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tiger claw feiyue shoes

Once I got into the barefoot running movement a couple years ago, I started to pay a lot more attention to all the shoe choices out there. I needed some indoor shoes for use on a wood floor, so I went looking for a good pair of shoes that were also somewhat compatible with the barefoot running idea.

What I found were Feiyue High Top Shoes by Tiger Claw. These are martial arts shoes, which I believe are designed to be light weight and offer a good proprioceptive feel on the floor. And some of the Amazon.com reviews said they provided good grip on a wood floor as well.

I bought these for playing squash and racquetball, so the grip on a wood floor was critical. I also needed something that would stay tight on my feet (Zinetic slippers were definitely not going to cut it!) so I chose the high-top model.

How did that work out? Great! These have AMAZING grip on the wood floor of the squash court! I could do just about any move, stop on a dime, switch directions, etc. Whenever I stopped, the shoes just stuck right there!

The shoes are comfortable, too. They have minimal padding anywhere, but the flat sole is squishy enough to provide some cushioning, and there’s no need for the canvas top to be padded.

The flat sole also lets my feet move naturally, so my legs always feel good after wearing them. When I used to play squash in regular sneakers, my legs were sore afterward (think shin splints,) but not with these Feiyue shoes.

Also, having my feet move naturally increases my ankle stability, negating the need for any ankle support. (Even though these are high top shoes, the canvas upper isn’t very stiff around my ankle.)

BTW – Wear tall socks with these shoes, as the canvas may irritate your ankles.

I also began to wear these for weight lifting in my home gym.

I had gone completely barefoot for a while, but my bare feet didn’t get a perfect grip on the rubber mat I had down. So I started wearing these and I got much better grip without sacrificing the good proprioceptive feel of going barefoot.

So these work well for weight lifting. I really noticed the added stability during the reverse lunge, where my forward foot used to want to slide laterally like I was on ice. (I blame that inconvenience on the cheap mat I used, but getting new $35 shoes was way cheaper than getting a professional rubber floor!)

The only odd thing is the sole is a bit squishy (the opposite of Chuck Taylors or skate shoes,) but it’s so thin, it’s not annoying. I don’t think it affects me in a negative way like the giant padded heel of running shoes does.

Lastly, I’ll mention the sizing.

I ordered these from Amazon.com and chose size 45 (American size 11.)

They felt a little tight at first, which wasn’t surprising because I normally wear 11.5 in running shoes, and 12 in cycling shoes. They could use a little more room in the toe box for more comfort, but the next size up would probably be too big for my heel.

Once they were laced up and I was moving, though, they felt nice. So for not trying them on first, I’m happy.

My final verdict is…

These shoes are really cool and I’m happy I bought them. They work great for playing squash, seem fine for weight lifting, and I bet they’d work great for martial arts (as they’re intended.) They might even work for recreational indoor basketball or dodgeball if you wanted to try that. Heck, the tight fit and low profile might even be suitable for beginner-level indoor rock climbing.

I won’t be wearing these for running or cycling, but for cross-training with other sports, these shoes are great.

Official website: www.TigerClaw.com

Buy online: www.Amazon.com

Product Review Details
Company: Tiger Claw
Product: Tiger Claw Feiyue High Top Shoes
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 4.0 out of 5
Date last updated: 2011-01-05
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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