When you walk into a weightlifting shoes , your standard checklist likely includes a shaker bottle, iPod and a change of clothes. But what you wear on your feet can have a big impact on your performance. Weightlifting shoes are designed specifically for Olympic-style lifting and feature a raised heel and firm bottom. This can help with the lifts, such as the back squat and clean and jerk, by lightening the load on your ankles and giving you a stable platform to transfer force. However, you don’t need to be a powerlifter to benefit from them, as they can also help with CrossFit and other strength-focused workouts.
Lifting with Confidence: The Importance of Weightlifting Shoes
In fact, according to a study by Legg et al, the shoe can make a significant difference in squat form in novice lifters. The results showed that wearing a pair of shoes with a raised heel can reduce squat depth and improve knee stability, as well as decrease the variability in center of pressure pattern (COPP).
Although it’s not an argument against going completely barefoot or switching to a flat-sole shoe, we suggest including both types of footwear within your training. Switching to weightlifting shoes can be a bit of an adjustment and isn’t guaranteed to transform you into a powerlifting pro. But it can help you squat more upright and with better form, which over time will lead to less injury and more effective strength training.
To test out what type of shoe is best for you, try on a variety with your regular sneakers and then take a look at a video of yourself performing a full-body squat. Compare the video in both shoes to see which feels most stable and secure.