Bare Feet In Sports

Woman running in race 1



BF - Two running 1Yes, barefoot running has grown in popularity in recent years . . .

. . . from “weekend athletes,”

. . . to experienced runners,

and for good reason! . . .


BF - Saxton BayshoreMarathon 1At Left:  Premier barefoot runner Ken Bob Saxton

A leading instructor of barefoot running in the U.S., Ken has completed more than 400 races barefoot, including 79 marathons and one ultra-marathon (50+ kilometers).  He has also been featured in numerous newspaper, magazine, radio and TV appearances.  See his informative website on barefoot running here.

Barefoot Running Tips by Ken Bob Saxton (4 minute video)


BF - barefoot-running-book-1At Right:  The Barefoot Running Book by Jason Robillard.

Jason writes, “My methods can help anyone learn to run barefoot, or run in minimalist shoes.  I use a combination of research, collaboration, and my own experiences to bring the latest methods for making a safe, enjoyable transition to barefoot or minimalist shoe running.”

At Left:  Barefoot Runners Society

This group and its website provide a wealth of information as well as links related to barefoot running and the growing number of those who practice the sport.



A Brief History of Barefoot Running – By Roger Robinson, in Runners World  (April, 2011)

For Links to running related websites and blogs: Click here



2011-09-02-jc-FMRUNS3.JPGAt Right:  Syracuse Fayetteille-Manlius distance runners jog barefoot in a warmup at Green Lakes State Park in New York. The Hornets have won several national cross-country championships.  Another story of a barefoot runner.



At Left:  Barefoot 3v3 Soccer Tournament Liberty Lake, Washington (YouTube)




BF - Soccer skills 1At Right – Barefoot soccer skills!  A talented girl demonstrates some fancy footwork with a soccer ball,  enhanced by doing it barefoot!  It just makes sense



At Left:  2nd Annual 3v3 Jamboree Barefoot Soccer tourney: held to raise money and awareness for Grass Root Soccer

Playing barefoot just adds to the fun.  Event hosted by Portland Barefoot Soccer (YouTube – May, 2011)


 At Right:  Barefoot soccer team in action and clearly enjoying the sport, as participating barefoot enhances their agility and ability to maneuver.   – Barefoot Soccer Wav 11

Barefoot Futsal Academy – Video



BF - Rugby 1At Left:  A tough and rugged sport like rugby–and they prefer to play it barefoot

They wouldn’t do it unless it enhanced their ability to play the game–and likely also their enjoyment

Also: A video of a barefoot youth rugby group in New Zealand called the Little Rippas.  Note their joy and ease as they play.



BF-Weightlift-2At Left:  World champion body builder Arnold Schwarzenegger

Observe the evident smile as he deftly prepares to lift a hefty weight while barefoot  

Hey, if it works for Arnold, who wants to argue?!


Above:  Strength Camp video demonstrating Barefoot Dead-lifting

Video of barefoot Barbell lifting (Oct. 2016, Dr. Joel Seedman)

BF - Gym-1Right: WillPower & Grace – a barefoot group exercise class.  New Yorker Stacey Lei Krauss, who has studied barefoot exercise for 10 years and works as a fitness adviser, developed the class to help participants strengthen and increase foot mobility while learning to move and land gracefully on them.   Tapping into the growing interest in barefoot running (doing away with our cushioned trainers in favor of strengthening our own support systems – our feet) it may be the first dedicated barefoot workout for gyms.

Barefoot friendly fitness facilities: Barefoot Fitness Centers

Additional articles:



Above:  Jessica Smith 40 minute Cardio Barefoot Flow (YouTube) — Low impact home workout emphasizing the benefits of exercising barefoot.  Also…

30 Minute Barefoot Fusion Walk – Low impact cardio exercises for beginners – another video by Jessica Smith

BF - Barefoot Cardio Ellen Barrett Ellen Barrett’s Barefoot Cardio (at right).  A 45-min. video blending standing Pilates and aerobic dance to develop a better body from the ground up . . . done barefoot, of course  (link provides a brief clip from the full video).



Above:  LPGA Class A Pro Debbie DonigerTalks about practicing golf barefoot

Below: Two video links featuring Pro Golfer John Daly golfing barefoot:



BF - Martial arts - Fay 2BF - Martial arts - kickLeft & right: Two martial artists practicing their craft while barefoot.

Left, below: Fay Goodman demonstrates a form of martial arts called Iaido, showing how performing in bare feet enhances mobility, feeling and movement on a variety of indoor and outdoor surfaces.

BF - Martial arts - Fay 1



Woman skydiving (#1)Woman skydiving (#2)





Above:  Indeed, the sky’s the limit! Ah, the ultimate in freedom . . . skydiving barefoot.

  • Video – Two barefoot skydivers having a blast
  • Video – Another barefoot skydiver enjoying the time of her life



BF - Rock climbing 1

At Right:  A nimble Rock climber deftly uses both hands and feet to sense the surface textures and then find and grasp the most effective hand and foot grips.

Sheer heights . . . sheer joy.

Video – A barefoot rock wall climber easily scaling a 30-foot wall.

Additional videos of barefoot hikers and climbers in action:



BF - bowling-2At Left: Indoor Bowling — Yes, one can certainly bowl while barefoot, as demonstrated quite ably in the photo and  in this video by barefoot bowler Donny Williams.


BF - Bowl-1On Right: Outdoor Lawn Bowling Parties (example here) — A popular party event in Australia combining fresh air, soft grass, bare feet and good friends, Barefoot Bowls appeal to all ages . . . and with bare feet everybody wins!



BF - Skateboarding-1At Left: Barefoot Dan demonstrating barefoot Skateboarding.


BF - Skateboarding-2At Right:  Life magazine (May, 1965) cover photo and story about Patti McGee, champion skateboarder.  Vintage video of Patti appearing and performing barefoot on the Mike Douglas TV show.

A Brief History of Barefoot Skateboarding – The association between skateboarding and bare feet has a long history.  This video offers a brief review.

BF - Skateboard kids IndiaBarefoot Skateboarders – This inspiring video documents how the sport of skateboarding introduced positive social change for children in an impoverished community in India



BF - Yoga 1At Left:  Who could imagine practicing Yoga with anything but bare feet?!
As this website explains . . . “At yoga studios, it is common practice (and good etiquette) to remove your street shoes at the door. Bare feet are better able to find stable, balanced contact with the floor, which is essential for standing poses. Working with bare feet also provides a rare opportunity to stretch and strengthen the feet….”



BF - Horse riding-1BF - Horse riding-4At Left: A barefoot rodeo performer.  Yes, as this rider very deftly demonstrates, it works just fine.

At Right: Another comfortably barefoot rider.  “Look ma, no shoes!”



BF - Horse riding-2BF - Horse riding-3 At Left and Right: An experienced barefooter who both rides and tends to her horse while comfortably barefoot.