Woman Exercising Yoga in Shoes

The Guide to Yoga Shoes – Comfy Workout

Yoga shoes seem to be the latest craze to hit this ancient exercise system, with many avid yoga followers now opting to keep their feet covered during a session. But what are the best yoga shoes and how do you know if you can benefit from them?

Just like any other piece of yoga equipment, there’s already debate on whether or not they’re really necessary. While traditional yogis likely didn’t wear any shoes to practice thousands of years ago, that’s not to say these shoes can’t be without their own advantages to the modern yogi.

Woman Standing in Elastic Yoga Shoes

Yoga mat shoes have many benefits to their wearer, so they’re not just a stylish accessory to add to your yoga outfit. If you’re on the hunt for a new pair of shoes and want to see what all the fuss is about, this guide can help you find the best yoga shoes to suit your needs.

The Benefits of Yoga Shoes

Although they haven’t been around for long, there are already many yoga lovers who now can’t live without their yoga shoes. These shoes have a range of benefits to the wearer, with everything from hygiene to comfort being offered.

Woman Doing Yoga in Yoga Shoes
  • Grip and Stability - The number one reason why people prefer to wear shoes in the yoga studio is to help with their grip. As we all know, our mats and the floor can become slippery with sweat so any extra stability we can get is certainly worth it.
  • Comfort - These shoes have been designed to offer absolute comfort to the wearer, which can be particularly useful if you suffer from foot ailments or skin conditions that might make your feet more sensitive than others.
  • Hygiene - Considering how many germs are found on a standard yoga mat and within a group studio, wearing shoes is a non-negotiable point for some practitioners. As our feet are prone to picking up a range of skin infections and diseases from the floor, having them protected is essential for good hygiene practices. These shoes are set to become just as popular as yoga towels in avoiding bacteria in the studio.
  • Style - While originally they weren’t invented for their design features, the latest releases of yoga shoes make them quite a stylish accessory. If you’re wondering what shoes to wear with yoga pants then these are the perfect solution, and are available in a range of colors and styles.

Different Types of Yoga Shoes

Men’s yoga shoes and yoga shoes for women generally come in the same styles, however recently the women’s yoga shoe has been more popular. The recent release by Nike definitely showed a more feminine approach to these shoes, but that’s not to say there isn’t a huge market for men’s varieties also.

Standing in Yoga Wrap Shoes

Yoga Wrap Shoes

These ballet style shoes feature long straps of fabric that criss-cross up your legs and attach to a flat shoe at the bottom. Instead of a traditional sole, these shoes feature a rubber base with small nubs on the bottom to help you grip and adequate space for your toes to come through.

Yoga Toe Shoes

These shoes put most of the focus on toe placement and have an individual sock for each of your toes to sit in. Since some yoga poses have an emphasis on separating the toes, they’re ideal for this form of exercise. The base is similar to a sock but with smalls nubs for gripping as well.

Colorful Yoga Toe Shoe

Yoga Sling Shoes

This variety of shoes is the most versatile in that you can wear them outside of your yoga session as well as during. They feature a soft fabric top and a lightweight base so you can wear them comfortably for a whole range of activities.

Finding The Best Yoga Shoes

If you’ve decided to give yoga shoes a try but are unsure how to find the best pair, there are a few things you should consider. As a relatively new piece of yoga equipment, there isn’t a lot in the way of research and reviews yet available, so it will come to down matching the shoes to your comfort and style needs.

Wearing Yoga Sling Shoes
  • Material - The best material for yoga shoes should feature a rubber or silicone base that allows for a better grip, with a softer material such as cotton for the top part. Something that allows your feet to breathe is essential.
  • Design - Depending on your personal style, you might prefer the ballet style shoe offered in a wrap or something more basic and masculine such as the toe shoes.
  • Versatility - Do you want to wear your yoga shoes after class as well as during? If so, the best style for you might be the sling shoe as it doubles as an everyday accessory as well.

The Verdict

Just as with any piece of yoga equipment, the choice comes down to your own personal preference. With so many variations to how we practice, where we practice, and what we practice with, yoga has become a truly diverse exercise system that allows the user to create whatever variants they find necessary.

Woman Doing Yoga Pose in Yoga Shoes

If your main concern is slipping on your mat, this is where a yoga towel might come in handy. Rather than relying on your shoes to get a grip these mats offer you a dry and comfortable surface to work on. The added bonus is that your hands are able to achieve a grip too, which isn’t possible when you use yoga shoes alone.

No matter what your reasons are for using yoga shoes, the popularity of these accessories is certainly continuing to rise. The next yoga session you partake in, take notice of what people are wearing on their feet and you’re likely to see at least one yogi wearing these revolutionary products.

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