If you’re new to Pilates, you may have recently heard practitioners and enthusiasts talk about “Pilates socks” for the first time. As a newbie, you’re probably wondering if you were supposed to grab some of these fancy socks before coming to class and why they have holes.
Pilates socks have holes in them to help with balance when exercising and to support you when using Pilates equipment. These small rubber dots on the soles of the feet help you slide and not slip during specific movements. They’re not necessary for Pilates workouts, but they help.
They are more than just a practical accessory for your Pilates classes. They’re also an opportunity to learn about the history of this popular exercise approach and how to get the most out of it. So, let’s dive in!
Why Do Pilates Socks Have Holes in Them?
Pilates socks help keep your feet in place and prevent slipping or sliding around on the mat, especially if you use a sticky mat surface (like one with rubber grips). They also provide extra grip so that your feet don’t slip off of the surface while performing exercises such as planks or side leg raises.
Additionally, since many people use these different types of surfaces for their workouts at home or in studios, having something like this will ensure that there’s no confusion about what kind of surface everyone should be using—and that helps instructors ensure everyone stays safe!
Pilates socks are not necessary for Pilates, but they can be a good investment if you plan to do more than one session per week or if you’re doing classes in which there is only one pair for everyone in the class.
Pilates Socks and Balance
Balancing the balls of your feet helps with core strength and stability. The balls of your feet are where you will be standing a lot when doing Pilates exercises, so they need to be solid and stable. This is important for maintaining good posture and keeping your body in alignment.
The best way to strengthen the muscles in your feet is by using them (the same as with any other muscle). When we stand on our toes or balance on one foot, we engage our entire lower body; this includes the legs and ankles, hips, and even torso. So when we do an exercise that requires us to balance on only one foot (like a single leg stretch), we use many body parts at once—and all those parts are working together!
Having holes in your socks helps your feet find their balance as they connect to the floor and mat. You get the best of both worlds!
Socks Can Support You While You’re Using Exercise Equipment
The soles of Pilates socks are dotted with rubber to help with grip. The rubber dots on the bottom of these socks help you balance and create stability, which is excellent for core strength. When you use equipment in a class–such as a machine, a ball, or a block–the socks will help you stay on them without slipping off.
Socks With Holes Can Help You Air Out Your Feet
Maybe this point is too much information, but it’s essential to think about!
Regular socks during Pilates (or any other type of exercise) tend to get sweaty pretty quickly—especially if they’re dark-coloured. And while some people don’t care how uncomfortably hot their feet get during exercise, others prefer not to be walking around with wet feet all day long. That’s why it’s essential to wear Pilates socks!
The holes in Pilates socks allow air circulation between your toes so that sweat isn’t trapped there. This keeps your feet from getting too warm or too hot during exercise, which is especially important for those who do high-intensity workouts like running or cycling. The holes also prevent friction between your toes as you move through different positions throughout the workout routine, so no more blisters.
Instructors Will Often Wear Dark Coloured Socks
While Pilates socks are an excellent idea for students, don’t worry too much about finding dark ones! You might have noticed that many Pilates instructors wear black or dark-coloured socks during class, but there’s a reason why they do that: it makes it easier to see their feet while they are guiding students through exercises.
You Don’t Have To Get the Kind With Holes in Them
If the holes kind of freak you out, don’t worry, there’s another option. The most important feature of these socks is the grippy rubber on the bottom.
I’d suggest that all students practising Pilates invest in a pair of good-quality socks. However, whether you get the ones specifically made for the job or not is ultimately up to you.
Where Can I Get Pilates Socks With Holes in Them?
If you plan to do Pilates for the first time or have struggled with balance, stability, and slipping, you might want to invest in a pair of these unique socks. The best place to get Pilates socks is from your local Pilates studio.
Most studios carry them, and many offers them as part of a package deal when you sign up for classes or even just purchase a class pass.
If you go to an online Pilates class or participate in some of our virtual classes, don’t stress! They are not expensive and worth the investment if you want to improve your technique! They are available at most sports stores or online, and I’ve listed some of my favourites below.
Tucketts Ballerina Toeless Non-Slip Grip Socks
Tucketts Ballerina Toeless Non-Slip Grip Socks (available on Amazon.com) are perfect for beginners because they’re inexpensive but high quality. You’ll also find that these socks don’t slip off when you’re moving around—they stay put while providing maximum comfort and support throughout every single step of your routine!
Gaiam Grippy Studio Yoga Socks for Extra Grip in Standard or Hot Yoga, Barre, Pilates, Ballet, or at Home
These Gaiam Grippy Studio Yoga Socks (available on Amazon.com) are great for multiple sports; as the name states–you can use these during hot yoga (a great idea since you get so sweaty and things might get slipper), barre, Pilates, ballet, AND bar. Gaiam has been a leader in yoga and Pilates gears for years, so they’re definitely a trustworthy source.
ToeSox Women’s Low Rise Half Toe Grip Non-Slip
If you want a little more grip for your toes, ToeSox Women’s Low Rise Half Toe Grip Non-Slip might be your selection. These have individual toe holes, which makes them kind of hard to put on–but if you’re working on your balance holistically with and without socks, these are perfect! A lot of our balancing is done through our toes and feet.
If you’re interested in trying out Pilates, then I recommend that you get yourself a pair of Pilates socks, especially if some preliminary trials have been too difficult because of your stability. You can find them at most sporting goods stores, which are affordable. If possible, go ahead and purchase yourself a yoga mat as well; it’ll come in handy when doing your regular stretches!
However, if you’re nervous about your first class because you don’t have socks, don’t stress about it. They’re not necessary and typically just boost performance!