There are many postures in all styles of tai chi that involve pivoting (rotating on the ball of the foot). Practitioners can experience knee strain, discomfort and pain or, in some cases, even tear a meniscus particularly when first learning these postures. Not just for beginners, highly skilled practitioners and tai chi competitors who perform at an advanced level identify pivoting freely as invaluable to their practise.
Footwear & Footwork
The most important decision relating to your footwear choice for tai chi is how well your footwear performs, the importance of which cannot be overstated. When choosing shoes for tai chi practise, they should be lightweight, fit well and be comfortable. Ideally, shoes need to have a flexible, flat sole to provide a solid feel to the floor and help with correct body alignment.
Active footwear such as joggers tend to have soles with more height at the heel which adversely affects body alignment with a forward tendency. Your body will continually try to right itself and many people find themselves leaning backward to compensate. This cycle of re adjusting will make balance difficult and impede your tai chi practise.
The problem Any shoe can ‘stick’ or ‘grab’ the floor leaving the foot stationary as the knee twists resulting in discomfort, stress and pain. The solution. Simply position and attach a pair of Pivot Points to the soles of your shoes! Pivot Points are lightweight and long lasting and can even be applied to your old shoes, after a clean of course. Tai chi shoes often have pivot areas molded into the sole which is of little benefit when the composition of the sole itself restricts any rotation of the foot. Tai Chi Pivot Points have been created to provide ease of rotation without compromising the integrity of the footwear itself.