Having been a long time health and fitness fanatic, I’ve always preferred to exercise without shoes.
We are born without shoes. So, it makes sense that we don’t need shoes and may be better off without them. It’s easy to forget that the feet, along with the hands and face, have the highest amount of proprioceptive receptors in the body!
The plain truth is, there is no research to justify the claims that shoes create postural problems, movement dysfunctions or a lack of body awareness and/or proprioception. But, we do have our common sense!
Some people are not comfortable training without shoes, and that’s fine, others (when not training with me) train at gyms who have a “no barefoot” policy – in these situations, I encourage them to at least perform their dynamic warm up without shoes. This can usually be done in the pilates / yoga room or group-X room at your local gym.
My advice to all healthy clients is to avoid wearing shoes wherever possible when training and walking around/chilling at home.
There are a few instances where I strongly advise you to exercise caution when attempting barefoot training:
If you have any specific foot dysfunctions requiring shoe orthotics – walking, running and training without corrective footwear may worsen existing foot dysfunctions.
If you are wanting to run barefoot, remember this: We are born to run on dirt, grass, sand, mud and other natural earth surfaces, all of which have a certain amount of “give”. Concrete however, has no “give” and will quite quickly lead to joint problems if not approached safely and correctly. The other concern is that alot of people who commence a running program are usually weak, slightly overweight, full of movement dysfunctions and generally out of shape – running on concrete with no padding is a recipe for disaster!
If you are wanting to embrace barefoot training or running and incorporate it safely into your exercise routine then send us an email.