I usually train barefoot, but am getting old and have 1st MTPJ arthritis.

It is getting sore doing reverse punches / round house kicks. I really need to start wearing a shoe that will support the joint. I don't need arch support per se; just something to support the forefoot.

Are there any shoes that fit the bill - but otherwise minimalist as possible?

  • Why do you think a shoe will help this problem?
    – mattm
    Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 21:17
  • Because when i wear normal walking shoes my 1st MTPJ doesn't hurt so much? I'm not sure what you mean - I don't want to go for surgery.
    – doccy
    Commented Jun 14, 2018 at 9:21
  • 1
    Maybe this answer is helpful: martialarts.stackexchange.com/a/8086/8387 Commented Jun 14, 2018 at 13:46

1 Answer 1


Too long for a comment, but perhaps not really an answer:

The science of shoes is not as advanced as you might expect, and certainly not for martial arts. For running, which is practiced much more widely than martial arts, it's not clear that decades of shoe development has improved matters, especially in terms of injuries. "Normal" shoes change the way people run, usually with heel striking (weight comes down first on heel when running) instead of mid-foot or forefoot striking. It's not clear that cushioning and support added to shoes improve injuries overall because the body develops differently under the changed forces, which may end up leading to more injuries. It was very surprising to me that this question remains rather open for running, and you can expect activities like martial arts are less understood.

It's not clear to me what it means to give more forefoot support, or whether that is something you would want anyway given the above context. What kind of shoe does not give forefoot support?

If you are satisfied with the results of wearing your current walking shoes, then I am still less sure what you are asking. Are you just looking for shoes with no arches? There is currently a market for minimalist shoes that do not have arch support.

As the body ages, it takes longer to recover and cannot tolerate the same physical punishment as when you were younger. You have not indicated at all what you are kicking; if you are solid surfaces like walls or tree trunks you should switch to something with some give.

  • OK -I see the confusion. I run a lot -and i run with barefoot shoes. I get pain in my 1st MTPJ -but I can put up with it and I generally buy into the idea that my barefoot running is better for me than trusting shoes. The main problem i have with kickboxing is when I have to sink down on the foot (involving a lot of toe extension) to do a reverse punch, It is REALLY sore to the extent that I cant do it. If I wear trainers or shoes with a stiff sole I can bend further because they limit the extension a bit and I can use them for support.... but I can't use really stiff shoes to train so...?
    – doccy
    Commented Jun 14, 2018 at 16:40

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