Get The Right Squat Shoes Now, Or Your Knees Will Hate You Later

Wearing the right shoes while you squat will help you get deeper, keep you more upright, lift more weight, straighten your spine, and help protect your knees. If inflexibility is a major source of your problem you can fix that by mastering the third world squat.

There are two types of shoes to choose from, and making the decision is as simple as looking at how wide your squatting stance is.

Click here if you stand with your feet shoulder width apart of slightly wider.

Click here if you have a wider stance, similar to that of a power lifter.

Narrow To Medium Stance

This is the stance that you see most of the time in the gym. With it you should be wearing Olympic weight lifting shoes.

The elevated heel will help improve your form and to push from your heels. Doing so will likely allow you to immediately lift more weight, and being able to lift more means you’ll build muscle faster. Better form will also help to reduce risk of injury to your knees and back.

The hard sole of a lifting shoe allows you to lift more weight. Sneakers are designed to absorb shock through their soft sole, protecting your joints as you walk or run.

When you squat in soft soles they absorb some of the energy you produce. Even worse, they create an unstable platform for your foot that you have to constantly work to stabilize with each rep.

The below two pairs of shoes will help you transfer all of the force you produce to the ground, create a stable platform, and to add more weight to your squat while reducing the risk of injury.

fastliftInov-8 Fastlift – A very lightweight but stable shoe thanks to it’s exoskeleton combined with a nylon upper. The properly elevated heel will let you squat deeper and help protect your joints when you go for that PR.

adipower Adidas Adipower – You’ll see these Adidas on many Olympic athletes during training and competition. Incredibly stable leather upper yet very comfortable. Specialized heel that helps lock foot into place.

Wide Stance

If you have a wide stance, specialized shoes like you need for a narrow stance squat are not necessary.

You simply need a shoe with a flat firm sole that creates a stable platform for your foot. A soft sole absorbs some of the energy you produce instead of transferring it to the ground. Any energy that is absorbed by your footwear is lost forever, and the end result is that you can’t lift as much weight.

chucks Converse Chuck Taylor’s – These classics are the perfect option and are worn by nearly every record setting powerlifter that uses a wide stance. And you can’t beat the price.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Thomas May 15, 2016, 7:38 pm

    “A soft sole absorbs some of the energy you produce instead of transferring it to the ground.”
    This is correct. This is elastic energy absorbed by soft soles. It happens when the material contracts under the weight of the lifter + the barbell.

    “Any energy that is absorbed by your footwear is lost forever, and the end result is that you can’t lift as much weight.”
    While it is true that you cannot lift as much weight in those footwears, the reason given here is incorrect.
    This energy absorbed by the footwear is released when the latter reaches its initial shape again. No energy is lost (except for a small fraction of it due to wear and tear), so this cannot explain why you can’t lift as heavy with soft soles.

    The reason lies in the fact that it provides a less stable base for your foot. Because of this, there are small imbalances in your form, and some of your deep muscles are enrolled to counter these imbalances. This in itself causes you to lift lighter weights.

    Another probable reason is that you cannot flex as much/as fast as you’d want during the descent, because it takes a little time for the sole to contract under the added force. This is due to the fact that the sole is a little springy, and has to contract even more at the bottom of the squat.
    If you cannot flex as much/fast as would be possible with a sturdier sole, you can’t engage your muscles as much and you can’t lift as heavy.

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