What are the benefits of weightlifting shoes? Well whether you are a novice, intermediate, or a pro at weightlifting or CrossFit. Weightlifting shoes are a must. In this short article I will be going over the 5 important attributes to weightlifting shoes.
Weightlifting shoes incorporate 5 big differences to a conventional gym shoe or a running shoe. When looking at weightlifting shoes, you will first notice the elevated heel. There are many pairs out there which include several height differences within that heel. We will be overlooking at why that is and how to choose the right height for you. The next benefit to a weightlifting shoe will be the extra mobility you gain from them. This is all linked in with the added heel height you gain from using weightlifting shoes. The next three benefits will be added stability through a solid base and extra ankle support and to conclude why weightlifting shoes are a safer choice of shoe.
Elevated Heels in Weightlifting Shoes
The first benefit to a weightlifting shoe compared to a traditional gym shoe is the elevated heel. When performing Olympic weightlifting movements or compound movements the base for any of these moves comes through good technique and great posture. The added heel to the back of the weightlifting shoes enhances our ability to keeping an upright torso which transfers to a safer lift with added control and power through the movement.
Weightlifting shoes come in many heights of heels. Ideally you will want to get yourself a pair in which you can execute your movements with the most ease and use the added heel to gain leverage. The two most common heights of heels will be 0.75″ and 1″. To give you an idea of what heel height to pursue start out with your body height and your mobility weaknesses. For example someone which has very long femurs will most likely want to turn himself towards a 1″ room. Giving him more depth of clearance. In another case if you are someone which lacks of ankle, or hip mobility you will also want to direct yourself towards a weightlifting shoe with a bigger heel height. Extra height helps compensate for a lack of mobility. Helping you reach an appropriate posture without putting your knees, ankles or lower back at risk of injury. For athletes with small femurs or good mobility perhaps a more traditional heel at 0.75″ could be more appropriate. You could also consider a pair with just 0.6″. All of these remain a question of preference. Give them a try, listen to your body and soon enough you will know what suits you best.
Linking in with the extra heel height topic. Is the gained mobility you get through a pair of weightlifting shoe. Not only is mobility one of the most important factors in weightlifting it is also what will help you achieve heavy lift, improve your technique but most importantly, mobility is what will keep you healthy over extended periods of training. When we increase mobility within our movements, we increase the power we are capable of putting through our lift. Therefor giving us the necessary tools we need to performing a correct lift.
Another Benefit to a Weightlifting Shoe is a Stable Base
Unlike running shoes or conventional gym shoes which use soft soles to help with impact absorption . Weightlifting shoes have a hard sole or base. This is so that you get a planted feel under your feet while lifting while keeping a stable base while being in the receiving end of a lift. Hard soles with the combination of extra ankle support also help transfer the power from the ground all the way up through your lift. Leading us into the next difference between a conventional gym shoe and a weightlifting shoe.
Extra Ankle Support
Extra ankle support is perhaps the last difference between your everyday gym shoe to a weightlifting shoe. With the help of a firm sole and usually a leather constructed shoe or a plastic like material a weightlifting shoe will be a lot more firm. Depending on the make of your shoe some will come with a top strap around the ankle or maybe even two straps. Having a shoe that has a stiff sole but also a tight-fitting around your ankle will help you spread the ground more efficiently therefor helping you transfer more power through the ground all the way up your lift. The sturdiness of the shoe will also help you keep planted of the receiving end of a lift. Helping you keep optimal postures which can be translated to a safer more efficient lift.
Safety is Key
Weightlifting shoes were designed for one activity and that is weightlifting. With the combination of a heel to a stable sole with ankle support these shoes were designed to save your body. As we all know weightlifting can be a dangerous activity if not done appropriately. Lifting with running shoes or soft soled shoes can cause you to engage a lift or receive a lift in the wrong position. Losing balance or losing an appropriate posture can lead to back injuries, knee injuries or even hip injuries. Therefor it is a must for any weightlifter to own the appropriate equipment for the practice of his sport.
In conclusion there are many reasons as to why you should buy yourself a pair of weightlifting shoes. Whether you are a beginner or an everyday gym addict you will definitely benefit from the 5 attributes which distinguish a weightlifting shoe from a running shoe or a conventional gym shoe. These being, gain of mobility through the extra heel height which naturally positions your body in a better lifting position. A stiff sole which will help you have a more of a secure and planted feel on the receiving end of a lift to the extra ankle support which will help you spread the ground and distribute power more efficiently. End to conclude a weightlifting shoe is a tool to help prevent injuries throughout your numerous training sessions.