Today, there is a sneaker for every type of workout. Be it HIIT, running, or just looking cute to walk your dog. However, it is important that you choose the right footwear that will enhance your comfort while also preventing any form of injury when it comes to strength training.
It is no longer a secret that weightlifting is important to develop muscles and lose fat. But you might not see the gains if you are not lifting correctly – and this is influenced by the type of shoes you are putting on. With good shoes, you will be assured of stability and efficient support during a workout.
Why Are Lifting Shoes Necessary/Important?
Lifting shoes have several benefits to weightlifters. They have elevated heel, which supports mobility and offers a stable base that ensures lifters sit back comfortably. Every athlete needs a planted stable foot, particularly when moving heavy weight. An elevated heel on lifting shoes will definitely increase confidence.
The extra heel height enables weight lifters to move in different positions with optimal posture; you can keep your chest easily and track your knees properly. Furthermore, studies have shown that lifting shoes increase knee extensor activation while also reducing torso lean, which frequently cause strain on the lower back.
Weightlifting Shoes Vs. Chuck Taylors Vs. Barefeet
It is important that to have the right tool for the job, and weightlifting is no exception. The main question is: what type of shoe should you wear? A flat sole or an elevated shoe or no shoe at all? The answer depends on several factors.
Weightlifting shoes allow trainers to maintain an upright torso while making deep squats; this minimizes forces on the trainer’s spine. The raised heel also helps in keeping the feet in a stable position and helps to maintain a neutral arch. Most lifting shoes are made of non-compressible material that ensures you push back after pushing into the floor; this enables safety while lifting a lot of weight.
Weightlifters may prefer to train barefoot. While this produces less ankle flexion, it creates higher chances of internal knee rotation and increased muscle activation in the tibialis anterior, which may decrease stability. Training barefoot, therefore, increases chances of injury, and as such, should always be avoided.
On the other hand, Chuck Taylors for weightlifting allow a lifter to slide his/her hips back more without injury. Chuck Taylors for weightlifting also have a hard rubber sole, thus, reducing the compression of force production.
So which one is right for weightlifting?
When doing high bar squats or overhead squats, you should definitely consider weightlifting shoes. Also, if your goal is to become a Quadzilla or reduce knee and back pain, weightlifting shoes should be your option. However, when doing a low bar squat, you may consider Chucks.
Olympic Weightlifting Shoes Vs. Powerlifting Shoes, Are They The Same?
Both Olympic weightlifters and powerlifters need to have good lifting shoes, which have stiff soles and stable base. Although both cases involve lifting, Olympic weightlifters always use lifting shoes with an elevated heel as this allows them to maintain an upright posture, which is very advantageous to preventing injuries.
On the other hand, powerlifters may consider either flat shoes or elevated heels. But this will depend on the style of lifting they consider:
Bench training— Powerlifters can either use flat shoes or heeled shoes since both allow athletes to place their feet differently as preferred.
Deadlift—Often, flat shoes are preferred as they decrease the distance that deadlift trainers have to lift the weight. However, this is also determined by how easy one can break through the hardest part of lifting. For instance, weightlifters with long arms have shorter ROM; so they will need flat shoes to build momentum. On the other hand, people with shorter arms have long ROM; thus, they may find heeled shoes more comfortable to gain extra quad drive.
Effective Heel Height Vs. Total Heel Height
Lifting shoes enable weightlifters to achieve greater depth and get a more stable base. Getting an effective heel height is what is recognized for a perfect squat depth. The heel height should create less dorsiflex in the ankles to achieve a greater flexion at the knee. An effective heel comes in different options, but a standard heel is considered to be .75 inches. The heel is elevated to create an ample squat depth while on upright torso.
Best Weightlifting Shoes for Men and Women
What you should be looking for in weightlifting shoes is the height of the heel, straps that keep your feet locked-in, and non-compressible insole that gives you back-up when lifting. Here are the best weightlifting shoes you should consider.
When it comes to getting support and security that weight lifters need to lift more safely and better, the best shoe to consider is Reebok Legacy Lifter. These lifter shoes have a classic lace design that provides security and a hook-and-strap system that gives lateral support and stability. All you need is to lace-up and feel secure to have a safe lift.
The shoes are of high quality and very comfortable
They have a solid base for support
The shoe is comfortable and fits well for people with wide feet
The shoe comes in different color designs, including red, grey, flashier black, silver, and gold
They are too heavy for training apart from weightlifting
They need a break-in period
The shoe runs narrow
Hit the weightlifting scene with these lifting shoes. They have raised hells to ensure that you are stable during lifting. With a textile upper, you will be able to get a breathable feel. Both men and women Reebok Legacy Lifter II come in different color options, including proud pink, black, pure grey, and white.
This shoe offers a solid base for lifting
Reebok Legacy Lifters II has a hard thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) heel which adds resilience and sturdiness during training
Prevents sliding of the foot while training, thus, increasing safety
The shoe comes in modernized, well-designed color schemes, including gold and black variations.
The insole, midsole, and outsole have minimal cushioning
The support systems of the shoe make it heavy, which creates inflexibility during multi-modal fitness and jumping workouts
The Adipower weightlifting shoe offers the Adidas torsion system with a 3-inch heel raise. The lower heel is suitable for most lifters, except in rare cases when higher heels are needed. These shoes have flexible outer construction that supports easy break-in, and upper tongue strap for additional ankle support. Adidas Adipower shoes are available in red, black, and white colors.
They are durable and can last you a few seasons before wearing out
They are more comfortable compared to other weightlifting shoes
High TPU heel to support durability and performance
The shoes have narrow fit, which may not be comfortable for lifters with wide feet
The Adidas Power Perfect 3 shoe is perfect for weightlifting. The upper construction is made of double stitching, and the heel has an additional leather slip. The tongue and the forefoot are made of breathable mesh for comfort. At the bottom, there is additional synthetic material to enhance their durability. The shoe heel height is .75 inches with the additional cup above the heel to create a “hugging” feeling. The heel, which is made of high-density EVA form, provides platform feedback while also aiding in the resistance of compression.
Fairly and competitively priced
The full shoe has a durable and sturdy construction
Key features include .75 inch heel, single strap, and reinforced heel cup to offer stability during lifting
Runs larger than normal sizing
$56 – $140
The Romaleos 4 is Nike’s next preferred Olympic lifting shoes. It has double mid-foot straps, one to secure the metatarsal areas and the other to protect the ankle. The straps are made of soft textile to enhance comfort. A significant feature of the shoe is the extended heel counter implanted on the heel for more stability. The outsole material of Romaleos 4 and the toebox bends easily with about 50% less pressure, thus, giving you flexibility. Romaleos is well known for creating an extremely stable and well-balanced shoe. The 4’s outsole runs longer than the shoe body, creating stability at the heel.
The shoes offer a great sense of stability
The outsole is made of soft grippy rubber which provides grip and traction
Has a wide and flat outsole
Adjustable straps on midfoot to create a secure fit
The top strap is too low because it does not efficiently adjust the heel slip.
$218.80 – $396.95
The Do-Win Classic Lifter shoe includes a mesh and suede upper with rounded toe shape. It has a nylon webbing and 2 hook-and-loop tarsal straps to give you a secure fit. To create a precision design, the shoe comes with ample ventilation and .75 inch heel-to-toe drop. The shoe is customized into several colors, including black, white, red, and blue. The heel is made of hard TPU that is lightweight material meant to enhance resilience and sturdiness. With breathable nylon mesh and leather material on the upper portion, you will be able to wear the shoe without stretching out over time.
The shoe offers great forefeet flexibility
The shoe is a great budget option
With solid heel, heel raise, and midfoot straps, it delivers what lifters need
Has low heel
$95 – $125
The Nordic Lifting Powerlifting shoe is a high-quality shoe that is designed for leg presses, deadlifts, and squats. The design of these shoes is top-notch. Apart from the mesh panel installed over the toe for air circulation, the shoe fits snugly with an insole slipping every time. The lifting shoes have 1.4 inches raised heel to enable you to squat deeper without putting your ankle under a lot of pressure. The shoes also come with reinforced stitching and Velcro strap, which ensure sturdy, security, and comfort. It also features cotton mesh on its forefoot to make your feet breathable.
The shoes have rigid and smooth anti-slip sole for stability in all exercise training
Raised heel improve lifting posture
Provide foot stability, thus, reducing the risk of injury
Made of high-quality material, thus, guaranteeing a longer stay
The insole has a tendency to slide
Higher heel which may challenge dead lifters
$89.95 – $150