Feiyue Tiger Claw shoes are perfect for indoor rowing
August 7, 2017
I love these Tiger Claw martial arts shoes for rowing on the Concept2 erg. I love them for kettlebells too. Even better than Converse All Stars. So minimal and so cheap and so sure-footed. Only $18 online. Such a deal.
When rowing on the Concept2 indoor rower there’s no benefit to having either cushion or heel drop, offset, or ramp angle — they’re zero drop shoes. The same thing can be said when you’re lifting weights, swinging kettlebells, or doing any other sort of bodyweight or functional training. CrossFit shoes are popular, yes, but so are the simple canvas and rubber Converse All-Stars.
I’ve discovered an even better solution: the Tiger Claw Feiyue Martial Arts Shoe. In my size, 47, on Amazon, they’re only $20.89.
They’re really basic: canvas, rubber, and a really tacky, soft compound for the sole. They’re zero drop shoes, which is very appealing for bodyweight and functional athletes where bare feet are the alternative and there’s an appeal to feel as planted into the floor as possible.
The sole is very sticky but it also wears really quickly through if you wear it outside as street shoes; however, if you wear them inside, on the rowing ergometer, or just on the floor or mat, then they last for years.
But even if you wear the hell out of them, without socks, like nature intended, then you can always just get another pair for $18-$21 — or, you can buy a few pair right away and cycle through them. They have them in white and black and also have a high-top version if that’s your preference.
I really like them for rowing on the erg because there’s very little bulk between my foot and the foot hold/food stretcher/foot plate/foot rest while still offering enough heel protection to protect my heel from the plastic heel rest/heel backstrap.
I don’t wear socks so there are three really great things about these shoes:
- the shoes are a single layer of canvas so they breathe really well so sweat dries quickly and easily
- the shoes are simple (they don’t even have a removable insole) so you can throw them in the laundry no problem or wash them in the sink or the dishwasher and keep them smelling nice if and when they get too stinky
- they’re super cheap so when they start stinking enough that your SO, housemate, spouse, or lovers start complaining, you can just order another pair from Amazon
If you want a full review of all the shoes I like for indoor rowing on my Concept2 rowing ergometer, check out Best Erging Shoes for Rowing Indoor Rowers.
Tiger Claw Feiyue Martial Arts Shoes Review
Tiger Claw Feiyue Martial Arts Shoes Review
Price: at $18-$21 for a pair of very useful training shoes, you can’t beat these. They’re perfect and easily replaceable via Amazon or elsewhere. Get a couple-few pair so that you can swap them out or just order another as the first starts to break down.
Durability: if you only use these shoes in the dojo, at your box, at the boathouse, or in your home, then they’ll last a long time. If you wear them outside on the street, they’ll break down and wear out quickly because the sole rubber is very tacky a and made of a very soft compound. It’s great for traction but terrible for durability.
Comfort: they’re very comfortable, even without socks, unless you judge shoes based on plushness or cushioning — there’s none of either.
Support: these shoes are more like canvas gloves for your feet. There’s no support at all except maybe some snugness from tight lacing.
Traction: the rubber compound of these shoes is exceptional. They sole rubber is soft and sticky and there’s plenty of traction built into the sole. The downside is that the sole wears down pretty quickly, especially if you walk in them, either on the treadmill or outside on the street.
Quality: I haven’t had any problem with them at all outside of the wearing down of the sole. Since I use these shoes exclusively for indoor rowing, they’re not getting worn out at all anymore. I think I will start using them again in my kettlebell training but even then there’s very little foot friction associated with kettlebell training — it’s pretty much a planted foot sport. Maybe a little bit lunging or when doing burpees, but that’s negligible. And, if they ever do wear out or break down, another pair are only ~$18-$20 away via Amazon.