The question of what to wear on the trampoline can be hard to answer sometimes. Little ones who are eager to get to jumping may forget about their shoes. And if someone only plans on being on the trampoline for a few minutes, they may not think it’s worth it to remove their shoes. So, it’s a common inquiry regarding whether you can wear shoes on a trampoline.
Wearing shoes on a trampoline isn’t recommended. Doing so can cause the jumping mat to wear out faster and lead to possible damage which is why most trampoline manufacturers advise against it. Not only that, wearing shoes on a trampoline actually increases the risk of potential injury.
Let’s take a look at some specific reasons why you shouldn’t wear shoes on a trampoline.
Why Shouldn’t You Wear Shoes on a Trampoline?
If you read your trampoline’s owner’s manual, you’ll likely find a place that suggests you shouldn’t wear shoes while jumping. There are several reasons for this, not the least of which is that paying attention to the manufacturer’s instructions is always a good idea. Other reasons include: preventing injuries, preserving the jumping mat, and experiencing the full benefits of the trampoline. Let’s take a look at each in turn.
While most trampoline injuries are minor, it’s still a good idea to prevent them whenever possible. And wearing shoes while jumping can increase the chances of injury. There are a couple of ways this can happen. The first is that shoes can affect your control and balance. Being able to feel the trampoline with your toes is the best way to ensure you have a controlled and balanced jump every time. Shoe soles tend to be slippery on the trampoline, which can affect balance as well.
Shoes can also shift as you jump, which can cause you to come down awkwardly, which often results in a twisted ankle. No to mention the possibility of a shoe coming off when doing a flip or a jump, which can result in a fellow jumper getting hit in the face. And no one likes getting hit in the face with a shoe!
Lastly, shoelaces can cause problems on the trampoline, just as they can if they come untied while you’re walking. On a trampoline, they can get caught in springs or between the mat and the spring pad. Once again, this can cause sprains and can damage the shoelaces or the shoes themselves.
Preserve the Trampoline Mat
Shoes are meant to protect your feet as you walk around in the world. They may be rubber, but they’re tough. And the fact is, trampoline mats are not made to be used with shoes. Jumping mats are strong and soft at the same time, and they tend to last a long time, but jumping on the trampoline with shoes can wear down that pad quickly.
Plus, shoes tend to pick up all kinds of strange stuff that can also contribute to trampoline damage. Pebbles, sharp rocks, bits of metal or glass, animal poop, and a whole plethora of other substances can get tracked onto the trampoline in the soles of shoes.
Some of these substances may just be an annoyance to deal with (and stinky), but other ones can put small holes in the mat. And even a small hole can turn into a big one very quickly. Pretty soon the small hole is big enough to require a replacement mat. So it’s best just to leave the shoes off when jumping to keep the mat looking good and lasting a long time.
Experience the Full Benefits of the Trampoline
Aside from preventing injury and preserving the trampoline mat, wearing shoes on the trampoline can prevent you from experiencing the full benefits of the equipment. Trampolines are excellent at building balance and increasing muscle activity in the legs and feet. It can also help develop the stabilizing muscles of the ankles and knees.
But when you jump on a trampoline with shoes on, it becomes harder to develop balance and the muscles of the feet and ankles. Foot heath is incredibly important, and so spending time barefoot or sock-footed on a trampoline can help keep the feet healthy.
What to Wear Instead of Shoes on the Trampoline
Just because you shouldn’t wear shoes on the trampoline doesn’t mean you can’t have some degree of warmth and protection. While barefoot is ideal, you can still jump on the trampoline in socks without worrying about all the issues you could have while wearing shoes. But like shoes, socks can be slippery on the trampoline too. So the best solution is non-slip socks made for trampolines and other slippery surfaces.
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It’s important to make a distinction between public and backyard trampolines. There are some public gyms in which you’re required to wear shoes. The commercial trampolines in these gyms are often different from your typical backyard trampoline. Plus, these public trampoline parks or gyms need to protect themselves from lawsuits, and having people keep their shoes on while jumping can prevent little toes from getting injured, as there’s not always safety nets around each trampoline.
It’s not likely that you’ll notice any detrimental effects on your trampoline from wearing shoes once or twice. You probably won’t likely hurt yourself, either. But the more you wear shoes on the trampoline, the more likely it is that you’ll injure yourself or someone else. And the effect shoes have on the trampoline mat is cumulative, so you won’t likely notice it unless something stuck in the sole of your shoe puts a hole in the mat.
However, jumping on the trampoline with your shoes on will keep you from experiencing the full benefits of the trampoline, namely the development of balance and feet and ankle muscles. You can jump in socks or barefoot — either way is generally better than jumping with your shoes on!