Hey there! Since you are here, I am sure that you are an iron lady/man in the making. Weightlifting is not everyone’s cup of tea. Unlike running and walkinweightliftinging is only for the elite. Several things can help you become a better weightlifter. I am here to tell you about one of the most important factors, ‘weightlifting shoes.' Let’s begin with the most commonly asked question.
Why Should You Wear A Weightlifting Shoe?
A lot of people think that it is fine to lift weights with their regular running shoes or CrossFit shoes. Let me tell why it is not such a good idea. Your running shoes are built with extra cushioning which will absorb the impact and the force. They are perfect for running, but for weightlifting, you need a shoe which will help you use all your force to move weight rather than absorbing it. The more force you can produce, the more weight you lift. It’s as simple as that.
When you wear a weightlifting shoe, you can generate more force through the ground and can invariably pull the bar higher. The incredible stability and traction offered by the shoe can help you transform the force you are creating from the floor through your body and into moving the barbell.
How Exactly Does the Shoe help?
Weightlifting shoes come with a raised heel which will allow you to squat into a deeper position by providing an increased ankle range of motion. Your overall position is also improved since it makes you feel more upright. The upright torso along with the raised heel helps you to activate more of your musculature to lift the bar upwards. The strong and consistent base guarantees injury prevention and increased performance.
The best weightlifting shoes have a lot of features that are designed to help to get the maximum out of your lifting session.
Anatomy of a Weightlifting Shoe
In general, weightlifting shoes have the following parts.
Lining: The inside of the shoe has a sock-like fabric. This contributes to the comfort and ease of the shoe.
Eyelets and Eye-stays: The shoe’s laces stay in place because of eyelets and eye-stays.
Strap: The strap is one the significant parts of the shoe. It ensures foot lockdown and comfort of the shoe.
Toe box: The toe box contributes towards flexion. It should be fairly flexible and have room to allow full flexion.
Heel wedge: The raised heel as already mentioned is a significant contributor towards weight lifting. It reduces the amount of dorsiflexion which is needed from the ankle for weight lifting
Insole: The footbed of the shoe which is also known as the insole contributes towards two main factors in weightlifting shoes, comfort and orthotic support.
Midsole: The midsole is the cushioning between the insole and the outsole. In weightlifting shoes, it incorporates the heel wedge.
Outsole: The part of the shoe which is mainly responsible for stability and traction is the outsole. A flat and extremely stiff outsole does a great job.
Last: This part sits below the insole and determines the shape of the shoe. The perfectly shaped ones will fit more snugly in the heel and the arch.
Now that you know the parts of a weightlifting shoe let’s get onto to the important points.
Features of a Good Weightlifting Shoe
The outsole as mentioned before is the soul contributor towards the stability and traction of the shoe. The shoe should have a hard, non-compressible sole which will give you a surface that is stable even under hundred pounds of weight. The outsole makes sure that the energy you drive through your feet is not absorbed or misdirected but utilized to lift the weight up
Here I will be answering the billion dollar question of, how should weightlifting shoes fit. The shoes should fit snugly. They shouldn’t be too tight nor be flopping around your feet. The right fit will give you proper foot support, lateral stability and also protect your ankles.
Weightlifting shoes should have excellent traction. This will keep your feet planted on the ground when you are deadlifting or performing squats. Even if you are performing something as extreme as power cleans and snatches, weightlifting shoes will offer you a fantastic grip
Types of Weightlifting Shoes
More than 80% of weightlifting shoes come with raised heels. They are the best if you are going to perform deep squats like front squat and high bar back squat. They are also the best choice for Olympic style lifts like the snatch, power clean and for overhead movements. The heels facilitate better leg drive, reduce the amount of ankle flexibility and also prevent injury
If you are going to perform more of wide stance squats like low bar squats you should go for flat soles. They do not tilt your body forward, hence ensuring that you stay close to the ground. Best for performing deadlifts and Pendlay rows.
Some shoes are built having more than one purpose in mind. The hybrids are mostly designed for lifters who CrossFit. They are lightweight compared to other standard weightlifting shoes.
These shoes are designed having Olympic weightlifters in mind. They are solid and cumbersome and provide unsurpassed stability.
The Wrong Shoes
When it comes to weightlifting, picking the wrong pair of shoes can be a disaster. So here are a few tips to avoid the wrong ones.
Avoid shoes which are soft with compressible soles. Running shoes, Baseball shoes, Casual sneakers all fall under this category. Shoes which do not provide a stable base can increase the likelihood of injury. All shoes with compressible soles fall here. These shoes cause uneven weight distribution which can lead to trouble.
Ladies, Are You Ready To Lift?
You can be a weightlifting champion with the right amount of training and gear. Weightlifting shoes, in particular, can provide you with improved safety, better technique and also ensure stronger lifts. Pick the right ones which fit snugly and bring the medal home!