Weightlifting is a minimalists sport, once you get your power rack, barbell, and weights. You’re ready to go. But there’s 1 important piece of equipment that people overlook. Shoes. Shoes are important because most of where all of your power and stability come from is your feet.
What do you want in a gym shoe? Good lifting shoes have in-compressible soles. They must be non slippery, have excellent support, and fit snug.
Benefits of a good lifting shoe are more Stability, better traction against the floor, and improved balance under the bar because the soles are hard.
For squats, the sole should always be in-compressible for maximum stability, power transfer, and technique. Chuck Taylors are best for squats
For deadlifts, the closer your feet are to the floor, the less distance the bar has to travel; and thus the more weight you can deadlift. That’s why thinner soles are better. The sole should also be be flat and in-compressible. Barefoot is the closest to the floor you can get. However, no grip can get slippery, so I recommend Toe Shoes. Chuck Taylor Soles are flat enough to work for deadlifts, but the bar will have to travel more distance compared to toe shoes.
Chuck Taylor’s are the best all around shoe for weightlifting. They are efficient and cheap, and they will last forever as lifting shoes. They have Hard Soles. Their Sole’s are also thin, flat, in-compressible, and your feet are close to the floor. You’ll feel your feet better during lifts, more stability, and control. They also have a strong canvas, which allows you to push your feet to the outside on Squats which helps keeping your knees out and activating your glutes. You get full ankle mobility with low top Chuck Taylor’s. If you buy high tops, leave the top part unlaced.
Do You Need Shoes With Heels? Olympic weight lifters wear shoes with heels because they make it easier to hit depth on Olympic lifts like Power Cleans, Olympic Squats, Front Squats, and Overhead Squats. If you’re serious about Olympic lifting consider weight lifting shoes like Adidas Adidas Powerlift They’ll make things much easier.
Barefoot Lifting. walking barefoot strengthens the small muscles of your feet and improves ankle mobility. I walk barefoot all the time at home, but I don’t like it for lifting because it provides zero traction. Especially on a bench press and/or squat. Your feet can slip on lifts if you do it barefoot or in socks making it a very dangerous way to train.
Wrong Shoes: Running shoes, the air and gel filling is great for reducing impact and shock from running. The bad thing is running shoes will limit your strength and prevent good lifting technique. The Soles are squishy so you can’t predict their behavior on each rep. This makes it harder to control your technique and lift properly. The soles also absorb the force generated against the floor instead of directing it towards moving the weight causing you to lose strength. Because the soles are squishy they make you unstable causing a higher risk of injury, especially with heavier weights.
These are the best shoes for weight lifting:
Converse Chuck Taylor’s All Stars
Olympic lifting shoes like Adidas Powerlifts