Benefits of Weightlifting Shoes

by - 11:47 AM



It seems our family shoe collection by the door is growing bigger and bigger. Rain boots (seems like all we have worn the last few weeks), work boots, Eli's "racing shoes", running shoes, etc. This fall I added a pair of weightlifting shoes to the mix.  Traditionally, I have been more of a barefoot/minimalist kind of lifter, however, this fall, most of my workouts have been based around the squat and I have added in some Olympic lifts so I thought I would try a pair to see if they improved performance and comfort.  

Personally, I have felt more comfortable with the squat in a deeper more upright position than I ever have, so I thought I would share a few benefits of weightlifting shoes below for those working on their squat and other lifts.

Benefits of Weightlifting Shoes:

The sole is wider  
Lifting in shoes with a wider base generally allows for more stability allowing for a stronger, safer lift.

The sole has good traction
The sole is made of material that increases the coefficient of friction when articulating with the ground so that you don’t slip. This can be important for a variety of lifts, however, can be especially beneficial for squatting and Olympic lifts

Your feet don't move around in them
The metatarsal strap(s) help hold the feet in place to prevent foot-in-the-shoe movement. This is imperative with squatting and Olympic lifting

The heels are higher
For many, the additional heel height allows lifters feel more comfortable in the bottom of a lift with more depth and a more upright posture.  This is especially helpful for those with those with decreased ankle mobility or who have relatively longer femurs in relation to their torso.

The sole and heel are stiffer
The sole and heel are made of non-compressible material (typically wood, plastic, or a combination of both). Most traditional tennis shoes have a soft heel with a good amount of give. If the contact between the feet and the floor is soft or squishy, a percentage of the force of the drive will be absorbed by the compression of the cell. This compression is fine for running, but when squatting it reduces power transmission efficiency and prevents foot stability. It also may redirect the force you are trying to apply to the ground.


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