is it ok to workout barefoot?

posted 4 years ago in Fitness
Post # 3
290 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I would wear shoes for hygiene and support for my calves.

Post # 4
1365 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@wisher558:  The only workout I do barefoot is Yoga. I’m pretty sure everything else you should wear shoes to protect your feet and back. 

Post # 5
7656 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

I always got way too sore after doing the WII if I didn’t wear shoes becuase I had no support for my feet or back.

Post # 6
11242 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’m going to disagree and say that you’re fine going barefoot. I work out at home in the living room, so I’m not going to get athlete’s foot or step on anything. You have better posture and form in bare feet because you can feel what you’re doing, where you’re stepping, and where you need to adjust. It also strengthens your lower legs and feet because you are doing all of the work.

Post # 7
5984 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2018

I’m a barefoot kind of person too…I do everything in my home, and a lot of it kind of doesn’t lend itself to wearing shoes anyway, so play around and find what works for you.

Post # 8
4563 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’ve done wii fit barefoot for years….maybe you’re just sore from the workout? I don’t think the wiiboard can be used with shoes on if I’m not mistaken.

Post # 9
207 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Barefoot is fine. Just make sure that if you are running barefoot, your foot is striking correctly (mid to ball of foot first, not heel) so you don’t injure yourself. I just ran a 5k barefoot and haven’t had any issues. 


Post # 10
472 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

@vorpalette:  +1

I’m a big believer in barefoot running, so I don’t see any problem with working out barefoot! Your calves are probably sore because being barefoot allows your feet to work the way the are supposed to, and your muscles might not be used to that. 

Post # 11
9158 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

I’ve done Insanity a few times barefoot, and WOW my calves kill the next day.  It definitely uses different muscles than wearing shoes.  I don’t think it’s bad per se, but just ease into it since it’s using those muscles differently than usual…

Post # 12
10369 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

Shoes provide shock absorption for your knees/hips/back and provide support for your feet. If you are doing anything with impact – jumping, etc – you really should wear shoes.

Post # 13
7169 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

@wisher558:  your calves hurt more mostly like because you were on your toes more than being flat footed.  what kind of exercise were you doing?


Post # 15
27 posts


I was doing workout DVDs barefoot until I realised I had bruising on my toes. Nice hey! Then I went and bought a cheap pair of clean runners and I wear them inside. I just needed some support and a bit of cushioning. I have my more expensive runners for outside. 

That was for high impact cardio though. I do yoga barefoot and I guess it’s not essential if you REALLY don’t like wearing shoes and aren’t doing anything too high impact. Calves feeling ‘worked’ sounds normal 🙂

Post # 16
4664 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Barefoot is better. It can be tough at first if you wear shoes most of the time, because there’s a ton of little balance muscles in your feet that atrophy when you wear shoes constantly. Most people who start going barefoot more (or wearing truly minimalist shoes) feel sore or awkward at first because you have to rebuild the strength and stability in your feet. 

Shoes honestly suck. I love high heels but I know how evil they are! You should wear shoes in general that allow you to walk more naturally. Great NY Times article on this here:

I credit my incredibly high arches (both parents have flat feet) to my policy of being barefoot or stocking-footed or minimally-shod whenever possible. I have hard stories of people reversing flat arch problems to some degree even in adulthood by walking more naturally without the so-called “support” of regular shoes. Protection outdoors is one thing, but the caging of your foot and the numbing of a lot of the sensors available is less necessary.

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