Seems simple right! Just train barefoot. Which you could definitely do. The problem is that you’ll easily injure yourself by training barefoot right away.
Your foot has been in shoes that limited mobility for a long time. To know if you should take your time switching take a look at your shoe.
Is there an arch support?
Is your shoe rigid? Can you squish and twist it easily?
Is the heel higher than the toe? Is the thickness at the base of the heel bigger than base at the toe?
If you answered yes to one of the questions, then you should really progress slowly.
If you don't know why you should barefoot train, I wrote about it in last week's blog.
This progression is for barefoot strength training. Running type sports need a few more steps but the transition can be the same.
1. Start walking around your home in socks or bare feet. If it’s not something you do already, start with an hour and slowly increase time. There’s no specific time to walk around barefoot, but don’t start with a few hours at once.
2. Foot specific exercises to strengthen those small muscles and the arch that have been asleep for awhile. An example is foot scrunches (they may be familiar). The goal is to curl the toes. The towel helps to do the exercise properly.
3. Barefoot weight training. If you’ve been doing the first suggestion already then start weight training in bare feet. The only suggestion would be to start with body weight or light weights at the start.
Not all gyms allow for shoe-less training. For those gyms, there exists minimalist or barefoot shoes. Not all shoes called minimalist are what I would call barefoot. They should be squishy, and have an even heel to toe thickness.
Want to know more about barefoot training? We’re here to help.