15 Benefits of Weight Lifting Shoes

updated January 1, 2019

In recent years as lifting shoe design has matured and the shoes have become both widely available and affordable non-professional weightlifters have begun asking the questions: “Do I need weight lifting shoes?” and “Why use weight lifting shoes? In this article we’ll address those questions along with “What do weightlifting shoes do?” and “How should weightlifting shoes fit?”

So just what are weightlifting shoes and what are some of the benefits of weight lifting shoes?

After you read this you’ll likely want to run out and buy some weightlifting shoes. Be warned! There are a lot of bad shoes out there that will do nothing but cause injury. Check our comprehensive weightlifting shoe guide here before you buy anything!


1. Proper Positioning


source: http://www.crossfitinvictus.com/

Misalignment of the torso is a major cause of accidents and injury which is why weight lifting shoes are a must. High-quality weightlifting shoes guide your body into proper alignment and help it stay that way throughout the lift.


2. Lateral Support

lateral movement

source: http://www.girlwalksintoabarbell.com/

How should weightlifting shoes fit? In a word: snug. Countless lifters in poor footwear have experienced rollovers during a lift resulting in dislocations, ligament tears and worse. The tarsal strap on lifting shoes helps create a firm, snug fit that prevents rollovers.


3. Ankle Support

ankle support

Many lifters require a degree of ankle support beyond what nature gave them. Thankfully there are a number of high-cut weight lifting shoes that will provide these athletes with the additional ankle support they need.


4. Spreading the Floor

hip activation

source: http://spartapoint.com/

Those tarsal straps mentioned above also allow you to push out harder against the side of your shoe creating additional hip activation for a stronger, more effective deadlift or squat.


5. Increased Overall Stability


If you are lifting in running shoes you might as well be lifting in the sand. You not only have to fight the weight you’re trying to lift you also have to compensate for the fact that your base is giving in beneath you, destabilizing your lift attempt.


6. More Effective Vertical Thrust

vertical thrust

source: http://bretcontreras.com/

With your body no longer having to compensate for the energy drain of soft soles all the force you generate can be directed to the task of getting the weight off the floor.


7. Increased Versatility

versatile lifting

source: http://crossfitcampmabry.com/

Proper weight lifting shoes can allow you to attack types of Olympic lifting you may have never considered before and derive the maximum benefit from your expanded lifting repertoire.


8. Core Control

core form

Proper alignment of the lumbar spine and pelvis during squats is extremely important. Good weightlifting shoes will promote this alignment thereby increasing your effectiveness and helping avoid strains.


9. Protection for your Knees

knee injuries

source: https://www.t-nation.com

Poorly aligned feet and ankles project the difficulties they create upward. The joints that suffer the brunt of these awkward forces are the knees. Avoid painful injuries to the knee by wearing shoes that align your feet and ankles properly.


10. Greater Range in Ankle Joint

raised heel

source: https://coachdanbell.wordpress.com

The raised heel is one of the benefits of weight lifting shoes that not only generate greater stability but also provides a greater range in the ankle.


11. Increased Safety


The amount of weight even an average lifter today deals with is so far beyond historical precedents that it’s something of a miracle most weightlifters don’t suffer life-threatening injuries. Certainly, good coaching helps lifters avoid mistakes but the right shoes have been proven to be just as important.


12. Building Good Habits

building good habits

source: http://theathleticbuild.com/

No matter what your chosen occupation, building good habits is a key element of success. By getting in the habit of wearing the right shoes when you lift you reinforce the proper mindset required for effective lifting.


13. More Effective Workouts

more effective workouts

Fewer accidents, better work habits, better body positioning and greater projection of force equals more effective workouts.


14. Better Overall Health

better overall health

source: http://pinterest.com

Better workouts equal a higher degree of overall fitness which is not only beneficial to the body but to the mind as well. Fit people, in general, are more effective at their jobs whether their job is operating heavy machinery or working at a brokerage.


15. And Finally: Get More Bang for Your Buck

more bang for your buck

Health club memberships are not cheap and spending your time at the gym lifting in tennis shoes is like throwing money out the window. So the last answer to the question “What are weightlifting shoes?” is this: they’re tools to help you get the most out of the money you spent to join the gym.

Final Thoughts


Lifting enormous amounts of weight in the gym is an act the body simply wasn’t designed for, like climbing Mount Everest. Under extreme conditions, our feet need help in order to be able to safely and effectively do the things we ask of them. Just as no serious mountain climber would ignore the benefits of proper mountaineering footwear, no serious weightlifter should ignore the benefits of weightlifting shoes. Read more on the best weight lifting shoes for women here and check out the following article where we compare the Adidas Adipower vs Nike Romaleos, and Nike Metcon and Romaleos against each other. It’s a fantastic read and I know you will be surprised by the winner.

15 Benefits of Weightlifting Shoes and Why You Should Use Them