type of self-defense training.

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