Master Yang Yang, PhD., who has written a great book entitled,  Taijiquan: The Art of Nurturing, The Science of Power, explains why it is important to wear shoes during practice.  The complexity of the foot requires good care and wearing shoes are part of maintaining healthy feet.  I love this idea in his article that if the grandmasters were alive today, that we would see them wearing Merrell’s, New Balance, etc. as they practice.  This is a fun thought and a great article.  Really recommend reading it here:

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