I couldn’t agree more with Debbie above with regard to the shoes. For lower body training they create better proprioception and for some less hip/knee pain by changing foot angle. Personally, I am a 1-footed overpronator and wouldn’t road run in my Vibrams, avoid walking on cement EVER without more cushioning and support. I’ve seen some seniors (80+) have success wearing versions of minimalist shoes rather than big clunky 10 year old poor fitting shoes. They don’t trip or shuffle as much and do gaiting exercises with more alacrity. As far as facility policy: Our Country Club requires closed toed shoes in the fitness center. I’ve recieved many complaints about barefeet and flip-flops but never vibrams. In group fitness we have people go barefoot with free weights being used. Yes, releases have been signed, yes the club would be liable…but again, is the argument with a member worth how many times we’ve all seen a weight drop on a toe/foot and cause a fracture?? See Gretchen’s
A very interesting question. When I run on the beach I much prefer barefoot! In a gym, group exercise setting I think shoes are the most appropriate. In a weight training setting, even though the risk of dropping a weight on the foot is minimal, I think the appropriate rule is that closed-toe shoes be worn. Having your client sign a release doesn’t necessarily mean that you are released from potential liability.
Take care, Daniel
I feel they should be allowed in the fitness center. Any weight being dropped will cause great damage to the foot. They are shoes. I would be more concerned about monitoring the floor and making sure people are lifting properly. That is the bigger issue for the threat of harm to members and scaring off members.
Noel Vasquez M.A.