Walking on a treadmill is like having the best of both worlds. You get to have all the benefits of running, and you can do it indoors. Ditching shoes and walking with just socks on a treadmill is a new trend many are hopping into.
But can you walk on a treadmill with socks?
Generally, walking without shoes and just wearing socks is a great way to strengthen your muscles. Hence, adding the protective layer of socks when walking on a treadmill can have a multitude of benefits. It is quite the hot take among enthusiasts. Many swear by it, while others firmly advise against it.
So, we are here to give you an unbiased side of both accounts. Keep reading to make an informed decision!
Table of Contents
Benefits of Running on a Treadmill with Socks
There are several reasons why it can be beneficial. The points below discuss them in detail. Some runners swear by running or walking with socks on a treadmill.
It Strengthens Your Muscles
When you are walking with socks, your feet are repeatedly striking the ground. Hence your muscles work harder, and they are pushed to their limits. Your calf muscles, tendons, and other foot ligaments are stretched and activated as well.
If you run with socks on a treadmill, it helps augment muscle strength without straining your joints. Consequently, this prevents you from injuring or damaging your muscles.
It Paves the Way for Efficient and Smooth Running
When you are walking on a treadmill, you are limited to a confined place that is constantly moving, so practice is vital if you want to walk with socks on a treadmill.
And when you are not wearing any shoes, it is easy to land on the midsole and balls of the foot instead of the heel—taking shorter strides with a soft landing. Running reduces the impact on the heel but ensures an uninterrupted and efficient workout.
The front of your foot arches is excellent to absorb shock. Hence you can enhance endurance and build stamina. Moreover, with less amount of oxygen intake, your strength and impulses will have a remarkable improvement.
Ensures Better Balance
As your feet repeatedly touch the treadmill belt, you are more aware of your posture and maintain it properly. Consequently, it accommodates and supports your body well as your feet to hold your weight and support leg movements.
Safeguarding from Forming Blisters and the Warmth of the Treadmill
The comfy socks covering your feet serve to be a protective layer when walking on a treadmill. Walking barefoot on the treadmill for a long time can form blisters. Throwing a pair of socks on can quickly eliminate the blister problem, as it provides a protective layer.
Moreover, when you’re running on the treadmill for a long time, it can start getting warm, which can be very uncomfortable if you are barefoot. A sock can easily shield you from the discomfort of a toasty treadmill. Thus, you can maintain your flow.
Being Mindful Can Lessen the Disadvantages of Walking with Socks
Some very vocal advocates support walking in socks on the treadmill. It is suitable for muscles. You can easily avoid the disadvantages of overworking your muscles by being mindful and remembering to shift your weight or not riding the treadmill for too long.
Also, they advise you to wear breathable socks that will be easy on your feet and durable.
Challenges of Walking on a Treadmill with Socks
It is always essential to know both sides of a story. As we have already seen the pros of walking with socks on a treadmill, now let’s explore the cons.
High Risk of Slipping off of the Treadmill
Your feet naturally provide you with grip. Socks will not provide you with as much grip. They can suffocate your feet, causing them to sweat, which can be very uncomfortable.
Since they do not provide you with much grip, you can slip off of the treadmill. Moreover, socks cannot sustain the strain of the treadmill. They are more prone to having rips or holes, which will be a source of significant discomfort.
Socks Can Tear with Strain
Whenever you are walking with socks on a treadmill, it poses a significant problem. The socks can wear and tear, damaging themselves while exposing your feet to the treadmill belt.
And the exposed part of the foot can develop blisters and abrasions. Moreover, it can hinder your flow and cause you to slip off of the treadmill, which will be very harmful as you can get serious injuries.
The Structural Drawbacks of a Treadmill
On a treadmill, the belt propels towards you, leaving your feet to endure the impact. Taking your shoes off removes a significant protective layer, even though the treadmill is better equipped to hold traction along with grip.
Moreover, since the treadmill provides a confined space, you have to shorten your strides to fit in, which can be constricting.
It Can Damage Your Muscles and Cause Foot Injuries
Walking on a treadmill with socks is a double-edged sword. On one hand, you work your muscles and build them. But overworking your muscles can be damaging.
And walking with socks on the treadmill causes extra strain on the soles of the feet. So, the muscles and tendons are overworked and stiff while you do not lift your heel as much. This is why you will be more prone to medical conditions such as Achilles’ tendon, plantar fasciitis, and calf tendonitis.
Additionally, the treadmill becomes warm and toasty, which can be uncomfortable and cause your feet to sweat, making you slip.
Which Types of Socks Would Be Best for Walking or Running on Treadmills?
There are some unique socks made for walking or hiking that can provide breathability, durability, and comfort. These are the qualities you will benefit from if you want to go shoe-free on a treadmill.
You should find socks that are made of Merino wool. This kind of wool is naturally antibacterial and breathable. Other materials to look for are Smartwool and Bridge dale, which are excellent choices. Keep a watch for socks made from these materials, as they will be an ideal choice.
Can You Walk Barefoot on a Treadmill?
Running barefoot on a treadmill can be a great way to prepare yourself to tackle the world made of bumpy roads and sharp rocks that can do a number on your feet. The advantages and disadvantages of walking on a treadmill barefoot are similar to walking on a treadmill with socks.
It is advantageous because it strengthens your muscles and ensures better balance. But it can cause far more damage to the soles of your feet as they are tender. It can cause blisters and abrasion.
On the other hand, the harmful sides are similar in that you can overwork your calf muscles and tendons, which can be very dangerous. You can lose balance, slip off, and get severely injured.
Although socks can tear or wear off, the friction from walking will cause blisters on your feet, which can hinder your workout flow and set you back for a good few days.
So, can you walk on a treadmill with socks?
Like most things in this world, there are certain advantages and disadvantages of this. Going shoeless and just having your socks on while walking on a treadmill has its pros and cons. The deciding factor is your preference.
Now that you are well informed about both sides of the spectrum, you can make an informed decision regarding whether to walk on a treadmill with or without shoes.