CrossFit and weightlifting are disciplines whose popularity is on the rise. For this reason, more companies than ever before are looking at demand in this space and producing weightlifting shoes and many other variations of them. Thanks to competition, prices of these CrossFit shoes are falling. As an athlete, you may be confused by the falling prices not to concentrate on the other factors that determine what quality weightlifting shoes should be like.
The performance of weightlifting shoes is affected by anything from straps to lacing to fitting and heel height. In terms of utility, weightlifting shoes are specifically designed for snatching, clean, and jerking. On the other hand, cross-training shoes are for people who may want to do snatches, clean, or squats and thereafter run for about a quarter a mile without changing shoes. Whatever the case, the following factors should inform your shoe selection.
Most weightlifting shoes won’t be comfortable the first time you wear them. You will notice their stiffness and the solid, raised heel may feel a bit weird when walking. This should not distract you from picking the shoes. With time, they will be just fine. Compared to your normal shoes, weightlifting shoes should be somewhat tighter and smaller. This will give you more control during a lift which will, in turn, result in more power transfer to the bar.
This quality is more of a personal preference and does not have a clear-cut line. You will come across shoes that are flexible in the forefoot while others will be extremely stiff. For the flexible ones, you can use them for clean and jerking and the stiff ones for snatching.
Compared to other types of shoes, weightlifting shoes tend to have a higher heel. The heel should be rock solid and preferably made of plastic or wood. The advantage of such heels is that they allow for as much power transfer through the floor as possible. Typically, the height of a shoe should be 0.75 inches. However, depending on the size of the shoe, this height may vary.
Lifters with less flexibility may prefer shoes with a higher heel. The best way to pick the right heel is to go for one that makes your squat feel natural and keeps your torso vertical all through the squat.
When CrossFit training, the tension in your feet require shoes that are durable, but not very flexible. Another property is breathability of the shoe material. Most shoes come with at least one Velcro strap to secure your feet in place. This is important for control and power transfer as you lift.
Ideal weightlifting shoes should make you feel like you are planted on the ground. This is important for stability. At times, you may feel as if heavier shoes slow you down and as such opt for lighter shoes. It is important to go with your preferences, but don’t comprise on the heaviness much.
All said and done, you have the final say as the lifter regarding the shoes you feel comfortable doing CrossFit workouts in. You may not exactly get the perfect equipment, but keep going to master your technique.
KUNAL JHAVERI | 04 Jan 18