Training soccer barefoot is not bad if you don’t go overboard. There are lots of benefits to training without
There are always two sides to the coin…
Some people believe that training without shoes can improve foot strength, balance, and overall performance.
Others argue that training barefoot can be dangerous and lead to injuries.
I personally think every player should spend at least 15 minutes per week training barefoot.
In this article, I’ll lay out the benefits of training with no footwear and what you’ll need to watch out for.
I’ve also included a video which I think will be helpful to you.
4 Benefits of Training Soccer Barefoot
Most youth soccer players wear cleats when they train. However, training barefoot can actually provide several benefits that can improve your overall performance on the field.
Here are some of the benefits of training soccer barefoot:
Enhances Foot Mechanics
Training barefoot can help enhance your foot mechanics, which can improve your overall performance on the field.
According to a study by the International Journal of Sports Medicine, training barefoot can help activate the many muscles in your foot and ankle, which can help them to develop under their natural form and function rather than through the constraints that a shoe provides.
All of the above can lead to better foot mechanics and improved performance on the field.
Try it yourself. If you feel like your running form is out of wack, try taking your shoes off. Naturally, your feet will correct it. It’s crazy but it actually works!
Improves Balance and Agility
According to many studies, training barefoot can improve proprioception, which is your body’s ability to sense movement and position.
This can help improve your balance and agility on the field, which can lead to better performance.
Why is that so? You don’t have your cleats or shoes as a crutch. You are naturally working different tendons, bones, and muscles in your foot and ankle.
Strengthens Foot Muscles
Training barefoot can lead to increased activation of the intrinsic foot muscles, which can help improve their strength and function.
This can lead to better overall foot health and improved performance on the soccer field.
Better Feel For the Ball
Training barefoot can also provide a better feel for the ball.
Practicing barefoot can improve your ability to sense and control the ball with your feet. Different parts of your foot will be activated with different touches.
Try juggling the ball for 5 minutes every day barefoot. The benefits are amazing!
This can lead to better ball control and improved performance on the field.
Risks of Training Soccer Barefoot
While there are some benefits to training without shoes, there are also some downsides to keep in mind.
Please read these over.
Potential for Injuries
There’s no doubt that without the protection of shoes, your feet are more vulnerable to cuts, scrapes, and blisters.
Also, playing without shoes can increase your risk of developing stress fractures, especially if you’re training on hard surfaces like concrete or asphalt.
On rare occasions, even if you are practicing on turf or grass, you can develop bone spurs on top of your foot from constantly kicking the ball. In this case, stop playing if you feel pain at the top of your foot.
Hygiene and Health Issues
Finally, training soccer barefoot can also raise concerns about hygiene and health.
Without shoes, your feet are more exposed to dirt, bacteria, and other contaminants on the ground. This can increase your risk of developing infections or other health issues.
Additionally, training without shoes can make it more difficult to maintain proper foot hygiene, which can lead to foot odor or other problems.
This is more of a parent problem. Most kids could care less!
In conclusion, training soccer barefoot has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. If you are considering it or haven’t done it yet, I recommend you do it!
By training barefoot, you can improve your foot strength, sensory perception, and overall performance on the field.
Barefoot training can also help increase foot mobility and agility.
Just make sure you play on a surface that you know is clean. A soccer club’s turf or grass is usually the best spot. School grounds can have some small, sharp items hidden under the grass.
Good luck with your new (and hopefully improved) training method!