Squatting Without Shoes – Worth it?

By | July 16, 2022

Ken Waller squatting barefoot

Pros of squatting barefoot:

  • None, really.

Squatting barefoot is not only unsanitary, it’s not effective.

Read on to find out why you’re better off with a pair of shoes.




  • Lack of stability/support
  • Gym policy violation
  • No one wants to smell your feet (seriously)

When you have a lot of weight on the bar, you want the best footing absolutely possible.

You don’t want to trip with any amount of weight on your back, and that’s more likely to happen barefoot than wearing a pair of shoes.

Possibly more important than that is the support that squatting shoes will offer.

The higher the weight you are using, the more important your foot has proper support for it.

No one is going to yell at you for squatting without shoes if you do it occasionally, but if you do it every time you squat then someone is going to notice, it’s just a matter of time.

It’s also worth considering that you could drop a weight on your foot which even a basic shoe will help shield a LITTLE.

Anything is better than just being barefoot if that were to happen.

Lastly, nobody wants to smell your feet in the gym.

Seriously. Consider it common courtesy to your fellow gym goers by sparing them that awful odor that most if not all people have.

I know my feet don’t smell good by the time I get to the gym after work, so I definitely would not want to subject even myself to that funk. Think about slipping your feet back into your shoes in between sets to minimize this effect.

I wouldn’t recommend squatting barefoot.

I highly recommend getting a pair of lifting shoes.

You’ll be a lot more safe and comfortable.

View weightlifting shoes on Amazon

Parting thoughts on the barefoot debate

A good pair of weightlifting shoes is worth having for squats.

Adidas Power Lift 2 Squatting Shoes

And hopefully, by now you aren’t considering squatting without a pair. I’m a firm believer in investing in what will help keep me in good shape and will be used regularly.

By far one of the best lifting related purchases I’ve made, if not the best. If you are looking for a shoe that is less than a hundred dollars and performs excellently, I highly recommend the Adidas Powerlift 3’s.

You can check out my review here for more information, but they are the first pair of shoes I bought for the gym and I still use them to this day.

Hopefully this article was informative and you learned a thing or two.

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