Look, I live in Minnesota- where we have the winter 6 months of the year basically. And I am a busy guy with college- plus, my college has a phenomenal weight lifting gym.
Well, because of those two factors- I end up stumbling into the weight room in boots a lot of the time. (As a matter of fact, I’ve worked out in a full business casual suit once- whatever it takes!)
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So, some people have been wondering, is it okay to be working out in boots?
The answer is YES! In fact, the military has had soldiers working out in boots for literally thousands of years. Also, some people LIKE working out in boots, like the famous bodybuilder Branch Warren. Boots are built to keep your feet stable, so it’s perfectly okay to be working out in boots. But, it’s still recommended to work out in normal, flat-soled shoes.
But, let’s talk about this more in-depth.
Did You Know One Of The Most Famous Bodybuilders, Brnach Warren, Works Out in Boots?
You know, I’ve never seen a problem with working out in my boots myself. But some people strangely have a problem with it.
Branch Warren, one of the most famous bodybuilders, who placed 2nd at the Mr.Olympia competition and won two Arnold Classics (so, he’s definitely the real deal) works out in boots regularly.
That means if one of bodybuilding’s biggest and best competitors does it, it’s perfectly okay for you too as well.
It’s very obvious that he has gained a ton of muscle, and it seems that him working out in boots didn’t magically make his muscle disappear (as some naysayers on the internet have claimed).
Here is a picture of the big guy actually wearing the boots while working out his calves.
As you can tell, he is absolutely a giant when it comes to muscle. So, this is basically all the evidence you need to know that boots don’t destroy your muscle growth.
Also, one of the best bodybuilders of all time wears boots to the gym, so it’s not like you’re ‘being weird’ by wearing them.
People Wear Them All The Time In Colder Climates
Up north, you’ll frequently see people working out in boots.
Simply put, many of us wear our boots to somehow navigate the antarctic and dangerous ice-covered sidewalks to our next college class from our dorms. Then, the class will be 45-60 minutes and all of the snow/ice will be melted off. After that, many of us proceed to the indoor gym and work out there.
It’s literally dangerous for us to be wearing normal shoes in the ice and snow-filled zones. If you wear flat-soled shoes outside, you are asking to slip and fall and potentially injure yourself. The tread and almost ‘cleats’ on the boots secure and stabilize us when navigating through the harsh terrain that is the midwest in winter.
Some may argue that you can just pack gym shoes, but it is hard when your backpack is filled with a ton of other big textbooks and devices.
And realistically, you aren’t dragging any snow/ice in the gym usually. Most of it will dry off by the time you hit the gym, and it’s just more of an inconvenience to change shoes at that rate even if you packed it.
So, when you’re in places like Canada or the really northern parts of the United States, you’ll see boots at the gym way more often than you usually do in say California or Florida.
The Military Has Their Soldiers Exercise in Boots
The military has all their soldiers wear boots when they exercise and/or drill.
Now, obviously, boots aren’t the main footwear of choice. If the soldiers are given the chance to wear tennis shoes for a run or something- they will take it.
But the main point is that working out in boots is completely doable and done by millions of servicemen and servicewomen every day. The boots are designed to literally make the soldier safer, protect them against shrapnel, rolling their ankle, and helps them navigate the uneven surfaces better.
While they aren’t always the most comfortable, they are literally designed to support you in whatever capacity they can and keep you as safe as possible.
To conclude, while it may not be the most comfortable solution- these boots are literally designed to support whatever action you’re doing, even weight lifting.
Some Gyms Have a Rule Against Working Out In Boots
Some gyms actually have a rule against working out in boots. So, be sure to check your local gym’s regulations.
Generally, if your boots are clean and don’t have mud/gunk all over them- you’ll be fine.
But, sometimes you’ll have some punk “””personal trainer””” that feels the need to flex his ego and ruin your day and not let you in the gym.
Check your local regulations, but most of the time it’s not a big deal as most gyms accept that during the winter months there will be ice melt/snow brought in anyways.
Boots Will Be Sweatier and Less Comfortable
In general, if you’re working out in boots- you’ll find your feet sweatier and it will be less comfortable.
Most tennis shoes or workout shoes are designed to be breathable- but boots are different. In most instances, boots want to keep what’s in: in- and what’s out: out. This is because most boots are used in places you don’t want your feet getting contained in (construction, oil work, metal shops, snow, etc)
It will also usually be less comfortable. Boots are sturdy and firm, and won’t usually mend to the shape of your feet like workout shoes do.
So, just be careful of that.
It’s Generally Better to Use Normal Shoes to Workout In
Generally speaking, it’s better to just use your tennis shoes, flat-soled shoes, or workout shoes when you’re working out.
You’ll be less sweaty, it will be more comfortable, and some people will find it easier to squat in shoes rather than boots.
But, if you’re forced to wear boots- or you just want to- there’s not really any downsides other than comfort/sweat. So, go ahead!
Benefits of Working Out In Boots
There are honestly a lot of benefits of working out in boots. So, here’s a list of them!
- Increased ankle stability
- Less chance of slipping
- Most boots have a steel-toe, so you reduce the chance of a falling weight/dumbbell injuring your toes.
- Some people have a better time squatting/deadlifting with the added stability.
- You won’t have to change shoes if you’re already wearing boots.
- Generally more stylish.
Downsides of Working Out In Boots
Now, there are some downsides of working out in boots- but not much to be honest.
- Will cause your feet to be sweatier.
- Some people find it harder to deadlift/squat.
- The shoe can be less comfortable than tennis shoes.
The Bottom Line? Wear them!
The truth is, the only downside to working out in boots is related to comfort and sweat. But- other than that, most people find them more sturdy and safer to wear in the gym.
Plus, bigger bodybuilders regularly wear them- so what’s stopping you? But, generally speaking, most people will find it comfier to just wear normal workout shoes. But, the choice is yours- you won’t be losing any muscle or anything because of it!