Just like you wouldn’t play soccer without a fresh pair of cleats, you shouldn’t be lifting heavy without proper weightlifting shoes. This is one investment that will reward you for years to come. Quality weightlifting shoes can last a long time, and they’re a total game-changer when it comes to your lifts. Once you try them, you won’t go back to whatever you were wearing before.
As athletes, we strive to lift heavy. To lift heavy, we must lift efficiently. To lift efficiently, weightlifting shoes are imperative.
3 Reasons Weightlifting Shoes Work
There is a specific reason why weightlifting shoes look like they do. Each pair has three distinct qualities that are easy to notice at first glance: a hard rubber sole, a raised heel, and straps to hug your foot in all the right places.
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The Hard Rubber Sole
The hard rubber sole offers increased stability, planting your feet firmly on the ground so you can safely manage to move quickly under heavy weights. Once you’re fully under the bar, because your connection to the floor is so solid, you can successfully drive out of your squat harder and faster to move the weight more efficiently.
There’s more to it than that, too. When a shoe is too cushioned in the sole, a lot of the force you create gets lost in it, making it harder to stand up with weight. Because of the flat and stable bottom of weightlifting shoes, though, the energy goes through your foot and into the ground. This allows you to pull the bar higher, and the higher the bar is pulled, the more time you have to drop underneath it.
Having a raised heel gives you a two-fold advantage: (1) a deeper squat and (2) 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 small change plates under your heels and drop into a squat. Notice the depth of your squat and how the subtle heel raise gives you a larger range of motion.
As an added bonus, the increased range of motion doesn’t just affect your hips. It also allows your upper body to be more upright, so you won’t cave underneath the weight of a heavy clean or front squat.
While the depth and force are extremely important, neither of those things would be possible if your feet weren’t secure in their shoes. 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?
A good majority of weightlifting shoes will have similar qualities, but small variations between them mean you need to spend a bit of time finding the best fit for you. For instance, if you’re a dedicated weightlifter, Nike Romaleos are considered by many to be the shoe for weightlifters.
A second option is the Adidas Powerlift 3.1. This model offers tremendous support and structure while remaining breathable and lightweight, and it works for all types of weightlifting. It’s versatile yet will always meet your needs.
Finally, there’s the Inov8 Fastlift, which works for Olympic weightlifting or workouts that simply incorporate weightlifting. Ultimate comfort, ultimate support.
Whatever your needs may be, TWL has you covered. Shop online with us today for the very best in weightlifting shoes and so much more.