The Best Footwear for Your Weightlifting Training
As a bodybuilder, weight training plays a crucial role in your fitness regime. As you will already know, the correct technique is every bit as important to bodybuilding success as your nutrition and strength. However, executing the right weightlifting technique doesn’t just come from practice – it also depends on your footwear. But what makes good weightlifting shoes ideal for the task?
Less absorption, more power
In order to explain, we’ve enlisted the help of our expert personal trainer and powerlifting specialist, Sebastian Kaindl. His tips and tricks are sure to provide you with all you need to know about weightlifting shoes.
You may be wondering why you can’t simply wear normal running shoes or trainers when lifting weights. After all, they are also specialist sport shoes. The answer is, above all else, because they usually have cushioning for shock absorption. While this makes jogging more comfortable, it’s not appropriate for weightlifting. There are two key reasons for this. First, the soft absorption of running shoes creates instability when you lift weights. This means your joints can easily become overloaded, which increases the risk of injury. Second, they prevent you from achieving optimal power because the trainers absorb the force as you lift. This is especially frustrating when the workout conditions are otherwise ideal for beating your personal best, but you simply can’t generate enough power from the ground.
Special weightlifting shoes therefore come without this cushioning in order to provide better lateral stability and avoid nasty accidents. But that’s not all – weightlifting shoes also have raised heels, which improve your lifting posture. The appropriate heel height partly depends on your knee bending style: the lower your stance, the flatter the soles should be. The other factor is how high your barbell rack is: the higher the rack, the higher the heel should be. That’s it for the theory, now for some examples of weightlifting shoes and how they’re appropriate for different training scenarios.
Finding the right shoe
The Reebook Crossfit Nano 7 is a good all-round model. Although they aren’t specialist weightlifting shoes as such, they have less shock absorption than usual for this kind of shoe and offer excellent lateral stability. This makes them ideal for training programmes that feature other activities besides weightlifting.
On the other hand, the Adidas Powerlift.3 is exactly as its name suggests – a specialist weightlifting model of shoe. They feature a noticeable heel elevation, but not too much, making them suitable for a variety of knee bending styles.
With a 2cm heel elevation, the Reebok Legacy Lifter weightlifting shoes are ideal for training with higher barbell racks that don’t require as much knee bending. Adipower by Adidas is a similar model, fit for this purpose.
If you’re looking for a lower-cost alternative, indoor football boots such as the Adidas Samba and even Converse Chucks are actually better for lifting weights than running shoes with shock absorption. In fact, our expert Sebastian uses a pair of Chucks alongside the (discontinued) Reebok Trainer Lites for deadlifts, and Adidas Adipowers for squats.
Weightlifting shoes not only protect your joints from injury, they also help you to improve your power. Sound good? That’s because it is! Try them out in the gym right away – you’ll be amazed what you can achieve!