When new people come in, or people start becoming more serious about lifting, I often get questions about whether or not to buy a weightlifting shoe and which style to buy. Here are some things you may consider when purchasing a weightlifting shoe: purpose, stability, fit, cost and style. I’ll break down each of those topics below.
Weightlifting shoes provide a very stable platform for you to lift from. If you try one on and stand up, you will immediately notice a difference in stability. When you’re lifting heavy weight, regular tennis shoes are soft and squishy and deform under the weight. The material in a weightlifting shoe is stiffer and more solid, and really allows you to push against the weight.
What do you plan on doing in your weightlifting shoes? If you will be strictly lifting in your shoes, a more traditional shoe is what you’re looking for. Usually they have a slightly higher heel, are stiff and stable and very grippy. Now that CrossFit has become more popular, there are more “crossover” style weightlifting shoes that provide a stable base, but are also lighter weight and more flexible for doing metcons.
You want to make sure you have the right fit. The toe box on the different styles and brands varies (wider/narrower), so make sure you pay attention to that when reading up on the right shoe. The shoes are also constructed out of different types of materials, so some may stretch over time and fit you differently.
This is an obvious one, determine how serious you are about weightlifting, and how much stability, fit and style are worth to you.
If you care about the style of your shoe, there are plenty of options out there. Some brands only carry men’s style, others have ladies sizes and even come in pink, and if you’re willing to pay for it, some companies even let you customize the style of your shoe.
Now onto the options for styles. I have my own opinions and have done some reading to get others opinions about each style of shoe. All information is broken down in the table below. I have only lifted in the VS Athletics and I had no issue with them. They’ve been a great training shoe and have held up for a couple of years. They are heavy and bulky for metcons, but get the job done for lifting. You can purchase them from a VS Athletics store in Torrance and they usually give a discount. This is a bonus because you can actually try them on before you purchase them. If you have purchased and worn a particular style, please post your experience with the shoe to comments.