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Your Shoes Are Ruining Your Results

There is a plethora of workout and fitness gear that you can look into to support your performance and help prevent potential injury. One aspect of fitness that may often be overlooked, especially by those who lift weights, is proper footwear. It doesn’t matter what kind of physical activity you are participating in- whether it be running, playing sports, or lifting weights- customizing your footwear is essential to performing at your ultimate capacity.

When it comes to exercising and shoes, one size does not fit all.

Choosing and wearing appropriate footwear will help you in your efforts to break through any road-blocks or plateaus you may be facing. Keep in mind, however, that the best footwear needs to also take into consideration your bodyweight, structure, and personal needs.

WEIGHTLIFTING

Lifting some iron in the weight-room calls for a special type of foot support.

The best types of shoes for putting up heavy weight are flat-soled or shoes. Flat-soled footwear creates a firm foundation to do both pushing and pulling movements and minimizes any rocking around or wobbling, which is a common thing with running shoes.

Some lifters sometimes prefer a shoe with a slight heel lift during certain lifts like the squat which can help keep your body upright and drop lower during the descent. As far as weight goes, how heavy the shoes are doesn’t necessarily matter. The most important thing is that they fit your needs.

Here are some shoes you can look into that will help your lifts, with price ranges varying from $35 – $280:

Converse Chuck Taylors - Around $35
Adidas Powerlift 2.0 - $63.00 - $179.99
Reebok CrossFit Lifter Plus - $63.71 - $179.04
Nike Romaleos 2 - $217.77 - $279.99
Inov-8 Fastlift - $82.99 - $185.00

Keep in mind, if you don’t feel like shelling out any cash for weight lifting shoes, you can also throw it back old-school like the great Austrian Oak Arnold Schwarzenegger and go barefoot.

CROSSFIT

Crossfit shoes are a little bit more unique as they should support both aerobic and anaerobic movements. The best shoes for crossfit are a hybrid of weightlifting and running shoes due to the WOD variations that combine both aerobic and anaerobic exercise.

For the weight-lifting aspect of crossfit, firm, flat-soled shoes or shoes with a slight heel lift are great for weight-lifting because this allows for a stable foundation to be able to explode off your heels like during the squat or for being able to support heavy weight during presses without wobbling around.

Light-weight shoes are more suitable for jumping and running. Also, depending on your structure, shoes with thicker soles provide cushion and support, and this may help prevent against shin splints and heel discomfort. However, some people also prefer a flatter shoe for running, but this all depends on personal preference and preexisting health conditions.

An optimal shoe should be a balance of both lifting and running aspects. However, some people want the best of both worlds, so they have 2 different pairs of shoes that they use depending on the crossfit activity. Here are some popular shoes used for crossfit that both blend weight-lifting and aerobic aspects and also some that focus more on weightlifting, ranging from $35 -$280:

Converse Chuck Taylors - Around $35
New Balance Minimus 20v3 - $39.17 - $104.99
Asics GEL-Fortius - $69.98 - $91.94
Merrell Hammer Glove - $108.30 - $127.43
Reebok CrossFit Lifter - $59.59 - $161.82
Reebok CrossFit Nano 4.0 - $61.25 - $179.99

Also, for shoes catered more towards aerobic activity, we recommend allowing a little space between your toes and the end of the shoe. Too tight of a shoe is a recipe for ingrown toenails and discomfort.

RUNNING

Unlike weightlifting, running shoes should be lightweight. Many runners prefer a more flexible shoe that offers anywhere from minimal to moderate cushion. A common belief among the running community is that when newer runners rely on running shoes with very thick mid-soles and excessive support, they don’t strengthen and utilize the naturally built-in shock absorbing system the body provides, and this may establish a false sense of capability.

However, if you do have knee, joint, or back issues, thick-soled shoes with more cushion may be exactly what you need.

On the other hand, there are several runners who prefer running with minimal sole and cushioning, and sometimes barefoot.

As previously mentioned, make sure that you have some room between your toes and the shoe to prevent injury and discomfort.

Here’s a look at some popular shoes amongst the running community that you can check out, retailing anywhere from $50 to $290:

Nike Free Runs - $69.05 - $289.99
Saucony Triumph ISO - $122.02 - $160.00
Asics Gel Nimbus 17 - $118.95 - $150.00
Vibram FiveFingers Shoes - $49.10 - $168.73

MAKE THE SMART CHOICE

A good pair of shoes (or a lack thereof) can make all the difference. Not only will good footwear help your performance by either enhancing your explosive movements or allowing you to put up more weight with better form and stability, but good shoes will also help prevent injury.

Don’t be afraid to try out the shoes in the store and run through some simple movements (air squats, jumping, lunging) to see how they hold up. They should fit well from the beginning. If you have any shoe suggestions that weren’t mentioned or have had some good experiences with specific brands, feel free to leave a comment and let us know!

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Stefan R. Wilson
Stefan R. Wilson is a marketing professional, as well as a freelance author for nutritional supplements. He is based out of Salt Lake City, Utah and holds a BS from Brigham Young University. Stefan's expertise resides in the field of supplements to be used by athletes and bodybuilders while training.

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