Person working out barefoot on wood floor with a red X drawn over it.You're stuck at home. If you're like many people, you've been walking more. Perhaps you've also started working out at home. As a result, you may be wondering if it's OK to work out barefoot or in stocking feet.

The answer is, it depends. If you've been Zooming into a yoga or Pilates class your fine. These forms of exercise are low impact.

But recently patients have been coming in with foot pain as a result of doing higher impact workouts at home while barefoot. Heel pain, Achilles tendonitis, and other foot problems can result when additional pressure is added to the plantar fascia--the thick band of tissue which originates at the heel, travels across the arches, and inserts into the base of the toes.

When you go barefoot your feet don't have the support they need to withstand the higher pressure placed on them.

When doing higher impact activities it's important to wear athletic shoes designed for that exercise. Be sure you're shoes aren't showing signs of wear. Also, shoes should only bend at the toes, not in the middle, be hard to wring out like a rag, and have a firm heel counter. To learn more about buying supportive shoes, view this video on how to test your shoes.

Dr. Rion Berg
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A podiatrist in North Seattle treating families for over 40 years.
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