What makes lifting shoes so amazing?
It’s all about the heel. The heel lift is a key structural difference in lifting shoes. The lift varies from ½ to ¾” – that is the difference in height from the toe base to the height of the sole under the heel. There is no one right size for the heel lift, as some professionals will have custom-sized heel lifts made even greater than ¾”, but ¾” tends to work for most people.
The other factor is the stability of the base of the shoe. Some have a completely flat base for ultimate stability, while others split the toe from the heel to offer some flexibility while sacrificing stability.
Overall the heel lift combined with the super stable base will allow you to perform squats in a better position and achieve heavier lifts.
Which shoe is the question?!
With more companies seeing the demand for performance lifting shoes, more options are becoming available, including some hybrid models.
My recommendation is to first go for the true super stiff Olympic shoe, such as the Nike Romaleos or Adipowers. The stability these shoes offer with the heel lift will change your lifting performance immediately. The start position in your squat and clean is easier to hit correctly while keeping the weight solidly on your heels. In the finish position, the stability of the shoes will give you more confidence with your jerk and stabilize the snatch in the bottom position. Even if you are primarily a Crossfitter or powerlifter – a good quality lifting shoe should be your number 1 pick.
There are a few top brands in the Olympic lifting shoe category. Nikes are popular for those with normal to wide feet. Also, if you are used to using Reebok Nanos, you will likely feel more comfortable in the Nike Romaleos as your toes will be able to spread for a better base of support. Adidas Adipowers is a well-respected brand of lifting shoes as well. The feedback that I’ve gotten are these are best for those with normal to narrow feet. These are made of split-grain leather, but I have heard of people blowing through the side of the shoe if your foot is on the wider side. However, world records have been set in both.
A lighter-duty version of the Adidas “Adipower” Lifters is the Powerlifter 2.0. These are a great value at $119.95, and with the 5/8” lift on a solid platform, these shoes would be a major upgrade for training to a regular running shoe.
All in all, getting a lifting shoe is definitely a good idea and the choice of which one depends on your preference. As always, our fitness equipment experts are here to help with any additional questions you may have!
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