Get faster, stronger, and bulletproof your body.
Understand the mind-body benefits of barefoot training and elevate your performance to the next level.
Nothing kinky here. I mean, unless you’ve got a thing for feet. You do you.
Whether you’re completely weirded out by them, strangely intrigued by them, or simply neutral to feet – today, we’re sharing how your set of patas, when disrobed appropriately, can be your asset to higher performance training.
Step one: those Nike Ultra Boost you’re wearing? Ditch ‘em. Welcome to barefoot training. I think you’re gonna like it here.
Going shoeless is the foot’s natural state. Just like a nutritious diet made up of naturally occurring plants and animals or a restorative sleep routine aligned to the cycle of the sun, the more we reconnect back to primal habits – the better we look, feel and perform.
The human foot is an incredibly complex appendage of intricate nerves, bones, and fascia. Our feet are constantly adjusting and adapting to the environment we expose it to through our daily movement.
Think about it. Our feet are our bodies’ first physical connection to the earth. So, it would make a lot of sense to perk up those outermost nerves in order to optimize the efficiency, power, and strength of our movement output.
Treat your feet like your hands! You wouldn’t walk around opening doors and driving your car with giant rubber mittens. Why would you restrict your feet to the same subjugation?
The more layers we add between our barefoot and the floor (i.e. thick-soled shoes), the more we obscure our innate rootedness and the more restricted our movement.
Barefoot training allows you to maximize your body awareness, also known as proprioception. This form of mindfulness helps you establish a deeper connection to your exercise as you perform. The more neurotransmitters you’re able to recruit to the given muscles at work, the more effective your strength training and the faster you’re able to pick up new moves. #GAINZ.
And because you’re an athlete, you already know how essential stability and agility are to your game. When you’re barefoot, you train every single toe, increasing the overall mobility and strength of the entire foot. Your feet become more flexible and adapt quickly to changes in weight distribution as you perform drills.
Fast-forward a good decade or so from now. Don’t you want to be able to play ball with your grandkids pain-free, with plenty of gas in your tank? Barefoot training has got your back for that too. The key to longevity is your ability to continually bulletproof your body as you age.
When you start barefoot training, it won’t be long before you start picking up on your asymmetries. Maybe you can balance better on your right leg and the left is always a stumble. As you continue to train without shoes, you set yourself up to strengthen your areas of opportunity so that, over time, you become more symmetrical and less prone to injury.
Caution: Like anything else we would not recommend going from one extreme to another. If you usually wear soft, cushiony shoes and want to try barefoot, you’ll want to make a gradual transition. Here are some strategies to take steps towards a more barefoot lifestyle:
- Start by not wearing shoes when you’re lounging at home.
- During your next training session, try slipping off your gym shoes and perform your workout in socks.
- Choose more minimalist shoes with thinner soles that will help you grip the floor.
You can start reaping all these benefits as early as TODAY! Over time you will strengthen your feet muscles, which retrains your to rely less on the support from your shoe.
We’d love to hear from you! What are your thoughts on barefoot training? If you’re about to make the transition, feel free to hit us with any questions you may have. We’re here to help!
Now, go let those toes breathe.
Old Bull Athletics