When and why to wear weightlifting shoes

When and why to wear weightlifting shoes

Lifters improve your position at the bottom of a squat, provide support, and enhance your stability. This reduces your chance of injury and improves the safety of heavy lifts. They have a flat, hard sole and an elevated heel. Heel elevations vary from shoe to shoe; find the heel height that allows you to feel comfortable at the bottom of the squat with an upright posture.

When to use

  • Weightlifting shoes are mainly used for squats (all variations), snatches, cleans, push press, jerks (all variations) and any accessory exercises used to improve the form and performance of  Olympic lifts or squats.
  • It is advised not to use weightlifting shoes for deadlifts as it puts the lifter in a disadvantageous position by increasing the amount of movement required to perform the lift.
  • Recommended for those who can squat well, so if you are still learning then best to prioritise good movement patterns before buying lifters to ‘fix the problem’.

Why do they help

Why wear weightlifting shoes


The raised heel in a weightlifting shoe reduces the need for mobility and flexibility in the toes, feet and ankles. This can mean underlying issues are masked by lifting shoes, which could lead to future issues and movement imbalances. We should be performing exercises to strengthen the foot and improve mobility and flexibility alongside lifting - example foot and ankle exercises.