Improving Your Lifts With Weightlifting Shoes

Josh Santhou Lifting

Improving Your Lifts With Weightlifting Shoes


Just like you wouldn’t play soccer without a fresh pair of cleats, you shouldn’t be lifting heavy without proper weightlifting shoes. Sure, they may cost you some cash (most are $150+), but the benefits outweigh the cost by a long shot. As CrossFit athletes, we strive to lift heavy, but to lift heavy we must lift efficiently and to do so, weightlifting shoes are imperative.


Three Benefits To Lift More Weight

There is a specific reason why weightlifting shoes look like they do. Each pair have three specific qualities that are easy to notice at first glance: a hard rubber sole, raised heel, and straps to hug your foot in all the right places.


1) The Solid Base

The hard rubber sole gives you the opportunity to take all of the force you’re exerting into the shoe and use it to move more weight. Because of the flat bottom of the shoe, the energy you use to push into the ground isn’t lost in the cushion of the shoe; it goes directly to the floor. This allows you to pull the bar higher and the higher the bar is pulled, the more time you have to drop underneath it. Once you’re fully underneath the bar, because your connection to the floor is so solid, you can successfully drive out of your squat harder to move the weight more efficiently.

2) Raised Heels

Having a raised heel gives you a two fold advantage: a deeper squat and a more upright position in your upper body. Not sold on that? Try squatting with a flat soled shoe or even barefoot and notice where your position is. Then, put a five pound plate under your heel and drop into a squat. Notice the depth of your squat and how the subtle heel raise gives you a larger range of motion. However, the increased range of motion doesn’t just affect your hips, it also allows your upper body to be more upright, so the bar has no option to go anywhere but up.


Inov-8 Fastlift Olympic Lifting Shoes



3) Security

While the depth and force are extremely important, neither of those things would be possible if your feet aren’t securely underneath you. The last thing you want are your feet to be unstable while attempting a lift, whether you are warming up or going for a PR. Since weightlifting shoes are designed to essentially glue your foot to the ground with the force exerted. If your foot is sliding around on the inside of your shoe, the benefits of the shoe will be lost. The straps across the top of weightlifting shoes provide the security for your feet to stay right where they are so you can move the maximum amount of weight.


Which Shoe Should I Choose?

Pretty much all weightlifting shoes will have the same qualities, however, some differences would include the height of the heel and weight of the shoe. To some, aesthetics makes a difference, (because who doesn’t want a dope pair of kicks?) but ultimately what it comes down is the shoe that fits your foot the best.

While there are many shoes out there, we recommend Inov8 Fastlift 325 for Men and Women when slinging around a heavy barbell. We love these shoes because they are lightweight and versatile.