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.