We get asked by clients regularly if they "need" weightlifting shoes? Depends on what you consider "need"? Do you NEED to lift more weight in your squats, snatches, cleans and jerks? If the answer is yes, then yes, you need weightlifting shoes.First, let's look at your current shoe. A "running shoe". They have cushion built in to help absorb impact with every step. They absorb force. To move weight, you need to generate force, not absorb it.
"But Rich Froning doesn't wear weightlifting shoes".... Are you Rich Froning? If not, then keep reading.
A minimalist, or barefoot shoe (think the Reebok Nano, INOV8, etc) is definitely better for generating force than your typical running shoe as there is little to no padding.Stay with me.The more force you can generate in say a snatch/clean/jerk, the higher the bar can go. The higher the bar can go, the higher your chances go of getting under it. In a squat, or drive, the hard heel allows you to be "in contact" with the ground and generate force directly through the floor and body to the barbell.The raised heel also allows you to squat deeper as it improves the range of motion in your ankles as well as allowing for a better "upright" torso position.In comparison to your typical minimalist shoe, "lifters" are more stable around the foot, not just underneath it.Want to "feel" what a weightlifting shoe can do for you BEFORE buying? Borrow a friends pair, try them on, and do an air squat. Just one. Told you.Don't have a pair to borrow? Or feel weird asking? Ok, take your shoes off, walk to the edge of a mat leaving just your heels on the mat. Now, squat. Just once. Most lifters have between a 1/2" to 1" raise in the heel, that mat you're standing on at CFSC is 3/4". Do you feel the difference?Another way lifters help, that you don't get "sold on" in the ads, is confidence. You "feel" better in them when squatting and lifting. Your positioning is better, and you can definitely feel it. That confidence translates to bigger lifts.
There are tons of options out there. Some shoes are wider than others. Some are "hybrids" to serve with a slight raised, hard heel with support, AND as a metcon shoe. Decide what needs YOU have, and do the research from reviews to which one will serve you best.If you still have questions, ask your Coaches! It's what we're here for!Happy lifting!— Coach Josh