Throughout the years, yoga has become one of the most popular disciplines in the US. In fact, TODAY reports that there were over 40 million yoga studios in the country in 2020, and 60 million yoga-related posts are generated on Instagram alone.
Indeed, though yoga has been an American obsession for more than a century, the pandemic has been driving its growth to new heights, with it being touted as a way of guarding, healing, and recovering from COVID itself. To aid them in this endeavor, yogis have literally been stepping up their game, ensuring sessions are comfortable and emphasize wellness. As previously discussed in our post on ‘6 Reasons to Start Doing Yoga in the Morning’, this will include working on enhanced focus and flexibility.
They're doing so with a simple item: shoes. Yoga shoes are perfect for those who prefer not to practice with their bare feet, or those who want the support they provide when executing particularly challenging poses.
However, not all shoes are created equal. This guide can help you find the right pair to wear for your yoga sessions.
Mishansha Barefoot Yoga Shoes
This particular Mishansha model does a great job at providing all the stability of the rubber shoe while maintaining the flexibility of the barefoot. These slip-on sneakers are beautifully breathable and even come with drainage holes in the sole, making them perfect for both yoga and water sports, or simply for those who tend to sweat profusely.
AJ 1 Mid "Mindfulness"
However, if you're comfortable with a more sneaker-like shoe, consider the AJ 1 Mid "Mindfulness." This pair was released when Nike and Jordan revealed their "Pregame Pack" Collaboration last year, and was designed with meditation and relaxation in mind. Thick-soled and tight fitting, these shoes give all the comfort you need. Its support reaches a couple of inches above the ankle, as well, meaning you're less likely to incur the strains and sprains so common in yoga.
Bloch Contour Suede Yoga Shoes
If you're bringing ballet into the yoga studio, these shoes, created by Australian dancewear company Bloch, are a perfect fit! Though first created for barre, a couple of tweaks have made these suede shoes, and they have become a favorite among yogis. This may be because of the shoes' sock-like feel which gives all the support you need to keep your balance. They're also uniquely made from neoprene, which helps them last longer.
Vibram Alitza Loop Yoga Shoes
For those who are looking for more unconventionally designed pairs, however, try the Vibram Alitza Loops. Holes for each individual toe mean the shoes have a more natural feel, so they can be worn anywhere from the grocery store to the yoga mat. Additionally, research published on Science Direct explains that shoes with EVA foam, which the Vibram Alitza Loops has, increases their durability. Therefore, expect this pair to last you years.
Kicking it off
The world of yoga shoes is large and ever-expanding, and all you need to do is go out there and explore it. From rubber shoes and sandals to "gloves" and sneakers, there are countless ways for you to bring your game to the next level. So whether you've been a yogi for decades or are just starting out, these shoes can help you step up to the mat and get kicking.