If you are new to lifting weights, you may have heard some advice from more experienced lifters about what shoes to wear. Some of them may tell you that you should never squat or deadlift in running shoes, because they are too soft and unstable. They may even warn you that you could injure yourself or limit your progress by wearing the wrong footwear.
- Argues that lifting in running shoes is not as bad as some people think, and that it will not harm your performance or health.
- The pros and cons of different types of shoes for squatting and deadlifting, and suggests some options for better footwear.
- Challenges the internet form-check culture that criticizes people for wearing sneakers, and provides evidence and examples to support its claims.
- Encourages people to not worry too much about their shoes, and to focus on their technique and effort.
But how true is this advice? Is it really that bad to lift in running shoes? Or is it just another myth that has been spread by internet form-check culture?
The truth is, lifting in running shoes is not ideal, but it is not dangerous or detrimental to your performance either. It may not be the most comfortable or efficient option, but it will not ruin your gains or put you at risk of injury.
The pros and cons of squatting in sneakers Running shoes and other soft sneakers are designed to cushion your feet and absorb impact when you run. They also help to return some energy to your foot as you push off the ground. This is great for running, but not so great for squatting or deadlifting.
When you squat or deadlift, you want a solid and stable base to support the weight on your back or in your hands. You don’t want any squishiness or movement under your feet that could throw off your balance or reduce your force production. You also want to have a good connection with the ground, so you can feel where your weight is distributed and adjust accordingly.
That’s why many lifters prefer shoes that have a firm and flat sole, like Converse Chuck Taylors or Vans Old Skools. These shoes provide a minimal amount of cushioning and elevation, which allows you to have more stability and control over your lifts. They are also good all-around gym shoes, and you can use them for both squatting and deadlifting.
Some lifters even go a step further and opt for weightlifting shoes, like Nike Romaleos or Reebok Legacy Lifters. These shoes have a very firm sole and an elevated heel, which can help you achieve a better body position and depth when you squat. The elevated heel can also reduce the ankle mobility required to squat properly, which can be beneficial if you have tight ankles or calves. However, these shoes are expensive and not necessary for most lifters. They are also not suitable for deadlifting, as the heel will increase the distance you have to pull the bar.
Another option is to simply go without shoes at all. Most gyms don’t allow barefoot training, but you can usually get away with lifting in socks. This way, you can eliminate any interference from your shoes and have direct contact with the ground. You can also feel your toes and arches more, which can help you activate your foot muscles and improve your stability.
Don’t worry too much about your shoes While there are some advantages to wearing firm or flat shoes (or no shoes) when you squat or deadlift, they are not as significant as some people make them out to be. Squatting in sneakers is not going to cause any serious harm or hinder your progress.
There is no evidence that squatting in sneakers increases the risk of injury or reduces the amount of weight you can lift. In fact, many people lift heavy weights in sneakers without any problems at all. As long as your technique is good and your shoes fit well, you should be fine.
An example of this can be seen in a competition where people performed various strange and heavy lifts. Most of the competitors wore sneakers throughout the day and lifted impressive amounts of weight. It was only when they attempted one-legged lifts that required more balance that they noticed their sneakers were not ideal.