why you need lifting shoes

Lifting Shoes vs Regular Sneakers: What you Need To Know

Starting Strength Coach Grant Broggi explains exactly why you need lifting shoes and why they are not optional for training. This was filmed at his recent training camp in Costa Mesa, CA.

The Essential Gear for Lifting: Why You Need Proper Shoes

In the realm of barbell training, where plates, bars, rubber mats, and flooring are common items I deal with, there’s one essential piece of equipment that stands out as the most crucial: lifting shoes. Unlike other gym apparel and accessories, the necessity of proper lifting shoes cannot be overstated. This isn't just another item on your gym checklist; it's a fundamental component for effective training.

Why Lifting Shoes?

Lifting shoes provide a multitude of benefits that are essential for effective training. Here’s why they are non-negotiable:

1. Increased Surface Area and Stability: The primary role of your feet during lifting is to serve as the base where force is produced. More surface area under your feet translates to better stability and force production. This is crucial not only for lifts like squats and deadlifts but also impacts performance in presses and even bench presses.

2. Secure Fit: The design of lifting shoes includes straps that secure your feet snugly, similar to how a belt secures your waist. Once tightened, these shoes ensure minimal movement within, providing a stable base to lift from.

3. Non-compressible Sole: Regular sneakers often have cushioned soles that can compress under heavy weights, which can throw off your balance and stability. Lifting shoes, however, have a hard, non-compressible sole that ensures consistent support and balance, regardless of the weight you’re lifting.

4. Slight Heel Raise: Most lifting shoes have a slight heel raise which can be beneficial for increasing more use of the quadriceps and hamstrings, contributing to a more effective lift. However, preferences can vary, and some may opt for flat soles depending on their lifting technique and body mechanics.

The Argument for Lifting Shoes Over Barefoot Lifting

While some argue in favor of barefoot lifting for its natural feel and floor contact, lifting shoes surpass barefoot lifting in terms of stability and safety. The structured design and material of lifting shoes make a significant difference in lifting performance and safety, reducing the risk of injuries and enhancing the lifter's capability to handle heavier weights.

Conclusion: An Essential Tool, Not Just an Accessory

In conclusion, lifting shoes are not just another accessory but an essential tool for anyone serious about lifting. They are to lifters what clip-in shoes are to cyclists—an integral part of the gear that enhances performance and safety. So, before you hit the gym next time, make sure you’re equipped with a good pair of lifting shoes—it could be the most important investment you make for your lifting journey.

Remember, in lifting as in many sports, the right equipment is not just about enhancement but also about protection and performance. Don’t overlook the foundation of all your lifts—your feet.

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