A complete guide to Lifting Shoes.
What you wear on your feet when lifting can be either detrimental or beneficial to your progress, depending on the style of shoe and the type of workout you are doing.
Many of us focus on doing whatever we can to improve our physique and take our training to the next level, including consuming supplements, wearing lifting belts and using wrist straps etc However footwear is not always considered as important as it should be. In this article I’m going to explain to you what Lifting Shoes are, and why you might be missing out by not utilizing them.
What’s the difference between Running shoes and Lifting shoes?
Firstly, let’s address the differences between Lifting Shoes and Running Shoes so we can better understand why one might wear them.
As the name suggests, Running shoes were designed to support the foot when running. Various types of running shoes are available these days including those that offer support for high or low arches, cushioning for those who don’t pronate their feet enough, stability for those who pronate too much and more. One of the main things that Running shoes offer that lifting shoes don’t is shock absorbtion. This is particularly important for running because your feet take on the force of your bodyweight every time they hit the ground. Absorbing the shock reduces the impact on your feet and ankles, preventing potential injuries when running.
With the serious lifter in mind, this style of shoe was designed to keep your foot as flat on the ground as possible, whilst offering foot protection and ankle support. The general idea is: the flatter your foot is on the ground, the more force can be used to push through your feet and get the weight up.
It’s also a matter of stability. If you squat using running shoes, the weight will not be evenly distributed throughout your feet (due to the added cushioning and arch support that comes with running shoes), leaving your feet very unstable and potentially affecting your form. Lifting shoes, however, assure your feet to stay planted flat on the ground, allowing you to utilize as much force and traction as possible to complete the lift.
If I’m lifting and running in one workout, which shoes should I wear?
Your best bet is to wear both. Both styles of shoes were designed to provide you with the support you need for that specific style of training, so it’s best to wear Lifting shoes to lift and Running shoes to run. Wearing either styles for both aspects of the workout could prevent you from achieving your best results.
What is important to look for when I’m buying Lifting Shoes?
There are a few key things to look for when buying Lifting Shoes. The first thing you want to make sure is that they have a flat sole. As mentioned above, keeping your feet flat on the ground is essential in assuring you have maximum stability and force during your lifts. Ultimately if you can find a pair that have a thinner sole you may prefer that over a thicker sole, as you can feel the ground and grip it better.
Secondly, you want to make sure the shoes allow for full ankle mobility. This will allow you to reach full range of motion on your lifts. If you can also find a pair that provide some sort of padded ankle & achilles support you’re winning! Next, you want to make sure that the shoes provide ventilation and comfort. The last thing you want is to be distracted from your workout by sweaty or sore feet! Look for shoes made from lightweight, high quality materials to assure you don’t come across any of these problems.
Lastly, it comes down to style. Choosing a pair of Lifting shoes that you actually want to wear may give you that little confidence boost you need to help you break through that PR. There are different styles of lifting shoes available on the market today, some are low top some are high top, some are basic and others are more detailed. It really all comes down to personal preference when choosing.
Where can I find Lifting Shoes then?
There are many online stores that sell their own brand of Lifting Shoes today, however the one company that really stands out is Ryderwear. Their “Raptors” seem to be extremely popular in the U.S. and Australia and they are endorsed by some pretty big names in the bodybuilding industry such as Kai Greene and Mike Rashid. “Raptors” offer the whole package when it comes to what you want from a lifting shoe. From a flat sole to padded ankle support, Ryderwear really have this stylish, high-top lifting shoe perfected.
You can view their entire range of Lifting Shoes on their website