Do You Wear Shoes For Pilates?

Do You Wear Shoes For Pilates?

When you are going to a Pilates class for the first time, it can be somewhat intimidating. There are new surroundings and you may not know exactly what will happen.

But we found the one thing that most people are nervous about when they start a Pilates workout is their outfit.

They are not sure what to wear, from the right pants, top and socks. But do you need to wear socks or even shoes for Pilates?

In this article, we’ll take a look at what footwear and other clothes you can wear during your Pilates exercises.

Should You Wear Shoes When Doing Pilates?

There are somewhat divided opinions on this question. However, the majority of Pilates studios advise that you can either wear socks or be barefoot for your session.

You shouldn’t wear shoes for Pilates because many exercises focus on the right foot alignment, and you can only achieve this when your feet are bare.

In fact, if you were to wear shoes when doing Pilates, you run the risk of injuring yourself because you won’t be able to create a balanced posture.

Individual Pilates studios have their own rules but most ban shoes during their sessions, especially when practicing Pilates on a mat.

You will need the full movement of your ankles and feet for most Pilates exercises, and shoes can restrict you.

The Right Footwear For Pilates Workout

While you cannot wear shoes for your Pilates training, there are some good alternatives that make sure your workout is as comfortable as possible.


Do You Wear Shoes For Pilates?

Okay, this isn’t really footwear in the normal sense but it is important to mention that you get the best results from Pilates when you are barefoot.

Not wearing anything on your feet will not just allow you to get the right feet alignment but it also allows you to make direct contact with the mat which can make you feel more secure.

This can be especially useful for beginners who are struggling to balance.

Pilates Socks

You may have seen these types of socks in sports retail shops. Pilates socks are designed for Pilates workout because they have silicone or rubber grips on their soles.

This means you aren’t going to slip, whether you are doing reformer Pilates or mat Pilates.

Many Pilates studios will ask you to wear these socks when you are doing reformer Pilates, but you can also wearing them just on the mat.

These socks are ankle length, so your Pilates teacher can still check your feet alignment.

Socks are a great option if you do not feel comfortable going barefoot, or if you just want to keep your feet warm.

It’s important that you do not wear regular socks as you will run the risk of slipping and injuring yourself. Only socks with non-slip soles are suitable for a Pilates workout.

You’ll be able to get these socks online or from your sports retailer. It’s also worthwhile checking in with your Pilates studio to see what they recommend.

Pilates Shoes

Although you shouldn’t wear shoes, Pilates shoes aren’t quite your average type of footwear.

They come in different shapes and sizes, but generally Pilates shoes are very lightweight and they resemble Pilates socks.

They sit snug on your feet and the rubber sole means you won’t sleep during difficult positions.

Pilates shoes feel a little bit more solid than the socks but they should give you the same amount of natural movement.

What To Wear For Pilates Class

Do You Wear Shoes For Pilates?

Now that you know what to wear on your feet, let’s take a look at a few other things you will need for your Pilates class.

Bear in mind that the “dress code” for each Pilates class can vary depending on the studio, so make sure to check with your instructor or studio what you should wear.

No Belts Or Tie-Backs

Although tie-back tops do look pretty, they are not practical when lying on your back. That’s why, make sure that you wear just a simple top without any drawstrings, belts or ties

Avoid Any Metal Or Plastic Embellishments

Similar to the belts, you should not wear anything that has plastic or metal adornments, such as buckles, zippers, buttons or clasps which could damage your Pilates mat or hurt you during the workout.

No Makeup

This might be a surprise for some but when you are going for Pilates classes, it is best not to wear makeup. You will definitely sweat, and the running make-up can leave stains on Pilates equipment.

Avoid Perfumes

Many studios that run Pilates classes ask their members not to wear any perfumes with a strong scent.

Many people are sensitive to scented deodorants, sprays, perfumes and lotions.

As you will exercise in close proximity to other people, it is best to avoid using any scented products before class.

Remove Jewelry

Dangling bracelets, necklaces and even earrings are not just a distraction but they can also be dangerous if you end up getting caught in the equipment.

Tie Your Hair Back

If you have long hair, then you want to make sure that you keep it out of your face.

Go For Form-Fitting Clothes

During your Pilates workout, you need to be able to move all parts of your body freely.

This means you should avoid baggy clothes and choose something that sits snug but is stretchy enough for you to move.

It’s a good idea to choose an outfit where the stitching and seams follow the center or sidelines of your body. This makes it easy for your instructor to check your symmetry and alignment.

Also remember that Pilates involves quite a few unusual positions, so you want to make sure that you cover all body parts when you have your legs in the air or stretch.

Final Thoughts

While you are not allowed to wear shoes for Pilates during classes, there are some great alternatives to cover your feet, such as Pilates socks or even lightweight, snug Pilates shoes.