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Benefits of Olympic Lifting Shoes
Written by Cody Burgener

Olympic weightlifting shoes are not just any ordinary shoe.  There is a purpose for their unusual design and sleek look.  Some of the shoe features that are different from other shoes are a hard, flat sole, an elevated heel, straps, and a snug fit around your foot.  The best thing about the olympic shoe is that it increases your hip and ankle flexibility which help you get lower in a squat.  In this blog post, I will highlight the benefits of each feature of the shoe.

Let’s first talk about the hard, flat sole of the shoe.  Back in the day these soles actually used to be made of wood, but lately companies have been steering towards a hard plastic sole.  The reason for these hard, flat soles is to get as much force off the ground as you can.  Some exercises that benefit from the amount of force you get from the ground are squats, snatch, clean, and jerk.  When you wear regular shoes, you will notice that most of their soles are slightly squishy, so that means instead of getting 100% of the force of the ground, you are only going to get about 90% (give or take a little).

The elevated heel is the game changer portion of the shoe.  Have you even noticed how much easier it is to squat with a raised heel?  You can get deeper, knees stay out, and your ankle flexibility is amazing.  That is what the elevated heel does for your squat.  People who have tight ankles and hips will see a huge improvement in their ability to squat while wearing Oly shoes.  If you don’t believe it, put 5 lb plates underneath your heels, and you will notice the difference.

The last quality about the olympic lifting shoes are the straps which help give the snug fit feeling.  In the olympic lifts and squats, you don’t want your foot to be slipping around inside the shoes.  You want your feet to be in a nice, secure stable position.

Now, which shoe should you buy?  All weightlifting shoes serve the same purposes I’ve stated above, now it is just finding what pair is comfortable and works for you.  Everyone has different preferences, so you might swing and miss a couple time before you find the cinderella shoe.  Some brands of shoes that I personally like or have heard good things about are Reebok, Risto, Nike, Adidas, Do-Win, and VS athletics.  If you have a favorite shoe, please tell us what it is and why in the comments below.

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Arab avenue
Arab avenue
August 25, 2021 10:26 pm

Nice post thank you for sharing the well researched piece of content

Akshay Nanjunda
Akshay Nanjunda
December 28, 2020 5:44 am

nice pair of shoes

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Stefan Albrecht
Stefan Albrecht
September 1, 2019 11:28 pm

Workout Log Book has just published Chet Morjaria’s article: Why You Need a Pair, What to Look For, and When to Wear Them. Chet Morjaria – https://essaydune.com/buy-personal-statement/ and bio. Courtney Green says these shoes last forever, and the cons: they make you look taller, far more expensive, heavy and awkward.

Daryl Thayil
Daryl Thayil
September 30, 2018 3:56 pm

This is awesome. I love squatting and improving my Olympic weightlifting. This site helped me find screaming deals https://advancedweightlifting.com/blogs/weightlifting/best-olympic-weightlifting-shoes-2018 on weightlifting shoes

V Saxena
V Saxena
February 10, 2018 7:40 pm

I bought my first-ever pair of Air Jordan’s online but didn’t realize it would have an elevated heel like this. I’m a bit nervous about trying it, as I’m not yet convinced it’ll enhance my squats and I’m worried it’ll instead make my current heavy-weight squats harder, but I’m going to try it anyway this Tuesday. I would have tried it today but I had to workout at another gym, and I didn’t want to risk embarrassing myself around people I’m not familiar with.

Anyway. Thanks for the information.

H. Freeman
H. Freeman
February 11, 2018 10:43 am
Reply to  V Saxena

Pro-tip: do your squats barefoot or with flat, workout shoes. This self-hating clown over here doing his squats in Jordans. How much you packin, bro? There’s no way you like girls with that attitude or those shiny lips.

Loop
Loop
March 27, 2017 10:19 am

Can I wear lifting shoes outside of lifting?

Frg Pcpt
Frg Pcpt
April 22, 2018 1:34 pm
Reply to  Loop

That is the dumbest question I have ever read regarding squat shoes.

Mike
Mike
June 6, 2016 8:20 am

Very helpful. Since I got my oly shoes I’ve been able to lift more weight with BETTER form. Another article I read at http://bestliftingshoes.org/articles/top-3-oly-shoes/ was good for helping me choose the Adipowers, highly recommend that shoe if you are into lifting.

SEOTraverseCity
SEOTraverseCity
January 7, 2016 9:34 am

Hi Cody. thanks for the article man. I have been lifting in Nano 4.0s for a long time and hadnt really considered olympic lifters, but settled on the Reebok lifters 2.0 plus. This also helped me as well as another resource- https://sites.google.com/site/crossfitshoereviews Cheers Cody and WOD on man!

Jay
Jay
October 15, 2015 4:46 am

My favorite ones are the old school Russian Olympic weightlifting shoes. Real leather too 🙂 Found them on ebay http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/171966848329?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1558.l2649

Matt
Matt
August 20, 2015 5:32 pm

Great read – some people really don’t bother to use them to improve their lifting, not just from a performance perspective but also for better form and saftey. Thanks. http://www.weightliftingfootwear.com/what-are-weight-lifting-shoes/

Ryan Stacker
Ryan Stacker
February 9, 2015 8:56 am

People underestimate the value of weightlifting shoes, often labeling them as non-necessities, but truly they are the difference in increasing your squat or deadlifts and just maintaining status quo. Mental intensity and focus is an absolute as well: http://www.bestweightliftingshoes.org/mental-intensity-the-key-to-a-great-workout/

chris
chris
May 5, 2014 1:01 pm

Barefoot. We’re designed to lug carcasses through brush wearing nothing. If I can dead lift and squat 200 kilos barefoot I’m very unlikely to spend my hard earned cash on something which compensates for natural movement.

Matteo Orrù
Matteo Orrù
October 25, 2014 10:49 am
Reply to  chris

we’re designed to do many things, wearing a weightlifting shoes it’s not like cheating, it’s more like helping yourself in getting a good movement pattern and stability overall

chris
chris
October 25, 2014 11:20 am
Reply to  Matteo Orrù

Since I posted my last comment I will admit I was wrong. Snatches and overheads squats are movements which will greatly improves wearing lifting shoes. Just to raise the heel a little. This helps movement patterns through hips and ankles massively. Allowing to get deeper into the squat.

Matteo Orrù
Matteo Orrù
October 25, 2014 12:19 pm
Reply to  chris

Yes, they’re designed for that. Also to mention the enhanced dorsiflexion caused by the heel (really helpful when it comes to get your trunk stable).
The only cons it is the price, really overpriced shoes in my opinion.

Richard Madrid
Richard Madrid
August 11, 2013 2:45 pm

I love my new red adidas oly shoes for all lifting movements. like the reebok oly shoes when the wod requires them.

Braulio Garcia
Braulio Garcia
August 11, 2013 7:13 am

I have the Adidas shown above. Ive had them for about 8 mnths now and they were my first pair of weight lifting shoes. I love them. They have a snug fit and are light enough to be used while doing T2B, Pull ups, HSPU, etc. They also feel extremely stable while lifting. Much more than the Reeboks but i will say the Nike feel much more stable but are much heavier.

Patricia Martinez
Patricia Martinez
August 9, 2013 1:32 pm

I think we should try to match the show to the person! they always have those games in the celebrity magazines:-) On a serious note I could use some hip/ankle flexibility!

Mary DeHart
Mary DeHart
August 9, 2013 2:43 pm

I was thinking the same thing!