In gymnastics and dance, barefoot work is safest, whether on the floor or apparatus, because the toes can grip. Barefoot work in both gymnastics and dance can improve aesthetics by allowing the foot and toes to move through a full range of flexion and extension, which in turn strengthens the muscles, bones and joints.

Decisions about the appropriateness of bare feet for dance should consider the type of contact between the floor and feet, which is closely associated with the style of dance or the nature of the movements being explored.

Where the condition of the floor makes it unsuitable for barefoot work in gymnastics and dance, students should be permitted to wear clean, soft footwear.

Situations, where a wet-weather indoor alternative activity means that some students are wearing training shoes and others, have bare feet should be avoided where possible. This situation needs to be managed correctly (e.g. all students in bare feet or all students in trainers, or students being set different tasks that are appropriate for their footwear).

For trampolining, non-slip socks or trampolining slippers are necessary to prevent toes from entering the gaps in the webbing. Cotton and wool socks are suitable, but nylon socks on a webbed nylon bed are unlikely to provide adequate traction.