If you are getting serious about your squats, cleans and snatches, it is probably time to consider what shoes you wear when lifting. Weightlifting shoes have been said to be the most important equipment a lifter can own. If you are in the market for a pair of shoes, this article will help you know what to look for. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to enjoy the benefits weightlifting shoes can provide, just be sure to look for these features.
Mid-sole Ideally the sole of a weight lifting shoe should offer firm support and stability. One thing that makes a shoe a weightlifting shoe is a mid sole that does not compress under weight or impact. For this reason, running shoes are unsuitable for squatting and Olympic lifting. Many weightlifting shoe soles are made of wood or compressed rubber and provide very little give when pressure is applied.
Bottom Sole It is important that the bottom of the sole on a weightlifting shoe provide a certain degree of traction; too much, and the shoe can get caught, too little and the shoe can be slippery. Both extremes could easily cause injury. Ideally the bottom of the sole should be a moderately textured hard rubber that provides some traction, but also allows you to easily maneuver into more advanced lifting positions, such as the split jerk.
Heal Height The ideal heal height for a weight lifting shoes will vary from lifter to lifter. The range in height found suitable for most lifters is somewhere between ” and 1 “. A lower heal can place a little more stress on the hip and lower back and may not be suitable for less flexible lifter. A higher heal will assist the lifter in keeping the torso upright and maintain back position while in the squat position. However, a higher heal may place more stress on the knees and may make require more effort to move the knees out of the way during the pull portion of an Olympic lift.
Regardless of the height of your shoes, if they are new it is advisable to allow your body time to adjust to the new height. Do this by only doing a few light sets with your new shoes for the first couple of workouts. Then when you start to feel comfortable, it is OK to go heavy and hard.
Ankle Support Most seasoned lifters do not recommend the high-top design on weightlifting shoes. While a little ankle support may be needed, the high-top design can constrain the ankle too much in the lower part of the squat or pull.
Foot Support Finally, it is important that your weightlifting shoes minimize movement of the foot within the shoe. This can be achieved in a number of ways. The shoe should fit snuggly, with the laces tied tightly so the foot is held securely against the sole. Some shoes provide a metatarsal strap to assist in keeping the foot in place.