Barefoot training has gained popularity in recent years as a way to improve balance, coordination, and overall foot and lower body strength.
Wearing shoes can negatively impact long-term overall health and wellness in several ways. When we wear shoes, the sole of the shoe is typically much more narrow than the natural shape of the foot. This jams the toes together and can make it difficult to maintain proper balance and coordination as the toes are unable to lay flat and the foot is not able to sense the ground as well.
Here are 8 reasons why you should ditch your shoes and start training barefoot:
1. Improved balance and stability: Training barefoot can help improve the strength and stability of the muscles in your feet and ankles, which can help improve balance and reduce the risk of injury.
2. Increased proprioception: Proprioception refers to the ability to sense the position of one's body in space. Training barefoot can help improve proprioception, which can lead to better control and coordination.
3. Better form: When training barefoot, it's easier to maintain proper form during exercises as the lack of shoes can help you engage the correct muscles, avoiding compensations. When we train barefoot, we actually engage more of the posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings, calves).
4. Reduced impact on joints: Training barefoot can reduce the impact on your joints, as it encourages a natural, mid-foot or forefoot strike, instead of the heel strike that is common when wearing shoes.
5. Improved foot and ankle strength: Training barefoot can help improve the strength and flexibility of the muscles in your feet and ankles, which can help prevent injury and improve overall foot health.
6. Increased natural movement: Training barefoot allows for a more natural range of motion in the ankle and foot, which can lead to better performance and reduced risk of injury.
7. Increased sensory feedback: Training barefoot allows for increased sensory feedback, which can help you stay aware of your body, improve form, and increase your awareness of your surroundings.
8. Feels better: When you let your feet breath and move naturally it just feels better. Much like when you take your shoes off at the beach and let your feet do their thing in the sand.
In summary, barefoot training is an effective way to improve balance, coordination, and overall foot and lower body strength. It allows the muscles in the foot and ankle to work in a more natural way, can help to prevent injuries, and can aid in recovery from foot and ankle injuries.