Kettlebells: Everything starts with the feet!

I trekked up one of the highest mountains in Spain 3,482 meters once with water-repellent trekking shoes that provided a lot of support and were super rigid. My feet were killing me and it was torture. This was many moons ago. Now, bear with me as what I’m going to talk about might be the change in your life that you need to start enjoying walking, rectify your foot issues, and undo some of the damage done by uncomfortable or unsuitable footwear.

I ended up with white wrinkled feet full of blisters and pains. My shoes created some unhappy feet due to the narrow rigid design that didn’t allow the feet to move as they were intended and restricted access to air.  I did not enjoy it as I should.

Years later we went up with a 16kg kettlebell and in high-quality flip-flops. It was magic, the feet had air, not one blister or ache. Sure, we had to be more careful but to me, it was worth it. But this is not about that trip, this is about YOUR feet and kettlebell training.

Everything starts with the feet in kettlebell training when you’re performing standing exercises. Small issues at the bottom can turn into bigger issues and also travel up. The best advice I can give you is:

Wear no shoes for kettlebell training, it will make your feet stronger. When it’s not possible to wear no shoes, then I highly recommend Xero or Vibram shoes. I wear these myself and use them for walking, hiking, and in gyms where it’s not allowed to enter without shoes.

One thing I highly recommend against is wearing squishy shoes when you work out. Running shoes are made for… running, well actually, not, but I won’t go into how the design of our feet is not made to land on the heel but the ball of the foot. On that note, I also run in Vibram Five-Finger and Xero shoes, it just requires changing your stride to a natural stride.

When you wear squishy shoes your feet need to do a lot of work stabilizing when you move that kettlebell around. Now, working in an unstable environment improves stability, but, always working in an unstable environment without the proper progression is the same as going from nothing and doing 200 clean and jerks unbroken every workout without proper recovery, it leads to overtraining.

What Shoes to Wear for Kettlebell Training?

Let me start by saying that I would NEVER ever recommend something that I do not use myself and aren’t 100% happy with. This is one of those things where I believe a lot of people will benefit.

I currently have a black and white pair of the Prio Running and Fitness Shoes but these are also available for females.

Prio All Day SR Black
Prio All Day SR White

I bought mine from the US store, but there is also a European store. These shoes are super flexible which allows your feet to bend and move. The toe box is wide so that your toes are not squashed together and you can also start to use those toes and separate them. The soles are very thin, which is good for lifting, and walking, but for walking you need to change your stride from heel to toe to landing on the ball of the foot (the natural way). And you need to do this gradually as well.

I also highly recommend Vibram Five-Finger shoes as they have similar features with the main difference being that your toes are separated. I have had many different pairs and currently walking on the Trek Ascent Black. It’s hard to say which one I prefer more, for ease of purchase and fit, I probably would lean more to the Xero.

Here’s just a random beginner’s mobility routine video which I hope you’ll enjoy.

Summary

In summary, I’m saying that if you start training barefoot, you will increase your stability, foot strength, and reap a lot of other benefits. The next best thing is training in Xero or other flat-soled (no drop) shoes that are flexible and have a big toe box. Basically, anything that allows your feet to bend, and your toes to separate, provides air to the feet and allows them to move as naturally as possible.

About the toe box, if you’ve never walked in anything else than what they call conventional shoes, then you might feel odd, you might feel out of place, but when you reach a certain age you simply do not care anymore as health and comfort is a priority. Luckily from a young age, I stopped caring what others think, and if you do as well, the sooner you will enjoy your life even more.

@tacofleur

#nevergiveup #happiness #kettlebell #kettlebellexpert #kettlebellcoach #kettlebelltrainer #kettlebelltraining #workout #motivation #motivational #motivationalspeeches #cavemantraining

♬ Babel – Gustavo Bravetti

PS. In the hope to reach more people, we’ve caved in and are now on TikTok, come and say hi. And more photos of our trek are here on Instagram.

PPS. Fun info. At the top of the mountain, there were some people and they were shocked we wore flip-flops, but even more so about a kettlebell being there and thought it was already there. They asked to take a photo with it, and of course, I let them but inside I was thinking “No, carry your own kettlebell”.

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