Should I be Rebounding Barefoot or With Shoes?

People across the globe are unlocking their inner child and getting fit whilst doing so by jumping onto rebounders.

But to get the most out of this mood lifting, blood pumping workout, should you be wearing shoes or going barefoot? Rebounding barefoot is both safe and effective in terms of ensuring you get the most out of your mini-trampoline session. Exceptions to this rule may include that you find it uncomfortable, you have difficulties with balance, you’re experiencing certain types of injury, or if you’re working out using a communal trampoline. 

Today, we’ll be looking at why rebounding barefoot can be a great way to use your mini-trampoline. We’ll also be thinking about what sort of footwear you might want to consider if you do choose to go with something on your feet, rather than allowing your toes to breathe free and easy! 

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Should You Wear Shoes When Rebounding? 

In what circumstances should you wear shoes when jumping on a mini-trampoline?

Beginners to this energising piece of kit might find they feel a bit unsteady on their feet to begin with. You might find, in this case, that wearing shoes for your first few sessions can help build confidence and make you feel more stable. 

Similarly, bouncing for hours without shoes on could make your soles a little sore if your skin isn’t used to the material. If you’re planning on diving in with intense cardio workouts on the rebounder straight away, you might find that wearing something on your feet will help prevent soreness or blisters.

This can also be the case with rebounders that have a higher tension in their springs and surface area. 

Those with weak ankles or instability in their lower leg may find that certain forms of footwear help protect and guard against injury.

If this is the case, we’d always recommend chatting to your physician to see whether or not rebounding is a good idea for building back your strength and whether or not particular footwear needs to be worn.

Finally, if you’re in a commercial gym or class setting, they may specify that some form of footwear is required in order to use the rebounders they provide.

You might also feel that, even with proper cleaning routines, you feel more comfortable having something on your feet knowing that lots of other people have access to the rebounder!

Should I be Rebounding barefoot or with shoes?

Can You Do Rebounder Barefoot?

Absolutely! In fact, many people swear by barefoot rebounding as the only way to go!

If you have stable, healthy ankles and feet, you could find that rebounding barefoot actually improves your balance over time.

It may seem counterintuitive, as some people feel that they need to wear shoes when they first start bouncing just to keep steady.

However, many rebounding folk find that their balance on the mini-trampoline skyrockets after just a few barefoot sessions, as the feet and mind get used to the feel of staying upright on the bouncy surface. 

By allowing the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your feet to flex and tense without restriction, barefoot rebounding can really help to strengthen both your feet and lower legs.

Many people report feeling that they are getting a more ‘complete’ workout of the lower body when their toes and feet are given the space to wriggle, flex and spread out. Especially as rebounding is considered a plyometric exercise.

Finally, some people also find that barefoot rebounding gives you a far better grip on the trampoline, and can actually reduce your risk of injury.

There is no hard scientific evidence for or against this claim, and it can’t be said with any certainty that barefoot rebounding is categorically safer than wearing shoes. Nevertheless, if you find that you feel safer and more in control when bouncing barefoot, then this is likely a good sign. 

What Shoes Are Best for Rebounding?

If you do wish to wear something on your feet, it’s important that the traction is good between the soles and the rebounder material. You also want to avoid wearing anything that could damage your mini-trampoline. 

For this reason, soft rather than rigid running shoes or cross trainers can be a good idea. The downside of this, however, is that you may find your ankles feel more supported in a more rigid training shoe. 

If it’s just grip and padding that you feel you require, plimsolls, gymnastic or dance shoes can all be good, flexible, but reliably grippable options.

ASICS Men's Gel-Contend 7 Running Shoes, 10.5, Carrier Grey/Classic RED

Though they might not give you the ankle support of a more rigid running shoe, they are likely to be easier on the mini-trampoline itself.

Again, you need to be mindful about which sort of shoe is necessary for your particular situation – if you know that you need a shoe with good ankle support, wearing plimsolls isn’t recommended!

Rebounding Shoes

There aren’t dedicated rebounding shoes, any running shoe is suitable to help you keep balance and support throughout.

Should You Wear Socks on a Trampoline?

You can wear normal socks on a trampoline however they don’t have much grip. There’s always the option of going for dedicated trampolining socks. This dispenses with a shoe altogether whilst also giving your feet a bit of protection from blisters on a trampoline.

It also puts a surface between you and the feet of other mini-trampoline users! Some trampolining venues will insist on trampolining socks for this reason.

Make sure you don’t just use normal socks. Trampolining socks are specially designed to be able to grip the rebounder properly. Normal socks are much more liable to cause slips and falls. They’re also more liable to slide down off your feet altogether! I recommend these:

Leeshow 4Pairs Non Slip Trampoline Socks for Kids, Anti Skid Gripy Floor Socks for Exercises, Gym, Yoga and Pilates (2-5years, Black, Navy, Blue, Yellow)

Is it Better to Jump on a Rebounder With or Without Shoes?

Overall, if you own your own rebounder and find it comfortable to do so, we’d recommend giving barefoot rebounding a go. If it causes soreness, or you simply don’t like how it feels, then you can always switch to putting something on your feet! 

Ensure your toenails are clipped to avoid any unwanted injury and always consult a medical practitioner if you have pre-existing conditions that might make barefoot bouncing risky. 

If you’re new to it all, we recommend starting off with shorter sessions – ease yourself in and don’t try to bounce too high or too fast too soon! 

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An ex-triathlete, fitness coach and writer with a Masters in Sports Physiology. Fitness is my passion and I've had my fair share of home fitness equipment tried and tested!