If you were to take up long distance running, what would be the first thing you would do? Likely, you would do some research regarding running shoes and then you would go out and invest in the best running shoes you could possibly afford, because everybody knows that the shoes one wears make a huge difference when you are pounding the pavement or ground for miles on end.
CrossFit Training Should Include Weightlifting
You would certainly buy yourself some good shoes for running, so why wouldn’t you buy the proper shoes for weightlifting? There is no other type of sports shoe that can substitute for a weightlifting shoe. Sure, there are good and bad shoes for doing CrossFit, but if you are training seriously, you know you can’t just run yourself into the ground with CrossFit workouts. A huge part of good CrossFit training includes weightlifting. You really should consider having a shoe for lifting and having a shoe for conditioning.
Why You Need Olympic Weightlifting Shoes
Olympic lifting shoes are engineered with straps that allow you to push out against the side of the shoe with your foot, increasing hip activation. More hip activation will parlay into a stronger pull or squat. More stability means that you’ll be able to maintain a consistent platform from which you’ll push, unlike the inconsistency that is achieved from compressible soled shoes.
Olympic shoes have a wooden sole, although they have rubber on the bottom so you won’t slide, which means your foot is going to consistently be on a stable surface, unlike shoes, which have compressible soles.
The Engineered Heel
Olympic shoes typically have at minimum .5” to a 1” heel, allowing you to utilize every aspect of your musculature for whatever lift you’re aiming for. Soviet engineers discovered that the inclusion of a slight heel would allow the lifter to be able to squat into a deeper position, because of an increase in the range of motion for the ankle joint, and thus the design of the modern weightlifting shoe that we know today was created.
Besides allowing the lifter to squat into a deeper position, the raised heel also allows the lifter’s chest to stay upright, even in the bottom of a deep squat with the bar held overhead or right across the deltoids. You should, however, be able to squat with no artificial support. If you can’t, you need to get busy.