Leaving your shoes off and trying to run or jump without any footwear is an option that more and more athletes are betting on, but if you want to try exercising barefoot, keep in mind that doing so has its pros and cons and that it is not always a good thing.
As with almost everything, there are also different opinions on this subject. Some point out, with good reason, that walking without shoes is the most natural way to do it (we are not born with shoes), but no one can doubt that there is an obvious risk of stepping on anything with which you could harm us and end up with an injury on the sole of the foot.
Despite this possible danger, experts point out that walking without shoes brings multiple benefits and is, in addition, the best way to perform the tread correctly that is, first supporting the front part of the foot (not the heel). Walking on the sand of the beach or on the grass that grows on soft ground is not only a pleasant experience but also a way to receive a gentle massage that is very beneficial for muscles and joints, but it is another thing to exercise barefoot, especially if we talk about activities. High impact aerobics.
What exercises can you do barefoot?
You currently have specific shoe models for the safe practice of different sports. This type of footwear is designed with the maximum protection and stability of the foot in mind. Side and heel reinforcements to avoid sprains or strains, air chambers to cushion the impact against the ground, flexible fabrics that allow optimal breathability … In addition, thinking of those who prefer to do sports barefoot , there have been, in recent years, new lines of “minimalist” footwear such as the new barefoot (bare feet), almost as light as socks. With so many options available, it is worth considering whether the best thing, in all cases, is practicing barefoot exercise.
Although, as we have said, there are opinions for all tastes, in general, personal trainers and physiotherapists agree that certain physical activities improve significantly if they are carried out leaving our feet in direct contact with the surface, while others always require the right shoe. Some examples:
- In disciplines such as yoga, Pilates or Tai chi, which combine physical exercise with minimal impact with relaxation / meditation, doing them without shoes is very favorable. They are done in a specific space and, in principle, safe (a gym or room or outdoors on a beach or garden) and in addition, the feet move with greater freedom and flexibility, remaining in direct contact with the ground and favoring each of the movements and postures.
- R running. Running requires appropriate footwear that protects the muscles and joints not only of the lower body, but also of the back, especially the lower back. A running training or a session of Body Combat, Body Pump or any other sport that involves raising and falling with all our weight on our feet, requires shoes with good cushioning that minimizes the impact. Perform these exercises barefoot it involves more risks of injury than possible benefits. If you want to enjoy running without shoes, remember that it is important to do it on an appropriate surface, preferably flat, without slopes or slopes that require extra effort on bare feet without the slightest protection.
As a tip, it is preferable to exercise wearing the appropriate footwear for each activity. Protected ankles, lateral reinforcements that prevent any unwanted movement of the foot and cushioning, which prevents damage especially to the heels, can save you from more than one injury when practicing your favorite sport. Still, letting our feet “breathe” by walking barefoot through a safe place is a relaxing and beneficial practice that we should do more often, always under the recommendation of a qualified personal trainer.