T Nation

Alternative to Barefoot?


I currently train at home, barefoot, but I'm going to have to join a gym while I do some work on my basement. I got the idea that instead of buying a new pair of shoes suitable for squatting, I could just rip the cushiony part out of an old pair of basketball shoes and use those. That should make them equivalent to a pair of Chucks, right? Plus they'll look a lot less ridiculous. Thoughts??


Dunlop Volleys? I wear them and its like wearing rubber socks and the look good anyway.


Nice choice pro-a-ggression, but Im not sure if they've got Volleys in the states. Chucks are great and if you think that your BBall shoes without the lining will be the same then use them and see how they feel. Otherwise Nike Free's are a good choice but a little more expensive, I use them and squatting with them is fine by me, Im pretty sure Coach Cressey likes them too.

It all depends on comfort levels man, if they're comfortable use em.


Just go get a cheap little pair of pool shoes.

They're durable, and water (sweat) resistant. They are thin, flexible, flat, and they have good traction so you won't slip, not to mention easy to take on and off (no tying or velcro necessary)

And they are stylishly tacky!


I use Vibram 5 fingers.

Its as close to barefoot you can get. The toes make them stand out at the gym though.


Take your shoes off when you squat...I do sometimes since I'm so used to barefoot.


you also have to consider the outer sole as well, not just the insert.

what's so ridiculous about chucks?


majority of commercial gyms won't allow this because of insurance purposes.

as mentioned, Vibram 5 fingers, expensive. but I hear worth it


thanks everyone for the suggestions. what I'm really trying to do is avoid spending any money on a new pair of shoes though. esp. since i normally workout at home anyways.


Ill be going to a YMCA, doubt they'll let me get away with going barefoot. ill try it though


see this is what i was unsure about. i guess i'll try it next time i squat and see how it goes.

nothing wrong with chucks or any of the other suggestions i guess, but i think i'd look stupid in 'em.


You wear socks? Just take the shoes off for the set only. This is what I do sometimes.


Are shoes important when it comes to working out? I always use tennis shoes. Are there benefits to going bare foot or wearing shoes that are near bare foot?


I train at ymca to, most of the time theres no attendant in the weight room, so I take my shoes off, have been told to ware shoes. but fuck that I keep taking my shoes regardless of what they tell me.


better range of motion and more natural



I have the black/black KSO's.


who cares what you look like while working out? I use both chucks and nike frees. I like the nikes, but really there's no difference between the two...chucks might actually simulate barefoot better actually and are much cheaper. I'd suggest getting a pair of chucks about a halfsize bigger than what you normally wear and go with it.


FiveFingers are great.

But some commercial gyms won't let you wear them either, for "safety" reasons (or so they claim, until you raise hell about it).


I lift at my local Y. I just take my shoes off for squats/deads, they don't seem to mind. I've even walked around with them off. If not I wear Adidas Sambas.


I've posted it before, but I use mocassins for squatting and DL'ing. Not the kind that has modernized soles added in, but just leather (albeit with a Dr Scholl's type pad added inside.)


I cut the fringes off.

Although they're more off-beat looking than sneakers, they're not as weird as Vibrams. Plus, while I haven't had to deal with it, it would be amusing seeing what would happen if a gym employee claimed they were not shoes and I then became indignant on being discriminated against for my (newly-found) American Indian heritage. I really don't think it would work for anyone to claim mocassins are not shoes.

The mocassins, without socks, actually feel more barefoot than regular gym socks without shoes do, for me anyway. Oddly enough.