Choosing Between Barefeet and Shoes for Taekwondo

It’s becoming more and more popular for people who practice taekwondo to wear shoes during practice. Most people are doing this because they have had experiences during training where they wished that they had more foot protection. Some people still insist that taekwondo is best learned while barefooted, but the argument for taekwondo martial art shoes is becoming stronger. Here are the top three reasons people are starting to wear shoes during martial arts training more often:


For beginners, shoes may be a better option because most people do not have very tough skin on their feet. Taekwondo martial arts shoes are good for beginners because they need more protection from calluses and blisters. Eventually, a student may stop wearing their training shoes as often in an attempt to increase the thickness of the skin of their feet. Martial arts shoes are typically very lightweight and thin. This can give an extra layer of protection during sparring, reducing the possibility of injury.


In training studios, many students will use the same space at the same time. If no students are wearing shoes, this can increase the risk of fungal and skin infections. Most teachers will ask that students who suspect or know that they have fungal or skin infections on their feet refrain from going to class. But if shoes are an option, the student may wear taekwondo martial arts shoes instead of missing class.


For students who are learning taekwondo for defense purposes, shoes may create a more authentic atmosphere. Most people expect to be wearing shoes if they imagine having to use their martial art skills to defend themselves in public. Of course, martial arts shoes aren’t typically worn for walking or running. Many types of shoes are much heavier than martial arts shoes, and students will have to compensate for the extra weight. But many students prefer to wear shoes because they feel as if shoes create a more realistic scenario during sparring.

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