Taekwondo sparring gear may include Taekwondo shoes for increased comfort and protection. Shoes designed for martial arts are usually white or black and are produced by a number of sport shoe manufacturers like Nike or Addidas as well as martial arts equipment suppliers like Pro-Specs or Ringstar. Particular brands or styles are usually your personal preference but there are a few general similarities in shoes for taekwondo. For the most part they are lightweight with a thin sole. The sole is usually rubber with a pattern that allows for grip when you plant your foot but usually a round or circular pattern under the ball of the foot to allow for spinning and rotating of the planted foot to properly execute a kick.
Taekwondo shoes, or most martial arts shoes for that matter, are usually ‘slip on’ and have no laces which allows for more comfortable kicking when using the top of the foot. Often there is some elastic between the ‘tongue’ of the shoe and the upper to allow them to slip on easily yet remain snug and in place during sparring or competition. Alternatively, they sometimes have a Velcro flap that allows the shoe to open wider and then close securely, again without laces. Taekwondo shoes do make it less painful on your feet when sparring or doing a workout that involves kicking a heavy bag or targets as they protect the top of your foot. Also, training in winter when it is generally cooler can be more comfortable in martial arts shoes. If you are seriously training in taekwondo or martial arts, you will likely invest in taekwondo shoes at some point. It is nice to have the option as a part of your sparring gear, for competition or for training in the dojang.