Wu-shoes: Wushu Footwear
Written by Ben   
Tuesday, 06 March 2012 23:54

 

When you start to take a sport seriously, shoes are always a priority investment. In wushu, this is especially so. The way your body reacts to sweeps, slap kicks, stances and landing jumps will be affected by the shoes you are wearing. Some factors to consider with wushu shoes are lightness, flexibility, durability, support, comfort and feel. Ultimately, there is no right or wrong shoe for wushu training, only what feels right to you.

Here is a review of shoes you might consider for wushu:

 

Original Feiyues

The original low top Chinese Feiyue sneaker was first produced in the 1920s. They quickly became famous for their flexible, comfortable and durable build qualities, which have been retained up till now. Used by everyone from Shaolin warrior monks to trickers and parkour free-runners, Feiyues have a cult following in these communities. They are also a favourite at Monash Wushu Club, and are extremely affordable on a uni student budget.

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Who's is this?

 French Feiyues in Green


Some tips for Feiyue wushu shoes: 
  • Shoelaces and slap kicks don't mix. Cutting off the plastic tips of your shoelaces mean you can slap kick without worrying about the tips stabbing into your hand. Alternatively, you can tuck the tips into your shoes.
  • If your treads are too prominent, moves such as sweeps will be difficult. However, you still want to retain some grip for control. Your treads will naturally wear over time, but you can speed up this process by using sandpaper.
  • Give your Feiyues time to wear-in. Your shoes get better over time as the canvas softens, the stiches stretch, and the treads flatten out.
  • If you’re practicing/performing on a slippery surface such as floorboards, a dab of water will temporarily give you extra grip.
  • Feiyues will last longer if you wear them for wushu only.

French Feiyues are a re-designed version of the original Feiyues. They are better built and come in a larger range of styles and colors. The design differences make the French Feiyue more fashion oriented, robust and expensive, but better suited as casual walking shoes than for sports use.

See if you can spot the Feiyues in the music video for “Pumped up Kicks” (coincidence? i think not.)

 

Other options:

Dunlop Volleys

A great shoe to start with, and easy to find (any Target store will stock these). Look for the ‘classic’ variation, as they are more flexible than the newer ranges. These shoes lack any support whatsoever; going to the physio in a pair of these will probably earn you a frown.

Traditional Wushu/Taiji Shoes

Traditional wushu shoes can be bought in black or white, as slip-ons or with laces. They are more simple than other shoes, but have all the features necessary to kick some old-school ass.

Adidas MA shoes

Adidas have a couple of martial art shoe lines. In general, these shoes have nice flat leather tops with hidden or less pronounced laces, which is great for loud slap kicks. Adidas martial arts shoes are an all-round martial art shoe, and they are yet to design one that caters specifically for wushu. Because of this, these shoes tend to be over supportive, which takes away from the ankle flexibility which is required for wushu.

Tianjin Budosaga

Budosaga is the premium Chinese leather wushu shoe. Being leather tops, these shoes slap louder, and are also significantly lighter than your average Feiyue. The sole is made of gum rubber, and is designed especially for pivots and turns. These shoes are made specifically for wushu competition, with functionality and presentation in mind.

 

Monash Wushu is supplied by Qi Productions, which stocks Chinese Feiyues and Traditional Wushu Shoes.

 

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