Picking Your Best Training Shoe

5 December 2021
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When weight training, choosing the right shoe may help you break any personal records and improve performance.

When you go into the gym you will see a wide variety of shoes. From bright coloured Nike and Adidas shoes to old school Converses or Metcons and Nanos. This brings us to the point of this blog post, you would not pick a pair of rugby boots to go and play tennis. Shoes are built for set purposes and you should understand what your shoe can do for you and your training goals before you go to the gym to make sure you have the right one on.

Having A Stable Foot

Your foot is your foundation when performing any weightlifting movement. If your foot is not stable then you will not have a solid base to generate force and power for your movements. Even though your foot is very mobile it has the ability to be in a stable position by being in a neutral arched position. So your choice of footwear must integrate this foot position.

Barefoot Shoes

Firstly the barefoot shoe. These shoes provide the feeling of training barefoot but still offer some degree of support for your foot. The theory behind barefoot shoes is you are increasing the feedback your body is getting from the ground and also strengthening up the smaller muscles in your feet by making them work harder. Barefoot shoes also have a wide toe box and therefore allow your foot to have more space inside your shoe rather than being constricted.  These are a good option for someone who wants to squat barefoot but has to wear shoes at their gym.

Flat Soled Shoes

If you compete in powerlifting, you will have seen some people rocking a pair of Chuck Taylors. They are terrible for running, but for squatting they are not too bad. The shoe has a 0mm drop from heel to forefoot. This is a big difference from a weightlifting shoe which can have a 20mm drop. If you have poor ankle mobility then these shoes will not offer you any help and if you have not fixed your ankle mobility before squatting or performing Olympic lifts then you may experience discomfort wearing these shoes and will not perform at your best. People who low bar squat may find these a good choice of shoe because you sit back into your hips more with this variation of squatting and therefore your knees will not have to move as far forward. A negative with these shoes is they have a narrow toe box meaning you will struggle to grip the floor as well. 

Cross-Trainer Shoes

With CrossFit being a popular form of training, there is always going to be a shoe designed for that style of training. These shoes have good support at the heel and then a flexible forefoot design as well. The most common and popular kinds of cross-trainer shoes are Nike Metcons and Rebook Nanos. 

They are both a good alternative to your normal running shoes and lifting shoes. Especially when you have a workout that combines all kinds of movements from box jumps, running, rowing machine and Olympic weightlifting. But if your goal is to just go for a run or just to squat and deadlift then these shoes are not the best option, they are built to be a good all-rounder.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to picking your shoe it should be chosen based on your personal goals. If you do have questions on what shoes might be best for you or issues with mobility when lifting and want to improve on this, then contact the clinic today on 0578678904, direct message us on Facebook or book now.

Yours in Health

The Lawlor Clinic: Spine & Sport, Portlaoise, Laois

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