My journey to success as a barefoot Olympic Athlete

I’m Montell Douglas, an Olympian, one of the fastest females in Great British sprinting history and a ‘barefooter’!

Kudos to my mother’s 5”4 power and competitiveness, and my father’s 6”0 diligence and work ethic. I was born with a passion for all sports and graced with the gift of ‘moving fast’, so my abilities largely influenced my event selection. The 100m; the blue-ribbon event within Track & Field. The event sort of chose me.

Now, having been involved in international sport for over 10 years, I’ve learned a lot about life and desire, but most importantly I’ve gained wisdom. I’ve had access to elite knowledge on many topics, and realised that acquiring this information is not the job done, but that the application of such concepts is the key to life’s successes.

I’m an open minded individual and I continue to embrace personal development. Being introduced to the barefoot movement opened up doors to a world with new expectations; a lightbulb to a sphere of limitless opportunities. It became an obvious way of making those finer adjustments towards greater world class performance.

I never really enjoyed wearing shoes and I’ve never been conventional in my approach to everyday tasks, so the chance to give my feet a break from footwear by going barefoot was a moment of epiphany. I was always more comfortable with doing things the simpler way, from using my left hand as a knife, to choosing to sit on the floor instead of a sofa!

This, in turn, influenced my approach to elite sport. “Do the basics, but do them the best”, This lead me to an International athletic career in a world that I was ignorant to until age 13.

Quite simply, my feet are my magic wands. The meat to a butcher and the car to a driver.

Being barefoot gives me greater sensory feedback, when having to hit the track with 2.5 times my body weight per stride. Having access to a stronger feeling, whether in spikes or trainers, gives my body the chance to make the subconscious adjustments to my footing.

My feet are the only part of the body that make contact with the ground when I sprint, at speeds up to 10m/s. Training at this intensity means recovery is sometimes more important than the work itself.

Being ‘barefoot’ allows me to stay training to be the best, even when I rest.


Train your feet up to move like an olympian in a pair of Vivo exercise shoes. Remember to start slowly and strenghten your feet gradually.





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