Are Weightlifting Shoes Worth It?

Weightlifting shoes are a type of shoe that has been specifically designed to aid weightlifters in their endeavors. They’re designed with a higher heel, allowing the weightlifter in question to squat into a deeper position, which can help with lifting the weight. They are also designed to be as stable as possible so that weightlifters have a good grip on the floor with their feet as they put all their muscle strength into lifting the weights. 

But here’s the question, are they worth it? Should you get these special weightlifting shoes?

As a general rule, weightlifting shoes are absolutely worth it, as long as you’re weightlifting on the regular, and can therefore make good use of them. So, for example, if you’re just trying out a bit of weight lifting, but you aren’t committing to it just yet, then buying special shoes isn’t going to be worth the money spent on them, because you’re not going to be using them enough, you know? 

But if you weight lift regularly, or are intermediate to advanced, then having a good pair of weightlifting shoes can be highly beneficial, and is definitely worth the investment. 

As with many things, having specialized gear isn’t a necessity. You can lift weights without ever using weightlifting shoes, and you can do so with complete ease. However, using weightlifting shoes will help you so that you can do the lifting better, as they will provide a small advantage with benefits that can help you improve. 

Essentially, weightlifting shoes will help you with your form, so that you can lift with a little more ease! So if you want to reap that benefit...then yes, they are 100% worth it! 

What is the point of weightlifting shoes?

The point of wearing weightlifting shoes is that they can help improve your weightlifting, as they are a specialized form of gear that offers benefits when used correctly. Weightlifting shoes have been designed with a slightly raised heel, and they also offer higher stability and grip on the floor.

But let’s look at the point of them, a bit more in depth. 

The main function that they provide is the raised heel, which is usually made of wood but can be made out of different materials depending on the brand and style of the weightlifting shoe. This raised heel allows the weightlifter to squat into a deeper position, and it also helps them keep all of their weight on the heels. This then allows and facilitates the weightlifter to keep a better form, which in turn makes the weightlifting easier and better-performed. 

Most weightlifters, when they first start out, can struggle with their form when lifting. Especially if they are using normal shoes, or are simply barefoot, the ankle mobility will be limited, and their calves won’t have the necessary flexibility. This will result in the weight moving from the heel down to their toes, so that they aren’t lifting as high, and aren’t keeping their chest up when doing so.

When you use weightlifting shoes, it’s a lot easier to keep the weight in your heels, keeping the right form and performing better overall. However, it’s best not to start using weightlifting shoes right away, or else you will be relying on them a little too much instead of actually learning the right form! 

Are barefoot shoes good for weightlifting?

Some weightlifters prefer to use barefoot shoes, as it allows them to have a good feel and grip of the floor so that they can better shift their weight and lift the weights up high. Barefoot shoes can indeed be good, but they aren’t recommended for those that might struggle with their form. 

But if you have good hip mobility, good calf flexibility, and you know how to squat properly every single time so that the weight stays in your heels, then you can easily use barefoot shoes without them impacting negatively in any way. So really, it’s down to preference, and they can indeed be good and comfortable for many experienced weightlifters! 

In fact, barefoot shoes allow weightlifters to have a minimalistic layer of protection under and over their feet, while allowing them to retain all of the benefits that they would have if weightlifting while barefoot (which is actually quite popular!) 

Some of these benefits include better overall stability, reducing the risk of imbalances that might affect the lifting of the weight. It also provides them with a better awareness of their body and positioning, so that they can more easily adjust their form, allowing them to lift the weights higher, and with more ease! 

Are five-finger shoes good for weightlifting?

A lot of weightlifters, especially those that are more advanced, like to do their lifting while barefoot. This can offer many advantages, such as a better awareness of their body’s positioning. It also helps develop stronger and more flexible feet, which can then help improve their overall form over time. Plus, lifting weights while barefoot can offer better stability, as they will instantly be aware of any imbalances or adjustments that need to be made! 

However, it isn’t always possible, or hygienic, to go around barefoot. If that is the case, then five-finger shoes are a great alternative, that many weightlifters favor. So yes, they can be good for weightlifting! 

With five-finger shoes, the feet are protected by the thin sole of the shoe, so that they aren’t just walking around barefoot. But they will still have a good balance, and as the toes will be able to still wiggle about independently, the weightlifter will retain the enhanced awareness of body positioning, and they will be able to adjust to a stable and well-gripped stance, ready to lift the heavyweights. 

Are weightlifting shoes bad for knees?

Weightlifting in general, if not done properly, can be bad for the knees over time. This is because they can be put under a lot of pressure and strain, causing them to develop an injury over time, as well as suffering pain. 

If you use weightlifting shoes, your heels will be elevated, which shifts your body forward. This means that more of the weight might end up falling on your knees, causing even more stress and strain, and leading to an increased chance of knee injury and pain. 

So, unfortunately, the answer to this is yes. Weightlifting shoes can be bad for knees, if not used properly. They increase the risk of knee pain and knee injury while weightlifting

However, before you jump to the conclusion of your weightlifting shoes being the cause of your knee issues, it’s important that you check that it isn’t just weightlifting in general. Usually, if weightlifting is causing you knee pain, it means you don’t have a proper form. With weightlifting, having a good form is absolutely vital in order to ensure you’re doing it properly and without the risk of injury. So knee pain is just one of the first signs of incorrect weightlifting, and it needs to be solved immediately to stop it from getting worse, as you could even get injured permanently. 

If it isn’t the form and is in fact the weightlifting shoes that are the problem, then you might not have to instantly throw them away. Instead, you could adjust your squatting style and positioning, because it could be that your particular form is clashing with the use of the weightlifting shoes. 

It could also be that due to the particular anatomy or shape of your feet or hips, you aren’t suited to wearing weightlifting shoes. In which case, instead of being beneficial, they will be causing you harm: such as knee pain! 

Do Olympic lifting shoes make a difference?

Olympic lifting shoes, which are weightlifting shoes, can indeed make a difference. However, this difference will only be beneficial if you are suited to using weightlifting shoes (in regards to your foot anatomy), and if you are using them correctly with the proper body form

The main advantage and difference that Olympic lifting shoes provide, is a deeper squatting position that enhances good lifting form. This way, your chest can remain higher up, with more ease, helping you lift the weight properly. 

How should Olympic weightlifting shoes fit? 

Olympic weightlifting shoes should fit you well, and be in your usual shoe size, or a size up. The most important thing is that they aren’t too tight and that they don’t restrict your feet and toes in any way. They should not be causing any discomfort.