Choosing Shoes for Lifting Weights: Buyer’s Guide
Weightlifting footwear is a unique segment. Many are aware of those intricacies involved in the process of buying running or casual shoes, but there is a lot of ignorance when it comes to this weightlifting category. Many end up making the mistake of picking up a wrong footwear that would adversely affect performance. That’s why it is important to consider certain things when picking up a product in this category.
Weightlifting Shoes Benefits
The best running shoes for flat feet or sneakers are not considered suitable for lifting weights, as they have too much in the way of cushioning and padding. Even though this can be great for eliminating shocks incurred from repeated impacts during running, they are unable to provide required stability. They also have too much compression that makes them not suitable for lifting several hundred pounds of weight above your head or back.
There are some desirable qualities within a running shoe like comfort, lightweight, and plenty of traction. However, an excessive amount of cushion in the outsole and midsole make them unsuitable for this kind of task. Furthermore, they also may not have the heel raise required for lifting weights.
Even though it is still possible to wear regular shoes and lift weights, athletes are putting a significant risk of injury or an insult to the personal record. Weightlifting specific models are made for the sole purpose of offering rigid and stable support to users. There is also plenty of heel raise. These factors ensure that users remain in one place irrespective of weight.
What Makes A Good Powerlifting Shoes?
Even though some make the mistake of going with all those best workout shoes for men or sneakers when lifting weights, the difference provided by a weightlifting footwear is quite huge. Some various benefits that user can derive from using these dedicated shoes are:
Flat and Firm Soles
All best weight lifting shoe comes with flat soles that do not compress when putting underweight. More than just being flat, these are extremely firm due to different types of material being employed. Many choices available today come with solid wood or a similar rigid material. These can be very stable, and your foot manages to stay without sinking into the shoe. This aspect becomes very crucial, as injuries can be prevented by easing the joint pressure. There is also a better way of transferring power to lift weights.
All lifts are done in a fast motion, and it’s an important factor behind lifters being able to haul several hundred pounds at one go. This power should not be wasted by using a jelly-like footwear. A major disadvantage of having a firm sole is weight, and there is a considerable difference between weightlifting shoes and sneakers in this regard.
All best weightlifting shoes tend to come with a raised heel to bring down the ankle motion. This allows sportsmen to get into a squat position without affecting lower back. A raise is certainly not by a small margin, as it can even be in the region of 0.75″ in some instances. A classic running footwear will have a heel raise of around 10 mm. Some of the latest models, however, usually go with an increase of just 5 to 6 mm. In comparison, weightlifting footwear will be able to provide a lift of 20 mm – a 100% rise compared to running models. Since squatting is a critical position to make the lift possible, this raised heel can be of enormous assistance.
A midsole strap is a crucial ingredient when it comes to the best Olympic lifting shoes as they help keep your feet locked securely. Models with an excellent midsole strap tend to offer greater protection from extraneous movements that can result in injuries. Slipping and sliding can also interfere with power transfer when lifting a weight and this is also taken out of the window.
There is a need for maximum traction when lifting heavy weights, and this is provided only by grippy soles. If a user slips when lifting heavy weights, it can turn into a horrible injury. There is a significant downside to the presence of high traction rubber, and it is the quick wear and tear. However, since weightlifting footwear will not be used the same as the best shoes for lifting and running, this may not be much of a problem.
Regular sneakers come with a compressible rubber-based heel. However, it is not meant for moving or catching weight. Lifting models may come with four options – stacked leather, TPU, EVA, and wood. All these choices have different looks, stability, feel, and performance when used on the platform. It is up to sportsmen to pick up the heel based on their comfort and needs. Some characteristics of those four heels are:
EVA: These are durable and lightweight. They are maneuverable/compressible to a certain extent.
TPU: These are long-lasting and lightweight. They can resist compression and abrasion.
Stacked Leather: These provide excellent feedback on the platform, but they have old school looks. However, these are incredibly lightweight.
Wood: These provide a stable base and excellent feedback from the platform. Once again, they have old school looks.
Irrespective of the heel type, an essential requirement to look for while buying best squatting shoes is presence of a raised heel. This is extremely important since it will allow user to squat much more than usual. This is usually done by increasing the ankles’ range of motion. As a result, user’s overall performance will improve tremendously, and there will be a better posture when lifting.
The better poster with a weight in hand makes a lot of difference with regard to quantity of weight that can be raised at any given time. The Olympic standard for lifting is 0.75 inches, but some shoes go even beyond this figure to provide better lift. One can also notice that fatigue goes down dramatically when a raised heel is present, as users are no longer wasting an excessive amount of force into the ground.
Best shoes for lifting weights tend to have a solid base that is constructed out of wood or plastic. Some manufacturers also use a combination of these two materials to offer excellent support and durability. The latter should be a priority when picking up a product, as these should not wear out regularly like regular footwear. There is a greater focus given to the sole of these shoes since they are most likely to degrade faster in this category.
Even with normal wear and tear, a good product will be able to last for around three years. Entry-level products are expected to last only for about a year. Durability also depends on materials used for the likes of places, straps, and soles.
Grip is essential when buying the best sneakers for weight lifting, as it can mean the difference between a broken ankle and a successful squat. Most shoes tend to advertise themselves as being flexible, which is a reliable indicator that focus area has been grip. This flexibility allows natural movements to take place without any hindrance, and it goes a long way towards making users feel more comfortable even when lifting heavyweights.
Regardless of the sport, it is always better to have high levels of grip. Even regular running shoes cannot be considered safe when they do not have a lot of grips. For weightlifting, this is even more dangerous since there is a possibility of losing control over the barbell.
Support offered by a shoe determines its capability inside a gym. Shoes that are meant for weightlifting purposes should not only handle the user’s weight but also the weight that they are lifting. These have great support often come with a wide base, while they should also have specific construction techniques like the use of a high collar to offer extended support to ankles.
It is also likely that best sneakers for lifting weights will have a strap at the top to aid in support. There is a preference amongst users when it comes to picking up shoes with high heel or high midsole. They guarantee great support and make sure that legs can handle that strain associated with lifting hundreds of pounds.
Lacing and Strapping System
This part is also a priority since lifters will be able to improve foot stability through the way shoe straps or laces. It is possible to come across single strap, double strap, or even BOA lacing types. Each of these models carries a different security level to each area of the foot. For a high level of security, it is recommended to go with BOA lacing or double straps. However, single straps can also provide adequate protection.
These products are in a price range of $70 and $200. Due to the specialist nature of these shoes, they command a premium price. It is certainly possible to find a weightlifting shoe for $20, but these are best avoided since they do not carry any advantage other than cost. They are also likely to last for only a few months. The lower range of good weightlifting shoes is $70 to $100 while a mid-range is between $120 and $170. A higher-end spectrum often features those best brands out there, and they carry many features along with a brand image. They are likely to be placed around or more than $200. The comfort and stability provided by all those best products are significantly higher.
It is possible to get value deals by going for last year’s models, which will be available at a discount of 30 to 60% at times. Even though new models will carry an improvement over the predecessor, it is not very substantial, but savings in terms of cost will be huge.
Since feet need to be comfortable even when lifting weights, it is important to pick up a pair of shoes that provide a lot of comfort. As sturdiness provided by footwear is vital to lift more considerable amount of weight, comfort goes out of the window when there is no padding. Even then, it’s essential to go with models that do not have padding or come with only a small amount at the very best. This ensures that users will be transmitting most of the force to the ground when they are squatting.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are CrossFit Shoes Good For Lifting?
There is an excellent requirement for support and stability to lower the incidence of injuries when performing heavy lifts. Even though weightlifting shoes are excellent in this regard, these products are not versatile and are only meant for a specific purpose. However, CrossFit shoes are capable of handling a variety of requirements while still being excellent for lifting purposes.
Do Weightlifting Shoes Make A Difference?
Weightlifting footwear can be a platform for lifting heavyweights. Due to special solid base provided by these best weightlifting shoes 2019, compression on the ground is reduced. It allows lifters to have a more significant amount of force transferred to the ground and lift heavier weights. The best gym shoes for women are meant for short bursts of power in the gym.
Do Weightlifting Shoes Increase Your Squat?
First-time users of lifting shoes will find the raised heel position quite different. It may take a while to adjust to this new position, but there will be a noticeable change in the amount of weight being added to squats. Since this footwear improves stability, sportsmen will feel stable, and it will provide them with confidence to lift further.
Do You Really Need Weightlifting Shoes?
Lifting shoes will be able to provide better alignment to joints, and this will make users go into a better position. There is a substantial reduction in the wear and tear placed on the joints. This, in turn, lets the body take more leverage by supporting additional weight, while an elevated heel also assists sportsmen in finding a better base than before.
Can You Wear Weightlifting Shoes Outside?
Best weightlifting shoes have a particular purpose. These are primarily meant for lifting purposes, and they are more efficient and effective when used inside a weight room. Even though they can be used outside, they have little purpose and usage.
There is no doubt that weightlifting is a great experience. The sport can be enjoyed even better with the use of special equipment, which will be able to improve performance levels. Weightlifting footwear is one of such equipment. Even though several expensive choices are available in the market, the best weightlifting shoes 2019 happen to be the Inov-8 Men’s Fastlift 335 Weightlifting Shoes.The product manages to offer an excellent set of features like thin heel and stability while still being lightweight. Their synthetic material has made it possible for the footwear to be attractively priced. The heel, meanwhile, is made out of injected polymer and a rubber sole covers it. It turns out to be perfect for people with a lot of mobility due to its small size.
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