Lifting shoes are not your regular gym shoes. If you joined the gym to get back in shape or simply tread the treadmill then there’s no point investing in a pair of lifting shoes. This type of footwear is expensive and built for a purpose.
There’s a reason behind that weird design and feel of a lifting shoe. You probably know by now that they are not meant to be worn at all occasions. So, when should you wear lifting shoes? Let’s find out.
Most professional weightlifters, who swear by their lifting shoes, will tell you how important and inevitable they are for their existence. They treat the shoes like invaluable assets and wear them only while performing powerlifters or Olympic lifts at the gym.
Lifting shoes can be used for almost all types of lifts that need your feet to be firmly planted on the ground. One exception is deadlifting.
While many professional athletes prefer to wear the lifting shoes for pulling dead weights, there are some who prefer to go barefoot.
Some of the other exercises that can benefit from the use of lifting shoes include:
- Squats (Front Squat and Back Squat)
- Push Press/Jerk/Strict Press
- Barbell Thrusters
If you perform any of the above-mentioned activities at the gym on a daily basis then you need to wear lifting shoes to the gym. These shoes can benefit the user in the following ways:
The raised heel of the lifting shoes enables you to reach a better range of motion using your ankle. As a result, you are able to maintain the correct posture by keeping your torso upright.
If you indulge in high bar squatting activities, it is good to have shoes with an elevated heel.
Lifting shoes have hard soles, which means less amount of energy is lost by the ‘cushioning’ offered by the soft soles, as in running shoes. This ensures that you feel more connected with your feet firmly planted on the ground.
This adds more stability to your lifts, making it less ‘shaky’. As a result, you can exert all of your body pressure into lifting the high bars.
Lifting shoes offer some form of benefit to any movement that involves improved dorsiflexion on your ankle.
These shoes come with additional support for your ankle and arch so your feet stay well protected even under the immense pressure experienced at the time of lifting heavy weights.
The shoes are lightweight and they offer a snug fit inside, so you can wear them throughout the day without experiencing any discomfort.
When not to wear lifting shoes
Lifting shoes are designed for a unique purpose. If you try the wrong sports wearing them, then you not only increase the chances of getting hurt, but the shoe will also be damaged.
These shoes are built to be sturdy and offer a snug fit to your foot to help you get a good grip. If you indulge in activities or movements that create a lot of multi-directional strain on the shoes, then you are actually wasting your investment.
To be very clear, you need to avoid exercises such as prowler pushes, box jumps, burpees, jumping rope, sprints, and other types of dynamic sports when wearing a pair of lifting shoes. These activities need trainer shoes to help you perform your best, and at the same time provide protection to your feet.
Sportsmen in the past had a limited choice when it came to shoes. However, the shoe manufacturers of today recognize the unique requirements of each sport, and offer specially crafted shoes that help professionals stay safe and deliver their best performance.
Lifting shoes are built for a purpose and they don’t come cheap. Therefore, make sure you wear these shoes only when you are indulging in the weightlifting exercises. We hope that answers the question: ‘when to wear lifting shoes’.
If you are someone who’s not strictly into weight lifting and likes to enjoy a combination of activities at the gym, then you may consider looking for the CrossFit shoes. These are special hybrid lifting shoes that are designed to give you the stability needed for lifting bars.
At the same time, they are flexible enough to help you with a reasonable amount of conditioning work.
So, all those who don’t like to change shoes for a workout can check out the ‘hybrid’ lifting shoes offered by Inov-8 and Reebok.