I have been asked this question several times, mostly by new weightlifters. I understand that most new lifters are nervous because they feel they might look out of place in the gym wearing these types of shoes.
So, here’s a clear-cut answer to whether or not lifting shoes are helpful — Yes, they are! They definitely are.
Whether you are a professional weightlifter or a newbie in this world, you can benefit a lot from wearing snugly fitting lifting shoes. If you are skeptical about it, then let me put it this way – you need a pair if you clean, jerk, and snatch almost regularly.
These shoes are specially designed to actually help you lift more weight than you can with a pair of standard shoes.
How are they different from regular sneakers?
The gym shoes or sneakers you are wearing are actually made for running. They have a different design, and they usually come with an inbuilt cushion to absorb the extra energy as you pound on the pavement repeatedly.
While these shoes may be great for running, they do not offer support for lifting weights. Instead of absorbing the impact or force, you need a shoe that can help you use the force produced by your body to move the weight.
How do lifting shoes help in weightlifting?
Now, coming back to the main question — do lifting shoes help? They do in a couple of ways. To start, they are useful in generating more force, which enables you to put the bar higher.
When you put the bar higher, it increases the probability of getting under it.
When you are under the bar, this can empower your training as you drive hard out of the squat position. As the shoe is your main point of contact with the ground, it can help you transfer as much force as you can create from the ground and move it through your body into the barbell.
What are the other benefits?
Lifting shoes have some distinct benefits such as an elevated heel that enables you to squat well in deeper positions with an enhanced range of motion in your ankles. This helps in improving your overall position as you to sit in a more upright position.
When you are able to maintain an upright sitting position, it means the torso is perfectly balanced to help you hold the barbells confidently and send them in the upward direction. The raised heel also helps you send the barbells upward.
Lifting shoes are much more stable than your standard running shoes, not just in the sole but also around your foot. This ensures that you have a much stronger and more reliable base to push through, push into, and land on.
This is important to boost your performance, empower your training sessions, and prevent any type of injury. When you don’t get injured often, you get more time to practice and train.
A few things you need to consider:
To ensure that you get the most out of your lifting shoes, it is important that you look into a few things before getting a new pair. The heel is one of the first factors that you need to consider. Lifting shoes do not have a fixed heel size, and they will usually vary from half an inch to an inch.
Next, you might need to consider the support and strapping capabilities. Lifting shoes usually come with support that securely holds your feet from all directions.
If you compare lifting shoes from different companies and brands, you will see that they vary widely.
Shoes from brands like Adidas come with a narrow foot, while other brands like DoWin are more suitable for people with wider feet. Most of them come with laces so that you can securely tighten the shoe against varying foot widths.
When buying a lifting shoe, make sure you choose the right size to prevent your foot from sliding within the shoe. Look for a pair that offers a stable, snug, and supportive fit.
Always select a shoe with a solid base, though many hybrid models compromise in this aspect to provide better mobility. I hope this information answers your curiosity about the benefits of lifting shoes.