Zeno Watson on why training barefoot is best

July 12, 2013 by Zeno Watson


Over the past few months I have been using VIVOBAREFOOT shoes as my go to training shoe to compliment my training in Parkour. When training as a Parkour practitioner it's important to condition and strengthen your feet, legs and core to be more resilient to potential injuries, especially from the hip down to the feet.  The training shoes we have come to know may look good and have plenty of padding/protection in the sole, however they maybe detrimentental to your training. Such issues as incorrect running mechanics, when running the heel is in contact first with the ground rolling onto the ball of the foot; when the correct way is to run on the balls of your feet, and avoid heel strike. Using the right technique will not only lessen the impact, but it is more efficient. You will feel light, spring-like and of course strengthen the foot and ankles.
Another positive point about using VIVOBAREFOOT training shoes, is their sensitivity. Their puncture resistant sole is thin enough to provide instant feedback on the various obstacles I choose to train on. And example being when balancing or landing on rails, my feet and flex and wrap around the top contours of the rail, providing a more natural grip.

I would not recommend training in VIVOBAREFOOT in the wet, especially when in contact with any metal surfaces, such as stanks, drain coverings, metal pedestrian crossing markings as the chances of slipping are very high. I find the VIVOBAREFOOT shoe provides protection from the cold man-made urban surfaces and to dangerous materials such as broken glass, where running barefoot itself could be a bit risky in a city.  The main reason I would be using this type of shoe would be to improve my technique and strengthen my feet, when it is dry and I want to work on running, balancing, jumping/landing from small drops.  
Here's fellow Parkour artist Scott Houston taking us through his barefoot training in VIVOBAREFOOT Shoes.

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