Barefoot Training: A Good Idea In Soccer?

By Toby T July 18, 2022

Soccer is one of the most played sports in the world, both professionally and for fun. Many world-class footballers, like Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi, Luis Figo, Ronaldinho, and other greats, did not start their careers on the pitch. They began on the streets, where they played football barefooted. Looking back at these names, it is impossible to discredit the impact of barefoot football on their development.

Why should soccer players opt for barefoot training? 

The legs are indispensable for soccer, especially the feet. The foot is complex. It includes 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments, so exertion is necessary to strengthen this body part. Sadly, playing with shoes might hinder this strengthening process. 

Image Credits: Fotokostic / Shutterstock

Training with the feet improves one’s adaptability to the pitch. Playing barefoot increases the sensitivity of your feet to various surfaces, helping your legs adapt to different soccer terrains. Overall, it allows you to think and move quickly on your feet. 

Barefoot training also helps you improve your skillful playing. Mastering various soccer skills while barefooted would translate to better control when you are in full swing.

Image Credits: ZoneCreative / Shutterstock

Can you get injuries playing barefooted? Well, the truth is barefoot soccer training helps you become more injury resistant. Studies have shown that barefoot training helps you activate your ankles and foot muscles. Additionally, it results in fewer knee, hip, and pelvic injuries.

You should add barefoot training to your routine but be careful not to start too hard but pace yourself.