If you ever looked through your trampoline’s user manual, you will likely see that the manufacturer recommends you take off your shoes before you get on them. But when you are jumping on it for just a few minutes before you head off to do something else, it can be tempting to bend the rules.
You will be on and off in a minute, after all. So why bother?
However, in my experience, this thought can lead to you damaging your trampoline a lot sooner than you might expect. Shoes and trampolines do not go well together, and if you always wear shoes when you jump on them, you can easily poke a hole in the jumping mat.
Apart from damaging the trampoline, you also risk hurting yourself if you wear shoes while jumping. Jumping on it barefoot gives you better balance and mobility, so you will be able to control yourself better when you land.
Long story short, it’s really not recommended. But I am not here to give you the short and easy. If you are not in a rush, let me give you a complete breakdown of whether wearing shoes on a trampoline is a good idea or not.
Should You Go Barefoot on a Trampoline?
Going barefoot on a trampoline is definitely a better decision than wearing shoes. Wearing shoes on your backyard trampoline is never a good idea. However, public trampolines like those in the park or a gym might require you to wear shoes if you want to use them.
In that case, you have two options, either wear a shoe with a flat sole and check there is nothing stuck underneath. Or go with shoes specifically designed for trampoline jumping. There is a third option, which I will talk about later. For now, let me talk about the potential dangers of wearing shoes on a trampoline.
Why is It Dangerous to Wear Shoes on a Trampoline?
Wearing shoes on a trampoline, especially one that is in your backyard, is not a good idea. There are three main reasons why you should avoid wearing shoes if you are planning to go jumping on a trampoline – damage to the trampoline, reduced balance and flexibility, and danger to others.
1. Damage to the Trampoline
Trampolines are designed to last you quite a while, as long as you use them within safe parameters. The elastic jumping mat is durable enough if you are jumping on it barefoot. However, if you are wearing shoes, the sole of the shoe can put additional strain on the mat, which can damage it.
You won’t even notice the damage right away. In fact, if you are lucky, your jumping mat will be fine for a long while, even when you are wearing shoes on your trampoline. However, it will start to wear out sooner, and over time, the mat will become unusable until you replace it.
2. Danger to Others
If you have a high-quality 14 feet trampoline or bigger, two people should be able to use it at once without any issues. However, if they are wearing shoes, there is always a risk of hurting each other when they are jumping inside it. If one kid lands on the feet of another while wearing shoes, the injury can be quite serious.
However, since barefoot jumping gives your body better balance, the risk of colliding with others while using the trampoline is quite low. Better balance means a lower chance of accidents. So, to protect your kids, make sure they always take their shoes off before getting on the trampoline.
3. Reduced Balance and Flexibility
Jumping barefoot on a trampoline helps improve your balance and flexibility. While the trampoline is considered a yard toy these days, its initial purpose was to help astronauts improve their balance. And if you are wearing shoes when jumping on your trampoline, your balance and flexibility will not improve as much.
Not only that, but wearing shoes on a trampoline also inhibits the development of your muscle and core strength. There are thousands of different workouts you can do using your trampoline. But if you are wearing shoes while doing them, you are not getting the full benefit out of it.
Should I Wear Socks on a Trampoline?
Remember how I said there is a third option for trampoline footwear a while back? Well, now is as good a time as any to introduce you to trampoline socks. This footwear is designed to ensure you have a good time jumping around on your trampoline without compromising your balance and flexibility.
Trampoline socks are affordable, give you proper friction with the bouncing mat, and do not damage the trampoline in any way. If you do not want to go barefoot while jumping on a trampoline, these socks can serve you quite well.
Besides, the bottom of these socks comes with grips to make sure you do not slip on the mat while jumping. So if two or more people are jumping on the trampoline, there is absolutely no chance of them losing their balance and colliding with each other.
However, wearing ordinary socks on a trampoline is not a good idea. If you are planning to jump on a trampoline wearing socks, make sure you are wearing specific ones designed for this very purpose. Otherwise, you will not be able to balance yourself properly with a pair of casual socks.
Can You Wear Shoes on A Mini Trampoline?
A mini trampoline, otherwise known as a rebounder, is a fantastic exercise equipment for your home. The main advantage of having a rebounder instead of a full-sized, high-end rectangular trampoline is that you can set it up inside your home. Sure, the bounce isn’t as high, but you can do many trampoline workouts with it.
Whether you wear shoes on a mini trampoline is entirely up to you. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. While most agree that going barefoot is better, I have seen many people wearing training shoes when working out with a mini trampoline.
The bottom of your feet will feel more comfortable if you are working out barefoot on a rebounder. You will also get better foot control, balance, and stability if you do not wear your training shoes. Furthermore, your nerve reflexes will improve, allowing you to get the most out of your workout.
However, if you have never done trampoline exercises before, wearing shoes is not a bad idea at all. Wearing training shoes while jumping on a rebounder will reduce the impact on your calves. For beginners, shoes can be quite helpful in reducing the negative effects of trampoline workouts at first.
Do Shoes Damage Trampolines?
Most trampoline manufacturers recommend you to take off your shoes when you step foot on a trampoline. The main reason is that the sole of your shoe can catch dirt and rocks, which can easily rip the elastic mat of the trampoline. And if the mat happens to break when you are bouncing on it, it can lead to serious injury.
Shoes can drastically reduce the lifespan of any trampoline. Wearing socks or going barefoot is always better if you are planning to have a good and safe time when you are jumping.
Can You Wear Shoes on a Spring Free Trampoline?
Spring Free Trampolines are a recent innovation in the industry and are considered much safer because of their spring-free design. But that does not mean you should wear shoes if you have one in your backyard. Just like normal trampolines, the mat of a spring-free trampoline can get damaged if you wear shoes when using it.
What Kind of Shoes Should I Wear on a Trampoline?
Though I recommend taking your shoes off before jumping on a trampoline, sometimes that is not an option. Maybe you do not have a trampoline, and the one you use is in a gym that requires you to keep your shoes on. You really do not have much of a choice then, do you?
In that case, I will recommend wearing a flat sole, lightweight shoe. Also, make sure you always check the sole of the shoe and remove any stone or dirt stuck underneath before you get on your trampoline. Converse or Keds can be a decent option for footwear if you absolutely have to wear shoes on a trampoline.
A Few Final Words
Wearing a pair of shoes on a trampoline is not really a good idea. It can negatively affect the overall durability of the trampoline mat and can also increase the risk of accidents. That is why, whenever my kids are getting into the trampoline, I make sure they take off their shoes.
Trampoline socks are a great alternative if you do not want to be barefoot while jumping. But frankly, I always jump barefoot and never had to face any issues because of that.
I hope my in-depth article could help you understand why wearing shoes on your trampoline might not be such a bright idea. Good luck!