We wear shoes most of the time. But doesn’t it feel great to go barefoot sometimes? There is a freedom in going barefoot and not wearing restrictive uncomfortable shoes. There is a growing trend where more and more people are working out barefoot. One theory is that with the Covid lockdown, people were having to exercise in their homes and found that not wearing shoes not only felt great but that their feet and body were benefiting from it. There are some workouts that you automatically think of doing in bare feet such as yoga and pilates. But there are also tremendous benefits when weight training, walking, and running barefoot.
Let’s look at some on the benefits of working out in bare feet.
Working out barefoot can help re-develop foot muscles that have become weak from wearing stiff and over-protective footwear. Because there is nothing restricting your movement, your foot will go through a full range of movement, increasing flexibility and reducing the chance of injury. Smaller under-used muscles will be involved in stabilizing your body.
Our feet have thousands of nerve endings and the more contact we have with the ground, the more we have spatial awareness. Being able to feel the ground can help you adjust quicker when off balance. Also, the ability to splay the toes allows for a sturdier stance. This is especially useful in yoga and pilates.
Often athletic shoes have a raised heel. This can put the body out of alignment. Being barefoot keeps everything in proper alignment putting less strain on your joints including ankles, knees, and hips.
Increased Muscle Recruitment
Being connected to the ground, may allow you to have increased muscle recruitment. There is better awareness of weight distribution. Imagine doing a squat where you feel more engaged with the floor. This may allow you to produce more force upward as you drive your feet into the ground.
More Efficient Stride
Many shoes have a thick sole, a raised heel and extra cushioning. When running or walking, this causes the heel to strike first sending a jolting shock to the body. When barefoot, the body adapts to a more natural action of toe striking which results in a smoother and more efficient stride.
However, there are times where it is not suitable to go barefoot. People are getting back to working out in gyms where shoes are required. Many are more concerned with germs in public places and the thought of being barefoot is just plain gross. When running, walking, and hiking outdoors you may want or need some protection from hot pavement and sharp objects. In times such as these, your best alternative is barefoot shoes. These minimalist shoes will give you the freedom and feeling of being barefoot.
Check out Leguano Barefoot Shoes https://leguanoshoes.com/ for many styles of shoes that are perfect for your next barefoot workout.