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Is it really safe to lift barefoot?

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Years ago, the idea that you could run barefoot, instead of running shoes, rocked the running community. (Final result: THis market exploded with expensive shoes meant to mimic barefoot running, but he was hit with the recoil of expensive shoes with as much cushioning and structure as possible. . There are arguments that barefoot lifting is natural and good for us, and that, on the other hand, people who are recklessly lifting barefoot are asking for injury or illness. Not really, so let’s dig into the pros and cons.

Do you make people sick of training barefoot?

Before we get into biomechanics, let’s talk about etiquette.when and where acceptable How to train barefoot around other people?

If you are in a gym, you must play by the gym’s rules. Many gyms do not allow barefoot training. Please don’t try to argue that point. I’m not going anywhere. This TikTok It shows a gym staff and a lifter who insists he doesn’t want to lift while wearing running shoes. If you find yourself in such a situation in the gym, buy shoes with a thin sole and a wide enough toe so that your feet can comfortably spread out. (There are many shoes meant to mimic the feeling of bare feet.)

That said, the sock itself is a very traditional lifting shoe, Most gyms allow it. So many world record deadlifts have been pulled with socks ( This by Rhiannon Lovelace) or with deadlift slippers which are basically the same thing.

Are shoes more or less safe than barefoot training?

Both sides of this argument bring up the risk of injury, and to be honest, neither side has any scientific backing. No studies have found an increase in the incidence of Most literature on barefoot training focuses on running, which is not the case here.

studies looking at multiple sports, in this way, Do not apply too cleanly to lifting. For example, that review found that beach volleyball played barefoot on the sand had fewer ankle sprains than volleyball played indoors with shoes on. Occurs when a player lands on another player’s feet. Not a common problem in the weight room.

There is one place where barefoot pros and shoe lifting pros are having the same argument.Some people say it’s safer to put your feet on a stable surface (the ground or a firm shoe, respectively) than wearing soft, unstable running shoes. Again, there isn’t much data on injuries from lifting running shoes, but it’s a good enough criterion to avoid collapsing your shoes during training.agree with this previous advice Use weightlifting shoes, flat shoes, or socks when lifting, not sneakers.

What are the benefits of barefoot training?

Find out why people prefer to train barefoot. this is, “Functional” Fitness For example, some kettlebell lifters’ groups suggest that they train more effectively without shoes.

One common observation is that going barefoot requires the foot to create a stable platform, rather than relying on the construction of the shoe to stabilize the foot. This takes practice and training: YYou’ll need to develop a sense of where your weight rests on different parts of your foot, and you may need to build the small muscles in your feet and lower extremities to give you proper control over your foot’s movement and position.

now, why Is it important to train your feet to provide this stability? Some trainers believe it’s a good thing in and of itself. you have muscles As a result, some claim that they can apply more force to the ground, allowing them to lift more weight.

But the idea didn’t hold up well to scientific scrutiny: H.there is one studyFor example, we found that the force applied through the ground is the same with or without shoes. (I was disappointed that the study was done with his running shoes rather than any of the types of shoes recommended for lifting, but if the benefits are real, I’d judge in favor of barefoot lifting.) will be lowered.)

What does it feel like to lift bare feet?

So what does barefoot training actually look like? We asked New York City coach Emilio Joubert, who is RKC II (RKC is one of the organizations that promotes barefoot training). I was. Here’s what he has to say about barefoot training:You can feel where you should be in space. I find that when I’m wearing shoes, I tend to skip the setup a bit and accept it well enough. To feel comfortable, you have to move your body a lot. “

In practice, we don’t lift clients barefoot or direct them to a particular type of shoe unless they have a problem that the shoes or barefoot approach can solve. It’s a thing. “My general strength is about the same with or without shoes,” he says. felt Moves such as rower squats, zerchers, and deadlifts should be done barefoot. ”

Why You’ll Want to Wear Shoes When Lifting

There are certain scenarios where shoes help lift. as discussed beforea stiff, high-heeled weightlifting shoe. olympic weightlifter— Helps you squat deeper and maintain a more upright position during squats, cleans and snatches. stand on an inclined boardThese boards are commonly available in gyms where people train barefoot. This is another way to solve the same problem.

Shoes can also make you feel safer when it comes to avoiding minor injuries like scrapes and toe stabs. It won’t prevent you from breaking a toe if you drop a weight plate, but it might make you feel better about the possibility. is. These little shuffles are to keep her toes from dragging to the ground when she steps on one of her steps.

However, the most compelling reason to wear shoes is that the benefits, if any, of training barefoot are very small. requirement Work out barefoot. If your shoes are more comfortable, so be it.


Ultimately, whether or not barefoot training makes sense depends on the type of shoe you’re comparing. The bar should be raised an inch higher. That seems like a win for the barefoot crowd, but wearing very thin, flat shoes instead could also solve the problem (I deadlift with chucks for this reason).

Similarly, if you are squatting, choose lifting shoes with heels, as cushioned shoes can make it difficult to maintain balance on the descent Also Thin-soled shoes solve this problem. Also, as mentioned, high-heeled lifting shoes help maintain positioning in squats when ankle mobility is a problem, but squatting on a slant board can also help. .

Ultimately, most of the benefits of lifting with shoes on and walking barefoot can be gained either way. It has not been proven to work. It comes down to a personal and subjective decision. If you’re working with a coach, discuss what shoes are best for you. If you’re interested in solo barefoot lifting, there’s no reason not to give it a try.

“It’s worth a try” Joubert says“It doesn’t have a magical effect, but I hope you enjoy the feel and stability. ”

Joubert also says clients have successfully lifted them, including the one who pulled them in the first place, even though they were wearing horrible running shoes.Do a 500-pound deadlift that way. “Sometimes we overestimate the importance of the shoes we wear.”

Is it really safe to lift barefoot?

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