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Shoes

Postby Jacob_Lee » 22 May 2013 22:22

Being one of a slightly smaller stature than most, I figured that if I can't rely on reach then I'll have to place at the very least some more focus on my footwork.

This is when I found out that generic "trainers", whilst great for joggging and various gym related exercises, leaves much to be desired when it comes to the support and response required when you're lunging for a cut, or doing short shuffling steps in quick succession.

I'm just wondering if anyone have any suggestions on what to look out for in a shoe for this wondrous art of HEMA, and any types that have been praised as a solid *HEMA* shoe.

Of course I am also aware that different places and surfaces will call for different shoes, and there's no one "wondershoe" so to speak. But generic trainers on wooden flooring is definitely a combination that doesn't work quite well for me.
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Re: Shoes

Postby Alex B » 22 May 2013 23:03

Personally, I wear boxing boots. The fact they go over the ankle means that they provide a bit of support, and the thin sole allows better feeling of the ground. I've seen others wear minimalist shoes like Vibrams, or kung fu type shoes. I always recommend shoes with as thin and flexible a sole as possible. That is coming from a longsword perspective though. Weapons using different footwork might benefit more from a different type of shoe.
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Re: Shoes

Postby Jonathan Waller » 23 May 2013 09:28

Having tried a lot of shoes types, I have settled on wrestling boots, MAtt flex by Asics are good, not that expensive and have lasted over a year of hard use about 5 days a week.
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Re: Shoes

Postby admin » 23 May 2013 11:27

Alex B wrote:I always recommend shoes with as thin and flexible a sole as possible.


This exactly. I discovered this by accident some years ago, because I happened to put on some thin-soled light trainers for class. But yes, I prefer very light and thin-bottomed shoes.

I have mixed feelings about sticky-bottomed shoes. In one sense they can give you better traction, but in my teaching experience the people with lots of shoe traction are often the worst at moving around. Having smooth soles seems to lead to better fencing and also you cannot always rely on sticking to the ground, as anyone who has ever fenced on gravel, mud, sand or wet grass can tell you!
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Re: Shoes

Postby Oli Barker » 23 May 2013 11:55

I use something similar to these when I am training indoors. Outside I use trainers with a bit more grip.
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Re: Shoes

Postby Magnus Hagelberg » 23 May 2013 14:04

When outdoor I prefer my merrel trailglove.

its a shoe that is perhapps il-suited for those of you who stand on your heel when fighting. If your using the toes or the front of your foot, it's a god send, since they feel most comfortable to use when you put most weight on the front of your foot.


When indoor.. floorball shoes are great for traktion and have thin soles + they can often be found at a discount. otherwise a pair of vibram 5 fingers are equaly nice.
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Re: Shoes

Postby Phil C » 23 May 2013 14:09

I have found many of the Lonsdale made "slipper" type footwear available from those sports shops that don't actually sell sporting equipment (Footlocker, JB Sports, Sports Direct &c) are perfectly adequate and usually very cheap. Adidas "Samba" shoes have a good reputation among certain quarters.
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Re: Shoes

Postby tabiris » 23 May 2013 14:55

Buy shoes for martial arts. While slightly different, they all have very thin & flexible soles, are light and mostly go above the ankles. Stuff like boxing shoes, wrestling shoes, savate shoes etc. are all good choices. But don't go to a big sport mall and expect to find what you need there.

If possible, fencing barefoot is awesome. Just be careful not to slam your heel too much - I actually cracked it the first time I sparred barefoot because I was used to thick soles. This will happen with MA shoes as well, but to a lesser extent. :)
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Re: Shoes

Postby the_last_alive » 23 May 2013 15:00

tabiris wrote:Buy shoes for martial arts. While slightly different, they all have very thin & flexible soles, are light and mostly go above the ankles. Stuff like boxing shoes, wrestling shoes, savate shoes etc. are all good choices. But don't go to a big sport mall and expect to find what you need there.



Sports Direct do Boxing and Wrestling shoes, Lonsdale ones at least.
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Re: Shoes

Postby Michael Chidester » 23 May 2013 15:14

Speaking as the first person, near as I've been able to tell, who adopted Vibram Fivefingers for HEMA, I heartily recommend them. They have every desirable attribute for fencing and virtually any other athletic activity.

My one caveat is that if you get your foot stepped on a lot, buy a model with a rugged upper. I trashed my first pair of KSOs in a single day of dagger demos.
Last edited by Michael Chidester on 24 May 2013 03:25, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shoes

Postby Mearcstapa » 23 May 2013 18:45

These seem preposterously cheap. £10!

http://www.blitzsport.com/Adult-Professional-Leather-Boxing-Boots?sc=9&category=40

(Picture from ebay)
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Re: Shoes

Postby Jacob_Lee » 23 May 2013 20:01

Mearcstapa wrote:These seem preposterously cheap. £10!

http://www.blitzsport.com/Adult-Professional-Leather-Boxing-Boots?sc=9&category=40

(Picture from ebay)
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I'm may end up reviving an old fashion trend knowing that I train in long shorts.

I've always wondered about thin soled shoes. Thanks for all the insight!
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Re: Shoes

Postby Jacob_Lee » 12 Jun 2013 12:11

Found this in SportsDirect and had a little fondle of the shoe.

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Lonsdale Bromptons. Ranging from 15 to 28 ish.

It's quite literally a leather and synthetic sock considering it's thickness.

Just went ahead and bought this shoe. It definitely feels less clunky than of my multi-terrains.
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Re: Shoes

Postby R McKim » 14 Jun 2013 18:28

I've always used asics/onitsuka tiger mexico 66 trainers. I like these - they are a simple time tested design and extremely well built - for me the sole will always wear out before the uppers do. My current pair have been going since 2008 but now their sole is worn out too much, the uppers are in great shape though, if a little smelly.. I fence at the salle and excerise with them at home for about 3/4 hours a week with weekend events sometimes. Always on wooden floors.

They have relatively thin grippy soles and soft but strong leather uppers with pretty no padding. This makes them very light and apart from the sole and front rubber they feel like a second skin. The lack of padding and softness of the leather uppers seem to make them shape to your foot over time. They come in lots of colours but their price will exclude them from "budget fencers" at about £65. I'd rather pay reasonably once than pay small 3 times.

My current tigers are so now worn out and too smelly that I need to find a replacement. Has anybody experience of actual fencing trainers such as adidas en guard shoes? They are designed for fencing.. maybe they are good?
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Re: Shoes

Postby Hugh » 21 Jun 2013 14:35

Michael Chidester wrote:Speaking as the first person, near as I've been able to tell, who adopted Vibram Fivefingers for HEMA, I heartily recommend them. They have every desirable attribute for fencing and virtually any other athletic activity.

My one caveat is that if you get your foot stepped on a lot, buy a model with a rugged upper. I trashed my first pair of KSOs in a single day of dagger demos.


Been using VFFs for HEMA (and everything else) for over a year now and I heartily recommend them too :)
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