I have flat, wide feet, and tae kwon do classes are starting to hurt. I'm thinking to try wearing shoes with my running orthotics. Are there specialty martial arts or wrestling shoes that are wide and structured in a way that would accommodate an orthotic? What should I look for in these type of shoes?

  • Have you discussed this with your instructor? They may recommend, or only allow, some specific kinds of shoes in class. Particularly for sparring. Commented May 2, 2012 at 14:14
  • @Trevoke I disagree. It's pretty well-understood what a TKD class entails: indoor practice of kihon, kata, and kumite. (Translate to Korean for best results.) Commented May 2, 2012 at 18:34
  • @DaveLiepmann Oh. See, I did not know that. So I don't think it's all that well-understood.
    – Anon
    Commented May 2, 2012 at 19:51
  • Need a little more information to effectively answer this one, but wrestling shoes of various sorts should come in a range of effective widths (same as other shoes), though you may have to custom order them. Commented May 3, 2012 at 18:35
  • 1
    Thanks for the helpful comments. I did spend quite a bit of time looking into wrestling shoes that are sold on various martial arts websites, but didn't feel good about ordering without first trying them on. To address the issue of whether it's allowed, Yes, I did talk with the school, and they were specific that the shoes needed to be wrestling/martial arts shoes (they spend a lot of money on mats, and don't want them destroyed). In the end though...my kids lost interest in the classes, so we all abandoned the lessons. No lessons means no shoes. Commented May 3, 2012 at 22:30

3 Answers 3


You could give Vibram FiveFingers a shot... I would't recommend anything with a thick sole, as that will probably lead to injury down the line.

Or you could try tabi, which are used in some dojos in Japan. They are sort of a crossover between socks and shoes. You can get them with or without a rubber sole.

  • Neither would accommodate an orthodic, although it's a moot point as of a few months ago anyway.
    – Robin Ashe
    Commented Jul 26, 2012 at 18:21

I've been in a similar situation for most of my life, very wide feet and orthotics. I train in a school that wears shoes to train, so I've seen a lot of solutions.

You might try looking at indoor soccer shoes (might work, but not made in my size). I ended up with New Balance walking shoes, which are orthotic friendly and aren't very aggressive in the tread.

It could be that your feet will just get used to it, too. I've trained barefoot as well, and it wasn't a big deal after a while.


I dont think they sell shoes by width. if you really want the perfect width, then you'll probably have to get some shoes custom made, which will probably be expensive. however, you should probably check out http://www.karatedepot.com/martialartsshoes.html first if you havent already. they have good stuff.


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