View Poll Results: Do you squat barefoot?

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Thread: Squatting barefoot

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  1. #1
    Super Moderator RBB's Avatar
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    Squatting barefoot

    i've been training for a long time and never tried this until yesterday. i've been suffering from a bit of knee pain when i squat heavy lately and it seemed to be a stability/balance issue. took the shoes off and damn, my base has never felt so solid on squats in my life. even wearing flat soled shoes, for me, there is no comparison. i will never squat any other way again.


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  2. #2
    Garage Lifter
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    I either squat barefoot or in Vibrams (please don't flame )
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator RBB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StLRPh View Post
    I either squat barefoot or in Vibrams (please don't flame )
    i was just looking at a pair of the vibrams. i will probably be picking up a pair immediately.


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  4. #4
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    I wear them for all of my lifts and really like them. They are hideous and ghey but I lift in my Garage and by myself so who gives a ****
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  5. #5
    A gallon a day, everyday! ThomasG's Avatar
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    I myself squat in chucks. Today I was training a client and she said she was having knee problems after squats sure enough today she was leaning forward in her squats. I examined her shoes then had her squat barefoot, problem solved.
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  6. #6
    Super Moderator RBB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StLRPh View Post
    I wear them for all of my lifts and really like them. They are hideous and ghey but I lift in my Garage and by myself so who gives a ****
    yeah, they are pretty goofy looking, but that doesn't bother me. i'm sure i will get a lot of people asking about them at the gym....

    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasG View Post
    I myself squat in chucks. Today I was training a client and she said she was having knee problems after squats sure enough today she was leaning forward in her squats. I examined her shoes then had her squat barefoot, problem solved.
    the shoes were definitely my problem as well.
    Last edited by RBB; 07-06-2010 at 02:20 PM.


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  7. #7
    House Lannister
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    Quote Originally Posted by RBB View Post
    yeah, they are pretty goofy looking, but that doesn't bother me. i'm sure i will get a lot of people asking about them at the gym....



    the shoes were definitely my problem as well.
    RBB, I'm currently using Vibrams and I can tell you that they probably aren't worth the money. Excellent idea, but execution is poor. I found my pair to not be very durable at all when running or using them outside. In fact, I went through one pair in two days. The store I bought them at was happy to exchange them for a new pair, but that pair, which I've had for a few months and have used almost exclusively indoors in the weight room and indoor track, have rips at the seams and probably won't last many more months, which is unacceptable for the cost (80$).

    They feel great when deadlifting and doing some exercises, but you could probably get nearly the same amount of feel by using a pair of Puma K-Street IIs or Salohs. Heck, you could even just get water shoes, which would be a ton cheaper. That's basically what they are.

    Just thought I'd give my opinion.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator RBB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chevelle2291 View Post
    RBB, I'm currently using Vibrams and I can tell you that they probably aren't worth the money. Excellent idea, but execution is poor. I found my pair to not be very durable at all when running or using them outside. In fact, I went through one pair in two days. The store I bought them at was happy to exchange them for a new pair, but that pair, which I've had for a few months and have used almost exclusively indoors in the weight room and indoor track, have rips at the seams and probably won't last many more months, which is unacceptable for the cost (80$).

    They feel great when deadlifting and doing some exercises, but you could probably get nearly the same amount of feel by using a pair of Puma K-Street IIs or Salohs. Heck, you could even just get water shoes, which would be a ton cheaper. That's basically what they are.

    Just thought I'd give my opinion.
    thanks, chevelle, i appreciate the input. well, i have no problem just wearing socks if the Vibrams are not at all durable. i don't plan on using them to run in, though. lifting only. anyone else who wears the vibrams have opinions on the durability?


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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RBB View Post
    thanks, chevelle, i appreciate the input. well, i have no problem just wearing socks if the Vibrams are not at all durable. i don't plan on using them to run in, though. lifting only. anyone else who wears the vibrams have opinions on the durability?
    Had my fivefingers KSO for 18months now, use them every time I train, prowler work everything and they've lasted just fine. Only downside is they need a machine wash every week (which they're designed to do) or they stink and feel a bit slimy.

    Based on reviews I've read, and my own experiences, the KSO's are the best fitting of the bunch.

    They get around the 'no barefoot training' rule in most gyms, but if the gym allows barefoot and you don't see yourself wearing them outside the gym then socks/barefoot would be as good/better for squatting etc.

    Guy above mentioned a heel - there's no heel.

  10. #10
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    I squat and deadlift in socks most of the time...

    You can pick up a pack of Hanes sport socks at Target for under $10, they are black and look somewhat like sneakers so it is less conspicuous if you train in a commercial gym that requires you to wear shoes.
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  11. #11
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    mine are holding up well, but I only wear them for lifting. Had them for about 4 months.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member soclydeza's Avatar
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    ive actually been meaning to ask this question for a while now but kept forgetting to post it, and now you all just gave me a good answer. thanks for the post, ill be sure to try this on my next squat or deadlift day
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Jorge Sanchez's Avatar
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    I've tried lifting barefoot and it doesn't compare to a decent pair of weightlifting shoes. A cheap pair won't be any more expensive than a pair of vibrams - in fact, I think I got mine for about $50 and they'll probably last me the rest of my life.
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  14. #14
    powerlifter in training Liftersize's Avatar
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    my brother just squats in his five fingers and the big toes are ripping after a couple months, plus the heal is slightly elevated it is not completely flat
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  15. #15
    House Lannister
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liftersize View Post
    my brother just squats in his five fingers and the big toes are ripping after a couple months, plus the heal is slightly elevated it is not completely flat
    Yep, that's where mine are ripping. It's a big stress point.

    I've never noticed any elevated heel, however.

  16. #16
    Constantly Improving Decent's Avatar
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    About a year and a half ago, I tried barefoot and never looked back. Love feeling my heels on the floor.
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  17. #17
    TJW Keith's Avatar
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    Chucks for squatting and pulling wide, barefoot for olympic squatting and conventional pulling.
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  18. #18
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    Has anybody used Nike Free or the Nike Free TR? I currently lift in chuck's but was looking for something more universal. I sometimes do combinations of lifting and running (CrossFit).
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by imxfit View Post
    Has anybody used Nike Free or the Nike Free TR? I currently lift in chuck's but was looking for something more universal. I sometimes do combinations of lifting and running (CrossFit).
    Those shoes really aren't that great and don't do what they are designed to do: allow your foot to move naturally. The Free and TR still have a big ass heel that's going to F with your natural stride. If I were you I'd pick up a pair of track trainers, like the Puma Saloh or K-Street II.

    When I was doing more sprint training I was reading up on POSE running pretty regularly and those who practiced it always recommended either barefoot, vibrams, or Puma H-Streets. I think they'd all work out for weightlifting too.

  20. #20
    Senior Member IronDiggy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by imxfit View Post
    Has anybody used Nike Free or the Nike Free TR? I currently lift in chuck's but was looking for something more universal. I sometimes do combinations of lifting and running (CrossFit).
    I have a pair of nike free run's but I would never squat or DL in them. They wouldn't be very stable to squat in as there's lots of padding and it's really soft. I love em for just wearing around and running. Really light and for someone who runs on his toes they work well.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member IronDiggy's Avatar
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    used to squat in runners, hurt my knees, started squatting in chucks fixed that issue. Since I've switched to a weightlifting shoe with a heel... 1000000x better

    I haven't tried squatting barefoot though, I have deadlifted barefoot but not squat... yet I may have to try it for fun one day.

    Oh and I want a pair of vibrams just cause.
    Last edited by IronDiggy; 07-07-2010 at 02:06 PM.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member shootermcgavin7's Avatar
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    I have worked out barefoot or with Vibram Flows for at least two years. In the past, I have had horrible problems with shin splints when running and knee problems while squatting, all of these disappeared when I dropped the shoes.

    Everything indoors or in my garage I do completely barefoot, anything outside (like sledge/tire, gate jumps, sandbag work, or sprints) I do in the Vibram Flows. I also use the Flows while sailing and river fishing. I have had no problems with the shoes falling apart. I wash them in the washing machine at least once per month, and they look just like they day I bought them, except for some Siberian Husky hair stuck in the velcro.

    Like Sensei mentioned, maybe this is a problem with the "base model" pair, and not the KSO or Flow models, which are more expensive and give better fit.


    Edit: I should add that most of my squatting has been with either sandbags, bodyweight, or heavy dumbells. I haven't done heavy barbell work in a few months.
    Last edited by shootermcgavin7; 07-07-2010 at 03:58 PM.

  23. #23
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    chevelle2291, thanks.
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  24. #24
    Iron4Life
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    Bare foot for the win baby...
    I always used some type of sneaker/cross trainer for >25 years... regular old BB'ing lifting it didn't really seem to matter... but when the heavy lifting/powerlifting bug hit me, I switched to Chucks and they were a life saver... couldn't lift in socks at my gym... and then I found the vibrams about 18 months ago

    The vibrams are awesome... I have 2 pairs.. one for indoors, one for outdoors... so the gym I lift at doesn't complain about it...

    The indoor pair I've had for almost 16 months... 3-4 days a week in the gym... heavy, dynamic, whatever they are used fulltime... I have no ripping, tearing, almost no damage except for scuff marks..
    .... there is no heel, so I have no idea what Liftersize is talking about..
    I've competed in them, both PL and Strongman competitions... even the WBB contest last winter....
    .... many squats over 550, DLs over 580.. I know it's not that heavy, but add in my 250 lbs and wide feet and you know that the shoe can handle a lot of stress...

    The outdoor pair I've used for all kinds of stuff... walking a whole day at an amusement park... all strongman events... pulling & pulling sleds/cars/trucks.. walking in rivers.. many yoke runs over 800...
    ...Just recently I started doing my sprints in them - on a track and on a field... this you have to work up to.. because you need to learn a more natural stride/foot impact...
    ... I have a extra wide foot and not feels better on the feet..


    Here is where the Vibrams may not be the best shoe:
    • really slick surfaces... strongman events on a rainy surface... the vibrams are not designed with the best grip.. so use rock climbing shoes or something for truck pulls in the rain...
    • some overhead stuff... a small elevated heel can help a lot of folks when they are doing OLifts, Log Presses, etc... perhaps for front squats too, but I use plates under my heels and have gone up to 410 this way..
    • people too lazy to wash them... if you let them go to long between washes, you will stick up everything around... I haven't tried the socks yet, but I hear they help with the smell a lot..
    • impatient people... who try to run to far in them the first day... look up barefoot running on Google... we've all been running unnaturally for out lifes because of our padded heels... you will need to change your running when you go barefoot... slowly... or you will experience a lot of issues
    • Vibrams are not going to replace specialized shoes.. like football/baseball cleats... Basketball/Volleyball shoes.. etc... but for training, there is nothing better then barefoot/Vibrams..


    Barefoot/Vibrams... your joints will love you for it.. my ankle, knees and hip have never felt better...
    ..

  25. #25
    Super Moderator RBB's Avatar
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    i gonna pick up a pair of the KSO's this weekend and give them a shot. seems like durability on that model isn't really an issue.


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