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Socks or No Socks in Pilates?

in Southfield, MI

Socks or No Socks in Pilates?

Different studios have different requirements when it comes to socks or no socks in Pilates.

It also depends on what sort of Pilates you’re practicing. The choice to wear socks on a reformer, for example, is going to be based on different factors than wearing socks in a mat or barre class.

Then sometimes it’s downright advisable to use grippy non-slip socks. Wearing socks like that for Pilates could decrease your chance of getting injured. So we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of socks.

The Beauty of Being Barefoot

Many studios require you to wear grippy socks when on machines. Or even on the mat. They may have experienced too many injuries and have made it their policy. In that case, you don’t need to make a decision.

If you have the choice though, you may find you feel more connected to the machines when practicing barefoot. Without that barrier between you and the machine, you might feel a more natural bond and even get a better grip. And that’s immensely important in the Pilates practice.

Depending on the condition of the skin on your feet, you may find you have a reduced chance of slipping if you’re barefoot. This is particularly true when compared to those wearing socks that are not of the non-slip variety. Those can be dangerous. 

In addition, there’s something to be said for fully feeling the ground beneath your feet. With thousands of nerve endings on the soles of the feet, being barefoot gives you a better sense of balance and proprioception – or knowing where you are in space. When you wear socks, the tactile sensation is reduced. Much like when you wear gloves. 

So… Socks or No Socks in Pilates?

On the other hand, some people need additional cushioning or have sensitivity concerns that deem socks necessary. And while going barefoot on the machine may leave you feeling more connected, that connection is undeniably rougher. Wearing socks can buffer that roughness.

In addition, grippy socks can provide more traction on carpeted or wood floors or mats so practitioners feel more secure. This is especially the case for those with a propensity for sweaty feet that can cause them to slip and slide. Yes, Pilates can be an intense workout and sweating isn’t unusual. So socks with rubberized soles add a layer of traction even when the feet are sweaty.

And speaking of sweaty feet (there are, after all, 250,000 sweat glands in the feet), many people feel that wearing socks is more hygienic. This may or may not be true. A highly reputable studio should be doing an ample job of cleaning and sanitizing to make this a non-issue. A gym environment where they hold makeshift classes, however, might be a little shadier.  

Finally, there are two additional arguments for socks that are obvious. The first is that they keep your feet warm! So if you live in an environment where the winters are cold, you may wear socks solely for that purpose. Then there’s the fashion statement you may want to make with socks. While this last reason isn’t practical or connected with Pilates, if you have some wonderful grippy socks that are so stylish you could rock them out on the runway, then go ahead and express yourself! 

It Comes Down to Personal Preferences and Practicality

You don’t necessarily even have to choose between socks or no socks in Pilates. Some days you might feel like wearing them, and others not so much. Or you may want them on machines but prefer to be barefoot on the mat. 

What matters most is your comfort level and ability to move freely and safely. 

So if you’re curious about giving Pilates a try, contact us today. We offer a wide array of classes to help you find what works for you. We even sell quality grippy socks, if you’re so inclined to get them a try.