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Shoes …. Glorious Shoes!

You wear football boots for football, and ice skates for ice skating, so why is the correct footwear for lifting so often overlooked? Reality is you can probably lift in most day to day shoes, HOWEVER, that is not the safest or the most optimal because just like anything, it's good to have the proper kit. 

Olympic weightlifters wear what is called a lifter which allows the foot to be stable and secure whilst lifting. Let's talk about a few of the main qualities of this shoe to determine if  your footwear is appropriate for heavy lifting in the gym. 

The bottom of a lifter is stiff and flat to create a stable platform for the foot because foot stability is important when lifting. If the foot isn't stable, the ankle joint which should provide mobility, has to stiffen up to create stability which is going to impact your lifting and affect other joints up the chain. You want to be able to feel your center of pressure against a solid surface and push through your feet, whilst imagining your feet are rooted to the floor. 

There are usually one or two ankle straps as well as laces to securely lock the foot in place, the foot shouldnt be able to slide around because a slip could cause a change in your center of pressure (the distribution of force pushed into the ground at the feet) affecting your balance and ability to lift. 

The heel is normally wedged to provide greater mobility at the ankle, this can allow the lifter to get into better positions that they couldn't without them. Think about how a heel elevated goblet squat allows you to get deeper into your bottom position. 

Now for your day to day gym routine i’m not saying you need to go and buy some lifters, but what I am saying is to take a look at the shoes you wear to the gym and use the chart below stating the qualities we have just discussed to give you a better idea about if they’re suitable, or if you need to rethink. 

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