About once a month I get this question:
" Do I really need weightlifting shoes?"
"Should I buy nano's , first, then some lifting shoes if I decide I really like crossfit"
What I want to reply:
"Really? Really? Didn't you just spend $200 on an outfit from Lululemon, and you can't pony-up $130 -$200 for a pair of shoes that will fit your feet long after your quads outgrow those $200 yoga pants."
So, let's get our priorities straight.
Weightlifting is a cheap sport, therefore buy the damn weightlifting shoes
Your sport is super cheap. How much gear do you need to lift weights. Hmmm.... weight lifting shoes, a belt, wrist wraps, knee wraps, pulling straps, and a singlet.- maybe compression pants . What is that like a whopping $300-$400, and most of that equipment will last over a year. A whopping $150 amortized cost. And, if you are a crossfitter, you probably already have a pair of sneakers and some work out clothes, so you can hold off on buying a $60 sports bra and $120 nanos.
|Weightlifting shoes /gear is affordable, especially compared to other sports. At least, from Risto Sports . |
The Chart indicates basic personal gear needed to participate in a sport at a sporting facility
Weightlifting is safe when you do the right thing, so buy the weightlifting shoes already.
You need weightlifting shoes to protect your joints. Weightlifting shoes provide a stable base and minimize lateral motion. Lateral motion on the joints wears your joints down faster. For example, when you lift in nanos or barefoot, your ankles will roll much more than in weight lifting shoes. This will cause your knees to wobble as well; even slight wobbling will put undue stress on your knees.
Finally, your spine is under great compression when squatting, and great torque when snatching or clean and jerking. Most sneakers are designed to be cushy an unstable , for ergonomic reasons, which is good if you are standing all day long or walking around all day like a nurse. For lifting, this is exactly the opposite of what you want. You need a shoe that will allow you to position and control the weight in relation to your center of gravity -- good luck doing that with foam , EVA, and other soft soles.
Here's a video from Kazakhstan, I just took, showing girls lifting in sneakers and girls lifting in weightlifting shoes. The girls lifting in sneakers do so because they cannot afford weightlifting shoes. Their decision to wear sneakers is not one based on whether they buy the latest outfit form Lulu.
Yeah, yeah, you probably saw a photo of Akakhi Khakiasvillis (3 time Olympic Champion) training in sandals before the 1996 Atlanta Olympics (Ironmind photo?). Do you really think he lifted in sandals, everyday? And what percentage was he lifting up to in that photo anyhow? If you look at his training videos, they are in proper shoes. And, He still holds world record at a 188kg snatch-- that he snatched in wood heel weightlifting shoes.
A good, recent example is Dmitry Klokov. He posts many photos showing feats of strength; for example, lifting on the beach in sandals, etc. Again, look at the percentages of his best that he is lifting. He recently snatched 200kg in the warm-up room at the 2014 world championships in weightlifting shoes (my coach, Ivan Rojas, witnessed it first hand. Afterall, Risto Sports hosted Klokov's brand Team Winner at our booth at Worlds)
In summary, yeah, it looks cool to show off lifting in abysmal shoes like nanos -- AND, when it comes time for the real performance-- the record breaking , the lifting your max-- weightlifting shoes are required.
Just to illustrate, here's an example of me squatting in weightlifting shoes vs nanos.
By the way, I am super flexible and mobile. I can lift in sneakers, flip flops, barefoot, high heels-- you name it. I choose not to , because I consider doing so useless showing off. I consider it putting my body in danger, for no reason, and killing my GAINZ for no reason.