At the same time, you don’t want a pair that is expensive for the sake of it. You need something that is built to last because you are too.
With 13,000 gyms in more than 120 countries, CrossFit is as much a lifestyle as it is a form of fitness.
So you want the best gear possible to get the most out of your workouts. Read on to find out how to choose the best weightlifting shoe for you.
Why is it important to choose the right weightlifting shoe?
Put simply, your feet are what grounds you when you lift weights.
So shoes you might wear for running are not a good choice. The soles are too soft and they’ll suck up any power you’ve created lifting the weight.
You’ll actually be able to lift more weight with the right weightlifting shoe. Their hard soles help you move weight by focusing the forces you produce downwards.
Those running trainers just absorb those forces. It’s not an efficient way to train.
A hard-soled weightlifting shoe is going to give you a lot more stability. Besides, they put you in a better squatting position through their raised heels.
Those heels give your ankle a greater range of motion. That improves your posture and means you can use the right muscles to push weights upwards.
All of that added together just means better workouts and less chance of injury.
What should you look for in a shoe?
The upper material is a less important consideration. They’re nearly all synthetic materials now.
But you do want to think about the style, the price, the height of the heel, and the durability.
So let’s break those down.
Is style really an issue?
That all depends on you. You might not care what you have on your feet.
But there are a lot more styles to choose from now, so pick something you like. You’re more likely to wear them if you like how they look.
The durability of shoes is really an issue no matter what sport you do.
Who wants shoes that will fall apart within weeks?
But it also bleeds into the performance of the shoes.
If you check out brands of weightlifting shoe that are aimed at lifters, you’ll see they have stiff uppers and soles.
They need to have that to provide the stability traditional lifters need. So don’t expect a lot of flexibility.
But you’re into CrossFit. You need more flex for the other aspects of your regime.
Look for multipurpose shoes instead. The soles are only semi-rigid. They’ll give you greater support but you can use them for a wider range of fitness workouts.
Crossover shoes will also help you when you’re skipping or jumping.
Put it another way; you don’t want to buy the wrong shoes and have them fall apart after two workouts.
But you also don’t want them to put more strain on your feet and legs. The wrong kit can actually do more harm than good.
Heel height can help your lifting.
The height of the heel does vary depending on the brand. You’ll get used to a brand, so it’s only really an issue if you’re switching.
Prepare yourself for a period of adjustment while you’re breaking them in.
Try a few squats in them to see which position feels more comfortable.
And don’t underestimate comfort across the whole shoe.
Just as different brands have different heel heights, so they have different shoe widths. So a brand that suits your training partner might be too wide/narrow for you.
Some brands have laces all the way to the toe so you can get the custom fit you need.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends keeping 0.5″ between your longest toe and the end of your shoe.
But comfort is possibly an overlooked part of finding the right weightlifting shoe. Make sure you check the inner sock, its breathability, and even its shape.
If any part of the shoe causes irritation then put it back and move on.
What about price?
Price is probably the biggest sticking point when it comes to choosing shoes. Which is why we’re dealing with it separately.
You’ll need to pay more than you would for running sneakers. That’s just a given.
But do you need to spend, spend, spend?
Look at it this way. If you were a racing driver, you’d want the best machinery possible to do your job. And that costs money.
Shoes are no different. They’re the most constant form of kit you have available.
No matter what actual training you’re doing, you’ll be wearing your shoes. Not only that, they’re designed for the type of fitness you want to do.
They’ll assist in your endurance, agility, and coordination.
Be sure you know what you’re buying
It’s a really good idea to try on a weightlifting shoe before you buy. See if you can move around to get an idea of how they fit.
Shoes that are too loose or give too easily aren’t going to help you. You need stability more than anything else.
Remember that the uppers do stretch over time. While you don’t want your toes jammed in, the shoe will give eventually.
Make sure that you can actually move around in them. Try a couple of squats to see how the heels feel.
But also see if you can try jumping and even sprinting in the shoes. That’ll give you the best indication of whether they’re the right buy for your training.
Whichever pair you go for, make sure you choose them for the right reasons. If you invest well, they’ll look after you.
And that will keep you training towards the fitness levels and physique that you’re working for.
Over to you – which brand of weightlifting shoe do you recommend? Or, head over to Amazon and check out some of the top-rated weightlifting shoes for yourself: