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Should I Wear Shoes to Workout?

Almost all of my coaching clients workout at home. This is the convenience and delight of at-home workout programs.

Once every month or two, a client will either ask what they should wear on their feet to workout OR report that they have started experiencing calf, foot or heel pain…and then disclose that they have been doing all their workouts barefoot.

There are benefits to being barefoot sometimes! It is good for our ankle and foot health to move all the bones of the foot and spread the toes.

white dog and woman walking barefoot

The question is: Is working out barefoot appropriate for me?


  1. Animal Flow

  2. Pilates

  3. Stretching

  4. Yoga

  5. You are not doing high impact exercises.

  6. You are not lifting or throwing heavy objects that you could drop on your feet.

  7. You have healthy feet.


  1. It hurts.

  2. You are doing high impact exercises and you are not an elite athlete or trained dancer or gymnast.

  3. You are jumping and you are not an elite athlete or trained dancer or gymnast.

  4. You are lifting heavy weights or other objects you could drop on your feet.

  5. You are new to exercise or returning from a long hiatus and your feet have not done this kind of movement for some time.

You have recently experienced a calf injury, acute or chronic plantar fasciitis, or a stress fractures of the foot.


OK, Anne, but I have seen some really sexy ‘yoga models’ doing fancy workouts in their socks on hardwood floors. Should I do that to also be sexy?

The only reason I would ever ask you to workout in socks is if the intention was to use them like blankets or gliders. This can be effective and fun in a supervised class or training setting!

The sliding allows for some challenging and fun core and dancey type stuff. But if you are planning to do pliet jump squats, at home, by yourself, in your cashmere socks, near your cat, on your hardwood floors…please don’t.


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