This blog deals with a simple and short message on why anyone serious about strength training should get a pair of weightlifting shoes.
1 GREATER STABILITY
The sole of weightlifting shoes is made of solid anti-slip rubber which provides maximum stability in all lifts. Picture your feet being planted on a hard, stable surface compared to standing on sand. One makes your feet dug into the floor - the other presents an unstable surface which allows the feet to move in all directions. The same applies to a pair of regular trainers or other shoes used for exercising: through the cushioning and pliable sole, this kind of shoework allows for unwanted foot movement which reduces stability in the lifts - especially the squat and deadlift. Less stability means weaker lifts. Weaker lifts is not what we want.
2 THE WEDGE
A raised heel provides the lifter with the opportunity to achieve a full-depth squat (i.e. below parallel) with greater ease. The mechanics change in a way which takes ankle mobility (something many people struggle with) out of the equation - allowing the lifter to achieve greater squat range.
Not only is full depth obtained more easily - the actual bottom position feels much more ridig and exponentially stronger when a pair of weightlifting shoes are worn. When the feet are cemented into the floor like this, hip drive out of the squat becomes easier as the feet are pushing off a more stable platform.
I see these cases over and over again: lifters switch from normal shoework to lifting shoes, and their squat performance goes up immediately.
3 THE STRAP
Weightlifting shoes have a strap attached to the front which "ties" the foot down to keep it locked inside the shoe. This adds an extra layer of stability as it reduces excess side-to-side movement of the foot. Less wobbly - more stable - stronger lifts.
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR WHEN BUYING
- Get the smallest size you can tolerate. The tighter the shoe, the less your feet are going to move inside them
- Wedges vary in height. The higher the better, as you get more squat depth.
- Weightlifting shoes are durable. Don't hold back on the price. They'll be with you forever.
Along with the belt, a pair of weightlifting shoes are absolutely essential for proper lifting.
Would you play football on grass with a pair of indoor shoes?
You get the point.