Have you ever wondered why you can’t wear shoes on a trampoline? The mat seems pretty sturdy. It’s designed for the outdoors, and is able to withstand everything Mother Nature can throw at it. And yet, you know that the rules always say, ‘No Shoes’.
You shouldn’t wear regular shoes on a trampoline as they can damage the polypropylene mat. High heels and boots are obvious no-no’s, but even high grip sneakers create unneeded friction when bouncing. Gymnastics shoes are fine, as are bare feet and trampoline socks.
Let’s go deeper and discover more about shoes on a trampoline. We’ll also look at if you can have either bare feet and trampoline socks, which one is better for you in a backyard trampoline versus a trampoline park.
Can You Wear Shoes On A Trampoline?
In general, you shouldn’t wear shoes on a trampoline, with the only exception being specialist gymnastic trampoline shoes. These gymnastic shoes are specially designed to give grip on the ball of the foot and the heel, without creating any friction at the edges.
Check out trampoline shoes for gymnasts on Amazon here.
Most regular shoes aren’t suitable for trampolines. Stilettos and other high heels put too much pressure in just one part of the trampoline. This pressure can damage the mat over time.
If the trampoline mat is older and starting to become fragile, then it’s possible for the shoe to simply tear the mat.
If the trampoline already has some small rips or tears, then the shoes can make it a lot worse very quickly.
Other shoes with hard soles, pointed toes or even zippers on the side can also cause damage to the mat through micro-cuts.
Why Do You Take Your Shoes Off On A Trampoline?
You take your shoes off on a trampoline so that you don’t damage the trampoline, and you don’t hurt yourself or others.
You can damage the mat through the abrasion of the shoe on the fabric of the trampoline mat. Sharp edges on shoes, such as high heels and stilettos, are the most damaging, but other shoes can also cause damage to the mat.
Stones can also lodge in the bottom of the shoe and create micro-cuts in the polypropylene mat. This can be a real problem over time.
It’s also possible that you can hurt yourself. If you land badly in shoes, you may not be able to adjust your balance and ‘save yourself’ in time.
You can also hurt others. When you jump, and your limbs are all akimbo, your feet can sometimes touch other people. If you are wearing shoes, this can inflict quite a painful injury.
Why Is It Dangerous To Wear Shoes On A Trampoline?
As well as doing damage to the trampoline, it’s also possible that you’ll hurt yourself or others whilst wearing shoes on a trampoline.
The foot is amazingly flexible and adaptive to all sorts of surfaces, and can adjust your balance in micro-seconds.
However, on a trampoline, if you have shoes with a hard sole, your foot will find it harder to make adjustments if you land on a weird angle. In fact, you can end up with a sprained or broken ankle if you come down in the wrong way.
It’s also dangerous for others if you are wearing shoes. If you are doing tricks or fancy jumps, your legs might go up and out in the air. If you hit someone accidentally whilst wearing shoes, you can give them quite a nasty injury.
Should I Wear Socks or Go barefoot On A Trampoline?
If shoes aren’t suitable for trampolines, then that leaves the option of either socks or going barefoot. For most cases, I recommend barefoot at home, and trampoline socks at the trampoline park.
Regular socks aren’t always suitable. They are super slippery, and if you’re not a confident jumper, you might lose your balance and end up looking rather awkward. Regular socks are also a major cause of static electricity buildup, which can be painful when you zap yourself on the metal frame or someone on the ground.
The one advantage of socks is that you won’t end up with black directly on your feet.
Trampoline socks are great as they have special rubbery dots embedded in the bottom of the sock. These dots are smaller than a dime, and provide grip on the polypropylene mat. You’ll find that they make you were these at trampoline parks to prevent slips as well as maintain a level of hygiene.
Bare feet are what many kids end up with on a backyard trampoline. The extra grip that your feet can give compared to socks is often crucial to kids who are ready to do flips and tricks. You want to be able to give your finest push off, without the fear of losing your feet under you.
Barefoot kids also generate much less static, which means that there’s less chance of getting a painful electric shock.
What Shoes To Wear Across The Yard To A Backyard Trampoline
If the general advice is to wear bare feet on your backyard trampoline, that begs the question of how to get from the back door across the yard to the trampoline in the most pragmatic way possible.
You may not want to take off your shoes in the house. But there may not be anywhere to sit at the trampoline that leaves you looking graceful and elegant whilst you undo laces, zippers and buckles.
Choosing the right shoes to cross the yard is as important as all of the other clothes that you decide to wear on a trampoline.
I’d recommend slides or slip-ons to cross the yard. You’ll be able to sashay across the yard from the house to the trampoline. You can then kick the shoes off, remove the socks if you’re even wearing any, and shimmy straight onto the trampoline.
Ideally, you won’t wear shoes on a trampoline, as it’s not good for the trampoline, and it may be unsafe for your and those around you. You can happily go barefoot on a trampoline. If you do wear socks, consider the trampoline grip socks as these are less slippery.