Taking up a new exercise regimen can be intimidating. Before you head to your first Pilates class, you want to make sure that you have the right gear. You've picked out a mat and either bought or borrowed the requisite props. But, what goes on your feet?
Do you wear shoes for Pilates?
The short answer is no, you don't have to wear shoes for Pilates. However, some people choose to wear special socks (instead of shoes) because they are lightweight, non-restricting, and super-grippy. Additionally, athletic shoes are typically too confining to allow you to perform Pilates moves correctly. You need full mobility of your feet and ankles. Shoes change your foot's natural alignment, which gets in the way of proper Pilates form.
A closer look
Joseph Pilates developed his namesake methodology with influences from yoga, gymnastics, bodybuilding, and martial arts. Pilates depends on precise movement and control. To get the benefit of the exercises and avoid potential injury, you need to have the proper form. Barefoot practice allows your instructor a clear view of your foot alignment to ensure that you are doing each move correctly.
Alternatives to Barefoot Pilates
While shoes with hard soles are uncommon in the Pilates studio, it is not necessarily required that you forego foot coverings altogether. In cooler environments, you may be uncomfortable going completely barefoot. Many people also feel more comfortable and hygienic when they cover their feet.
However, regular athletic socks are not a good option for Pilates. Socks can be slippery, which can increase your chances of injury during practice. A better option is wearing socks specifically made for exercises like yoga or Pilates.
Choosing the Right Pilates Socks
Because you depend on proper foot placement during Pilates, you need socks that will enhance your balance and stability.
If you bought a pair of workout socks off the shelf at your local sporting goods store or mass retailer, you were probably disappointed. Too many of the options available don't provide a noticeable difference from regular athletic socks. They don't have ample grip, nor do they stand up to heavy use.
The ideal Pilates sock:
- Won't sacrifice natural movement
- Provides ample foot coverage
- Utilizes anti-skid technology
- Uses odor-eliminating technology
Our top pick for Pilates footwear
Plus, we use a specialized bacteria-killing formula to eliminate odor. As a result, you can stow your socks in your bag for several wearings before they need a wash. The silver-treated lining stands up to 50 wash cycles.
Having the right equipment for your workout of choice is of vital importance. Quality Pilates socks protect your feet, enhance your grip, and stand up to hard use, all without sacrificing fluid movement.