There’s absolutely no doubt about it – lifting is, if anything, dangerous. And difficult. At times, you’re dealing with weights heavier than yourself, and made much more compact in the form of steel bars, and iron weights. It’s not like jumping on a treadmill – when you’re lifting weights, you need to be present, you need to be active, you need to be conscious of exactly what you’re attempting.
To prevent injuries, lift more, and have healthier joints, the most important part of your lifting arsenal is not the weight you’re lifting, or even the squat rack. It’s your weightlifting shoe.
Shoes cover and protect the point of contact for lifters, and this is extremely important when lifting. However, not every shoe works – even athletic or running shoes are typically worse than just wearing socks during lifting. So here’s what you’ll want:
Identify Your Lift
Not every lifter has the same lifts. Say you’re squatting, deadlifting and pressing. These are basic power lifter lifts, and they require hard, flat soles. No raised heel, a wide toebox, and a sole that doesn’t give noticeably. You want a stable shoe that allows you to sit back into your heels without too much pressure going onto your knees. As per T-Nation, once you get into the heavy weights, you want flat soles to prevent injury.
But not everyone’s aiming to squat twice their bodyweight. Other people – many other people, in fact – engage in Olympic lifting. And in Olympic lifting, it’s the speed and momentum of your lift that counts just as much as static strength. Since you’re not spending as much time deep in that squat, then, what you’ll want is a stable and slightly raised heel, which is good for speed and mobility in your lifts as per Breaking Muscle. Choosing the right weightlifting shoe with such a specification relies on making sure you’re shopping at a good retailer like Otomix.
So, identify what you’re doing – are you doing clean and presses, snatches and jerks? Or deep low-bar squats and deadlifts? Then, choose your shoe accordingly – or get a pair for each activity.