Barefoot or Footwear?

Find and share information on various aspects of slackline rigging.

Barefoot or Footwear?

Postby br10ta10 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:09 am

I'm curious to know if you slackline in bare feet, or if you where some sort of footwear. I started out barefoot and I love being able to feel the line, but the majority of videos I see have people wearing some sort of shoes.

Do you slackline barefoot or with shoes?
If you wear shoes, what type/brand do you wear?

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Re: Barefoot or Footwear?

Postby Dutchslacker » Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:20 pm

Started of on bare feet, but after a while used shoes. Why? Because I started jumping on the line, and the nylon will cut in your feet after some time. Not everyone will agree with that, but that's how I slackline.

The shoes I wear: five ten Basics or Freeriders or strong skate shoes
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Re: Barefoot or Footwear?

Postby wheeler » Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:46 pm

I definitely support the idea of at least learning barefoot. I found I paid more attention to the obscure muscles in my lower leg when I had full toe control. This helped me develop a very stable gait on the line. While I'm not at the point where I'm able to do tricks (even jump on the line), I don't think I will be using shoes at any point. I just in general enjoy being barefoot and getting the sensations of the nylon under my toes and heels.

I've heard that 11/16" sleeved in 1" enhances the feel on the feet, so I just ordered a run of that to test it out. Stoked to try it out when it comes in!
Longest Line Walked: 80'
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Re: Barefoot or Footwear?

Postby Frankie » Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:20 pm

I started barefoot but as soon as I got into jumping on the line I started wearing shoes. When I am on the line I am a bit more aggressive/dynamic with my tricks and movements. A lot of sliding, multiple jumping etc etc so not wearing shoes would tear my feet apart and also some of the tricks can be painful or impossible without shoes. As for what types, I started out wearing Vans Classic Slip-ons but ended up literally tearing them apart after a month or two. The upper canvas would rip and the soles would fall apart.

My current slackline shoes are: 5.10 Basic and 5.10 Line King.
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Re: Barefoot or Footwear?

Postby slackdutchy » Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:45 am

I Started with shoes, due to cold feet here in Holland, and never slacked
A lot in summer, so this summer is first time on bare feet for me.

I use scarpa's (approach shoes) or old climbing shoes from a friend (but big enough, HAha)
life is either a feather bed, or a tight line. Give me the tight line.
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Re: Barefoot or Footwear?

Postby cavincosters » Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:17 am

It depends on the choice and the requirement of the user to select the best out of the options available. It completely depends on the user.
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Re: Barefoot or Footwear?

Postby ximike » Mon Jul 19, 2010 3:58 am

I bought a sheepskin lined moccasins last year Quoddy Trail Moccasins. They were cordial, they were flat and quite good, one major problem: it is a very wet at all. It's my biggest problem with leather. If you plan to spend the day hiking the backcountry, snow, wet snow or otherwise how to get here in the northeast, you need a waterproof breathable otherwise be frozen feet.
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Re: Barefoot or Footwear?

Postby tj_cubin » Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:45 pm

I started barefoot; couldn't do it with shoes on to save my life. It really limits your season in Northern New York. Slacking with cold bare feet in wet leaves is not much fun. Another benefit to shoes is while wearing jeans. Barefoot i always found the hem on my jeans to get under my heel while barefoot, but couldn't slack with shoes on to keep it from happening.

I have since started wearing shoes. I have a flat soled pair of skate style shoes from Target, not sure on the brand. They work, but are too low topped and i feel like I'm going to roll my ankle in the shoe sometimes. Last time i was out i tried some canvas converse high tops and loved them. They are a little more grippy than my skate shoes, but the ankle support is completely worth it.
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Re: Barefoot or Footwear?

Postby bruhl » Fri Oct 08, 2010 9:12 am

yep.. started barefoot but i find FLAT SOLED shoes help with landing alot...

both to avoid pain when jumping over a long period of time or when the line slips off your foot... that can make your whole foot go numb...

and of Surfing you might want to use flat soled shoes as the line goes right through your arches and can start to hurt after a while...

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Re: Barefoot or Footwear?

Postby Smoghog » Wed May 23, 2012 11:21 am

Vibram Five Fingers for the win.

I started barefoot, and it's definitely the best way to learn, but Vibrams have become my new best friend. They are thin and tight enough that you can easily feel the line beneath your foot, even contour your toes around it when needed; but they do a great job protecting your feet from abrasion and cuts.

Check out the thinner models with smooth bottoms, such as the Classic, Sprint and KSO.
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